I took the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield steam train to Wakefield, stayed overnight at the Alpengruss and took the steam train back to Hull the next morning. I had wanted to stay in a B&B, but all the B&Bs within walking distance of the train were full - one of them suggested the Alpengruss. It appears that the lodging owners in Wakefield help each other out with recommendations, as a couple of them recommended various others to me. This speaks of a nice professional relationship, and is reassuring to a visitor.
The Alpengruss is "rustic" but clean. It seems more like a ski lodge type of set-up, rather than a typical hotel. The walls in the room were exposed brick (1 wall), old dark wood panelling (two walls) and white drywall. There were lots of rooms available.
Here are the advantages as I saw them, and amenities:
-beautiful setting in the woods - surrounded by large, mature trees. Nice brick fire stove in the secluded back yard. Across from the front of the hotel are the steam train tracks, then the river, then the beautiful hills on the other side of the river.
-excellent location - a 1-min. walk from the end of the steam train line, and 1-15 minutes from the various restaurants, shops and cafes in the picturesque village of Wakefield.
-a restaurant on-site (which I did not try, as it turns out, so can't comment - but it was very busy (a good sign) and my travelling companion was told that they serve over 300 meals a day.
-telephone reservation was very easy, pleasant and efficient.
-on arrival (before normal check-in time) we spoke to the desk staff and the cleaner, and were able to leave our bags in the room even though it had not yet been cleaned - this helped us quite a bit. The cleaner was very nice (hi Helen!).
-each room on the upper floor has a nice balcony overlooking the trees and the road just beyond. You can hear a little decorative waterfall on the property. The stars at night are amazing!!!!! It's great to get out of the city.
-cable TV with remote control (about 2/3 of the channels are in French, as this is Quebec; the others are in English).
-pretty good price - our room with a single double bed was approx. C$75 for a night.
-the room and bathroom were very clean.
-bar soap and drinking glass included.
-towels and bathmat included.
-working bar fridge.
-spacious closet with real hangers that you can actually remove from the rod.
-the sheets, pillows, pillowcases, blanket and quilt seemed new and were clean.
Here are the drawbacks as I saw them, and the amenities that are NOT included:
-no elevator (not an issue for us but could be for others). There was just one easy flight of outdoor stairs to the rooms on the upper level, and there are several rooms on ground level as well.
-no deadbolt lock - only the type of lock where you push the doorknob and turn it. Not very secure!!
-no peep-hole on the door to see who's outside.
-the lock on the sliding door to the balcony did not work, but they did have a long piece of wood to put on the other side of the door to prevent it from opening more than a few inches.
-at 10:30 the next morning (1/2 hr before check-out), someone knocked loudly on the door - we called out "hello" from inside the room - someone outside said "no problem, we're just checking the rooms" ... I saw no reason to disturb guests 1/2 hr before checkout.
-the mattress sagged a bit and was not very comfortable. We could feel the coils inside. We slept poorly.
-the carpet was old but appeared clean.
-no blow-drier in room.
-no iron or ironing board in room.
-no shampoo or lotion in bathroom.
-no coffeemaker in room.
-the wooden headboard fell off the wall during the night, and dropped between the bed and the wall. Not on our heads, fortunately.
In all, the Alpengruss is in an excellent location and setting. It's old and rustic but clean. The mattress is not great. You'll have to bring your own shampoo. Good value for the money. I would go again if I couldn't find a B&B in town.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on the main street of Wakefield, Riverside Drive, the Alpengruss Motel is literally within walking distance to over a dozen pubs, cafes and restaurants. It is situated close to 3 local ski hills, 2 golf courses and the famous Red Covered Bridge - a well known landmark on the Gatineau River. ... more less
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