This luxury hotel in Calgary goes for the bold - from room design to an invitation to guests to share their secrets, and why you should, too

FROM DINING TO ROOM DESIGN, The Dorian takes its inspiration from Oscar Wilde’s classic novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, to create stays for guests that feel luxurious and a touch hedonistic. You can sip on cocktails crafted with everything you need from an in-room bar cart while you stretch out on a tufted sofa or prop yourself up in bed on fluffy Turkish pillows. Or blow your budget with a tasting menu and wine pairings.

Image credit: Marriott International / Eymeric Widling

Image credit: Marriott International / Eymeric Widling

You’ll find a youthful vibe throughout this 137-room property, which doesn’t play it safe in its design or attitude. It’s flirty, whimsical and a true ageless beauty. The décor bucks the minimalist trend and is unapologetically maximalist. Think pattern on pattern, punches of colour and graphic wallpaper. It works. You might groan when you hear about hotels with a theme. They can turn into Disneyesque nightmares when it’s laid on too thick. The Dorian avoids that by taking a subtle approach.

Photo: The Dorian, Autograph Collection

For a bit of fun, it places a card on the bed inviting guests to share a secret anonymously by scanning a QR code and following the instructions. Depending on the reveals’ level of naughtiness, the portrait of Dorian Gray in the lobby will shift from beautiful to ugly. You can also read the confessions of fellow guests, like one who admitted they spent most of their workday shopping online. My confession? I loved the hotel’s bespoke Earl Grey Gin, a collaboration with Alberta’s own Eau Claire Distillery, a tad too much.

The Dorian, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

I was in search of a great spot for a girls’ getaway and Calgary ticked a lot of boxes for a couple of gals who love cocktails and stellar dining experiences. Discovering that a unique boutique property called The Dorian, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, had recently opened in the heart of downtown was the clincher.


The Dorian Hotel

Photo: The Dorian, Autograph Collection

The Dorian opened in July 2022 – the first new hotel to open in downtown Calgary in more than a decade. It’s a boutique hotel within a hotel. It shares its address with a Courtyard by Marriott, which occupies the lower floors, but The Dorian has its own unique identity.


the dorian autograph collection

Photo: The Dorian, Autograph Collection

It’s a new property but still has a sense of history in a broader sense since it’s themed around The Picture of Dorian Gray, published in 1890. (Each room has a copy, if you’re keen on reading it.) One thing I loved was the décor and the balance between modern and classic with furniture pieces you might find in an English manor. The bathroom is contemporary with very on-trend, all-black fixtures, yet has retro-inspired wallpaper with a feather motif.

Downtown is where the action is. You can walk a few minutes in any direction from The Dorian and find a stellar spot to eat and drink, whether it’s Major Tom, the city’s uber-stylish rooftop steakhouse, or Model Milk that still draws celebs, like Pedro Pascal and Elijah Wood. And if you’re doing a cocktail crawl, it’s always a good idea to be close to your hotel homebase.


Woven into the fabric of the hotel's design, the Rose Acicularis, also known as the prickly wild rose, stands as a native species of the northern Great Plains and serves as Alberta's provincial flower.

Woven into the fabric of the hotel’s design, the Rose Acicularis, also known as the prickly wild rose, stands as a native species of the northern Great Plains and serves as Alberta’s provincial flower.

Fans of beige may be disappointed. The Dorian banishes boring and dares to be different. Clearly, that resonates with a wide range of guests. There were plenty of business types staying at the hotel during my visit, but I also saw couples and groups of gal pals, too. I didn’t see or hear any kids, though I’m sure they’d be welcome. The hotel is also dog friendly.


Photo: The Dorian, Autograph Collection

Foie gras terrine.

Absolutely and no one would blame you. The beds are top-notch and meant to be enjoyed. And besides, the story of Dorian Gray is all about hedonism so indulge. If you can pry yourself out of the bed, check out on-site dining options, like the Prologue Café or The Wilde on 27.



Photo: The Dorian, Autograph Collection

There’s a lot to love, but at the top of my list would be the design. I didn’t realize how accustomed I had become to hotels that played it safe with neutral finishes and shades of taupe. It is refreshing to see bold wall treatments and colour. It really gives the property an energy and a feeling that this is the place to be.

The Dorian also earns kudos for having motion-activated night lights by the bed, so you never have to fumble your way to the bathroom and grope for light switches along the way.

I’m a devotee of lounging in bed. I’m often sprawled out reading a book, working on my laptop, writing notes or watching Netflix. That means I need nightside tables with ample room to keep my stuff handy. I found the ones in The Dorian too small for my needs. Reserve directly or through most hotel booking sites.


  • Mini-fridge
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Large working desk
  • Luxe Turkish linens and pillows
  • Walk-in showers
  • Aesop toiletries
  • Lavazza coffee maker and pods
  • Kettle
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Lighted makeup mirror
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • 55-inch LCD TV with premium
  • movie channels
  • In-room beverage/bar cart
  • Blackout drapes

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