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“Hometel no home for me!”

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Hometel on Signal Hill
Ranked #6 of 23 St. John's B&B and Inns
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
49 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Hometel no home for me!”
Reviewed 28 September 2013

My second floor room felt like an unfinished, spontaneous renovation project off of someone's dining room. Contrary to information on the web site, there was no fridge or deadbolt. The only room-level security was a cheap, stiff privacy lock on a hollow, interior residential double-hung door (as if the room used to be an office) and a cheap metal chain. Not that security is a big issue, apparently, as there is a gap between the window air conditioner and weatherstrippping large enough to accommodate someone's arm (I was told by other guests that this is the case in other rooms as well - see my pictures). The cheap roller blind also unwound on my final day, impossible to reset because of the height of the installation and the lack of any chairs in the room.

The bathroom was definitely 2 star or lower, with a poorly installed pocket door, barely enough room to sit to use the facilities, and drywall mud patches that were waiting for a final sand-down, primer, and paint. In addition, there was an ugly metal support frame on the wall (apparently it used to hold something?) and one of the light bulbs needed to be replaced. There is nothing about this suite that read "luxury" as described on the website.

Then there was the hair. Not mine, as I was staying alone and have short, light, straight hair and the hair I kept finding - well into day 4 of my 4 night stay - was long, dark, and wavy. The first day I cleaned up a ball of hair at the bathroom threshold, picked one out of a 'clean' coffee cup on the second day, pulled another off the toilet paper roll another day, etc. At least it distracted me from the layers of dust on the furniture and scuff marks on the walls. Speaking of housekeeping, I got a gruff response from the staff when I informed them that I was going to be another five minutes before heading off for the day (this was well before 8:30am); they made it clear that they were hoping to not have to clean my room at all. However, when the room in question is less than 180 square feet, has no ventilation (other than the window and a bathroom fan) and the weather is especially muggy, the room NEEDS to be cleaned daily. The staff made this feel like an inconvenience, not their job. And finally, the coffee pot was a bit like playing roulette - one day clean, one day soapy, one day dirty.

The sound transfer between rooms at the Hometel is as bad as all the other reviews claim. In addition to hearing conversations, people walking on the floor above, and the exterior door opening and closing at all hours (including staff who seemed to be storing food in the adjacent kitchen and moving it to the main building every morning at 6am), I actually felt guilty about disturbing other guests by talking on the phone in my room and walking around late at night.

Getting back to the topic of NFLD weather, be prepared to spend some weather-induced downtime in your hotel room. Ask yourself if it's worth a couple dollars extra to stay somewhere comfortable. For me, it definitely would be.

Room Tip: Book the entire townhouse or stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank amburr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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186 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
st.john's
Level Contributor
40 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2013

The rooms are as pictured on the website and previous reviews reflect our stay as well. The parking was not a big issue for us. If there was not room in the driveway, the lot behind the building is not that far away. We booked this place for one night after getting last minute tickets to a concert in town as there was nothing else available in town< 200/night. The location is good especially if downtown interest you, and its easy to get to other popular routes. The room met our needs. The important parts, ie bed, toilet, bath & sink were very clean, but there was a lot of dust on baseboards and some dirt on the walls and doors. There wasn't anywhere in tub/shower to lay soap, shampoo etc and the ledge wasn't wide enough. We were on bottom floor and the noise from above was the main thing that prevent me from staying again. You can hear the conversations of others and there must be a common area or something on the 2nd floor. At 3am the other guests getting in, were not loud, but the noise from the stairs, and walking on the floors and chairs moving kept me up. I would recommend top floor only(no elevator though) and this is not the place to stay if you are a light sleeper. Rooms had fridge, bottled water and bed was ok. For 139/night (ends up being 169) there are better accommodations for less. These rooms should be going for around 99/night.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jill836
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2013

I had a very serious complaint regarding an issue. I spoke to a manger on the day it happened. I waited two months received no response from the hotel. I sent a written letter via mail explaining my issue. I waited a month more, no response. Failing to even ackowledge an issue is not a good business practice.
Also, there is very limited parking.

Room Tip: If one does not rent all the rooms in the house then you do not get access to the kitchen area. Thus...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ogo1a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
50 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

I mostly enjoyed my stay of 4 nites in the shoulder season at the Hometel. The staff are mostly five-star; there were a few times when they were particularly helpful, and I appreciated that very much. In one case, I had unwittingly left my passport (and other items) behind after my stay, and they tried to reach me by phone and email to let me know they had it. They were successful, and I am quite grateful. They also are GLBT friendly, and wont give a hassle about that.

Why 4 dots instead of 5? Well, partly, I have great resistance to rating anything in a way that might be construed as perfect....but, there are a few quibbles or situations that bear noting. While I was able to park my car nearby each night, the available parking off-street is limited to short driveways in front of the rowhouses, one car per. Each rowhouse has 3 units, so there is a potential for problems....on-street parking is limited and regulated in some areas.

The unit I stayed in was fine for my purposes, but the carpets could use some freshening up (I think they had a 'bad' guest in the past). Other units could be just fine for all I know (unfortunately, I didn't go snooping during housekeeping time).

Overall, I do recommend the place, just understand that some of the advertising might be a bit optimistic. St. John's is not an inexpensive place to stay, and for the local market conditions, this was a good choice :-). It's walkable to downtown, rooms have ac/ and fan (yea!!!), and it's not a chain outfit. Continental breakfast is average (happy there were boiled eggs available!). I've had worse (elsewhere in St.John's) but not better. I do suggest replacing or supplementing the margarine with actual butter.

Room Tip: there are no noisy areas. there also are no elevators, and each rowhouse has three stories (just so...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rockhammerwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
canada
Level Contributor
125 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

We found this place after having a bad experience in one of the local b&b's and are glad we did. We rented a three bedroom unit (for two couples) and it was a better deal both financially and much better in terms of quality. Location is good as it is partway Signal Hill so just a short walk to the Geo Centre and further up to the Cabot Tower, but also not far from downtown St. John's. Basically our unit was a three bedroom, 2 1/2 bath apartment with a fully stocked kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry, garage, plus breakfast supplied in the breakfast room upstairs above the check in desk. We even had a view of the harbour from our bedroom. Staff were helpful and friendly. The only drawback could be if you have any mobility issues (or too much luggage) - two sets of stairs (although there is a bedroom and half bath on the main floor, the living areas are on the second floor and the two main (better) bedrooms are on the 3rd floor).

Room Tip: We stayed in unit 9 which has a view of the harbour from the master bedroom and has furnishings that...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank westsidewoman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2013

I came upon this while trying to find reasonably priced accomodation in St.Johns (good luck!) for a couple of days of sight-seeing before venturing forth to the rest of "the rock".

I had trouble figuring out from their website exactly what you were getting. The complex is a row of brick clad wood frame 3 storey walk-up townhouses which have been renovated to create hotel rooms and suites. The building we were in had two hotel rooms on the third floor (03/04), a hotel room on the second floor (02) and I believe a suite (no kitchen) on the main (01). There is also a kitchen area on the second that is locked up, but they will rent the entire building to you as a unit and give you the kitchen (these are the complete home rentals they refer to).

The buildings are in a residential neighbourhood about 500m to the edge of downtown and about 1.6km to the various George Street taverns (downhill to get there and uphill coming home). The location is a tradeoff: you give up proximity to downtown for a better price and a quiet neighbourhood. Parking is available on site but first come/first served and parking is at a premium - you may have to park on the street a couple of blocks away. It is handy to Signal Hill and Quidi Vidi.

The 1403 room was pretty much as pictured on their website as a premier room - modern, fairly roomy, good bed, large bathroom, good internet access and clean. Two full flights of stairs to lug everything up and back down again - be warned.

There is a complimentary continental breakfast on the second floor of the office building. It was fairly standard with coffee/tea, juice, fruit, yogurt, cereal, toast, bagel, muffins and boiled eggs.

As far as value goes, it was fair for the market. Unfortunately we found St. Johns very disappointing - a bit of oil money and they think they are somebody with prices comparable to Calgary and Edmonton for lodging and higher for meals PLUS taxes - and poorer offerings in both. The harbour is a dirty working harbour - nothing like the gentrified tourist area in Halifax. If you really want to see Newfoundland, spend a day here and see the obligatory sights: Signal Hill, Cape Spear (eastern most point in Canada), the Terry fox memorial and the bars down on George Street - then head out of town - we liked the rest of the province much better.

Room Tip: There are no elevators and the only ground floor rooms are the "01" series. If you have m...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hawki56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amherst, Canada
Level Contributor
87 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2013

We stayed here on Aug 1st and 2nd, 2013, week of the George St Festival and it was a very busy city. Our room was on the third floor so there were a few stairs to climb. The room was a good size, the bed was comfy, a large spotlessly clean bathroom; fridge and coffee maker in room. It was hot weather, our room faced the afternoon sun and the window air conditioner did not work the best but it cooled off fairly good by bedtime. The complimentary continental breakfast provided was in a separate building and was very adequate with fruit, yogourt, cereal, toast, bagel, muffins, boiled eggs, juice, tea/coffee. It is a great location, within walking distance of downtown, fine walking down, a little more energy required walking back up the hill. It is very close to may tourist attractions; Signal Hill, Cape Spear, Quidi Vidi and we especially enjoyed Petty Harbour, a short distance away. The price seemed very reasonable for the closeness to downtown. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 797Bicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hometel on Signal Hill

Property: Hometel on Signal Hill
Address: 10 St. Joseph's Lane, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1A 5V1, Canada
Region: Canada > Newfoundland and Labrador > Newfoundland > St. John's
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hometel on Signal Hill 2.5*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled safely downtown on historic Signal Hill - Newfoundland's # 1 Tourist attraction. Steps to Cathedrals, Theatres, Museums, Fine Restaurants, Shopping and St.John's Harbour. Flexible check-ins, luxurious bathrooms with extensive lighting, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, soaker tubs, hi-speed internet, computers and faxes, luxurious linens, scrumptious breakfast, free long distance. free local calls, free parking, air conditioning, ultimate cable 62 channels, in-room mini fridge, free daily local and national newspapers. Unbeatable off season rates! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hometel On Signal Hill Hotel St. John`s
Hometel On Signal Hill Newfoundland, Canada

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