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“The Perfect Storm of Awesomeness!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Charles Inn

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The Charles Inn
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   209 Queen Street | Box 642, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada   |  
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Summer Savings in Niagara
St. Thomas, ON
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The Perfect Storm of Awesomeness!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2008

My wife and I had the great pleasure of staying at the Charles Inn this past weekend to celebrate our first wedding anniversry.

We stayed in the "Verandah Room". I have not seen any of the other rooms (outside of the pictures provided on the website), but it was amazing. Even the pictures on the website cannot do it justice. ~10 foot celings, double doors that open onto a private screened verandah, luxurious linens, and a quaint sitting area make this a perfect weekend getaway.

To say that the food at the Charles Inn's dining room is "extrordinary" is certainly an understatement. It is a true culinary experience. The chef was providing an "amuse bouche" while you waited for your first course - an unsolicited (and free) morsel of food. A beautifully creamy chilled asparagus soup dressed with some creme fraiche. A great conversation piece while waiting for the food! It goes without saying that the food was absolutely top-notch.

The service at the Charles Inn is what ties all of its excellent pieces together and makes a truly memorable experience. Every interaction that we had with a staff member was absolutely positive and left us with a great feeling. Our server at dinner was amazing and really transformed it from a "meal" to an "experience". The front desk staff are fantastic - never to be seen without a smile on their faces, and more than willing to help you with any request you might have. They arranged everything for us on our weekend - a carriage ride around Niagara-on-the-Lake (it was our first time in NOTL, what a beautiful town!), and spa treatments at a local spa with which they are affiliated (the spa was fantastic as well!)

The Charles Inn seems to know that it's the little things that make a great experience. Something as simple as putting a card in the room before check-in congratulating us on our first anniversary really made for a great stay.

This review may sound overly "gushy", but we only checked out yesterday and we're already trying to think of an excuse to go back.

  • Liked — Customer Service
  • Disliked — Wish we could stay longer!
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 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.
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214 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2008

My wife and I stayed at The Charles Inn for our 21st Anniversary. We were put up in the "Safari Room", which should have been the first tip off that things would be unusual. Firstly, the room should be renamed Mt. Kilimanjaro for the number of stairs and slope to get up to the room! Secondly, the attempt to turn the attic into an African-themed loft getaway, fails miserably. At $370/night, one expects something more than a rattan furnished "frat-pad" with low ceiling clearance and lousy plumbing. While the bed was comfortable, the room itself is somewhat drab. The washroom was a bad design concept of Ikea meets Conrad's Heart of Darkness. A nice soaker tub is spoiled by inconsistent plumbing. The shower (if you can call it that) is a converted closet, with a sloped ceiling and snake-like shower head which sprays water alternating between ice cold and scalding. The sloped ceilings both resulted in my wife and I banging our heads in the middle of the night. Needless to say, the room was a disappointment and not worth the money we paid.

However, the service at the Charles Inn is exemplary. The staff are friendly and helpful. The meals were delicious. (My wife and I received complimentary glasses of sparkling wine during our anniversary dinner.)The continental breakfast had smoked salmon and freshly baked croissants. The Inn itself has charm, with a wrap around veranda and balcony, and a nicely manicured garden.

In all, over-priced accommodation.

  • Liked — Great restaurant, friendly service.
  • Disliked — Over-priced, lodging not up to par.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading UK
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2008

We booked a one night stay with dinner (wish it had been two...or more!) wonderful peaceful stay - friendly welcoming staff and dinner was close to the quality of our local Michelin starred restaurant.

Our own verandah added a special touch. Free wi-fi also useful
Close (but not too close) the centre - a few minutes walk - if that.

Will return and stay longer as soon as we can!

  • Liked — Food and excellent local wine selection
  • Disliked — On busy road (at times) - but this did not have a negative effect
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2008

We stayed for two nights at the Charles Inn and couldn't be more pleased with the experience. I contacted the hotel in advance to ask for one of the special packages along with a few add-ons. Gail, the manager, corresponded directly with me and with very little detail provided exactly the experience we were seeking. A wine tour the first day in set the tone, taking us to some truly remarkable little local wineries where we received personalized attention from the sommelier. A dinner at the Charles Inn restaurant was luxurious and our waiter, Shawn, perfectly attentive and attuned to our needs and preferences. The continental breakfast was better than average and the hot breakfast for a moderate extra charge was truly superlative. We also took advantage of the Divine Wine spa treatment at the Shaw Spa and were practically floating at the end of that experience. Our final add-on was a request for tickets to one of the shows at the Shaw Festival. Despite this being a fairly last-minute request, the Charles Inn managed to secure tickets for us that were so close to the stage we were practically part of the cast! Everything was within walking distance so once we arrived and parked our car we never had to use it again until it was unfortunately time to depart. We stayed in the Poppy Room which was large, comfortable and had not only a working wood fireplace but also its own individual temperature control for the room and a private terrace outside where we dined al fresco one evening. The bathroom was large, luxurious, had a rainshower shower head and heated floor. The bed was to die for and provided the best night's sleep I can recall in a very long time. I would like to thank Gail and the entire staff of the Charles Inn for an extraordinarily pleasant vacation experience. I have a strong suspicion we will be back!

  • Liked — The attentiveness and knowledge of the staff.
  • Disliked — I can't think of a thing I didn't enjoy.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2008

We stayed at the Charles Inn for a few days this past week to celebrate our first anniversary. We booked a two night "Candlelight and Romance" package and stayed in the Safari Loft. We were thoroughly impressed. Not only was there a little welcome note with fresh baked cookies from the chef in our room but there was also a personal "Happy 1st Anniversary" note with chocolates on our bed when we arrived. It was such a nice touch! Our package included dinner in the dining room and the food was unbelievable! The wait staff was great too. Our package included continental breakfast both mornings which we found to be enough for us and we had no need to order anything extra. The staff looked after booking a couples massage for us at their sister property's spa "The Shaw Spa" and we really enjoyed this as well. My favorite features of our room would have to be the bathtub and the extremely comfortable bed! Our room, being in the attic of the home, was also very quiet and private. All in all we really loved our stay at the Charles Inn. Another thing that I have to mention is that the staff, namely Gail, went above and beyond after our stay. Once I unpacked at home the day after we checked out I realized that I had left behind a nightgown that had been a wedding gift. I phoned the Inn and they could not find it in the room but told me they would call their linen service and track it down for me in case it was mixed in with the linens. Gail phoned me back right away with good news and has arranged for the item to be mailed to me. Great Inn - Great Staff!

  • Liked — Food, Room, Service/Staff, Little Extras
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
md
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2008

very nice experience
the innkeeper, gail was very nice, as were the entire staff

our room the applewood was very small and very nice, great bathroom

only complaints, they seem to recommend only their own properties to you
what I mean is, if you ask about dining they recommend zees or their own place, its obvious they want you to dine with either them or a sister property

they also charge for everything, we rented bikes from a sister property and they charged retail rates along with a $6.00 service fee
the a.c. did not work perfectly

would I go back to the charles, yes the place has a nice feel to it, run by good people
the beds were great, bath products first class and we had two breakfasts with no complaints

the morning we left, they could not be more than helpful, they let us leave out bags in the room, leave our car in the lot and the young lady called the border to find out the shortest line back to the u.s.
by the way niagra on the lake in wonderful

all in all a very good experience

  • Liked — the beds, very comfortable
  • Disliked — the a.c. system went off in the middle of the night
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2008

I am sorry that I ever booked this for our anniversary. We did not enjoy our stay for so many reasons I waited this long to post this. My husband even asked me not to review it but I say people need to know.

The room was filled with original antiques and relatively charming but it lost its appeal early for us.

The bed hit the ceiling lamp every time we moved in the bed. The heat was horrible and the room had no controls for temperature. The door to the verandah was fastened by only a hook & eye (the real lock didn't work) and the verandah was fastened by a hook & eye giving us no security. The whirlpool tub had a large glass shower wall (not in pictures on website) and nothing to hold on to while getting in or out (very difficult and treacherous).

We were next to the kitchen that had endless noises from early morning to late at night. The AC for the entire building was next door to our verandah and was continuously making sounds. As for the "private verandah" we expected, well, it is private in so much as it is a screened in porch... next to the back door every one uses, connected to the rest of the porch where people eat their breakfast while staring at us.

We had heard much about the gourmet meals served there but the breakfast was just ok. The waiter was overly friendly and included details about the kitchen staff we would have been better off not knowing.

I will grant them a lovely garden area out back. The bartender was very nice and made an excellent drink for us.

Over all, we say it isn't worth the food, the room or the price.

  • Liked — Lovely old home with well cared for garden
  • Disliked — not comfortable, not safe, not worth it.
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Charles Inn

Address: 209 Queen Street | Box 642, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Niagara-on-the-Lake
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#7 Romantic Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Charles Inn 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment that you walk through the door, you will know that this 1832 Inn is truly a special place. This luxurious Manor House offers 4-diamond accommodation and dining. Many of the rooms have wood burning or gas fireplaces; glass enclosed rain-head showers or jet-air tubs and private verandahs to enjoy the view of the golf course, main street or Lake Ontario. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Charles Hotel Niagara-On-The-Lake

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