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“Disappointing, Deceiving, Definitely Not as "Advertised"”

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Sunchaser Vacation Villas at Riverside
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Disappointing, Deceiving, Definitely Not as "Advertised"”
Reviewed 5 August 2010

If you are an RCI member and exchange into the Fairmont Vacation Villas, this is NOT really an RCI Gold Crown resort despite what RCI pretends. We booked a 2-unit (2 bedroom lockoff). The units were OK but the entire resort is surrounded by private homes, some of which are just being built. The windows to the units don’t open (they’re not made to open) so you either open the doors (and invite in mosquitoes) or you run a noisy window-unit AC. There are light penetrating shades on the windows but they don’t block out the light so exterior lighting at night keeps the rooms illuminated and the sunshine’s in your bedroom at sunup. The indoor pool, sauna, and spa were all out of service.

The building we were in was undergoing renovation so in addition to being woken up daily at 7 AM by construction equipment literally outside our window, we couldn’t open the doors or run the AC or sit on the unit balcony because of the backloader/bobcat diesel fumes and construction noise. The pictures of the resort are not entirely accurate. There is some nice landscaping but the condo buildings are surrounded by pavement and parking for cars – think Motel 6 or Days Inn.

Judging by our experience, Fairmont Villas Resort management is indifferent to complaints or requests from guests for any kind of resolution. In a nutshell, they don’t care and they don’t follow through.

We read some other negative TripAdvisor comments about this resort and figured people were just being overcritical. Actually, those critical reviews are not inaccurate. For instance, there is one nearby grocery store and the prices are high ($5.75 for 4L of milk, $7.00 for OJ, $12 for a 6-pack of ordinary beer plus a $1.20 “chill charge”).

The resort writes on its literature that “Our mission is to provide an exceptional vacation and experience for our owners and guests.” Our experience couldn’t be further from this mission statement. Why house guests in a building which is undergoing renovation?

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GPA3818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
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English first
Washington
Level 6 Contributor
160 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2010

1.Waterpark on property was closed,no repair work being done. There is no other outdoor pool.
2. Room was on the 3rd floor, no elevators
3. Activity center for Hillside units closed
4. CONSTRUCTION WOKE US UP AT 7:30AM
5. No safes
6. No electronic locks, makes you wonder who else has a key?
7. Kitchen has a bar sink, can't even fit a plate in it.No oven, old 4 burner stove top
8 Shared laundry, not "in unit" as advertised
9.Television set is so small can't see the screen across the room
10. Baseboard heat
11. All blinds are bent & broken. Does not keep out sun. No drapes anywhere
12. Jetted tub didn't drain, shower head put out a trickle of water
13. Play area is dangerous for small children
14. No nightstands in bedroom, almost no drawer space
15. No counter in bathroom, no storage for toiletries.
16. Front desk doesn't care if you are booked for one week & check out after 2 nights because of all of the above issues.

Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank TravelConnoisseurs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Fairmont Hot Springs hotels

Canada
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2010

We stayed at this place on a guest RCI certificate. We just wanted to find a place for a short 3-day weekend getaway and this was the only place available. After reading the reviews on here, I didn't keep my hopes up too high for this vacation villas.

Check-in went smoothly and the front desk staffs were very helpful & friendly (PROS). We got a 1-bedroom unit on the 1st floor in the 4000 section of Hillside without a terrace (Unit "B"). The only windows we got were along one side facing another unit in the other building. So for those who wants a view, this isn't the unit to go for. The unit looked fairly clean, but there were some sharp tiny pebbles on the kitchen floor that gave one of us a minor cut on the foot, within the first 5 min of entrance. I guess they didn't sweep the floor careful enough. It might be wiser to be wearing shoes/flip-flops in the unit.

As for the unit, the bed in the 1-bedroom was fairly big and comfortable. We needed a soft bed because there were 3 of us. But the sofa-bed was awful to sleep in. When you lied on the sofa-bed, you could pretty much feel every spring poking your back. It was a very uncomfortable sleep, and the 3 of us ended up sharing the big bed in the room. The unit was equipped with 2TVs, 1DVD player, 1VHS player, electric fireplace. The kitchen has a super tiny sink that could only fit a small plate (SEE PHOTO ATTACHED)...if you want to do some minor dish washing, you are bound to make a splash in the kitchen. The kitchen was well-equipped in terms of utensils. We were hoping for an actual oven other than a microwave-"oven" and a bbq for baking a frozen pizza & garlic bread. That didn't quite work out since we think the microwave-"oven" is more of a microwave, and it was a bit chilly at night for the bbq.

They have schedules for various activities each day, such as dodge ball, free thai massage, aqua fitness, hiking trips, etc. There are a few tennis courts and you can rent out tennis rackets for free (but you have to buy a tennis ball). Other than that, you could try the tiny indoor pool (we didn't try it), or golf. For those non-golfers like us, you are out of luck for things to do! As a previous poster has mentioned, the Fairmont Hot Springs is actually a Fairmont Hot Springs Pool. It was about a 5-min drive from our place. We weren't too fond of the whole hot spring pool idea, and decided to skip it.

We ended up going to the Radium Hot Spring ($6.30/adult), which was great! They have a hot pool (for relaxation) and cool pool area (more for swimming & diving). I would definitely recommend the Radium Hot Spring over the Fairmont Hot Spring, for an extra 25 min drive & cheaper admission fee. We also ended up taking a stroll in Invermere, and hiking along Juniper Trail near the Radium Hot Springs, which are pretty much the highlights of our weekend.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this location unless you are a golfer. Spending a day or two here as a stopover is completely sufficient, but definitely not for long-term purpose. You might have better luck staying closer to Radium and do some hiking nearby. It is a pretty quiet location, with an okay view...you can get better view from Radium, or even from Invermere for sure. Kitchen space is okay, but the sink is ridiculously small, which forces us to use the dish washer. The sofa bed is pretty useless for sleep since it's super uncomfortable. For the PROS, the staffs are friendly & helpful and the bed in the actual bedroom is comfortable.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cookiedoughy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2010

We booked our stay just after Christmas. We travelled 2 hours to ski Lake Louise from Calgary and drove the last 2 hours after a great day of skiing. We normally stay in the large Panorama timeshare condos however we had a promotional pass to try out Fairmont so we booked a free stay.

We stayed in 210"B" and overall the room was clean, service quick and friendly. Upon entering the room there was a small living room with 2 person couch/bed, arm chair and TV. The kitchen was squeezed into the hall between the living room and bathroom. It really was the size of a mini kitchen but there was a flatplate burner so it is termed a proper kitchen. The washroom had a huge Jacuzzi that could have fit a family of 6. This is where the space must have been compromised for the kitchen. The bed was very comfortable and the pool/hot tub & workout facilities were lovely.

The hotsprings are nice, apparently they empty the water every night, not sure why. I really am not thrilled about staying just off the highway, I prefer Panorama's location or Whitefish nestled in the mountains.

Our timeshare presentation was of the usual sort, not too high pressure. We walked out when the guy started to get insulting, he knew we weren't going to purchase and got a bit grumpy, digging for dirt will never get a sale!

I gather they give the tiny "B" lockoff units to guests on passes and the owners have special dibs the large "A" attached units with real kitchens shown in the pictures above. I woundn't purchase a timeshare there based on seeing the tiny condo we stayed in and I certainly wouldn't want to pay money for staying there either. The RCI points you get upon purchase are quite low so I don't believe it's a good investment either. If you do book with them make sure you get an A unit as opposed to a B lockoff-you'll be happy you inquired!

Overall a nice time in Fairmont for a winter ski vacation, but we'll stick to Canmore, Panorama, Whitefish for location, space and value.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Flying_canadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spokane WA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 June 2009

We exchanged through Interval International and enjoyed our time at Fairmont Riverview. It is a single condo building by itself away from the rest of the Fairmont condos and overlooks a golf course. (That is, if you are on the side we were on. Otherwise, it would look out on the parking lot with mountains in the distance.) It was very quiet and peaceful, and looked exactly as depicted in the pictures. Pool towels were provided and they had a variety of activities offered each day. The unit had both a VCR and DVD player. The electric fireplace is a nice touch. Free internet was also a plus.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelerSpokaneWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2009

We recieved a promotional "four day" three night vacation for the hillside villas, thinking that we couldnt go wrong with a "free" vacation. Not quite. Unless you are into golfing or tennis hardcore there is nothing to do unless you want to drive awhile to get there. The local hotsprings ARENT, they are heated chlorinated filtered hot spring water pumped into man made pools, which they charge you 10 dollars a head to use (9 if you show a key and 5 after 9pm). They are not on location, they are located accross the highway in the RV park. There are real and free hotsprings if you cross a bridge and do a short walk down a hill around the same area, and they are usually jam packed with kids. There are hotsprings about a half hour / 45 minute drive away that no one will tell you about unless you ask (this is generally a good thing!!) If you do get suckered into this location they are the only thing worth while to do I highly reccomend dropping this gem at the front desk they will give you a map.
The amenities on site are terrible. The pool attached to the check in area is in disrepair. The hot tub boiler was broken and the jets didnt work. Their wireless pay internet is super slow and expensive, and the free wireless in the rooms is just slow, if you can get a connection long enough to get anything done. The resturant in the golf club is expensive and the food isnt that great, if you eat here try out the lounge (the resturant has a different menu) accross the highway by the "hotsprings" and rv park. The other good place is also accross the highway called the fireside or something of the like...again no minors but decent fish and chips and burgers.
They boast that they are in the mountians....I have seen better mountain views on the drive here from alberta, what the heck do people do here? We drive for a living, I dont believe you should have to drive while staying on a resort.
On this trip we were required to attend a presentation on how wonderful their time shares are HA! DONT DO IT!!! They were extremely high pressure, pushy and rude. We were very sincere and did listen to the spiel but when we told them we werent interested they pretty much did everything less call us stupid, then called in the manager as a last ditch effort to get us to try to drop 36 thousand plus into this place! Are you nuts?!?!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kerber25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cerritos, California
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2008

We are at the Riverside Villas as I write. I agree with earlier reviews about the kitchen space being VERY limited, however, having read other's reviews, I knew that coming in. The bedroom was more than adequate with plenty of shelving and closet space. They really have made good use of the space available for a coat closet, pots and pans, dishes, etc. My only complaint is we're on the lower level and our neighbors above us are noisy. They have "quiet time" but that's not until 11PM. We have gone into Invermere a couple of times for shopping and dinner. A little pricey, but that's about how it is now-a-days almost everywhere. I would recommend Hoodoos Lounge & Grill which is nearby for a nice dinner. Service and food were excellent and the restaurant was full of locals. The Bear's Paw has a good casual meal and entertainment some evenings. For those who have written negative things about the Villas, they ARE redoing the place. We are in the 700 building and work is to start pretty soon. If we return to the area, I would not hesitate about staying here again. We're driving to Banff and Lake Louise from here later in the week. It's a great location to use as a homebase.

  • Liked — The location.
  • Disliked — Limited kitchen space.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank carynsdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunchaser Vacation Villas at Riverside

Property: Sunchaser Vacation Villas at Riverside
Address: 5129 Riverview Gate Rd | Highways 93 & 95, Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia V0B 1L0, Canada (Formerly Fairmont Vacation Villas)
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Fairmont Hot Springs
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Fairmont Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 116
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sunchaser Vacation Villas At Riverside Hotel Fairmont Hot Springs
Fairmont Vacation Hotel

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