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“What a great Birthday!”

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Harbour House Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Mississauga, Ontario
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“What a great Birthday!”
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We stayed at the Harbour House Hotel on November 1 & 2, 2013. My husband, myself and our Dog Star were welcomed with open arms. What a lovely experience! The room was tastefully decorated, the fireplace in the room was great, the jacuzzi bathtub was nice and the bed was very comfortable. Breakfast was delicious! Coffee was fabulous! Our room had a bed for Star, treats and dog dishes too. Star loved the bed! Star also loved to lie on the rug in front of the fireplace. The location was in a good area and we were able to walk our dog with ease.

Room Tip: If you have a dog let them know and they will provide you with a pet friendly room. It costs $25.00...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Flash2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,195 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (237)
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Norfolk
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

This is a great friendly and pleasant small boutique hotel right on the lake. The rooms were clean and very comfortable and had huge beds. The breakfast was self serve but lots of really good food to choose from and you can go for seconds and thirds if you wish. The hotel does not do evening meals but as a guest you are ferried in a hotel owned people carrier to whatever restaurant in town you wish to go to ... and you are picked up at the end of your evening!!. We ate in two of the hotels sister establishments which were good. This was the sort of hotel I would go back to again and again .

Room Tip: Try to get a room that looks out over the lake or the boat marina
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NorfolkRedbaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Larissa C, Front Office Manager at Harbour House Hotel, responded to this review, 15 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to reflect on your stay. We are really lucky to have such a great team that really enjoy preparing all of the fresh baked goods for breakfast. We are glad to hear that you were able to take advantage of our complimentary in town dinner shuttle to and from some of the great restaurants in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I look forward to saying hello to you on your next visit to our Harbour House Hotel.
Kind regards,

Larissa Chunick
Guest Services Managers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatchewan, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013 via mobile

The hotel is beautiful. The room was comfortable and cozy. The breakfast was scrumptious. The afternoon wine and cheese a lovely touch. A shuttle to and from dinner made dining easy. The staff was superb. I'd recommend this hotel to anyone.

Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Lynne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Just got back from a nice weekend stay at the Harbour House Hotel. Nice location down by the river, but a 5 minute walk to the downtown and Festival Theatre. The room was spacious and the décor was nice. Despite a previous comment, I'm over 6' and had no problem fitting into the shower. However, the shower can be a little intimidating. The room was very clean. They also have a shuttle bus that will take you any where in town you wish to go, and will bring you back. The breakfast room can get a little crowded, but the room is very nice and the meal was quite delicious. The hotel does not have a pool or fitness centre. If you need either, you can use these facilities at their sister hotel. However, what really set this hotel apart was the service. I'm 50 years old and have stayed at many hotels in my life. To say any of the staff that I interacted with were good, would be an incredible understatement. I have never stayed at a hotel where every staff member you met was beyond belief. It didn't matter whether it was the breakfast room staff, house keepers, driver or front desk staff, they were all amazing.

Job well done, to all of you!!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Argoman31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jennifer D, Front Office Manager at Harbour House Hotel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Thank you so much for your kind words. We are truly lucky to work with such a wonderful team and I will proudly pass along your kind comments to all!!

I look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to Harbour House Hotel.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Dickson
Guest Services Manager
Harbour House Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria Capital Regional District, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2013

Stayed overnight as a guest of family while attending the Shaw Festival. Hotel was exceptional. Very clean, friendly and convenient. Very spacious and comfortable rooms. Seemed a little pricy but coming from a different region of Canada it may be the price is appropriate for the location. I have no problem recommending the hotel for visitors.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richmennie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas, United States
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013

The staff at Harbour House is it's only saving grace. The room was average, showing some wear. The bath was not what we expected. The room we were given had a prefab shower that would only accomodate someone less than six feet. That wasn't us. It had mold in the corners and the door was always an issue. The breakfast reminded me of staying at your inlaws. The food was at best average, but you feel an obligation to try it. The options are not that varied. Luckily there was too much to do outside to spend much time in the room.

Room Tip: Make sure you ask for a room with a full tiled shower.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jennifer D, Front Office Manager at Harbour House Hotel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Thank you for your recent feedback. Your comments and suggestions are very important to us. It is always our goal to offer an exceptional stay and I apologize that there was a housekeeping issue during your visit. I wanted to assure you that the shower door and mold have been addressed.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and we look forward to welcoming you back to Harbour House in the near future.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Dickson
Guest Services Manager
Harbour House Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013

This was admittedly a last minute reservation for a one night stay during a long weekend. I was more interested in getting a room in NOTL and not NF, and given my repeated stays at this hotel's sister property (Shaw Club), I didn't think I would have any issues - but I did.

First though, I would like to credit Kimlin with following up to my email with several questions with a detailed voice message which put me at ease about the room type before our arrival.

We arrived around 5:15pm and it looked like a full house already as the wine and cheese tasting was in full swing - although eerily quiet (not the fault of the hotel of course), but she indicated she would ask that they keep it open a little bit longer until we dropped our bags off in the room (it was to end at 5:30). There was a mix up in our room (original room was occupied), so we waited for new keys and were moved to a different floor. So, it took us a little longer to get back down, and sure enough the lobby was empty and the wine and cheese had disappeared. It was 5:35 :) It irked me, but we just went to our vehicle and grabbed one of the bottles we had picked up at a winery earlier.

The room itself was basic in a sense - yes there is a fireplace - and yes there is an awkward corner jetted tub in the bathroom, which really isn't big enough for two people (no bath products - there was a bath/shower gel that we used, but not a bubble appeared).

Somehow I was expecting something a little more. Maybe I shouldn't have for their 'basic' (aka premium) room. I kept wondering if the room that we were maybe originally assigned would have been nicer/more spacious. This room had a 'cozy' bedroom area then a loooong hallway to the bathroom. Based on the floor plan on the back of the door, it certainly looks like each room is configured differently.

Back to the bathroom - there is more than one complaint here over the years about the dirty grout in the shower stall - but i didn't think twice about it, because I thought a place like this only needs one complaint to ensure it is never an issue again. However, I will attest that the grout in the shower stall is a little nasty and could definitely be cleaned. But i'm here for a night and I know they are booked, so what am I to do? Call them to come clean the bathroom while we are trying to relax and get ready for dinner?!

And for goodness sake, I know I didn't get a room with a 'super shower', but that shower head is a piece of garbage. Can't change the setting - because it's broken. Also, it's clear to anyone that once that shower is on, the water is going to leak right through the gaps around the door. And boy did it. Water everywhere. We cannot be the only ones that this has happened to. We used several towels to sop up the water (how about adding a few extra bath mats to help? why do I need to call for them when it is clear this is going to be an issue?)

The toilet had no lid over the seat - why does it bother me? Because anyone who is slightly aware of germs realizes that a toilet with no lid can probably 'spray' little droplets of grossness several feet away every time it is flushed. Given that the tub is a mere few inches away from the toilet, I wasn't very comforted. In addition, the toilet clearly had an issue (although it could be the entire building) because every use of the toilet required two flushes. That brings me to the sink, which also clearly has a back up issue - by the time I cleansed my face and washed it off, the sink was almost overflowing because it wasn't draining properly. One hook behind the door to hang our towels - so we just piled them on top of each other on the hook hoping them would dry. Again, a little thing that is so easily solved.

The view is awful - it is clearly the parking lot of the marina and the street right in front of the hotel. So we just kept the shutters cracked for some natural light.

No mini fridge in the room, but the hotel could refrigerate anything for us. Great except when you're wine country and have bottles you want to keep chilled and accessible (if we were staying more than a night, then this would have been necessary). Alternative? The ice bucket - which in our case still had signs of the previous guest (again, a little thing, but now they're starting to add up).

By the time we had arrived, our bed had been turned down - which consists of folding down the corner of the comforter as far as I can tell (in fact, the only reason I knew it had been turned down was that there was a note telling me it was done). Also I did notice that the duvet didn't actually have a duvet cover, it was a duvet with a thin sheet on either side (weird). No little chocolates/mints, slippers, water bottles etc. that I had come to expect at 'nicer' hotels at turndown. However the peanut butter cookies (which are left in everyone's room on arrival) were yummy.

We did use the shuttle for our dinner outing - we were going to drink at dinner, so driving wasn't an option - but here's something to note: no taxis, so you are reliant on the shuttle which stops at 11pm or you walk. It would have been about a 15 minute walk for us, and in heels on a chilly night on dark streets (even if this is NOTL) isn't for me. So we rushed through dessert and called for the shuttle. The location of this hotel certainly isn't a plus.

Other nice things? A full length mirror in the closet, lots of hangers, a fireplace that gave off a huge amount of heat.

I did find the bed uncomfortable - it was almost rock hard, but I realize that is a personal preference. So it did make for a rough night sleep for me. But, this wasn't made any better by being woken up at around 8am (I am on vacation and would have liked to have slept in a little longer) by a barking/yelping/whining dog! And it kept on for at least an hour and a half. I recall reading a review from a visitor thankful for their pet policy, so I mumbled to my husband that I forgot dogs were allowed, but wondered what could be done to muffle the sound! Most hotels would generally have the first floor dedicated to pets, but we weren't on the first. We skipped breakfast to instead get some more sleep.

On checkout I was asked how my stay was, I responded "okay" ready to finish my sentence with some issues I had, but was quickly cut off with "that's great!". An interesting response to a clearly mediocre assessment. I then asked twice about the dog situation - first to confirm that dogs were allowed: I was told that yes, but there was a "situation" and apparently dogs are only allowed on the first floor but somehow there was a dog on the second floor. Hmm, I have a dog hair allergy, so now I'm concerned. So, that response being insufficient (and clearly she wasn't inquiring as to why I was asking), I asked again, but this time asked if I was to request a room not on the first floor it still doesn't guarantee that I would get a pet free room or floor? She just said, yes you are guaranteed as dogs are only allowed on the first floor. Hmmm, i'm on the second floor and there's a dog on the second floor. So either someone snuck a dog in or the hotel broke their own policy. Again, she made no further inquiries and offered no apology for the situation. At this point, I'm just about done - knowing full well a Trip Advisor review would get more attention than my comments at check out (I was already being brushed off about the dog, so how would my comments about the shower, toilet, sink, etc be taken?)

Would I go back? Maybe, but not this room type - and only if the room I prefer at Shaw Club isn't available - although, given my experience, I now give a previous review on the River View Suite more credit, so maybe there isn't a better option here...

In terms of background, I travel a lot - for work and pleasure. I choose the best based on reviews and amenities - I expect to receive what I pay for, but also set the expectation based on other factors. Making dinner reservations via concierge is not a 'perk', it is something that I expect from a hotel of this level, so I'm a little stunned by people who include that in their reviews (unless they get a table that you could not have gotten on your own). A room at the Hilton NF would have been about as much as this room, but it is a large overcrowded chain hotel, so I don't expect much beyond a basic level of courteous service. But here, I expected more. If this is as good as it gets, then that's fine - at least we all know for next time.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank blackhair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harbour House Hotel

Property: Harbour House Hotel
Address: 85 Melville Street | Box 760, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Ontario > Niagara-on-the-Lake
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#1 Luxury Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#1 Family Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#7 Business Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Harbour House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a design reminiscent of maritime life in the 1880's, Harbour House captures the essence of historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. Overlooking the Niagara River, Harbour House is within easy walking distance to the Shaw Festival theatres and many fine restaurants, shops and galleries. Our 31 guestrooms and suites feature king-size feather-top beds, whirlpool tubs, fireplaces and entertainment centres. Our tariffs include a European-style breakfast served in the conservatory. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harbour Hotel

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