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“Disappointed! Drive on.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Glenora Inn & Distillery

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Glenora Inn & Distillery
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Route 19 / Ceilidh Trail, Nova Scotia B0E 1X0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Toronto
Top Contributor
442 reviews 442 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
242 helpful votes 242 helpful votes
“Disappointed! Drive on.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

Thought we'd scored when we got a room here on our most recent trip to the East Coast.

Nope.

Average.

If that.

And this place isn't cheap.

Arrived after 7pm. Couldn't figure out where to go. No cars in the parking lot, place looked deserted. Thought we'd drive around the back but encountered "Staff Parking" sign so turned around. Finally just walked in, found the door unlocked, found the pub ... long story short, turns out that if you arrive after 7 the gift shop is closed (where you usually check in, apparently) you go to the pub and check in there. Now, saw the next morning that there's a sign that actually doesn't tell you that but might help you figure it out ... but it's half covered with a bush anyway.

Ends up that you DO drive past the "Staff Parking" sign ... and park around back.

Inn-style so we got to lug all our stuff up a flight of stairs. Should have asked for ground floor I guess.

Room was big, clean, but average. Nothing special at all. Lighting was poor. Comfie enough bed. But my personal favourite was the card in the bathroom with the 'rules' from the Housekeeping Staff.

Yes the Housekeeping Staff.

The usual 'no clean sheets', but fresh towels, etc.

Then "Please leave your personal belongings organized."

Really!

Management allows this?

"Kitchen closes at 9" we were told. Really.

So, in a rush for dinner.

Pub or Dining Room. Well, they have menus in the rooms. Checked them out, nothing in the Dining Room was appealing at all. Couple of things on the pub menu might do. So went to the pub.

Let me say here that they promote award-quality food.

Read on.

First time in all my years of travelling that I've gone to a pub - a PUB! - and been seated, handed a menu.

And the server walked away.

No "Can I start you with a couple of drinks?"

It's a PUB!

Had to call her back with "Do you have a wine list?"

She dropped that off and left again.

To be clear, the place was NOT busy. There was one other table.

A while later came back to take our food order.

Food order.

We had to say "We'll start with a couple of drinks ... "

She pointed to the two chalkboard specials. One was a carbonara pasta. She said "We're out of the pasta."

Should have clued us in. How can any kitchen be "out" of a pasta. Especially something as basic as a carbonara.

And the menu was different from the one in the room. The item she was looking forward to, the one that made the decision between pub and dining room, wasn't there.

Now, I get that in a 100 room hotel it can be a challenge to keep the menus in room current. Which is, of course, why hotels don't put them in the room unless there's room service. And I get that they have a disclaimer in the Glenora room menus saying they can change.

I get that.

So, don't put the menus in the rooms. OR, it's only a 9 room property ... get housekeeping to keep them current day-to-day.

Oh, can't do that ... housekeeping is busy making and enforcing their 'rules'.

We may have chosen the Dining Room given that the Dining Room menu in the room was most likely out of date as well.

The deconstructed caesar was ridiculous. Most of a head of romaine that appeared to have been dropped on the grill and flipped quickly. Some very good croutons. Dressing on the side. Slice of pancetta. Difficult to eat.

And how do you clean a head of romaine without separating the individual leaves?

Hmmm.

The ribs were tasteless except for the sauce.

Garlic mashed ... where's the garlic?

So ... go back to the "out of the pasta" comment. Suspicion arises that meals are pre-prepared and 'held' ... sure tasted like that was the case!

Where's management?

Before we leave our bad pub experience, they advertise entertainment. Now, to be fair, we had loved our night before in the Red Shoe Pub just down the road in Mabou. Fabulous celtic music -fiddler and guitar. Very, very good pub food.

Our entertainment at Glenora was a Rankin. She sang without accompaniment which is very difficult, and before I go further, she is a wonderful, wonderful singer. But almost all the songs were, by her admission, sad. We applauded politely ... then on the way back up to our room I commented "It's a pub. I came for a party not a WAKE!".

Not her fault.

Where's management?

So that, in the end, is the point.

This place makes terrific malt whisky. Only single malt in North America but they can't call it 'scotch' because they're not in Scotland.

Problem is they can't manage food and accommodations.

If you're in the area take a pass on this place. Take the distillery tour, enjoy the tasting, but stay at the Mabou River Inn down the road - quirky but really, really nice.

And take the few minutes walk from that inn to the Red Shoe Pub and enjoy some great, lively Celtic entertainment.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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144 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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16
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

As many have said, our room was just average--a bit disappointing, but clean and passable. There are also lots of places with beautiful locations in Cape Breton, but this is one of the nicer ones. The real reason to come is the distillery itself. If that doesn't interest you, choose elsewhere for the price.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We stayed here for a few nights after hearing good things. We found it to be very average - a standard hotel room with nothing fancy. It looked totally stuck in the 80s and was very overpriced for the quality. That being said, the setting was nice and the grounds were very pretty.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bheide
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

This little hotel runs together wth the only wiskey distillers on Nova Scotia. The restaurant is simply excellent with really good food, good wines, and of course wiskey! Up the hil there are some flats which can also be rented, and you have a stunning view from there! Open the door, and you can have a view outside from the bathtub!

Room Tip: try to get one of the condos up the hill
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

The inn is lovely, the rooms in the lodge are just standard hotel rooms, but they are very clean and quiet. The distillery tasting tour is informative and interesting but the highlight of the visit was the food. The food was fantastic and the servings very generous! One of the best restaurant meals I have ever had. The only criticism I have is that after finishing the perfect meal, I asked for a cup of chamomile tea and was served a "no name" brand which was terrible - this was a disappointment after such a tremendous meal. Since herbal teas are quite popular these days, I would suggest they spend $10 and buy some quality herbal teas.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Titusville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Stayed for one night in a one bedroom cottage on top of the big hill. Space is a little tight, especiallly for tall people and I absolutely one hundred percent hate the huge outdated whirlppol tub in the living room but maybe some people are still into it!! Apart from that I love the Inn!!

The view is very pretty, but a steep drive to get up to the cottages and you would not want to walk to the Inn for dinner as the trek back is very steep and not intended for dinner shoes! If going back as one couple I would stay at the Inn, which has lovely rooms.

The restaurant...ahhh delightful!! Great service and our food was fantastic!! Started with scallops and then a perfectly cooked steak!! Great wine selections and a lovely lounge area with live music for after dinner drinks! A good reason not to want to trek back up the hill to the cottage!!

We are going back next week with another couple and will be staying in the 3 bedroom cottage at the top of the hill and will make the drive down for dinner!! We enjoyed the Inn so much we want to take our friends back there to show them some real Nova Scotia hospitality (and our friend is a scotch drinker so a great choice). This time we will do the distillery tour and will let you know what we think. Looking forward to another great stay!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Malvern, Pennsylvania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We chose Glenora for our first night in Cape Breton. My husband is a whisky drinker so I knew he would appreciate the tasting tour and we loved the idea of music in the pub in the evening. The room was spacious, comfortable and clean and the location was really lovely. We'd definitely stay again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Glenora Inn & Distillery

Address: Route 19 / Ceilidh Trail, Nova Scotia B0E 1X0, Canada
Location: Canada > Nova Scotia > Cape Breton Island
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 120 B&Bs / Inns in Cape Breton Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Glenora Inn & Distillery Hotel Cape Breton Island
Glenora Inn And Distillery
Glenora Inn & Distillery Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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