Venue Review Part 2: Ottawa Westin TwentyTwo – Downtown venue with the best view
Picture this: You’re standing in TwentyTwo, holding a glass of champagne surrounded by everyone you love in the world with panoramic views of the city skyline, the historic Parliament buildings, and the beautiful Gatineau mountains. The sun is setting, there is a golden glow over our beautiful city and you are just soaking in this moment of your wedding day.
Choosing the perfect wedding venue is not an easy decision, but with TwentyTwo at the Ottawa Westin, your dream wedding can be breathtaking!
As your downtown Ottawa wedding venue expert, I’m here to ensure you consider the best options Ottawa has to offer, so you can select the perfect venue for your wedding. Let me take you through the pros and cons of this fantastic Ottawa venue, starting with the reasons why I think it’s a great choice.
First, the location is unbeatable. TwentyTwo is situated at the top of the Ottawa Westin, resembling a glass cube with breathtaking views of downtown, the Gatineau mountains, Parliament, Chateau Laurier, and the city skyline. Witnessing the sunset over the city is always a treat for your guests. They rush to that side of the room to capture stunning selfies, as it’s truly a magnificent sight.
Another added bonus to surprise your guests with is if you’re fortunate to book a wedding date coinciding with fireworks. Its undoubtedly the best place in the city to see them.
Although you are surrounded mostly by beautiful windows, the room also manages to feature a media wall, essential if you’re planning to put all of your favourite memories on display in a photo montage. Not all venues can accommodate this option which is important to know if you are considering adding this moment to your day.
Next is the food; it’s exceptional, and the presentation of dishes makes you feel as though you’re indulging in a work of art. The staff is remarkable, from pre-sales through to the banquet, they’re dedicated to ensuring your event is a success. The event manager you worked with post-booking will be present on your wedding day and then transitions to the banquet manager for the reception, providing consistent support.
A big advantage of booking TwentyTwo is that you have all the amenties of the Westin hotel at your fingertips, most notably the Rideau Suite which is included in the wedding package. Located just down the hall from TwentyTwo, it’s a very large condo-like suite with sweeping views of downtown Ottawa. It serves as your “honeymoon suite,” but it’s also perfect as a getting-ready space since it provides enough room for your hair and makeup team to set up while still leaving room for bridesmaids and Moms to comfortably relax, eat, and enjoy a mimosa.
My couples have enjoyed being able to sneak away to their suite to use the washroom, freshen up, change into dancing outfits, change shoes, etc. Then, at the end of your wedding night, your room is only a few steps away – No transportation needed!
I highly encourage my couples to book and enjoy the Rideau Suite the night before as well so that you have early access on your wedding day. This is important for starting your hair and makeup preparation time and not having to wait for the room to be turned over from the previous night’s guests. There is enough room for everyone to put on their dresses and for your photographer to do your “getting-ready photos” as you put on your gown. On rainy days, we have even used the room to take photos.
Another suggestion I make to my couples is to consider booking a similar space just one floor down called the Bonaventure suite. It’s a great place for the groom and groomsmen to get ready and do their photos. With it’s beautiful views of downtown Ottawa and a wrap-around terrace, it’s a perfect fit to host a rehearsal dinner or welcome drink the night before for close family and friends. You can bring in your own food, bar items, and there is plenty of room both inside or outside on the terrace.
The entire guest experience when all wedding events are hosted in the hotel is so wonderful. This is important to consider if you have a lot of out-of-town guests or even those who you know might enjoy a staycation. Friends and family meeting up meet in the lobby, eating at the restaurant, or going shopping in the attached Rideau Centre together simply adds to the wonderful wedding memories. Guests also appreciate the ease of accessing their rooms during the wedding to change shoes and freshen up. Those with small children book a babysitting service and can easily go and check in and return to the party!
Now let’s address some considerations before booking this space.
The primary complaint I hear when touring this space is regarding the carpeting in the ceremony and cocktail areas. The ceremony space is located on the 4th floor in one of the Governor-General spaces, and the carpet is in dire need of replacement. Though in most hotels, event space carpeting is typically heavily patterned. I’ve always wished they would install light wood flooring instead of hotel carpets!
After your ceremony, guests generally move to a space next door for the cocktail hour before transitioning upstairs to TwentyTwo for the reception. Hosting both the cocktail and reception in TwentyTwo can be tight unless your guest count is on the smaller end (under 100).
As the name suggests, TwentyTwo is on the 22nd floor, and the stunning view comes with complexities around moving items and people up and down in elevators. I highly recommend hiring a Planner if you’re considering this venue, especially one who is familiar with events in their spaces.
With everyone moving between ceremony, cocktail, and reception on multiple levels of the hotel, as well and the couple needing to slip in and out for things like photos, having a Planner to facilitate these transitions will be key to your day running smoothly.
Your Planner will need to be familiar with the hotel to build a proper timeline and keep everything on track throughout the day. This includes coordination with vendors around the use of the loading dock and single elevator for movement of rentals and equipment. Some vendors charge an additional fee due to the extra time required to load in and out.
The final and possibly biggest drawback of this space is the noise restriction for music; they have a decibel level you need to stay under, and the music must stop at midnight due to the impact on hotel guests.
If you’re considering a band, this is not the venue for you. A great alternative after midnight would be to switch to silent beats, an offering some of our DJ partners provide, where guests can still dance with music coming through high-quality earphones.
Noise complaints have been heard all the way from the 6th floor, emphasizing the importance of keeping both hotel guests and wedding attendees happy.
Westin hotel amenities
Lacklustre ceremony space
22nd floor logistical challenges
As a seasoned Planner familiar with the intricacies of this venue, let me assist you in navigating these challenges and ensuring a seamless and unforgettable wedding day experience for you and your guests.
Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
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Next up on the blog, featuring Ottawa’s most iconic wedding venue, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier!
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