My husband and I stayed at The Charles Inn for two nights on a recent theatre excursion to Niagara on the Lake. I have stayed in other inns and B&Bs in NOTL over the years but from now on, I will not stay at another establishment after the wonderful experience we had at the Charles Inn.
I must in particular mention Ian Shulman, Marketing Manager. His attention to customer service went above and beyond the ordinary expectations for any inn. This is what happened.
My sister and brother-in-law were also coming to NOTL to celebrate her 65th birthday, and were staying at another B&B, while my husband and I were staying at the Charles Inn. The morning of our stay, before we left Ottawa, I phoned the other establishment to ask if some wine and chocolate could be placed in my sister's room to surprise her (at my cost plus a premium, of course.) The B&B owner was not interested in helping me.
However, when Ian at Charles Inn heard of my disappointment that I couldn't arrange this surprise for my sister, he immediately telephoned me and offered to take over chocolates, wine and a cheese/cracker platter to the B&B for my sister's room. He did this immediately, and my sister and her husband were absolutely delighted to find the surprise in their room when they checked in. The wine and cheese were top quality and beautifully presented, with a card from myself and my husband.
When my husband and I arrived in NOTL and checked into our room at The Charles Inn, we received a complimentary bottle of white wine and a note from Ian and the staff. Sarah, the manager on site also took time to come and greet us and assure us that our comfort was her top priority.
This level of hospitality is what all quality inns should aspire to.
Now to our room critique.
Our room, the Verandah Room, #1, was spacious and comfortable, with hardwood floors and a huge old original fireplace. The tv was small though, and a larger one would have been appreciated.
The private screened-in verandah overlooking the garden was a lovely space to enjoy a book and a glass of wine.
The king-sized bed was comfortable, with good linens and pillows.
The bathroom was light, white and spotlessly clean. The huge tub and rainfall shower head delivered plenty of piping hot water. Beware if you have mobility issues that the tub/shower is difficult to climb into.
The inn itself looks like it could use some love; I noted peeling paint and some dirty windows. The front walk way, for example, needs a good sweep and the welcome mat is worn and dirty. The carpets inside the front hall are mismatched, stained and old. Improving these little things would help make a better first impression.
However, it is situated on a quiet end of Queen Street, and is surrounded by lovely trees and gardens. The front verandah and patio area are very enticing places to have a meal or a drink.
I would not hesitate to stay at The Charles Inn again, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a quiet, comfortable, old fashioned (in a good way) lodging in NOTL, with excellent customer service.
- 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