On May 23rd, 1927, the Morning Leader printed four words: “Hotel Saskatchewan is Ready.” These words announced a new chapter of Regina's history, and 88 years later, after extensive renovations, the hotel has embraced its historical past and been remodeled to fit its new Circa 27 theme, celebrating the year the grand hotel first opened.
Much has changed in the hotel since it opened almost ninety years ago. Being the fourteenth luxury hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the ten story structure has continued to dominate the city’s skyline for generations. Renovations are nearing completion throughout the building, with the final rooms being opened this spring. In an attempt to bring back the classic Roaring Twenties vibe, the hotel’s interior has received a facelift, starting with the replacement of the old royal red carpet and wallpaper with a more authentic light green carpet and white wallpaper featuring decorative gold trim.
The renovations expand the length and height of the hotel. For 88 years the hotel’s 224 rooms have had different wallpaper, giving them each a unique feel unlike any other. After nearly nine decades of storing 224 different rolls of wallpaper under the possibility that a room would ever need to be touched up or redone, the hotel has decided to wallpaper all the rooms exactly the same. All the rooms, that is, except the Royal Suite.
The Royal Suite, sitting on the corner of the eighth floor with an incredible view of Victoria Avenue, Victoria Park and the booming Downtown Regina skyline, features wallpaper not seen anywhere else in the building.
One of the most stunning pieces of art in the Royal Suite is the artificial skylight above the main entrance. Crafted by Dutch artists Jaak van Wijck and Jozef Gussenhoven, this masterpiece is not dated, but with it comes an ambiance of nobility, which is perfect for the Royal Suite. After the skylight, the next most notable element within the suite is the blue and gold curtain wallpaper that covers the dining room. This entrancing wallpaper was imported directly from France and gives the dining room its own unique atmosphere. The carpet too is foreign, brought over from England. With three distinct cultures blending together – Dutch, French and English – the moment the guest enters the room, the Royal Suite easily becomes the most desirable suite in the building. It is no wonder this room is used for the most prestigious of guests such as Jon Bon Jovi, Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and Paul McCartney.
The hotel has many other surprises for guests that they might not realize. The Blue Lounge, for example, which can be used for catering, balls, or ceremonies, has been the gem of the Hotel Saskatchewan since opening. While much has changed since 1927 – walls have been removed, fires have gutted the room, secret disco balls have been installed – the room hasn’t lost its Roaring Twenties charm. In fact, many rooms on the Convention Floor have been restyled to compliment the theme of the hotel. The rooms are all shades of blue and green with the exception of one room, the Pink Room. When asked the inspiration behind painting that single room pink, no solid reasoning could be made, which only adds to the mysterious legacy of the hotel.
Speaking of mystery, a building with such history as the Hotel Saskatchewan also lays claim to several reports of ghost stories such as apparitions roaming the halls, levitating vases, shoes mysteriously filling with water and lights that flicker on and off by themselves. Other stories include unexplained rustling in closets and entire wardrobes of clothes falling to the ground and piling themselves neatly onto the floor below.
Another unique element of the hotel is Dennis's Barber Shop, which has carried on the tradition of an onsite barbershop in the hotel since its birth. Dennis's Barber Shop offers a timeless experience of classic haircutting, shoe-shining and jaw yacking which are all arts that are seemingly lost in today’s highly technological world.
Risen from the scraps of the failed Chateau Qu'Appelle, Hotel Saskatchewan has become one of the most iconic structures in Regina, bringing with it an energy that has been lost to time. Circa 27 welcomes you to experience a time forgotten by most and create memories of your own. After almost ninety years, the Hotel Saskatchewan is once again “ready” for a new era.