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“Lovely hotel but concierge staff lacking”

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Hotel Le Germain Calgary
Ranked #10 of 109 Hotels in Calgary
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 July 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 5 nights last week - a combination of work and pleasure - to experience the famous Stampede for the first time. The location is excellent - 30 seconds from Stephen Avenue Walk which was closed to traffic and became a wonderful hub of pedestrian activity with lots of restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment. There's a Winners, The Bay and Holt Renfrew all within a few blocks, and a Starbucks across the street. The hotel was also a 10 minute walk to the Stampede grounds which was super handy since cabs were scarce during the city's busiest week.

We had stayed at Le Germain in Toronto (Maple Leaf Square location) and loved it. The same holds true here with the modern design aesthetic, the drop dead gorgeous bathrooms with both a rainshower and a hand-held shower, and the amazingly comfortable bed, pillows and sheets...you'll never sleep so well!

The breakfast is excellent: steel cut oatmeal, toast and mini scones and croissants and banana bread, organic yogurt with four choices of granola, fruit (both chopped up and whole), sliced ham, hard boiled eggs, several cheeses, and spiced nuts. No complaints here! The breakfast staff are also very friendly and professional and do a great job of remembering your beverage choice (coffee, tea, etc) and will automatically bring it to you the next morning. I really liked that touch.

However, I can't give this hotel 5 stars because of a couple of things. First, we were paying close to $500 per night for our room...and I still have to pay $2.50 to have an in-room cup of coffee...really?! It was one of those new individual 'pod' coffee machines but I have to admit that I still felt nickel and dimed =( Second, the gym is actually really nice and well equipped and full of natural light, but the long hallway leading to the gym is truly hideous - it's like walking to your doom! It's so narrow and dark and houses all the noisy mechanical equipment...surely a bright coat of hallway paint wouldn't hurt? I realize this is a minor issue but it would help going to the gym feel more welcoming.

My final and most serious complaint is about the front desk and concierge staff. Yes, they're young and friendly, but not very knowledgeable. And Stampede is such a crucial time with the city full of tourists, it's a shame that they are not better trained. My boyfriend was working one day so I went to the concierge desk and said, "I've never been here before - what are some Calgary sights you can suggest?" The young man said, "Well, the Stampede is in town." Okaaaay, done that - what else? And he couldn't suggest anything else...not one thing! Wow. So I finally said, "Tell me about this 17th Ave that I've been hearing about. What's there?" He stammered and finally told me to talk to his female colleague who gave me a better run-down on the different neighbourhoods and the shopping options. But you know what? Neither of them asked me the obvious question: "What sorts of things are you interested in?" Turns out the Art Gallery of Calgary was a mere block away, as was the Glenbow Museum, but I found that out on my own. And Prince's Island is a gem and great for walking or biking. Please suggest that to other tourists in the future!

On another day, my boyfriend and I stopped to ask about a new area called East Village. (We are both in the real estate development industry, thus very interested in this huge waterfront revitalization project.) The young lady at the concierge desk was totally dismissive: "Oh, there's nothing there. It's a big construction site." I persisted (I was told by my friend to check it out) and she reluctantly gave us cursory directions to the area. We walked along the river (beautiful - a must do in this city!) to the Discovery Centre and it was fascinating and well worth it. The concierge at the Toronto Le Germain were stellar - this is something that Calgary staff should aspire to.

Don't get me wrong - this is a very good hotel and I would recommend staying here. And the fact that the deliciously fabulous Charcut restaurant adjoins the hotel lobby is definitely an added plus! Ate here twice and was thoroughly impressed.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank HoneyGirl88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MSchaay1, Manager at Hotel Le Germain Calgary, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2012

Hello HoneyGirl88,

We want to thank you for the review and the feedback that you have shared with us. The corridor to the Fitness Centre will actually be renovated in the near future. We completely agree with your comments and are moving towards rectifying them. We do offer complimentary coffee in our lobby lounge and in our breakfast room. Sorry if we did not make you aware of this at check in.

We were surprised to see your comments about the Concierge and Front Desk staff. We were happy to see that you mentioned how friendly they are, but that is only part of the position. We really work on educating/training our staff. We even do a walk through the neighborhood for all new hires to make them comfortable with the area. From your comments, we are actually going to create a Concierge Quiz on the city of Calgary that each employee must complete moving forward. We feel this will help ensure that our staff is knowledgeable and trained to ask the right questions. In the past, I myself was a Chef Concierge and was a full member of Clefs d'Or. So we truly understand the importance of this position and properly trained staff.

Once again thank you for the review and we really appreciate the feedback. Please let me know if you need anything else. mschaay@germaincalgary.com.

Mark Schaay
Rooms Division Manager

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680 - 686 of 897 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2012

Great modern hotel in central location. Rooms are modern with all facilities, gym is well equipped on the top floor of the hotel. No real views as the hotel is surrounded by downtown high rise residences and office buildings. Not a problem for us as the location to The Stampede (10 mins walk) and downtown restaurants (5 mins walk) make up for this. Bathrooms are especially nice, clean and functional (no bath if this is important to you). Only downer is they want $2.50 for the in-room Nespresso coffee, really!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank CycleDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2012

Booked into Le Germain based on others feedback on Trip Advisor. Stayed in a King Superior room, even though offered to upgrade for a minimal fee. Absolutely lovely. We were within very close walking distance of Stephen Avenue and the room surpassed expectations. Had arranged with Christa (one of the conceirge) for dipped strawberries in the room. Were there upon arrival and delicious! She also made dinner recommendations and looked after reservations . . . all was wonderful. Would I recommend this to others?? ABSOLUTELY!! A truly magical w/e. Only some minor "comments". Didn't realize we were receiving turn-down service and so when we stopped by our room before heading out for the evening were surprised by the tidying up and other services. . . but who are we to complain for service that went beyond our expectations!!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GrahamKracker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 9 July 2012

Hello GrahamKracker,

We wanted to thank you for the wonderful review. We were very happy to see that you enjoyed your stay. If you ever need anything else at all please feel free to contact myself directly. Thanks again.

Mark Schaay
Rooms Division Manager
mschaay@germaincalgary.com

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Reviewed 27 June 2012

I had the great fortune of staying at Le Germain during my Calgary business trip. This is by far the best hotel I've stayed in while traveling for work. For four days, Le Germain served as my uber-chic 'home away from home.' The guest room was spacious and the bathroom was amazing - loved the shower! The beds were also incredibly comfortable --always an important factor for me. The only negative on the room is the lack of blackout curtains/shades. I like to sleep in a dark room. The blinds were insufficient for blocking out the late-night light (I'm not used to it still being daylight at 10:30pm).

I really appreciated the complimentary breakfast and in-room wifi (why isn't this standard at other hotels?). The fitness center served my needs while providing nice city views. Beyond the hotel's asthetics, I couldn't have asked for a more convenient location. I definitely plan to stay at Le Germain on my future visits to Calgary.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank TravelGal2109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2012

The hotel can be described as a hybrid of a W Hotel with a Grand Hyatt. It has a very modern and sleek interior yet it is very roomy and effectively incorporates wood trims into its decor. The staff are professional and very efficient (although it is somewhat apparent that the staff are new and thus regurgitating the script). The breakfast spread included in the weekend promotion was also great. The only thing that detracted from the hotel was the $2.5 charge for the Nespresso coffee. I thought it was a joke at best and tacky at worst.

Room Tip: The smallest room is larger than most rooms in other hotels, but if you feel like splurging go all t...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GlobeTrotterfChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2012

Stayed here when it first opened and again almost a year later. Rooms still pop; service continues to be excellent; and now there's a good gym. Clean and well thought out. Right in the center of town, so it was very handy for business.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank SukiMole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2012

We had occasion to stay at the Hotel for the first time last Friday. It was well located and staff were extremely pleasant and helpful. The room was well appointed and layed out. Staff were helpful and friendly. It was easy to hook up my laptop. The breakfast was enjoyable and there was enough selection to keep everyone in our group happy. It was close to some great restaurants for dinner on Friday and I went for a great run along the rive on Saturday morning.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JohnAvery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Le Germain Calgary

Address: 899 Centre St SW, Calgary, Alberta T2G 1B8, Canada
Region: Canada > Alberta > Calgary
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 109 Hotels in Calgary
Price Range: £113 - £241 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Le Germain Calgary 4*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Genuine haven of peace, Groupe Germain, pioneer of the boutique-hotel concept in Canada, has expanded its unique brand of hospitality into Western Canada with Hotel Le Germain Calgary. The Groupe Germain philosophy is all about authentic elegance.A welcome like no otherAt Le Germain Boutique-hotels, the goal is to create a warm, comfortable ambiance, combined with attentive, personalized service that is always accommodating, yet never intrusive.Respect for the environmentThe entire complex was engineered and constructed to incorporate several state-of-the-art features designed to conserve energy and preserve our environment. ... more   less 
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