My 11 year old son and I spent a little over a week at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in mid-June of this year (2013). This is the second time we have stayed here and I will never stay anywhere else in Ottawa. It is in the absolute best location in all of downtown. Our room was in a Fairmont Gold Suite King which was on the 6th floor. Because we arrived late in the evening, the Gold desk was closed so we checked in at the front desk. Amazingly wonderful service from the young man who assisted us (wish I could remember his name).
Unfortunately, there is only one suite on the Gold Floor (4th Floor) so you do have to ride the elevator up and down each time you want to access the Gold Floor amenities. However, there are many elevators and they are very fast so you rarely have to wait more than a few seconds for one to arrive. There were only two small windows in our whole suite and the view wasn't the best available (which would be of the Parliament and St. Lawrence River). When I inquired about getting a room with a better view and bigger windows for more light, it was explained to me that the Gold Suites aren't located on the side of the building that has the best views or bigger windows. It is in a very old building so the higher you get, the smaller the windows. Ugh. Seems odd that the lower priced rooms (and probably absolutely highest priced rooms?) have the best views. Our suite was lovely. Two big closets (one with a safe), big sitting area with a couch, coffee table, and chairs. A desk and chair on the far side of the room. The bed was in a room separated from the living area with two French doors. Huge TVs in the bed area and the living area. Had problems with the TVs though and had to call maintenance twice for separate issues. Loved that the water bottles were free. The bathroom was very small for the size of the room. Definitely too cramped for two people to get ready at the same time. The housekeeping service was spectacular. Every time I passed a house keeper in the hallway, they made eye contact and said hello. The woman who cleaned our room daily was super nice and always left a thank you note for the tips I left behind for her.
The continental breakfast is absolutely wonderful and more than expected for "continental". The evening canapés were also great. They have no problem providing you with a tray to bring food back to your room. They were also willing to retrieve food items that weren't out on display. The Gold desk staff was very nice except for one young lady who rarely smiled and acted like we were more of a nuisance guests. I would be happy to provide her name to the hotel but don't feel comfortable posting it. Overall, I think that paying extra for the Gold service is worth every penny.
I think the price for parking is ridiculous although I think it is standard for downtown. Oh, and it's taxed so don't think the price stated is the total price. Also, the ceiling for the garage is very low so larger SUVs will not make clearance. We got stuck with a big SUV at rental time so we were forced to park outside. Doesn't exactly seem fair to pay such a high price especially when it is raining. The desk at the entry way into the hotel from the garage is never staffed and the carpet is filthy. There was a constant smell of carpet cleaner (even though the carpet never looked clean). Although I guess the hotel would consider it a high traffic area we rarely encountered other guests in that area so I don't understand why they couldn't replace the carpet instead of what "smelled" to be futile attempts to clean it. I would still rate cleanliness a 5 though despite this issue.
The lobby is nice and there are many photos around the hallways that give you a history of the hotel. We didn't spend much time in the lobby area though and didn't eat at the restaurants. There were several conventions and a wedding happening while we were there but nothing that ever effected us in a negative way. This time around we did not use the pool or the gym.
I debated whether to give the hotel a 4 because of the cons or a 5 because of the pros. I wish I could give a 4.5 but it is not an option. I decided to give a 5 and include a comment in the title so that the details I included will be considered by the reader. I know that some hotels get higher ratings on Tripadvisor but I will always stay at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
- Also Known As:
- Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel
- Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel Ottawa
- Fairmont Hotel Ottawa
- Fairmont Hotel Chateau Laurier
- Fairmont Ottawa
- Ottawa Fairmont
- 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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