One can pretty much stay anywhere in Banff, Alberta, the famous Canadian Rocky Mountain town, and have a really good time. The scenic setting has caused there to be so many hotels that competition is fierce especially in a recession.
Having selected the Rimrock with its fine mountain views, little did we know that the entire place was run by young people with no leadership or overseer available to assure that the hotel's 4 stars offered a consistent guest experience..
Our check in request for our 3 night stay was for a quiet room with no noise potential from public rooms nearby, from ice machines, or from guest rooms with adjoining interior doors to the next room. Since the hotel was running at a very high vacancy rate, we were 'assured' that this was able to be easily done.
We slept well the first night. However on the 2nd night after a very busy day out, we repeatedly heard for hours loud noises at the headboard end of our room. In investigating outside our room down a hallway, we discovered a door marked PRIVATE for STAFF which coincided with our room's exterior wall: surprisingly, it was a staff entrance to the hotel's restaurant which lead directly onto wooden floors where the constant footsteps of diners and staff, and chairs grating across wooden floors were clearly heard in our room until the late closing and after all staff had cleaned up and left. When we asked the front desk to send someone down to explain to us how in a nearly empty hotel with the request for quiet we had made, they had assigned us to a room with the certainty of late night repeated noise, they had nothing to say including an apology.
When we asked to speak to the manager or GM, we were told he wasn't on the property but in another city. The 2 staff with whom we were dealing had no interest in the problem their mistaken room assignment had caused us. It now appeared this hotel's appearance and setting were superior to its staff's interest and abilities.
Night 3 began after another busy day involved in outdoor activities. When we returned to the hotel at 7:40 pm, there was no power in our room. When we called the front desk, we were told the entire area of Banff was without power. Knowing that all areas sometime have power outages, we asked why there was light in the lobby and the bar, but not in individual guest rooms - not even a single light bulb to enable moving about safely in an unknown room with suitcases around the perimeter. As this was occurring, a loud check in began right next door on the other side of the interior joining door we had asked not to have. When we had inquired at check in about the door having been there, we were told there would be no noise since no one was in that room. But the front desk didn't bother to maintain that status in spite of the hotel's occupancy now being next to nil due to the inability of guests to reach Banff because of the Calgary floods.
Tired from the sleeplessness from the noise the night before, and which quite obviously was repeating itself with the loud voices of the newly arrived twenty something year old guests on the other side of our interior door, we went to the front desk to the employee who had assigned us this incorrect room. We asked him to follow our original request for a quiet room with no interior door, ( and the restaurant noise was nil since it was closed as so few guests were in the hotel) and to re assign to a different room these new guests who were still bringing in their belongings. He had zero interest in doing so by saying he "couldn't" and that he didn't "recall" our quiet requests. Still there was no management to talk to as we were told the GM was still in a different city.
Given that we were certainly not paying for another sleepless night in a hotel so absurdly unsafe that it didn't generate power into guest rooms, (which apparently went on for 8+ hours) and had disengaged employees who met none of the room request to which they had agreed on arrival, we packed, left and easily found accommodation with electricity generated in our room and total quiet for sleep. Fortunately Banff doesn't become dark until around 9:30 pm since it is so far west in its time zone and we were able to complete all this before darkness.
A follow up letter to the GM has brought defensiveness and arrogance in response - oh, what a surprise! Isn't that why the hotel is so mismanaged? And why employees don't have to do their jobs? In spite of him not having been physically on the premises for the 2 days we were, he replied that he "had a very good understanding of what transpired after talking with his colleagues who had interacted with us during our stay". Yes, I'm sure they emphasized to him how carefully they met the details of our 'quiet' requirement and their careful assigning of noisy guests to the room beside us in a nearly empty hotel. Often when there is a problem such as this, one can clearly see it is because there is no concern or respect from the top downwards.
In pursuing this Fawlty Towers of the West with the town of Banff administration who have been very helpful, it is most noteworthy that this hotel since it is built outside the jurisdiction of Banff, is free of the obligations it would have to fulfill if it were inside that boundary. That doesn't build a feeling of confidence for one's safety, does it?
So if you want to spend top dollar, have your original (room) requests repeatedly ignored, and be in a noisy, sleepless, unsafe environment without even a light bulb of generated light in your room during a power blackout - well then this would be your hotel of choice.
Imagine the disaster of a fire occurring here in a National Park full of trees when guest rooms didn't have light or sane hotel management or leadership? Isn't this what happened on the Costa Concordia? Absentee leadership and staff who were without proper instruction and training while the captain escaped to safety on the sidelines?
Why would this hotel lobby and bar be fully light all night long with hotel generated power, and not a tiny bit of power would have been engineered and designed to be in guest rooms? Were guests who came to the hotel to sleep supposed to stay up all night in the bar or lobby? Why pay for a room if to be safe you needed to be in a publicly light room?
The Rimrock's view and physical appearance hide what danger and incompetence lie within. How surprised and disappointed we were. Appearances are sometimes deceiving.
Consider asking at any hotel where you stay, " Do you have emergency generated light in each guest room?" "What commitment will you make to ensuring that we have quiet, restful nights without disturbance?"
Just don't ask at the Rimrock; they don't tell the truth.
Take your own personal steps in advance to stay safe wherever you travel.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
It is disappointing to hear that we were unable to meet your requests during our local state of emergency. We hope our readership can understand the circumstances around which this review was completed. We attempted to assist each guest during this trying time, and the response we have received for our assistance and dedication to providing a safe and supportive environment has been amazing. We thank each guest for the understanding, empathy, and compassion showed throughout this time, and look forward to providing a truly unique Rimrock Experience moving forward.
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Yours In Hospitality,
Manager of Guest Services
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.