Let me be clear: Hotel Clarendon's location is one of the best in Quebec City. It's a quick walk to virtually any destination in the Old City. The hotel is also charming and a historical attraction in its own right.
However, I was frankly disappointed. This is not a boutique hotel and it is not a four-star hotel, as some websites advertise. The staff are friendly, but they are few and far between and very overworked. The bellmen are also the concierge -- which makes for a poor amalgamation. During the late morning and afternoon, the bellman are too busy to provide anything more than basic advice and the front desk, at least when I was there, was generally only staffed by one person. One evening I requested a simple dinner recommendation and the staff couldn't give me the name of a good French restaurant, which was hard to believe. I was told the concierge would help me, but the bellman was too busy with bags and valet parking. After 15 minutes, I became so frustrated that I went to the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and pretended to be a guest there. (The concierge is superb, by the way.)
The hotel is clean and well maintained despite its age. The rooms weren't as small as I expected. The bed, as other reviewers said, is hard and firm, but I slept well. I spent most of my day exploring Quebec City by foot, so the room didn't see much use. My only complaint was the odor from the window when I opened it up. It smelled like there was mildew in the window between the glass. (I'm guessing it isn't opened too much.)
My biggest disappointment came on arrival and departure. Even though many hotels claim check-in time is 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon, they will generally allow you to check-in and get a room at early as 9 or 10 in the morning if one is ready. When I tried checking in at 12:30 p.m., I was told my room wouldn't be ready until 4 o'clock. This seemed to be a substantial delay. The hotel didn't seem that busy. If I had to guess, I'd say the housekeeping staff is short on personnel, as that seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the hotel's different departments.
On the morning I was scheduled to depart, I requested a late check-out -- something that most hotels allow -- but was told I had to be out of my room by 12:30 p.m. To me this wasn't accommodating, especially when I wasn't able to check-in until 4 o'clock the previous afternoon. So in essence, I paid well over a hundred dollars for 18 hours -- four hours less than a full day. This was disappointing and forced me to leave Quebec City a little earlier than expected.
While this isn't a four-star hotel, it is a reasonably nice three-star hotel with a lot of charm and history. I would consider staying here again if the rate was reasonable (I wouldn't pay more than $120 a night). If you want luxury, consider the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac or the newer Hilton or Delta just outside the Old City halls at the Quebec Parliament.
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- Also Known As:
- Clarendon Hotel Quebec City
- Clarendon Quebec City
- Hotel Clarendon Quebec/Quebec City