We know it at Milesopedia because it is the only category 1 Marriott Bonvoy hotel near Quebec. And that our members sometimes use it to achieve higher Marriott status with few points. In fact, in the off-season, the five-day week (including one free night and five nights’ status) costs this Ontario hotel, which opened in 2020, only 20,000 points.
But beyond that, the TownePlace Suites Petawawa offers a great value for a change of scenery and a soak in nature in comfort at a low price. The region has much to offer.
Three and a half hours from Montreal and less than two hours northwest of Ottawa, the town of Petawawa is known for its Canadian Forces Base. In the city and in the hotel, we see soldiers in uniform.
Petawawa is also close to the Algonquin National Park where hikers and skiers have a great time on the many trails. The Algonquin RAP snowmobile trail is also popular with enthusiasts.
The hotel itself is located close to all services. You can walk to restaurants (fast food), grocery stores, and liquor stores. There are also several gas stations.
The Towne Place Suites in Petawawa
The TownePlace Suites hotels, known as a “long stay” hotel, only has studios and suites. This means that all guests have a sofa bed and a fully equipped kitchen: dishwasher, microwave, fridge and hob. Depending on the length of your stay, you may be assigned a suite with a traditional oven.
|Parking||Outdoor, free of charge|
|Swimming pool and jacuzzi||Indoor|
|Breakfast||Free for all|
|Shower/bath||Italian shower/bath in the suites|
|High-speed Internet||Free of charge. Very high speed $5/day|
|Baby bed / playpen / extra bed||Yes|
The Barbecue Station
Before entering the hotel, you can’t miss the BBQ station with its two appliances and Adirondack chairs surrounding a stone fireplace. The idea is good, gathering for a family picnic, but its location facing the parking lot lacks charm.
The Lobby and Breakfast
The lobby has two reception desks and a very small convenience store for those who are hungry. It faces a living room and the dining room. At the time of my stay, these areas were not available to guests, although the hot breakfast was. You could simply bring it to your room in a cardboard container with plastic utensils.
Breakfast was the same on both mornings during my stay. Basic breakfast that offered all the necessities: coffee, yogurt, oranges, cereal, eggs and sausage patties, bagels… and the use of the very popular waffle machine.
Since I was only staying two nights and the hotel was busy during my stay, I did not get a suite upgrade. The radiant autumn days mobilized several hikers that I saw leaving in the morning. And then there were the military people their families were visiting. In short, it was full.
The studio, located on the 4th floor, is well organized with a chair and a small table for meals. Well, for one person only when some rooms have a table and chairs. The blue sofa bed looks good, the bed is comfortable, the large TV tunes to several channels and pairs with your devices. Finally, the office space can be moved around. The work table with its ergonomic chair is on wheels, so it can be moved easily to the window if you want to.
However, the kitchen lacked equipment. No wine glasses, no utensils, no bowls to prepare anything. Is this the norm in non-COVID times?
Fitness and leisure
The pool is quite small and has a maximum depth of 5 feet. You can’t swim laps but the water is nice. It is equipped to welcome people with a disability thanks to an adapted chair.
To use the pool, you must book your spot in advance. Ditto for the hot tub and fitness room which were open.
The region is also very popular for several water sports. Due to its proximity to the Ottawa and Petawawa rivers and the presence of numerous lakes, paddlers, fishermen, sailboat captains just love it.
The Way Forward
Whether you are travelling through Quebec or Ontario to get to Petawawa, the journey begins en route.
We can admire:
- the countryside with its rolled bales of hay and grazing cows….
- the forest that is increasingly abandoning its hardwoods to become boreal…
- the ever-present Ottawa River…
- crossing the river with one of the many ferries… the electrically powered Quyon cable car or the road from Ontario to Portage-du-Fort, which caught my attention… There is a dam, powerful waterfalls and beautiful views on the latter. The little village seems to appear out of nowhere.
- Finally, to accompany us on our way, the CHIP Pontiac radio station reminds us that we are elsewhere. It alternates between French and English programs, discusses hunting and fishing, sells pick-up trucks online and offers bingo nights every Monday. It’s like going back in time. It’s a change from the usual radio shows. Didn’t I tell you that the trip would be a change of scenery?
What to do nearby?
The town of Petawawa has all the shops and services one could need for a stay. Even a cinema.
One kilometre from the hotel, the Petawawa Terrace Provincial Park invites you to walk short trails through a pine forest or sit in the small children’s playground.
For swimming, we go to the beach at La Pointe de Petawawa. Very popular with facilities, but without supervision; you can also rent boats and play volleyball. If you prefer to get away from the crowds and join the locals, you can head to the beach campground at Black Bear Lake.The entrance is free and there are toilets and a canteen on the site to eat.
To make a long story short, but really interesting, the neighbouring town of Petawawa, Pembrooke, is located 15 minutes away by car. From there, you can:
- go on a superb “Kiwanis Walk“; marked out for a kilometre and a half, along the Ottawa River. It links two riverside parks. During the summer season, the park’s amphitheatre presents free musical performances every night. Outdoor movies are also shown (in English) on Tuesday nights.
- see an open-air art gallery. A city of murals (sorry Sherbrooke), it has 34 painted on the walls of historic buildings that tell the story of the city’s evolution since the 1800s.
- watch performances of the Ottawa Valley’s musical heritage. Every year on Labour Day weekend, the Old Time Fiddling & Step Dancing Festival brings together the best fiddlers and traditional dancers in the region at Fiddle Park.
It is an open secret that this category 1 hotel allows our members to reach the Platinum or Titanium status of the Marriott hotel chain. But it’s a well-kept secret that the same place can offer a family, friends, couples or solo a nature holiday at a very low price. With breakfasts included, cooking included, free parking, a swimming pool… what is there to miss? Cooler and lawn chairs to enjoy the beaches and shows! Enjoy your stay.
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