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“In desperate need of renovation and better service” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont Chateau Laurier

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Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8S7, Canada (Byward Market Area)   |  
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15% off room rate
Ranked #12 of 68 Hotels in Ottawa
GreenLeadersSilver level
Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“In desperate need of renovation and better service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

I stayed at the hotel several times while on business trips but this review concerns my last stay in February 2012.
While my previous experience was good, this stay is probably one of the worst on my list. The hotel is still the remarkable and convenient building from outside but a deteriorated one in terms of service, cleanliness and facilities from inside.
My room was the upgraded to a “nice view” one. It was fairly large and nice from first sight. Then the reality struck - a bathroom probably dating back to the first renovation (whenever this was), stained filthy carpet, toiletry items from different brands, cracks on the walls, an ancient hairdryer (not functioning) and a museum ready “dream machine” – radio clock. I have to admit that the worst was the bathroom – baring all the signs of age and the associated dirt. If you are into a modern clean (even worse – zen) type of bathroom experience – don’t even put your foot inside.
Service – zero. When I was checking out the printers didn’t work, so no invoice was delivered during the night and then they made me wait for one in the lobby without even apologizing (just saying “You need to wait 15 mins”) for 40 minutes! I wasn’t even offered the option of receiving the invoice by e-mail. I guess it was my fault that I didn’t think about this.
While waiting I asked if I could get a coffee in the lobby – answer – NO. What hotel doesn’t offer a possibility of getting a coffee without going to the restaurant?! I was told to go to the restaurant. Well, I did – there was a line up with people waiting to be seated for breakfast and I was still waiting for my invoice… Well, I gave up, went back to the reception and complained about the situation. Afterwards, the receptionist brought a cup of coffee for me. I don’t even know what to say – should getting a coffee be extraordinary in a 5 star hotel?
To sum up – Fairmont Ottawa is way far beyond its good days, stay away if you can.

Room Tip: Never accept a smoking room
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Edmonton, AB
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

I travelled to Ottawa for work and generally like to stay in Fairmont hotels. As other Fairmonts, the lobby and common areas are well-maintained and beautiful. My room, however, was old and dingy and greatly in need of updating. Not sure I would return unless they renovate. It was also very noisy in the hotel, which I think is also a problem that Fairmont hotels have prior to being renovated.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

I stayed at the Chateau Laurier hotel during a business trip, with two colleagues. I was there for two nights, the room had been booked by the corporate travel agent. We arrived around 7pm and the first thing we know is that two of us have a smoking room, while we're non-smoker. The employee at the reception told us that there had been a request made for a non-smoking room in the reservation, but that the agent had actually booked two smoking rooms. They told us it was impossible to change rooms due to the hotel that was completely full. The only other option that was offered to us was a room with no bed, only a sofa bed. So I chose to keep the smoking room.

The room I stayed in the first night (#187) had a very strong cigarette and air freshener smell. There were two cigarette butts floating in the toilette when I arrived, a towel was on the floor, forgotten by the cleaning personnel obviously. Another detail I found weird was the fact that toiletry products were not all from the same collection, they were mismatched. Also, since the hotel is old and the room had a communicating door, it was very poorly isolated. Unfortunately, I had a neighbour who chatted over the phone for two hours at night; she was not screaming but talking quite normally and I could hear every word she said, just as she had been in the room with me.

The day after I went to the reception to get a new room. The employee at the reception - Nina - did her best to help me out. However, I was told that no non-smoking room would be available during the day. I contacted my travel agent and she told me that a mistake had indeed been made with the reservation and that a smoking room had been booked. However, the hotel personnel obviously saw that even if it was not their fault, it was not mine either and I was the dissatisfied client... They did not offer any compensation whatsoever.

I got a new room on the same floor (#188) and although this one was more quiet (not sound proof, just because of quieter neighbours), the condition of the room was probably worse than the other one. The smell was the same, and on top of that, the room was very dusty. We could clearly see a thin coat of dust on the bedside table, the desk and the glass shelf in the bathroom, and dust floated in the air. The carpet was stained and hasn't been vacuumed properly.

It was my third or fourth experience in a Fairmont hotel and I will not go back again. Not only are these properties old and poorly sound proofed, I was very disappointed with how things were managed this time, I found unacceptable to get a smelly and dirty room, it was clearly not a pleasant experience for me.

Room Tip: Make sure you reserve the type of room you need right from the start.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

I stayed here for 1 night in December. I was in town on business and decided to stay overnight rather than travel back to Montreal so late in the evening. I have stayed at many Fairmont Hotels and am always pleased with the service and accommodations. This was my 3rd or 4th time staying at the Laurier and I have never had any complaints about the rooms, but on this occasion I was disappointed. I am not sure if it was due to my late arrival (after midnight) or because I requested a smoking room but the room was not up to my expected standards. The room was clean however it appeared fairly "used" and a little "shabby". I will return as all in all I really love staying in "Canada's Castles", and like I say it seems to have been a one-off (I hope).

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

I was in Ottawa for work and decided to see the "best" and book a stay at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with the customer service. Very rude front desk personnel and unwilling to help. Travelling from out of town, I had needed to check in an hour early so that I had sufficient time to shower and change into my suit for an interview. Repeatedly told I wasn't able to and offered no alternative.

I recommend if you are coming to town to stay somewhere more accommodating. It's a lovely hotel but annoying problems like this really spoil the experience.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Gatineau, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

I would highly recommend this hotel for its amazing location, its history and its beauty.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

This hotel is over 100 years old and is rich in history. The lobby is very impressive as are the staff who I found to be very friendly and helpful. The turndown service and complimentary bottled water are well appreciated.

I only ate breakfast in the hotel as there are many excellent restuarants within easy walking distance. But the breakfast was excellent with a choice of buffet or a la carte, and was not overly expensive for the class of hotel.

As is normal for a Fairmont hotel the rooms are luxurious and the beds are fantastic. However the one draw back is that being an old hotel, the bathroom is very small (did the Victorians not wash??). My room is also in need of some basic maintenance, paint was peeling, electric outlet cover needed repair, a couple of bathroom tiles were chipped, headboard rattled every time you moved in bed and the switches on all of the lamps were challenging. They lose a mark for this but this is still an excellent hotel.

This is fantastic location if you have business in Ottawa as most government buildings are within easy walking distance. There are always taxi's right outside and the fare to/from the airport is about $40.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauLaurier, General Manager at Fairmont Chateau Laurier, responded to this review, January 27, 2012
We truly appreciate you taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

I was pleased to ready your feedback regarding our food and beverage and our location.

I was concerned, however, with your notes regarding your bedroom experience. In an effort for us to look into this matter and remedy your noted observations immediately, I would very much appreciate it if you could contact me directly at 613-241-1414.

Our goal is to always provide the most comfortable environment for our guests and as such any help you can provide me in detecting your room number would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, please accept our apology and rest assured that these comments will be acted upon without delay.

Once again, thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Claude J. Sauvé
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Address: 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8S7, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Ottawa > Byward Market Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ottawa
#2 Green Hotel in Ottawa
#6 Romantic Hotel in Ottawa
#8 Family Hotel in Ottawa
#10 Business Hotel in Ottawa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Chateau Laurier 4*
Number of rooms: 429
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reflecting the confidence, dignity and style of Ottawa, Fairmont Chateau Laurier stands as a testament to this dynamic, thriving city. Located in the heart of Canada's capital next door to the Parliament Buildings, the landmark Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa is a magnificent limestone edifice with turrets and masonry reminiscent of a French chateau. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel Ottawa
Fairmont Hotel Ottawa
Fairmont Hotel Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Ottawa
Ottawa Fairmont

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