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“A bone-chilling sojourn at The Charles Inn”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of The Charles Hotel

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The Charles Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A bone-chilling sojourn at The Charles Inn”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

On 2 April 2014 we booked The Charles Inn for a three night stay starting 9 June 2014. While checking into the Inn we were advised that the airconditioner in our room (‘Magnolia’) was cooling nonstop so they had placed a heater in the room as well. We asked to be put into another room but were told there were none available. The thermostat in the room was displaying a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celcius) and, at times, it went down as far as 59 Fahrenheit (-or 15 Celcius). The next day we again asked to be moved to another room but were again told there were none available. Instead, we were first offered tea/coffee and later a bottle of wine (-both of which we politely refused as we were only interested in getting a room that was not so bitterly cold). The third day was no different. Indeed, even the electricity went off in the entire room for a short while (-probably because the heater in the room overloaded the electrical circuit). So, we again requested to be shifted to another room but were told that since all the other rooms were occupied, they could only shift us to one of their sister properties. As this would have meant packing and unpacking everything, thus creating even more stress and anxiety we did not accept this offer.

It is difficult to understand why The Charles Inn put us in a room in the first place knowing full well that the airconditioning in it was not functioning properly (-after all, they even supplied us with an electric heater to cut down the cold from the malfunctioning airconditioner). They also had more than two months advance notice of our coming. Gestures such as the offer of tea, coffee, wine and even a warm breakfast on the last day, while appreciated (-but not accepted) did nothing to rid us of the misery of what probably is the most wretched stay we have ever had in an Inn/Hotel in our entire life.

On our second day at the Inn, we were told at least half a dozen times by three different staff members that the manager will be meeting with us but this never came to be. Clearly, there were other more important things for her/him to attend to than two dejected, paying guests.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WanderingPlanetEarth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah L, Guest Relations Manager at The Charles Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you for letting us know about your experience. We deeply regret that your time with us was not what it should have been. Our number one priority is the happiness of our guests and when we cannot meet or exceed guest expectations, it is truly disappointing. While we appreciate that your reservation was booked months in advance, we would never have known in advance of any problems with our air conditioning. From my understanding, the issue arose suddenly and as we were sold out the staff did what they could at the time. Moreover, the staff would never have been able to predict how the problem with the air conditioning would develop. Our maintenance team and the external heating and air conditioning company that we use did work to repair the problem and have since remedied the situation. We are sorry that it was not fixed in time for you to enjoy the rest of your visit. We were not able to move you to another room as we were sold out for the duration of your visit; we did offer The Harbour House as an alternative and would have been happy to facilitate moving you for the remainder of your stay. I was away from the Inn but did email you from where I was to offer apologies and to invite you back for a complimentary night with us. Further, upon my return to the Inn the following week, I sent a follow up email to reiterate and provide details related to my offer. As you can see from other reviewers, the usual experience here is outstanding in every way. We would love to have you back and I am confident that we can regain your trust and provide you with the experience you were meant to have and that so many others have enjoyed. Please contact me directly at slegault@charlesinn.ca and I would be happy to discuss your experience. Should you decide to return, I will personally look after the details of your stay myself, ensuring everything is perfect.

Safe Travels,

Sarah Legault
Guest Services Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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376 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Hamilton, Ont.,Canada
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

We spent 2 nights here in The Apple Room (#11). It's very small, but beautifully appointed and has access to a couple of porches through the outer corridor. We sat here in the afternoon with a glass of wine. Every staff member ( from the gentleman @ checkin (sorry, can't remember your name, May 30/14) , to Sarah who made reservations for us at the Shaw Spa, to Greg in the bar, Martin in the Restaurant & Gregg our breakfast waiter), was professional but friendly & helpful. The room is up a steep flight of stairs to the 2nd floor, but help with the luggage was offered. Suggestion:accept the help. The room faced onto the main street and there was noise up to 11pm, and after 6am.This did not interfere with our sleep habits, but if you prefer to sleep in then a back room might be better. There is very little room to walk between the foot of the bed and the wall, but having the bathroom door open helps. The bathroom is large, with a large shower that had a crack repaired in the base. Water pressure and temperature were great. We would have liked towel racks to hang our used towels. As it was we had to hang them on the shower stall itself which is more difficult for "vertically challenged" folks such as ourselves to reach. The room came with a continental breakfast which we had upgraded to a full breakfast. (It's an extra $7.50 and is plentiful & delicious). It's served on the veranda-a perfect, setting to start the day. The first evening after dinner in town, we relaxed in the bar area with a B52 Coffee made by Gregg. It was delicious, & service was very good, but it was very expensive-$11.00 plus tip each.. We had purchased the "Candelight & Romance" package, and that included a $25.00 spa gift card, and a 3 course dinner for 2 in the Charles Inn Restaurant or Zee's Restaurant. We chose the Charles Inn, and I have written a separate review on that highly recommended experience. We had a great weekend & plan to return.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank robertjudi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah L, Guest Relations Manager at The Charles Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you for your sincere review of your experience here at The Charles! I am happy that you enjoyed your time with us and thank you for your suggestion of a towel bar; I will be sure to look into having one installed! Thank you again for choosing The Charles, and I look forward to saying hello when you are here next!

Safe Travels,

Sarah Legault
Guest Services Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chatham, Canada
Level Contributor
116 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2014

In our first stay in Niagara-On-The-Lake, we chose the Charles Inn, and weren't disappointed. The staff were warm and inviting upon arrival, with a nice note and welcome gift in our room. We stayed in the cozy Sunflower Room, which although small, had everything you could want. We borrowed bikes from the Charles Inn to explore the town, and spent much of our time relaxing on the upstairs patio overlooking the golf course, as well as the restaurant patio.

Speaking of the restaurant, expect an incredible meal, worth every penny you spend. We had the included continental breakfast each morning, which was delicious. I enjoyed the complimentary French press coffee and newspaper each morning with my breakfast. The service at breakfast, and during our two dinners we enjoyed at the restaurant was incredible. High class without any pretence. We savoured every mouth watering bite of our meals.

Perfectly located on the edge of Niagara-On-The-Lake's main street, you're away from the hustle, but only a short walk from all of the town's attractions, and a short bike ride or drive from dozens of wineries.

We loved our stay and will definitely be back. My major suggestions, indulge in a dinner from the restaurant, and buy a bottle of wine from a local vineyard and enjoy it on one of the Charles Inn's upstairs patios. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IDKSPK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah L, Guest Relations Manager at The Charles Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you for such a thoughtful review. The Sunflower room is indeed cozy but has all the amenities necessary to enjoy a fantastic weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake! It sounds as though you took full advantage of not only everything that The Charles has to offer, but the town as well! All of us look forward to your return.

Safe Travels,

Sarah Legault
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bryn Mawr
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2014

My wife and I dined with friends and spent a splendid night at "The Charles". Our large ground floor room [more like a suite] was wonderfully furnished as was the bathroom [a "boutique" hotel that has not done away with the bath tub!].
Dinner was excellent and the continental breakfast was way more than coffee and croissants - a real breakfast!
And, best of all, the service from every member of staff was truly outstanding - from the moment we arrived through to our departure. Cup of tea in the room; bottle of wine to our room at midnight; bike rental arranged by and delivered to the hotel - all done with great grace and charm.
Special mention to Sarah, Craig and Lloyd for warm, super patient and attentive service.
We have booked our return visit.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Allen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah L, Guest Relations Manager at The Charles Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you for your review! I too love The Verandah Room , and am happy you enjoyed it as well. Our entire staff is committed to making every guest experience the best it can be, I will pass on your kind comments to the entire team. It was lovely to have met you and I look forward to next year!

Safe Travels,

Sarah Legault
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2014

Attended a conference in St. Catherine's but opted to stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake to show a colleague from Oz another part of the province. We were both blown away by the Charles Inn. I used a travelzoo which gave us upgraded rooms - deluxe- and a gift cert for the Shaw Spa. I was so impressed by the room - so comfortable! After a long day we were happy to simply walk downstairs for a meal and were very impressed by the quality of the food. It was delicious! A 5 star restaurant indeed with impeccable service. Breakfast was another treat! Have the omelette! Drinks on the veranda upstairs in the evening was the perfect way to end the day. Will definitely be going back with my husband! Recommend it as the best place I have stayed in a long time (and I travel alot!).

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cdnpolschick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah L, Guest Relations Manager at The Charles Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you for such an outstanding review! We really strive to provide the best in hospitality and are so glad that was mirrored in your stay! The uniqueness of our property and the quality of our food and service are what sets us apart and we all look forward to welcoming you back!

Safe Travels,

Sarah Legault
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

My husband and myself have been to this restaurant many times, and as usual had a wonderful dinner and service. The food is excellent, our waiter was wonderful, very knowledgeable regarding wine choices to pair with our dinners. The grounds are lovely to take a stroll after dinner. A delightful experience and dinner.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MARY S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2014

We stayed at Charles Inn for 5 nights to attend a conference. We were completely blown away by the service and the facilities. No request was to big or small. Upon our initial check-in our bags were whisked to our room, and we were greeted with a bottle of local wine. Each morning we had a continental breakfast (smoked salmon, ham, eggs), followed by hot French-pressed coffee and fresh cookies in the afternoon.

We were given the top 'Safari' room and found it to be tastefully furnished and spacious. The beds are comfy and there is ample outlets for electronics.

I have stayed at many 5 star properties in Europe and North America and Charles Inn is definitely on par.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the south side (parking lot) are quite close to the back of the kitchen and near ventil...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alim109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarah L, Guest Relations Manager at The Charles Hotel, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Thank you ever so much for taking the time to let us know about your stay! We value your feedback and are so happy you enjoyed what we have to offer. The ‘loft’ is certainly unique and a wonderful private retreat. I enjoyed meeting you both, and look forward to the opportunity to have you back to The Charles!

Safe Travels.

Sarah Legault
Guest Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Charles Hotel

Property: The Charles Hotel
Address: 209 Queen Street | Box 642, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Niagara-on-the-Lake
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#8 Luxury Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Charles Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment that you walk through the door, you will know that this 1832 Inn is truly a special place. This luxurious Manor House offers 4-diamond accommodation and dining. Many of the rooms have wood burning or gas fireplaces; glass enclosed rain-head showers or jet-air tubs and private verandahs to enjoy the view of the golf course, main street or Lake Ontario. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Charles Hotel Niagara-On-The-Lake

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