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“A really pleasant surprise”
Review of Sterling Inn & Spa

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Sterling Inn & Spa
Ranked #2 of 129 Hotels in Niagara Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level Contributor
55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A really pleasant surprise”
Reviewed 12 January 2011

My daughter took me here for an overnight stay as a thank you and although I have stayed in Niagara Falls many times I had never heard about this hotel. It's off the main street but still only about a five minute walk from Casino Niagara. The staff were very friendly. The room we had which was a standard room was very spacious with a fireplace, a desk and a large king bed. The real treat was the shower that had jets out of the wall and it also turned into a steam room - which was really nice.
Free Internet.
They have a small spa where we had massage - wasn't fancy but ok.
We had dinner at their restaurant AG and it was superb and it was included in the overnight package.
Overall a very pleasant surprise.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravellingSusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 January 2011

As any traveller knows, the world is a very big place, and life is short! I prefer to go to new and recommended places, with some exceptions. The Sterling Inn and Spa is such an exception. I am writing this review, as I was surprised to see a recent negative posting, and wanted to make a return visit before posting myself. My husband and I have been here a number of times, ususally to celebrate our January anniversary., and our visit last weekend did not disappoint. Here's what keeps us coming back: BIG rooms, no two alike - not your typical hotel box in size and decor, BIG bathrooms, BIG jetted tubs, separate shower (most very large), QUIET hotel, PRIVACY, fridge in room for our own bubbly, etc., LATE checkout (noon) and an AMAZING restaurant perfect for a celebration dinner right downstairs, with a very favourable package rate. There simply is no better combination in the entire Niagara area. Other features that appeal to us are hardwood floors, a window that opens, no-fuss free parking right outside, and a quiet neighbourhood. The immediate area of the hotel is nondescript, with the upside of having very little street noise. We've used the spa on previous visits, and found it excellent. We were frankly surprised by another poster who felt that dinner didn't include enough food, as our multiple experiences at AG Restaurant have been the complete opposite. The restaurant is NOT inexpensive - it's an upscale experience with the ambience and culinary quality to match - I believe menus and prices are included on the web site. In any case, there are many other restaurants in the area, some within walking distance. A little further afield, is the restaurant and wine information centre at Niagara College, which are also well worth a visit. There's a lot to do in the general area, and we will certainly come back to the Sterling Inn and Spa!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank happywhenwandering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2011

Stayed here January 1st to the 2nd, and everything went even better than expected.
I wanted to surprise my girlfriend, so I found this beautiful place ( I saw the rooms through the virtual tour and fell in love) Honestly it feels like you walk into a high class condo, not your regular boring hotel room. This has character!

Check in literally took 3 minutes, everything in the room was clean and set up so beautifully.
Hardwood floors, fridge + mini kitchen, 9 foot ceilings, the bathroom is unbelievable.
Huge glass shower with jets on the side, a beautiful 2 person jacuzzi, gorgeous king size bed. You have a choice of when you want your breakfest, and we picked between 9:45-10. Breakfest came right on time and was awesome!

Plus side of it also, free parking (which a lot of hotels you don't get), and free internet.

Overall the price was even less than you would pay for regular rooms at hilton or some other places, and the place was way better. You were 1 min walk away from the main street too.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alpwhite46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
532 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 281 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2010

This is branded one of the Preferred chain of hotels and resorts. While it's OK, it sure doesn't fit the brand. I've stayed in both of the other Preferred properties in Ontario .. ARC The Hotel in Ottawa, and the Soho Metropolitan in Toronto.

The Sterling Niagara simply isn't in that league.

"Niagara's only boutique hotel" misses it "by that much".

Check in is fine. Free parking. Location is not the greatest, but actually very close to the Falls. The building was originally a dairy ... marked by a giant concrete milk bottle. "What? It's still there?" Yeah. The dairy closed eons ago. Guess they think it's quaint.

The room is very large, but misses the little touches. No glasses in the bathroom. Two beer glasses in the bar, that's it. We asked for glasses. Nope, not available.

King size bed meant no bedside table on one side and very limited space to access the bed. Reading lights built into the headboard ... BUT, one not working. When asked, staff replied "There aren't enough circuits in the room to use that extra light."

We travel everywhere, all the time, and this is the very first time we were LECTURED for using tea candles around the "jetted tub".. By the self-important housekeeping supervisor. Tea candles. Two of them. Two. In the aluminum housing. Sitting on the ceramic tile surround.

Oh, don't get me started how they should have included a step UP into the tube. I'm 6 foot plus and it's all I could do to get into the tub.

What????

And it's air jets, not a whirlpool jet tub. Blows air rather than pumping water.

Room lighting is horrible... instead of recessed mini-pots they installed awful CFL lights. Horrible. How about a floor lamp or two instead?

The "fireplace" is fake. I'll gladly take natural gas. Enjoy that at home. This is one of the crappy electric ones. Turned on high you can barely see that it's "on".

Wireless internet worked great. But I had to stand on my head under the desk to plug in the power cord for the laptop.

The HD TV was OK, but could not read the labels on the remote. Worn off? Whatever!!!!! Had to turn the whole thing off and start all over again ... boutique?????

No heat in the bathroom. Freezing in there. I bet someone said that with the exhaust fan on it would draw enough heat from the room.

NOT!

Use the shower and the bathroom floor is flooded because the door is in the wrong place, swings the wrong way, and isn't fitted properly. Body jets in the shower are clogged up and don't spray properly. Boutique????

No light in the shower. Dark, dark, dark.

No softener used with the towels. In a 'boutique' hotel I expect soft, plush.

"Breakfast in bed" was good, though. Continental. Juice. Coffee. Hardboiled egg or mini-quiche depending on the kitchen. Croissant, slice of ham and cheese for each person. Delivered to the room at the time you select the night before.

So, it's OK .... okay ... but since it CLAIMS to be a boutique AND "Preferred", it needs some work to live up to that description.

Until that happens, it doesn't get my recommendation.

Next time we'll be going back to the Hilton or Doubletree.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TO_Trips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2010

Very modern and clean rooms. Location is not bad at all. Walking distance to the falls and everything else. Parking was free. I will be staying here again.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cgaro673
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2010

The mattress was firm and elegant. The whirlpool tub for two persons, perfect. From there it was downhill and not in keeping with the reviews or elegance they communicate in their advertising. For example:
1. The fireplace did not work when we arrived. They “fixed” it 4 hours later, while we were at dinner.
2. One bedside light was burned out. Upon realizing this, we noted the cheap paper lamp shades were very dirty. (Under the bed was far worse … we found this dust/lint when checking-out and confirming we didn’t kick any clothes under the bed.)
3. The window was ajar and it wasn’t until the second day we figured out the latches were holding it open. We stopped the air in-leakage the first night with pillow piled on the curtain to keep them tight. Of course, before we could close the window, we had to find the window crank, which was on the far end of the 6 foot window sill. (We were told that fire codes did not allow them to fastened the handle to the operating mechanism with the set screw)
4. Bathrobes were pilled and old
5. Towels were different thicknesses and shades of white. None of the towels were thick and fluffy as we’d expect for the price of the room.
6. There are no outlets near desk for laptops or cell phones, or near the head board to plug in the built in head board reading lights. To charge our cell phones, we had to unplug the room telephone and the desk lamp. The lack of electrical outlets was a real pain.
7. Lamps on top the headboard are afterthoughts, sitting high above your head, with their power cords hanging by your ear. They are too far away to cast enough light for reading in bed. There were recessed lamps in the headboard, but these did not work because the staff had no outlets (the outlets by the headboard where used by the clock and cheap lamps already mentioned).
8. No internet cord available at front desk for plugging laptop into internet wall outlet. Our wireless signal was 40%.
9. Labeling on TV remote control buttons was worn off … it was hard to figure out what each button did? We often found ourselves turning the TV off, then on in order to make a menu item go away.
10. Entering hotel requires carrying your suitcase up 4 stairs, unless you want to walk around side of building to use a distant ramp
11. One of three wall mounted shower heads did not work. We reported this and a nice note was left saying a part was needed. (Didn’t housekeeping note this when they cleaned the shower before we arrived?)
12. Overhead recessed lights been replaced with curly fluorescent bulbs … cheap looking
13. The room would benefit from a few wall hooks to hang coats
14. When in the bathroom, running water/flushing water could be heard from other rooms (not real loud, but there)
Dinner was pitiful … this was by far the biggest disappointment. We prepaid for 3 courses as part of Escape Package no wine (most grocery-store brand wines were $60). Little did we know that the package, which included tax and fees, did not include nearly $20 gratuity for waiters. The first table we were shown had an overhead floodlight shining directly on top of my head, as my wife sat in the shadow across from me. We asked to change. Music sounded like was coming from a tin speaker across the room and included an eclectic collection of music that was anything but calming and easy listening. The crumbs from the cold bread slices served with our appetizer sat on our table the entire meal, without any of our 3 waiters attempting to remove them. Her appetizer of mussels was stewed in clamato juice, and include about 8 mussels in a too-spicy sauce that included 3 “dime-size” slices of “farmed” sausage, apparently included in the clamato sauce during the steaming process. My goat cheese salad included 3 cold thin slices of cinnamon-powdered squash, topped with 4 different types of lettuce. We both laughed when it was served, nothing the 4 small individual leaves of lettuce piled so neatly on top of each other. The goat cheese served on the side of my salad was the size of a pat of butter.
Braised lamb shank was very strong tasting (we starting thinking it might be from a goat?) and fatty. Aside for the strong smell, there wasn’t much taste. It was served with “forest mushroom ragout sauce soubise and polenta”, which basically was polenta topped with a few small, tasteless mushrooms and over steamed broccoli florets. The lemon tart with butter hazelnut crust was a lot like heavily-jellied lemon pudding on a tasteless, flour and water crust. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I am not sure when the restaurant was last reviewed (all the posters touting their culinary cuisine lack dates), but it’s probably time for another review!

We’ll save our comments about the tablespoon serving of granola that came with our in-room breakfast for another time. But did want add that on your way out, we asked the night before that our breakfast (fruit and croissant, basically) be ready for us at 6am when we checked out. The concierge said the night before it would not be a problem. That morning, after waiting what seemed like an eternity, a clear garbage can liner emerged from around the corner, filled with our breakfast. No spoon for yogurt or napkins … just fruit and a croissant and a few other items handed to us in a garbage can liner!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Cucumber0801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Chester, PA
Level Contributor
58 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2010

I'm a year late with this review, but we're planning another stay because we remember our visit so fondly. We stayed here for a weekend on one of the first legs of a 10,000 mile road trip around the U.S. and Canada, staying at hotels good, bad and indifferent. Gradually, we realized the Sterling had become our benchmark and it was never exceeded, though we paid as much as four times the rate in a couple of cities.

As we wrote in our trip blog, we had "a big, sophisticated bi-level suite with a huge marble bathroom and steam shower, all the amenities (from pillow chocolates to a working fireplace) plus complimentary breakfast brought to our door!"

"It would be worth a return trip, even if we never saw the falls!"

We're returning.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank camerajim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sterling Inn & Spa

Property: Sterling Inn & Spa
Address: 5195 Magdalen St, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 3S6, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Niagara Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Niagara Falls
#1 Luxury Hotel in Niagara Falls
#12 Romantic Hotel in Niagara Falls
#15 Family Hotel in Niagara Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sterling Inn & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As Niagara Falls' only Boutique Hotel the Sterling Inn & Spa is a fusion between a luxury hotel and a Fine Inn. From the tranquility of our full service spa, to our fine dining restaurant AG offering regional cuisine in a cool urban setting, the Sterling Inn & Spa is truly an experience in its self. With amenities and rooms that cater to couples, it is the perfect place for a honeymoon or romantic getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sterling Inn And Spa
Sterling Hotel Niagara Falls
Sterling Niagara Falls
Sterling Inn Niagara Falls

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