Travel: Review of the Delta Waterloo

When I wrote my Waterloo region city guide for Design*Sponge, the Delta Waterloo hotel had only recently opened. Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to stay the night and experience the hotel first hand. It might seem a little odd to some readers that I opted to have a little vacation within my own city, but every once in a while, I feel that it’s quite the luxurious adventure to leave behind weekend chores in search of rest and relaxation in a new environment.

So, I crossed King St. in Uptown Waterloo and checked into the Delta Waterloo for a little #WhiteCabanaStaycation.

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Although I had watched the Delta be built, I had never been in since I moved here three years ago. It’s the only 4-star hotel in Waterloo, so I assumed it would have quite a lot to offer.

I confirmed my reservation over the phone and requested an earlier check-in and later check-out if possible. While neither could be guaranteed, in the end, the Delta staff were able to accommodate both requests. I really appreciated that the Delta staff worked to accommodate these requests.

Parking was straightforward as was check-in. I was welcomed by Matt at the front desk, and he answered my initial questions about the hotel in a professional manner. The lobby of the Delta Waterloo is chic and sleek, and the lighting caught my attention.

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The Delta Waterloo generously offered me a corner suite. From my room, I had views of two of my favourite Waterloo buildings – the Perimeter Institute and CIGI Campus.

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My suite was bright, and with the sun shining in through the soft drapes, the room just felt warm and light. The suite had a king size bed – definitely a comfy hotel bed! – and a pull-out couch. It also had two TVs – yes, two! – and a desk area with a charging station (so convenient), great bedside lighting, and a bathroom outfitted with modern fixtures. The coffee station included a selection of teas and coffees, and the mini fridge was a useful addition.

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The bathroom was right up my design alley. The wood vanity, the white tiling, and the glass shower doors made the space really modern. Toiletries were by Apothia.

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The bed sheets were crisp, the bath towels were plush, and the hotel robe was cozy (I do love a good hotel robe!). Honestly, I can’t say anything negative about the room – or my stay, in fact. I had everything I needed for my #WhiteCabanaStaycation, and my room was a stylish and comfortable place to relax (I finally got through reading a few magazines that have been waiting for me at home!). Oh – and I loved that there were windows that I could actually open! (Am I the only one who gets annoyed when they don’t?) Good design feature, Delta Waterloo!

As far as hotel amenities go, the Delta Waterloo has a fitness centre, pool, hot tub, and sauna on the lower level. Even though the hot tub was off-duty due to a maintenance issue, I put the pool and sauna to use. As you can imagine, a trip to both added pleasure to my stay!

Dining out – and in – was easy at the Delta Waterloo. While there are many restaurant options in Uptown Waterloo, I decided to have dinner at Proof Kitchen & Lounge, which I have heard quite a bit about, but I had never been. Proof isn’t just for hotel guests; many local residents regularly go here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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Proof was definitely more stylish and design friendly than I had originally thought, so my first impression was a good one. When I was inside, it did not feel like I was in “small town” Waterloo. The hexagon graphic theme works well, and there are many clever names on the menu items that made me smile (e.g., the OMG chocolate cake, the Big Pimmpin’ Pimm’s Cup). I opted for the Big Pimmpin’ Pimm’s Cup and the Proof smoked Berkshire pork chop with fingerling potatoes for dinner. Yum. Yum. It’s not cheap, but it is delicious! (See all the menu items.)

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For breakfast, I ordered room service – which I rarely do, actually – and my meal arrived right on time. It was a basic breakfast of eggs and bacon, but I think it tasted better than usual because I didn’t have to make it myself (insert huge smile), and I could stay in my pyjamas (insert second huge smile). My #WhiteCabanaStaycation could have easily been called #WeekendofLuxury2.0.

For those of you who are new visitors to the region, you’ll be happy to know that the location of the Delta Waterloo could not be more perfect. Uptown restaurants are within walking distance as is Waterloo park, the Clay and Glass Museum, and the Waterloo Recreation Centre.

Guest rooms start at $169 per night, and deluxe rooms start at $189 per night. Read more about rooms and rates if you’re planning a trip to the Waterloo region.

Honestly, dear readers, there’s something just fabulous about traveling within your own city! I feel very fortunate that I got the opportunity to do so, and I’d encourage you to consider doing the same thing! (p.s. I’ve added a few more photos on Instagram and Twitter using #WhiteCabanaStaycation.)

Many thanks to Elaine S. and Delta Waterloo for sponsoring my accommodations. All opinions and photos are my own.

Celebration: Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Oh, St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve never been into the ol’ St. Patrick’s Day parties, and around these parts, the university kids pretty much go wild, it’s all very chaotic, and I think it’s bizarre (yeah, yeah, bah humbug).

But…

At the St. Jacobs market last weekend, I couldn’t resist buying  a sweet shamrock plant for only $2 (!). It’s just so delicate. I can totally get behind St. Patrick’s Day green when it’s as pretty as this!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! May the day be a lucky one for you!

Marketplace: Chair Table Lamp in Cambridge, Ontario

You likely already know that I have really enjoyed my move to the Waterloo region. For a relatively small region, it has so much to offer, and the people I have met and the places that I’ve been to continue to impress me. A couple of months ago, I visited Chair Table Lamp in Cambridge after seeing a cool photo of the store from Rox-Anne, and I was in furniture heaven.

I was in awe as I stepped in the massive space. Owner Terry was ridiculously knowledgeable about everything antique, and we had a delightful conversation about furniture, design, and travel. On a subsequent visit, I met co-owner Katie who was equally enthusiastic about all things furniture! I really enjoy meeting people who are so passionate about what they do.

The inventory at Chair Table Lamp is incredible. There’s honestly something for every design lover – from art deco chairs to gorgeous Chinoiserie pieces to mid-century modern dining sets to gorgeous French armoires. Honestly. This place is a treasure! (I adore this piece and this one, too). You’re not going to find garage sale prices here, but you will find fair prices for the uniqueness and quality of the pieces.

Amongst the black credenzas and the wood dining sets, I spotted quite a bit of white (mostly newly painted), so here’s a tour of Chair Table Lamp through this white-lover’s lens…

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Friday Five: Flowers From the Potting Shed

I first met Elaine of Cambridge, Ontario’s From the Potting Shed a couple of months ago at Langdon Hall. I was in love with so many of the arrangements she and her team made for Langdon’s wedding open house, and I wanted to see more. So…I recently headed over to her studio space, and after driving up the long country drive, I found myself in another world. From the Potting Shed took me back to France, in fact! The lavender, the terracotta, the casualness of linen coverings, and beautiful copper pots all reminded me of being in France.

I was warmly welcomed by Elaine and her team (hi team!), and I went exploring around the studio. Considering the recent snowfall and freezing rain we’ve had this week in Waterloo, I thought it was perfectly appropriate to share some floral gorgeousness this Friday. Shall I fill you in on five things that I learned about From the Potting Studio?

1. I loved all the flowering trees that Elaine had scattered throughout the studio.

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2. The dining space in the studio included one of Elaine’s signature flower garlands (or trains!) across the fireplace mantle. So beautiful! White-Cabana-From-The-Potting-Shed-5

3. Elaine does quite a bit of work with lavender. From sachets to wreaths to bouquets, if you’re looking for lavender, this is the place to come!White-Cabana-From-The-Potting-Shed-3

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4. From the Potting Shed offers many floral design workshops through its School of Flowers certificate program (I’m attending one in May, so I’ll be sure to report back!). These workshops are ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about floral design, but it would also be a fun activity for mother’s day  or a celebration with bridesmaids.

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5. In addition to the School of Flowers, Elaine and her team host a set of cool events throughout the year. I’ve got my eye on the Champagne Garden Party in June!White-Cabana-From-The-Potting-Shed-4 White-Cabana-From-The-Potting-Shed-6

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If you’re planning your upcoming wedding and you’re still looking for a florist, I would encourage you to meet with Elaine at her next Wedding Open House (March 19-20) and learn more about her wedding services.

For everyone else who is not getting married, but who wants to be surrounded by beauty, visit From the Potting Shed.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thanks again, Elaine, for being such a gracious host! Thanks also to Simon, Greg, and the floral team for adding to the fun of the afternoon!

The Friday Five: 5 Reasons Why I Signed Up for the Hourglass Workout

I’m not a gym-aholic. Heck, ever since I moved to Waterloo, and I walk everywhere, my official exercise time is non-existent. I’ve never been a lover of the gym or workouts, but I do like activities and routine. I used to run quite a bit (slowly, I assure you), and even finished a few half-marathons. I felt really fit and strong when I was running regularly, and I felt healthy. So why did I decide to sign up for the Hourglass Workout? Why? Why? Why?

Let me share 5 of the reasons that led me to this decision.

1. It was recommended by friends: Over Christmas, two of my Toronto friends (Hi KS and SM!) raved about Lyzabeth Lopez’s Hourglass Workout program that they had been doing for the last few months. “The workouts are fun, challenging, and different,” they said. I applauded their efforts and commitment, of course, but didn’t think too much of it at the time.

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2. It was meant to be: Last week, I got a text from one of said friends (Thanks, KS. Look what you’ve started.) with news that Hourglass was opening a Waterloo location. A day or so later, I randomly ran into the Waterloo instructor, Iman, at the café, and had a really great initial chat about Hourglass and its expansion to Waterloo. Random, I tell you! If this wasn’t a sign, what is?

3. It’s convenient: I am a fan of convenience, and once I did a bit of research on the classes, their times, and the location, I determined that the options were convenient for my lifestyle.

4. Hourglass supports bloggers: In addition to some common interests like growing up in Toronto and what we like about Waterloo, Iman and I connected over our interest in blogs. I love it when people appreciate bloggers’ work*.

5. It’s a new addition to Waterloo: I’m always keen on supporting local businesses in the Waterloo region. This region has hooked me in, and I’m pleased to share news of all that it has to offer. Heck, I even wrote a Design*Sponge city guide about Waterloo, remember? As such, I’m happy to share news of Hourglass’s launch in our region. (By the way, Hourglass’s grand opening in Waterloo is on Sunday, February 7th in case you’re local and you’d like to attend the event.)

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Hourglass Waterloo classes begin on February 1st, so sign up here if you’re interested. Hourglass is currently offering 25% off, so it’s a great time to register.

The workouts look interesting – and tough – but I have no doubt that Waterloo’s instructor, Iman, will motivate me to put in my best effort. She’s recommended that I attend 3 classes per week, but given my hectic life, I’m going to definitely commit to 2 classes, but I’ll try really hard to attend class 3. I’ll be sharing a few updates about my Hourglass Workout journey over the next few weeks, so I hope you’ll come back and check on my progress**! Wish me luck – I start next week!

*Thanks to Iman and Hourglass Workout for offering a discount on my membership. All opinions are my own.
**I’m aiming for general toning and tightening, rather than the Kardashian booty.