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Review of The Charles Hotel

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The Charles Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 December 2006

My fiance and I were really excited to spend some time in Niagara on the Lake. We found the Charles Inn on the internet - it was exactly what we were looking for (old and beautiful). When we arrived, we were taken to our room... we went up several flights of stairs into the attic... when I looked around, I told the desk clerk this was not the room we had requested (we wanted the Newark Room) and she started walking out of the door saying "Sorry! That one is under construction!". Needless to say, I was pretty upset. We ended up in the Safari Room - two tall people in a tiny ceilinged attic! We bumped our heads on the ceiling several times a day in a room that was not old looking and not beautiful. Everything looked as though it was bought at Homesense... cheap. Anyway, this was not the type of room we had envisioned for our romantic time away. I must say that the bed was nice and the bathtub was amazing! The shower, however, didn't work... it went from hot to cold so frequently that my shower was actually painful (it's a shower in an old closet in an attic...). Also, the sink was broken in the bathroom when we arrived, the plunger thingy was stuck. We told the front desk and they said they would have it fixed by the time we came home from shopping. When we returned to our room, the sink was still broken... we called the front desk, she came up to try and fix it, couldn't, then finally called someone in to fix it. This was about 10pm at night. The Charles Inn was kind enough, however, to offer us a free breakfast for our troubles. However, we would never go back... there were just too many problems and headaches... bad service... oh, and did I mention the spider the size of my hand that was on our wall when we came home the second night? We had to capture it in a glass and throw onto the balcony... sleeping that evening was difficult... and the building was undergoing renovations at that time as well, so we had to leave the building early in the morning and come back late at night just so we didn't have to hear all of the construction. Anyway, all of this could have been remedied if we had received an apology for being given the wrong room (or better yet, told in advance that the room we wanted was unavailable) and for the many inconveniences associated with the room we did get. We filled out a comment card letting them know what a bad experience we had, but we never heard from them.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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10  Thank Beaujolais8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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374 - 380 of 404 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2006

We stayed in one of the nicest rooms and really enjoyed the hotel. The staff is very friendly and willing to accomodate any request. The surroundings are beautiful, and dinner was extraordinary. Amazing food for such a little place. The chef was great.

Very sophisticated breakfast (but low on choices), and in room spa services.

We're going back in 2 months!

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jennyleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2006

Stayed at The Charles in late July. I stayed in the Newark Room which is on the second floor and has a balcony that overlooks the main street. Room had a canopy bed, very spacious with fireplace and sitting area. The bathroom was great with a huge walk-in shower with rain head and heated floors.

Staff are very friendly and couldn't be more helpful. Had dinner in the restaurant and I highly recommend it. One of the best dinners I have ever had. Breakfast is included and is wonderful with a buffet to start and then a selection of gourmet breakfast items.
Would definitely return to this delightful property.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank lovetotravl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2006

Okay, so I did not stay overnight at this hotel. I ate here as part of a package deal as offered by another Inn in the area. I just wanted to say that the food was amazing. The chef outdid himself with flavours, portion size, and presentation. The dining room was intimate and well laid out to maximize space without overcrowding. Our table looked out onto the gorgeous grounds of the golf course.

I mostly wanted to commend the staff there. Our server, Martin was so kind to us. Halfway through dinner my boyfriend got sick (a result of walking around all day in the heat and the long drive, NOT the food at all at all at all). Martin made sure we got what we hadn't eaten wrapped up and because we had already paid for the meal as part of an outstanding package he gave us the option of taking dessert back to our hotel OR coming back during the lunch hour the following day to have our desserts then. He was so friendly and absolutely genuine. We opted to take our desserts back to the hotel and when we opened them a few hours later were shocked by the portion sizes and the beautiful presentation. My boyfriend had ordered the creme brulee and they had sent it away with us in it's oven safe glass dishware, surrounded by fresh fruit and vanilla bean sauce. I had the caramel cheesecake with a perfect crumble base and delicate mint garnish.

The whole meal was really flavourful and well delivered, but the customer service and accomodation to our situation we received from Martin was really what made this place an impressive place to eat.

I cannot say anything about the ammenities or rooms I'm sorry to say, but as a dining experience the Charles Inn really impressed us.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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8  Thank LazySundayTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago IL
16
Reviewed 20 February 2006

The Charles is the only hotel worthy of my exclusive tastes. It is luxury defined. This 5 star mansion is run by staff who never make mistakes. The beds are always perfectly comfortable. The temperature is always perfect. You MUST stay here. You MUST. That is an order. You will get to socialize with exclusive clientele like me, Darling. Join me in the evening for the free cocktails and escargot snacks. I am on a first name basis with the ghost which haunts the mansion. It tucks me in bed at night. Ask for the buy 1 night get 2 nights free promotion.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2005

Stayed here with my family in August, booked 3 rooms, the two for my kids (Apple and Sunflower)were small but nicely done, ours a bit larger and comfortable(I think Renoir), all on the 1st floor.
Having looked thru some of the other reviews here, there does seem to be some strange accusations of skullduggery and bias- or this place completely polarises people. So here's my take, bearing in mind, only 1 night stay so it's a quick impression. On the negative side, I suppose it's a bit pricey given the size of the rooms. Staff can be a little distracted at times, especially reception. While we were there, they were emptying the sewage tank which may be a regular (weekly?) event, and the awful smell did linger a bit. I could imagine it being a bit creaky/noisy, though our rooms didn't suffer from that. The "private verandah" on the first floor isn't really private, it's shared with other guests, though it wasn't especially well used during our stay.
On the positive side, the inn has a really nice feel to it, lots of character. The service is friendly and fairly competent, just remember it's an Inn, not a 5 star hotel. The setting is very pleasant bordering a golf course, a little way out the main town, (which is a bit "twee" and busy with tourists). Some pleasant places to sit and/or dine outside. The food is very good indeed and the wine list interesting. I didn't notice the mosquitoes referred to in previous reviews, no doubt they're around as they are in many places. Nor did I see the cockroaches referred to elsewhere and my impression is this inn is well run, so I would discount bad hygiene as a cause. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, it was our first proper stop on arrival from London and it really kicked off the holiday nicely.Certainly, I'd be more with the positive reviews here, than the really negative ones.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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5  Thank falcon3760
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
buffalo, new york
447
Reviewed 3 October 2005

Loved it, a great combination of old world/new world. Excellent service, friendly people, totally renovated rooms. Nice scenery on the golf course, verandahs, bar, restaurant, quite lovely. Highly recommended. We've enjoyed this hotel both times we've stayed.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £119 - £228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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