Pros: Convenient location; exterior of building.
Cons: Non-existent service; no support for travelers; bad attitude of staff; poorly maintained/furnished room; no security; massively overpriced; lack of transparency on prices.
Summary: Dollar for dollar, the worst hotel I've ever stayed in. Spent 4 days there in August, 2012.
Let's start with the positives. The Inn at Tough City is located in a great spot near the inlet/harbor so you have easy access to tourist services, although you'll need to find/explore them yourself. The building is quite an attractive, rustic, personalized lodging with its own character.
Now, the reality, which I'll explain point by point as per the cons above.
Non-existent service/No support for travelers: Nobody was ever on hand at the reception except for the day we checked out, unless you include the dog, who I have to say was a lot friendlier than the staff. This meant waiting to check-in and giving up when trying to get information about where to go for various activities in and around Tofino. The one time my wife and I saw someone, I believe it was the proprietor, and she was counting money at the reception desk, but didn't really look up to greet us. When my wife described what we'd done that day, she seemed indifferent and actually continued to count the money, simply grunting a few uh-huhs and oh, really(s).
Bad attitude of staff: They were just not hospitable at all, doing the absolute minimum in terms of their roles, offering explanations/answers to questions and even basic manners. At best, they could be described as indifferent.
We discovered a piece of paper listing services for the room that we needed to check if we wanted them done - cleaning; making the bed; fresh towels, etc. For the price charged, all of this should be automatic. I had the sense that this form was basically a waiver that excused the hotel of doing the basics, and after my experience, realized I was absolutely correct. I've found service was usually very good in Canada, where I'm from, but was truly irritated by this experience.
Poorly maintained/furnished room: The room had several problems, some more serious than the others. I probably would have ignored some if others had been taken care of. The biggest issue was that on the comforter / duvet (the bed cover), there was a stain, torn material and a cigarette burn just below my face. The walls had some marks on them and part of the wooden floor was damaged. A light failed to work and there were no instructions found about what to do in the town - there's actually a TV channel with non-stop local businesses advertising, but I think the hotel should offer an independent evaluation, not be part of a cartel of local businesses that all seem to have the same prices.
No security: There was nowhere to store valuables in the room (in case I didn't want to carry my camera around or leave something else not needed). You could say I should've left things with the staff, but see the first point above and you'll soon realize why I gave up on talking to them. The doors have ancient locks - I'm not paranoid, but again, for the cost of this room, it needed to be a lot better.
Massively overpriced/Lack of transparency on prices: With tax, the total came to about $850, or $212.50/night, which worked out to about €170/night at the exchange rate offered during this period. For this price, I don't think a 4-star hotel is unreasonable in Europe. There are no extra services, basically just a place to sleep in a convenient location.
Taxes are not included, although this is quite standard in Canada, but the extra $90 on the bill at the end was a bit of a surprise. More irritating was the $15 tourist tax. This information should be offered and explained to the person booking before confirming, although this is a more general Canadian issue. The REAL problem was the staff told me we could get our taxes back when leaving the country. I had doubts about this - being Canadian, I knew about this rule for foreign visitors, but had also checked whether it was still valid before coming and noticed it was not, and hadn't been for years. This was confirmed in a shop and at the airport later. It's not that the hotel defines the taxes, but they should at least make some effort to inform guests.
This is my first review on Trip Advisor. It's probably a little long, but I was fuming after this stay. I've traveled extensively for 15 years to countries in Asia, Europe and North America and this hotel inspired me to sit down and write. I've had mostly positive experiences traveling and will share the better spots I've been to and will visit in the future.
Stay away from The Inn at Tough City.
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- Also Known As:
- The Inn At Tough City Hotel Tofino
- The Inn At Tough City Tofino, Canada - Vancouver Island