My wife and I and brother and sister-in - law stayed at the Deer Lodge for two nights in September 2013. We had stayed there on two previous occasions over 25 years earlier with our children and had fond memories of our stays there.
It was for this reason that we had suggested the Deer Lodge to our travelling companions who were visiting Canada for the first time.
Oh what a mistake we made!! Upon arrival we were allocated what can only be described as box rooms on the third floor that were so small we hardly had enough room for our luggage and there was only room for one bedside table beside the small double bed. Moreover the hotel and the bedroom were cold. We later discovered that this was because the heating system had malfunctioned although this was not disclosed to us at check in nor that a portable heater was available, if required, something we discovered later quite by accident.
Breakfast on the first day was extremely disappointing. Both the full or continental buffets were both expensive and uninspiring and we waited at least ten minutes to be seated. In fact other hotel guests in front of us in the queue literally had to go into the kitchen to drag a member of the hotel staff out of the kitchen so that we could all sit down. The service was very slow and very disorganised with no evidence that anyone was in charge. Due to this I deliberately did not leave a tip and wrote a footnote on the bill that this was because of poor service. Needless to say nobody at the hotel followed up this comment with us during our stay.
On returning to our rooms in the early afternoon of our first day we discovered that our rooms had not been made up or cleaned. We subsequently submitted a formal complaint about this and the size and condition of our rooms and were put through to the Manager, Gavin. He assured us that a member of the housekeeping staff would be with us within ten minutes but after at least an hour and a half we were still waiting!!
The hotel literature advised that complimentary tea and coffee was available in the Agnes Room from 7.00am to 11.00am. We attempted to partake of this at around 8.00am only to find that the coffee was lukewarm and basically undrinkable. To our knowledge no attempt was made by the hotel staff to replenish what was there that morning.
In the main lounge tables were not cleared of plates, cups, glasses etc left by guests who had chosen to eat there and some glasses used by one guest at lunchtime were still there after 7.00pm that evening.
These are just a few examples demonstrating the lack of attention to detail and what we considered to be very poor management of the hotel generally. Needless to say after the initial discussion with the lacklustre Gavin he was never visible within the hotel whilst we were there nor did he make any subsequent attempt to contact us after our initial complaint.
The Deer Lodge enjoys an enviable location within the Lake Louise area being only a short walk to the lake. Moreover other than the Chateau Lake Louise it has little in the way of competition ( and the Deer Lodge probably caters to a different client set) as any hotels of comparable size are located in the Village some 4kms away.
It is because of this lack of competition we believe that the management of the hotel have become more than a little complacent - the hotel was showing no vacancies whilst we were there. Nonetheless it is very expensive for what you get and definitely does not offer value for money. My advice to the senior management of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, who own the hotel would be to make a few unannounced visits which I am sure they would find very eye opening.
One comment made to us whilst we were there is that because it is a National Heritage Building there was little they could do to change it. Structurally maybe but that does not stop the hotel management ensuring that it is properly decorated, carpets are not threadbare and rooms are comfortable and inviting and in full working order.
During our more than two weeks in the BC and Alberta areas we have stayed at a good mix of hotels and it is no exaggeration to say that this was undoubtably our worst experience.
Thus if you are planning to stay in the Lake Louise area steer well clear of this one otherwise you will be disappointed
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- Also Known As:
- Deer Hotel Lake Louise
- Deer Lodge Lake Louise
- Lake Louise Deer Lodge