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.
- 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