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“Beautifully stuffy historic Hotel”

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The Fairmont Palliser
Ranked #21 of 109 Hotels in Calgary
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Beautifully stuffy historic Hotel”
Reviewed 2 June 2009

Although the Palliser is a grand-looking hotel, it is just too dated to compete with many of the other hotels in Calgary. It relies heavily on the visual traditions of the grand Canadian Railway Hotels, but beyond that nostalgic charm there is little to impress. The rooms are dark and the decor is worn. The staff are extremely hospitable, but I find that everyone in Calgary is enthusiastically happy, so...
Ask for a room on the north side as there are train tracks immediately behind the hotel and they pack a rumble.
The pool is nice, the steam room too, but the fitness centre is a bit of an afterthought. Buffet breakfast was great and the service, of course, is excellent.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BuckLaFleur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (401)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
282 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2009

I stayed here while on business.

This is a typical historic Fairmont Hotel and although not quite as grand as some of its sister hotels, it is still very attractive in the lobby and public areas.

My room was large, well appointed, and the amenities were fantastic. The bathroom was large and all built with marble, and fastidiously clean.

Staff are friendly and helpful as one would expect.

I found the F&B extremely expensive, even for a top class hotel. The room service is good though, steak sandwich was fantastic. My 28 dollar breakfast was disappointing, their idea of fried potatoes is to boil them and add no flavour. The waitress was unresponsive to my comment though.

Great health club.

All in all, a good stay.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Feyenoorder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kelayna
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2009

My husband and I stayed one night at the Palliser. The hotel foyer was beautiful, the room.....well, not so much. They rooms don't look anything like the professional pictures. The furniture and decor are really dated. The beds were clean, but simple. I happened to have a flat screen TV in my room, but I don't think all the rooms do. There is a mini fridge in the room as well. It is stocked, but the prices are really high. The bottled water was $8! Ouch. The bathroom was clean, but could also stand to be remodeled. The room was a bit stuffy and we couldn't get the temperature down to a cool enough temperate for us to sleep at night.

We were told that parking would be between $12 and $14.....it ended up costing us $31+ (because we checked in on a Friday). We complained at check out but it did no good. They told us that the hotel does not own the garage and they had no control over the prices. I would have been okay with the price, but the hotel staff should at least know what the rate is for the garage when they tell people at check in. If they tell me it's going to be between $12 - $14, I certainly don't expect to pay double! Plus, there is no in and out privileges, so we had to pay an extra $6 on top of the $31 since we had to drop s/one off at the airport. We would have been better off getting valet service for $30!

The pool area was nice. We enjoyed the hot tub. There is also a steam room and exercise room. There looked like quite a bit of exercise equipment in the hotel gym.

I thought the location was great. There were plenty of places to grab a bite to eat around the hotel.

We didn't pay as much as most people. I think we paid around $80 a night. E/thing in Canada is expensive, so I guess $80 is reasonable for a hotel there. If you do book at this hotel, don't be deceived by the pictures you find online. I tried to take a few pictures of what the room actually looks like.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kelayna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2009

Have stayed here a few times, however this trip I noticed a significant difference in quality. Room was clean, but dated. RCA 20" television with cable that went off continually. No flat screen TV's here. Breakfast was average and came to $28 for 1.
Taxi from airport was $40. I took CTrain back to airport for $2.50. Station is short walk to Central Station at Hyatt Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KamGuy63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2009

I had been staying at the this hotel every time I was in town for business (usually every other month at least) for over 2 years. I did not stay there because I thought the services were wonderful or that the rooms were great, I stayed because the access to my place of business was great, only several blocks of walking and because the parking provided was very reasonable. I had always been disappointed in the cleanliness of the rooms and on more than several occasions had had to switch rooms because of this issue but it never really seemed to get resolved so I had decided to compromise my normal standards of cleanliness and service for the convenience of this hotels location.
I arrived for a late check-in at 11pm after a very long flight. I had a reservation that had been in place for approx 3 months. When i went to check in everything proceeded normally and soon the staff were loading up my suitcases and helping me up to my room. When we got to the room, the key would not work. I tried several times at which point in time the gent helping me said that he would radio for permission to use hte master key. He was given the go ahead and unlocked the door and ushered me in in front of him where I was suddenly confronted with a very angry, very large undressed man screaming at me to get out of his room!!! I went running out of there very quickly and of course went downstairs along with the bellhop to see why someone was in my room. Turns out they had double booked my room and had no other rooms avail but 2 rooms that were under construction on the smoking floor. I politely said no thank you as I am allergic to cigarette smoke and also wanted a clean room where I could have a hot shower. They assured me that they would find a room for me at another hotel. By this time it was midnight and I had not slept in over 20 hours. I went and sat in a chair in the lounge waiting for them to find me a hotel. Over half an hour had gone by and I hadn't seen or heard from anyone so I went to find out what was happening. Turns out they had gotten busy with other concerns which was very frustrating. I asked to speak to the manager and he assured me that he would make this his top priority and would have me a room within an hour at another hotel. Another half hour went by and still nothing, this time I was offered a newspaper to help pass the time. I reinforced that I had a reservation and I was getting frustrated because it was late and I had a 7am appt to be to. About 20 minutes later the manager sent over a desk staff member to tell me that the best they could do was a room in Okotoks. I asked where that was and they told me about 1/2 hour out of the city. I politely told them that would not work, I had no rental car yet and would need a cab. They said they would call one but would not pay for one even though this was clearly their mistake. Then they gave me even better news...the room in Okotoks was smoking as well! I finally decided that rather than sleep on the street I should just take the room they had that was under construction and try and get a few hours of sleep. I did, everything was covered in dust but by this time I was so tired it didn't even matter. When I went down the next morning I asked if my things could be transferred to another room during the day while I was at my meetings. No one knew why I would ask for something like that. They had to call the night manager at home and ask what the scenario was. When I got back that evening my things had been transferred to another room....another smoking room!!! I was told again that they didn't have anything else available despite the fact that I had a reservation and am a gold member! The next morning when I went to check out they charged me full price for both nights stay. I asked to speak with the manager regarding this and when I did she said that the most they could do for me was apologize, promise it wouldn't happen again and perhaps would I like breakfast for 50% off that morning?!!!!!!! I will never return to this hotel, it is substandard to begin with but is staffed with people with no competency or skill and no compassion at all!!!

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mamagoldilox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2009

Although very $$$$ decided to book at the Palliser as it was across the street from the conference I was attending and being female and alone I wanted to be in an establishment were I felt secure. The public spaces are beautiful, immaculate and in the grand style of the old CPR hotels. However the room I had was in dire need of refurbishment - furnishing, carpets, although most likely beautiful in their day were tired and ragged. Cleanliness was not up to snuff - number of dark hairs in bathroom (I'm blonde), dust on surfaces etc. Controlling the room temperature was hit & miss. On 2 occassions I ordered room service and on both occassions the food was so salty I could not eat it. My comments at checkout were completely ignored. I had expected more for a room that cost over $300 a night.

  • Stayed April 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LJRVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petersfield, Hants, UK
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2009

Quite simply, the best hotel i have ever have the pleasure of staying at. Good location, but can be a bit noisy at night from the train station.

If you can afford a few extra quid, upgrade to Gold, it's well worth the money. Unforgettable hotel, the most pleasant, helpful staff you could wish for.

  • Liked — great rooms
  • Disliked — noise from train station
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Lilly1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Palliser

Property: The Fairmont Palliser
Address: 133 9 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 2M3, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Alberta > Calgary
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Calgary
#6 Luxury Hotel in Calgary
#9 Business Hotel in Calgary
#9 Romantic Hotel in Calgary
#14 Family Hotel in Calgary
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Palliser 4*
Number of rooms: 407
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1914, The Fairmont Palliser has been the city's premier address, the cornerstone of Calgary's hospitality industry and a landmark building that is rich in history and architecture. Set in the heart of the city, The Fairmont Palliser is a historical landmark offering distinctive accommodation in elegant surroundings. Recent renovations include five floors of guest rooms and the expansion of Fairmont Gold. A brand new Fairmont Gold Lounge, Concierge and Check-in area can be found on the Penthouse Level. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Palliser Hotel Calgary
Fairmont Hotel Calgary
Fairmont Hotel Palliser
Fairmont Calgary
Calgary Fairmont

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