Imagine the brilliant colours of Caribbean architecture surrounding you as the sound of tropical music travels through the air. The delicate tips of the palm trees and the shapes of tropical fish catch your eye. For a moment, it may seem like you are really there, enjoying the luxuries of an island destination trip. That’s exactly how the owners of Mariaggi’s Theme Suite Hotel & Spa expect you to feel after staying in one of their travel-themed rooms.
Founder Frank Mariaggi at the Mariaggi Hotel. (Courtesy of Virtual Heritage Winnipeg)
The Winnipeg hotel first opened its doors in 1903 and was founded by Italian immigrant Frank Mariaggi. Though it was one of the first Canadian luxury hotels, it did not consist of the themed rooms it does today. However, one of its highly attractive features was its long bar and Italian grotto.
Today, the hotel’s suites are made to resemble different parts of the world with 13 of them dedicated to exotic locations. You can choose between staying in China, Egypt, Hawaii, India, Morocco, Cuba, the Caribbean, Africa, Paris, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, or Mexico. Each room is spacious, features authentic art and decor from their countries of origin, has TVs with DVD players and iPod connectors, and two-person dining tables.
Jakarta Room waterfall hot tub. (Courtesy of the Mariaggi’s Theme Suite Hotel and Spa)
Some unique features vary depending on your room of choice. Apart from Paris, all hotel rooms feature steam showers, some of which have built-in stereo speakers, others with tornado steam showers. Most themed rooms also have jacuzzis. Morocco, India, and the Caribbean rooms specifically stand out for the waterfall feature of their hot tubs. There are also infrared saunas and pool tables in rooms like Egypt. Yet, while each room is unique, Debu recommends four top rooms to book. And yes, we’re saving the best for last!
The Caribbean Room ($575 CAD)
The Caribbean Room. (Courtesy of the Mariaggi’s Theme Suite Hotel and Spa)
The Caribbean room is 1000-square feet, large enough to boast a 60-inch TV, halogen fireplace, steam shower, and hot tub. Feel relaxed as you rest in a deluxe queen-sized bed, taking in the vibrant red-yellow patterns lining the walls. Embellishing the tables and shelves of the room are sculptures of tropical fauna like angel fish and colourful parrots. Green foliage hangs from the branches of a tall indoor plant, creating the picturesque look of a hanging garden above you. When you’re ready to shower or soak in the hot tub, step onto the elevated, earthy-brown marble floor and let the water wash over you as if you were in the Caribbean Sea itself.
The Morocco Room ($425 CAD)
The Morocco Room. (Courtesy of the Mariaggi’s Theme Suite Hotel and Spa)
You don’t need to brace for the desert to enjoy the luxuries of Morocco. This room has it all, from the décor to the structure. A mihrab, a common feature of mosque architecture, separates the hot tub and shower area from the rest of the room. The floor and side panels of the tub consist of zellige, tiles elaborately decorated with different patterns, colours, or textures. Traditional metalwork graces the walls and shelves of the room. A rich, Moroccan textile rug lies over the central floor, its geometric patterns and floral design reflecting brilliant, Islamic art styles tracing back centuries. Take advantage of the halogen fireplace while you’re at it!
The Japan Room ($375 CAD)
The Japan Room. (Courtesy of the Mariaggi’s Theme Suite Hotel and Spa)
Head further east and you’ll find yourself in Japan, the nation of the Rising Sun. Take in the Yamato-e artwork before your deluxe queen bed — its natural landscapes are inspired by Japan’s ancient Shinto beliefs. A luminous black marble floor leads you to the hot tub. A burst of energy shoots out to you from the green foliage that lines the wall, consisting of artificial lights brightening the yellow and red-panelled walls. A medium-sized samurai sculpture stands guard as you enter the tub.
The Jakarta Penthouse ($850 CAD)
The Jakarta Room. (Courtesy of the Mariaggi’s Theme Suite Hotel and Spa)
Coming in hot is the penthouse suite of Jakarta. This room includes a wet bar and is elaborately decorated with thatched roofing reminiscent of Indonesian kampungs or villages. Exotic plants and flowers surround the room. Its beautifully crafted textile-covered walls consist of elaborate gold lining patterns. Its ceramics, sculptures and paintings reflect the three dominating faiths that inspire Indonesia’s art — Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Enjoy the 3000-square foot room and all its special features!
Honouring its Italian heritage, the Mariaggi specializes in pasta meals. The beef pasta dish is well-proportioned, along with the pork ribs. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll appreciate the detail they put into flavouring your dishes. The cheesecake served as dessert is also a recommended favourite.
The hotel also hosts a number of luxurious amenities. Couples can enjoy the Romance Package for 196 CAD or Mini Romance Package for 56 CAD. The former presents you with a four-course dinner for two and the signature bottle of champagne with personalized, handwritten label. The dinner is candle-lit and comes with a bubble bath package. You can also choose from spa or massage packages. The Couples Massage package comes with an hour massage for 280 CAD.
Things to Do
Downtown Winnipeg. (Michael Fazio/CBC)
The hotel was built in the historic district of Winnipeg. Its downtown location makes it accessible to great spots to visit during your stay. Apart from museums and food spots like Forks Market, you could check out McPhillips Street Station Casino or the Winnipeg Arena for entertainment. Rated as one of the world’s top most romantic hotels in 2012, this Canadian dream spot is highly-rated and recommended for a couple’s getaway.
Tashon Daley | Contributing Writer