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“Very Bad Experience”

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Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Ingonish
Bellingham, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very Bad Experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013

The Keltic Lodge. Wow what a beautiful location. What a dump of a hotel. Now, that may be a reactionary statement, it may very well be a lovely lodge but it it was overbooked because of a wedding and we were placed in a dark dreary room that had a serious electrical issue,and the front desk manager, Jill, was incredibly rude and took a bad situation and accelerated it into a crisis.

I was sick. I had been traveling on a bus tour with my 89 year old Aunt and my Husband. It had been an long journey from Prince Edward Island and I was thrilled to arrive at the lodge at abut 5:00. I was admittedly cranky. Our room had no heat, it smelled bad and was dark and dreary, but the no heat was the pressing issue, so we called the front desk and someone was promptly sent up. Who was unable to fix it. Some one else was promptly sent up, and seemed to know immediately that the circuit breaker needed to be flipped and went into the locked room next door to fix it. It worked. Lovely heat. For about 10 minutes and then went off. I never really thought about it. I assumed it was on a thermostat and had turned off automatically. But since we were headed out of the room, it was not even a blip on my mental radar... Until I left the dinning room early as I was feeling too sick to finish my dinner. By the way, even sick the dinner was delicious and the service was great.

When I arrived back to the room it was cold. I tried to turn on the heater, nothing, I called down (admittedly in a crankier mood) and the same service guy came back. I asked him why it kept turning off... He said it was overloaded, because there was a wedding and they were using lots of power, more than the service could take. I explained I was sick, cranky and just wanted to go to bed in a warm room. He was unmoved and not optimistic about the heat staying on. I asked if he would have the manager call me. The room warmed up a bit, the manager called.

The woman that called explained that they would like to move us to another room with a working heater, but the lodge was 100% booked and there was nothing they could do... no more rooms, but did offer more blankets and hot tea. I explained my plight. I was sick, I was cranky, I just wanted to go to sleep in a warm room. I didn't want tea, but since the heat was on, I was content. I hung up. The heat went off. I called back.

This time they didn't knock on the door. I just heard the thumping sound of the circuit being flipped in the room next door and the heat came on.

The heat stayed on. I cozzied up in bed and settled in for a sleep. It was dark. I tried to turn on the bedside lamp. It did not work. I followed the cord of the lamp to see if it was plugged in to a wall outlet. It was plugged into a very, very old ungrounded extension cord from the 70's, which was plugged into the wall. I was flummoxed. Why is the lamp not working? The extension cord broken? Wall outlet not working? I called the front desk to find out what I might be doing wrong and my evening went from BAD TO WORSE.

Admittedly I was cranky, but I started the conversation with Jill the front desk manager, in a traditional way. I started to introduce myself and explain my issue. She didn't even listen. She must have assumed I was calling about the heat, which was working nicely still. When I introduced myself, her response was "oh, I know all about you", in a voice and tone one would reserve for Chester the child molester upon his release into her community. This didn't bode well for the upcoming conversation.

Jill went into a defensive tirade about how they could not move us because the hotel was 100% booked. I explained our light wasn't working.... But since she brought up the subject, maybe the lodge shouldn't overbook and have placed us in this dark, dreary, stinky room with electrical problems, problems they obviously knew about because the the service man was totally aware of how to fix the problem by flipping the breaker. OMG, this woman became irate with me, me the customer. She went on to try to interrupt me, correct me without letting me finish my sentence and raise her voice so that I wouldn't be able to talk.

Now, admittedly I am an assertive person and have the customer service skills to de-escalate this situation, but as I mention, I was cranky. I have been in customer service with difficult clients for my entire working career. From working as a insurance claims adjuster, to working in the Superior court system, establishing and collecting child support, to working with mentally ill homeless customers. I know my customer service. I know how to take a volatile potentially dangerous situation and de escalate it. I also was sick, tired, cranky and fed up with this woman talking to me like I was a errant child. All I had originally wanted was to know if there was some secret to turning on the bedside light. What I got was the hounds of hell from her. She threatened to call the tour director, Eric to "handle" me. I explained I didn't want Eric to "handle" me, I wanted to be able to turn in the lights in a warm room and take my sick self to bed. I also told her that I felt her customer service skills were terrible and that she might consider another career choice.

Someplace in that awful conversation she did manage to convey that the outlet might be controlled by a light switch. Wow... This nasty, upsetting and time consuming conversation could have been avoided by good customer service skills... Oh and not overbooking the lodge.

So, the lodge is in a beautiful place. The food in the dining room was excellent. The rooms are old, dated, dirty (found the last guests used soap in the shower, complete with curly hair) and the management is poor.

I do not recommend staying here. Maybe a local hotel and come for the meal.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Katrinay505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NCHR, General Manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 24 September 2013
We were disappointed to see that you posted this review on TripAdvisor after speaking with our team on numerous occasions while you were on property.

We have a highly skilled and trained team here at Keltic Lodge and I stand behind my team in this situation as we find your comments to be inappropriate and disrespectful. Taulk is a very respected and professional company that we've been working with for over a decade, and we feel that your concerns could have been addressed on property if you were willing to work with our team.

As previously discussed, please contact us directly on property or your tour director to discuss your concerns.

Regards,
Matthew Mackenzie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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900 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (222)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ireland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2013

We are a couple from Ireland based for two days in Baddeck. This morning early we set off in a counter clockwise tour of the Cabot trail. Stopped at the Keltic Lodge for a break and as we were entering the hotel observed the Gaelic writing which we understood. Asked the receptionist about some coffee and she was so helpful. In the dinning room the supervisor and her assistant extended hospitality to us than one rarely meets. Management should be aware of this and I refer to Thurs. 20th. Sept. circa 10. am. You know our only regret is that we did not book to stay in this location and in this hotel or about five days or so, it would I imagine be bliss.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kittytwister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NCHR, General Manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 20 September 2013
Welcome to the beautiful Island of Cape Breton! We’re delighted that you were able to stop by for a visit during your Nova Scotia vacation. Reading your review put a smile on my face; I can assure you that I’ve shared your kind words with our team.

We hope during your next visit, you’ll have the opportunity to stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cape Breton.

Until next time,
Matthew Mackenzie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
79 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

We have eaten at the Keltic Lodge for lunch twice and enjoyed it both times. This time we were with a motorcoach tour and the buffet served was excellent. We had a beautiful view to compliment the delicious food. I don't know the cost of the lunch as it was a gift from the tour company. The setting is gorgeous and I imagine that staying here would be a pleasure. It is outside of town so a car would be very useful.

Room Tip: Ask for a table by the window for a beautiful view.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelerFromPenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NCHR, General Manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Thank you for sharing your dining experience with us! We’re delighted you had to opportunity to experience our Cape Breton cuisine while on your motor coach tour. We hope you’ll have the chance to stay at our resort in the future.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Until then,
Matthew Mackenzie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatchewan
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

In July,we attended our son's wedding at the Keltic Lodge and it was all amazing. The staff, venue, and meals were awesome. The bride and groom were happy with everything. The staff were especially helpful to the bride and groom, to ensure their stay was more than what they had hoped for. All of the groom's relatives were from Saskatchewan and Alberta and fell in love with Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. We had good weather for the entire weekend and enjoyed the spectacular scenery, morning buffet breakfast, golf course, pool, walking trail, and the nearby beach. The wedding ceremony was held outside, with the beautiful scenery in the background. The wedding party was small, only about 90 people, so the Ceilidh Hall was perfect. Our families stayed in the Keltic Inn and the cabins. It was very hot, so we were happy there was air conditioning. The rooms were small, but very clean and comfortable. We all came away with great memories of the wedding and the entire weekend.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Village_traveler2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NCHR, General Manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your wedding experience with us. We’re ecstatic that everyone had such a memorable celebration. We always say that once you experience Cape Breton your heart never leaves so we’re not surprised that your relatives fell in love with Cape Breton.

It sounds like you all had the opportunity to take advantage of all the on-site activities we offer to our guests. From exploring the scenery and hiking to swimming to golf, you were able to experience it all!

We hope to welcome your family back to the lodge.

Until then,
Matthew Mackenzie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2013

Given the rather remarkable lack of hotel choices on the island, (why is that??!!) the Keltic Lodge really has a monopoly. Unfortunately, discerning travelers are going to find it both disappointing and lacking in some regards, but its setting and location alone should make up for a LOT of those shortcomings. It did for us, (hence the 4 stars); the location is truly magnificent, and at least there is charisma to the public rooms.

We stayed in a King room in the main lodge, and the updating of those rooms has been elegant, with nice bedding and a clean, neutral look, one which (unfortunately) does not reflect the era or aesthetic of the lodge. These rooms are a bit small, but do come with a good-size closet where you can store everything and even dress. This helps to keep the rooms themselves clear so you aren't falling over your stuff. The bathrooms remain unremarkable, although they are not as small as some older hotels'. They promptly brought up a robe for me when I asked, even though the rooms are not supplied with them.

There isn't a lot of help to be had, if you require that; there doesn't seem to be anyone to help get luggage to the room, and there is no elevator. But parking is plentiful, and right outside the front door, so you won't have to carry your luggage far.

The biggest problem this lodge has with regard to a good night's sleep, is the locked position of the latchbolt on the door. They simply cannot be closed quietly - they have to be pulled shut, and this unavoidably makes a huge SLAM, that echoes down the entire hall. I've never experienced anything quite like it! You will be startled by slam after slam after slam!!! and believe me, you are going to get annoyed! The only hope is you will be with an early-to-bed crowd, otherwise you will be startled awake at all hours. During our stay, those slams were not the only annoyances we had to bear: on 3 (!!) separate occasions after we were in bed the fire alarm went off. Hopefully this is not a regular occurrence, (they said it was a glitch related to the humidity) but between those and the door slams it became comical. Having said that, once everybody got to bed, it was extremely quiet, but you might as well plan to get up early - those morning door slams will ensure an early wake-up.

But once awake, you do have a wonderful breakfast to look forward to. It is a comprehensive buffet breakfast and I think they do theirs very well; they cover all the bases. There is a toast/bagel station; old-fashioned oatmeal; fresh pastries; fruit, and many hot selections. Among the latter, I thought the blueberry pancakes were great, and was also impressed with the individual eggs benedict, which even though were kept in a warming dish, managed to keep a perfect soft yolk.

We ate in both the Purple Thistle dining room, and the more casual bar, and probably enjoyed the meal in the bar more. They have some very creative cocktails, and the food offerings are well-prepared and more down-to-earth than the somewhat pretentious, underwhelming and over-priced dining in the Thistle Room, which also suffers from a lack of professionalized service. I agree with others that the nightly singer is over-miked, which is really a shame, as it distorts the loveliness of his voice, making it a bit edgy and also making conversation a bit too difficult.

The few negatives notwithstanding, you still have to stay here. There is enough positive to make it an enjoyable and worthwhile stop on an island that is full of scenic and inspiring vistas - and you will have one of them as your view out of your window in the lodge.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zorro_and_Gatinha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NCHR, General Manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your stay. We’re delighted that you enjoyed our newly renovated Main Lodge accommodations and apologize for the noise you experienced during your stay. We can assure you that we’ve looked into your suggestions and shared them with our team.

Our breakfast buffet is loved by all of our guests and we’re happy you were able to try it. The eggs benedict are a favourite!

We hope your travels bring you back to the area again.

Until next time,
Matthew Mackenzie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lower Largo, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2013

Keltic Lodge is living on a past reputation, it is over priced for the service provided. We were in the Inn annex and felt like the poor relation, there Lewis no reception, on,y at at main Lodge, the first night there was a very loud humming noise coming from the hallway, security came and he knew right away that it was the magnets holding the doors open (as these were FIRE doors) why were they kept open!!!! I had a very disturbed night. We complained at reception to Jill the manager, also about the lack of choice with regard to the complimentary Coffee/tea, only Earl grey black tea, no decaffeinated coffee and DRIED milk in a four *, she was excellent and provided us with a selection, but WHY did we have to ask, we could have got better choice at Tim Hortons for a few bucks!!!!!!! She also discounted our disturbed night, well done 'her'.

Room Tip: Don't get put into the Inn annex, never have room '608' next to the main stairs.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CyKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NCHR, General Manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share these comments with us. We’re sorry to hear for your less than expected experience, however happy Jill was able to assist you on property. Please feel free to contact me directly at mmackenzie@kelticlodge.ca so we can further discuss these concerns.

Talk to you soon,
Matthew Mackenzie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
188 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2013

Finally a manager who seems to have some sense and some sense of what the Keltic is. Steady improvements in all areas, rooms and dining. Things that make the Keltic special, the location, the scenery, the staff, all stay the same. There is no better place to spend time while exploring Cape Breton.

Room Tip: There is a big difference between the Lodge (the original building), the Inn (a large motel-like str...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank piotzar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NCHR, General Manager at Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 16 September 2013
Thank you for returning to the Keltic Lodge and for sharing these exciting comments with us. Our Management Team has been working very hard to ensure all of our guests are given an authentic Cape Breton experience, like the one you received.

We’re delighted you had such a relaxing and memorable stay. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back again

Until next time,
Matthew Mackenzie
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 Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa

Property: Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa
Address: 383 Middle Head Peninsula, Ingonish, Nova Scotia B0C 1L0, Canada
Region: Canada > Nova Scotia > Cape Breton Island > Ingonish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Ingonish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This historic Cape Breton resort, Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa, is located in the heart of Cape Breton Highlands National Park overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Just 2 hours from Sydney, NS and a scenic 5 hour drive from Nova Scotia's capital city Halifax, the 100 room resort has been welcoming guests to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia since July 1940. Keltic offers versatility for Cape Breton accommodations with rooms in the Main Lodge, spacious rooms in the Inn at Keltic and cozy two and four bedroom cottages with fireplaces and verandas. The Cape Breton resort is the perfect spot for a Nova Scotia family vacation with recreation facilities on-site or nearby that include a heated outdoor pool, Atlantic Ocean Ingonish Beach, hiking, wilderness trails, lawn games, whale watching, Eminence Spa and boat cruises. Adjacent to the resort is the Cape Breton golf icon, the 18 hole championship Highlands Links Golf Course. The Cape Breton golf course, rich in the Scottish tradition, has been restored to Stanley Thompson's magnificent original design. The Purple Thistle Dining Room and Atlantic Restaurant and Bar overlooking the Atlantic Ocean offer a comfortable dining experience and traditional Maritime menu. The Highland Sitting Room features a pub menu for lunch and dinner and nightly live Celtic entertainment. Nova Scotia conferences are welcome at Keltic Lodge with 13,000 sq ft of meeting space spread throughout the resort utilizing the restaurants and bars for private functions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Keltic Lodge Resort And Spa
Keltic Hotel Ingonish
Keltic Resort Ingonish
Keltic Lodge Nova Scotia
Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa Ingonish, Nova Scotia - Cape Breton Island

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