Imagine my excitement when I scored a 79.00 per night rate through Hotwire at this hotel for a three night stay on business. I am still here now. After discovering where I would be staying (as many of you travellers may know....you only find out where you are going to stay AFTER the purchase), I eagerly searched for the hotel online and was pretty impressed that my three day trip in what was classified as a **** star hotel was going to cost under 300. The online photos showed a lovely contemporary place with large beds and what appeared to be impressive linens. I expected the same upon check-in.
Well....here is the catch. When the receptionist checked me into a room with two double beds (really?? who sleeps in doubles anymore? It's a glorified twin - lets be honest), I asked for a larger bed at which time I was told that it would cost an additional $45.00 per night. I don't think so. Then, upon further questioning, I was told that there weren't that many extra rooms anyway because of a conference/event that was in town. I took my keys and went up to the room on the 9th floor (which I was told had a "spectacular" view of the common). Upon opening the door (cue music of a sad clown face), the room was no better (and perhaps not even as nice) as a Best Western Plus or newly renovated Days Inn for the same price. Tacky pine furniture, typical lamps, cheesy wallpaper, old carpets and an open closet. Overhead lights didn't even work. The only thing not "common" were the Aveda bath products which I will take home (thank you very much) and put in my guest room. In addition, our room happened to be connected to the room next door by a door (that could be locked or unlocked if you needed it for large families etc....). Was it sound proof?? No......
So, night number one was spent listening to screaming children (no embellishing here....this went on from 12:30 am to 5:14 am), the occasional parental plea, some farts, toilet flushing, door slamming and arguing. Bliss.....
In a sleep-deprived fury I called downstairs and made my case: put me in a decent room tomorrow or don't rent out the room beside me. Plain and simple.
I have learned the hard way (and this is good to know) that Hotwire rooms are quite often sub-standard. They get you in, put you where they can't put anyone else without massive complaints (near the elevators, in connecting rooms with strangers, double beds etc......) and then tell you to pay 45 dollars more a night to get a queen. THIS is not good practice. If you come to this hotel, INSIST on a room with a queen in a decent room, call them out on their Hotwire tactics and nag the hell out of them if they say "no" and put you in double where you can't possibly sleep with your partner/spouse unless you are a Lilliputian and where you are kept awake all night. As you have already paid for the room....you are entitled to get what you were presented.....a FOUR STAR stay.
Here is the irony, the SEASONS restaurant downstairs (part of the hotel) is one of the best restaurants I have EVER eaten in. Had our meal been in NYC or Toronto, it would have easily exceeded 500 dollars. Reminiscent of Alinea in Chicago and Eleven Madison Park in NYC (I kid you not), the meals were without exaggeration......the best ever. With an "east meets west" flair and a farm-to-table philosophy celebrating Nova Scotian bounty, every bite was a taste celebration. Try the Chicken Sous-Vide, the duck starter, the marinated romaine and the gluten-free chocolate dessert. Their award-winning St.Paulin burger was also incredible. The ambiance is also formidable and juxtaposed with the lobby of this hotel which, at best, can only be described as "Leons meets Holiday Inn". The restaurant is the only thing that makes this hotel 4 star. Frankly, I would give Seasons a 5 star rating and a Michelen Star if I could. Simply divine.
In closing, I have two more nights here in "luxury land" and we'll see how it goes. Be prepared for 17 dollar a night parking and don't expect anything fancy here. If you can get a good rate through an off-site service then go for it.....but don't let that allow them to throw you into a crap room. You pre-paid, you are a customer and you are entitled to sleep comfortably.
- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Halifax
- Halifax Holiday Inn
- Atlantica Hotel Halifax Nova Scotia
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Atlantica Hotel Halifax offers our guests the perfect location close to everything you want to see in Halifax. In addition to warm East Coast hospitality, travellers enjoy premium amenities such as Starbucks coffee & Aveda bath products in all our spacious, comfortable guestrooms, dining in Seasons by Atlantica and use of our outstanding Leisure Club which features an indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna and fitness facilities. Free Wi-Fi access will keep you connected during your stay. ... more less
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