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“Beware: Undisclosed Fees & Faulty Plumbing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux

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Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux
4.5 of 5 Inn   |   219 King Street, Saint Andrews, New Brunswick E5B 1Y1, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 12 Saint Andrews B&B and Inns
Santa Rosa, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Beware: Undisclosed Fees & Faulty Plumbing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

We stayed one night in #19. Our quarters were nice and clean, and the staff person who helped with our luggage was reasonably helpful. However,
1. For one thing, the shower didn't work. A printed note in the bathroom noted that the town was making repairs and that, if we encountered any problem, we could expect it to be gone within a few minutes. This was not the case. It didn't work at any time during the afternoon or the evening and it was not working the following morning. Since one of us is unable to take tub baths, that person was unable bathe during our stay there. We feel that room should not have been rented to anyone in its present condition and that, at the very least, the owner should have contacted us to describe the problem. The charge of $299 (without taxes) for the room suggests that this lodging could be expected to be in the category of something like the Hotel Germain-Dominion in Quebec city (where we had wonderful accommodations at $285 per night). Instead, we had to bathe campground style.
2. The person who helped us suggested that we might have "drinks" before dinner in the room that appeared to be a "library". No mention was made of a charge and so it appeared to be a complimentary sherry or glass of wine that would have been quite in keeping with what we might have expected from a Relais and Chateaux establishment. I was quite surprised, then, to see that the wine was billed as a "bar" charge of $12 per glass with an additional 18% service charge. Certainly I would have insisted on better wine for that price (I was given no choice about the wine).
3. The meal was good but the published description of possible menu items (especially with an emphasis on possibly having interesting game) led us to expect better.
4. We don't think that a first-class establishment needs to impose a fixed 18% service charge. We do expect to pay at least that when the service is reasonably good, but we expect (as most people do, I'm sure) to judge the level of service charge that is appropriate based on the service that we receive.

We would have complained about these issues to the manager/owner (Harry) but he was not available during our stay. Overall, we had a wonderful time in eastern Canada and our accommodations -- with the exception of the Kingsbrae Arms -- were excellent. Over the past several years, we have taken many trips and I believe that this is only the third time that our lodgings have been so far out of line from what we were led to expect that I felt compelled to write a complaint. I believe that "you get what you pay for" and also I feel strongly that you should receive what you pay for. That was not the case for our stay in the Kingsbrae Arms.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
HarryR-C, Owner at Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, October 7, 2010
The title of this review is way off the mark. There are most certainly no undisclosed fees at Kingsbrae Arms. Our restaurant service charge is clearly stated in every confirmation letter and on our website. Further I will add that this is the first time in 15 years that someone has complained about being charged for ordering a pre-dinner drink in our library bar. Notwithstanding I gave the reviewer the benefit of the doubt and refunded his two drinks in full. As for the faulty plumbing, yes, we were aware that the town chose this busy tourist season to perform major renovations on the water system, something we could not control during this reviewers one night stay. The problem has subsequently been corrected and water pressure has been restored. Last but not least, this reviewer might have had wild boar, caribou or some of the other game specialties we serve in our set menu dinners had he stayed more than one night. As it was, this guest was served an inventive trio of local crab preparations and Bay of Fundy line caught yellow fin tuna. I make every effort to meet all of our Kingsbrae Arms guests during their stays. One night stays are particularly challenging for me with guests arriving in the afternoon and leaving the next morning. All of us at Kingsbrae Arms work very hard to create memorable experiences for all of our guests, and we are sorry we were unable to do so for this guest. Despite his short stay, I wish this reviewer had brought all of these concerns to our attention prior to his departure and we would have done everything we could to meet his expectations.
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99 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Weston, West Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2010

Some Relais and Chateaux can be a little starchy and self-important. And some B&B's can get a little too intimate. Kingsbrae Arms is the perfect fit between the two - with attentive service, spacious and beautifully furnished rooms and great food. And it just happens to be set in a lovely town next to wonderful gardens.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2010

We spent four nights in July at the Kingsbrae Arms. The food was delicious, the staff friendly and the property unique. Unfortunately, the "pampering touches" described in guidebooks were virtually nonexistent. We were the only guests there for 2 out of 4 nights of our stay and wondered whether the innkeepers and owner simply didn't bother with these touches. There was no afternoon tea, not even lemonade or iced tea put out after we arrived. We located the pantry and it was bare. We were told to go to the corner drugstore to get a newspaper. Prior to arriving at the Kingsbrae Arms, we had visited an inn Maine where there was a pitcher of lemonade and cookie awaiting us on our arrival, afternoon tea, etc - small, inexpensive touches that have a big impact for weary travelers.

The breakfast menu was the same each morning (eggs, pancakes, etc) yet we were asked to order our meal the night before and tell them what time we wanted to eat the next morning between 8 -10 am. We found that beyond frustrating. We were on vacation! We didn't want to have to decide what time we wanted to wake up the night before, and I don't know why 12 hours notice is required for a pancake.

Our bed squeaked every time my husband or I rolled over, which made for one restless night for both of us when my husband couldn't sleep. Time for a new mattress.

As for the pool, we were told that no one ever uses it. It is a bid sad looking, although maintained. The impression one gets from photographs online, including the one on TripAdvisor, is that it is a bit more integral part of the seaside experience.

These may seem like minor issues (aside from the bed), but when I stay at a Relais & Chateaux I expect attention to the little things.

If we found ourselves in that part of the world again, we would go back for the amazing dinners, although we would not stay at the inn.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2010

I cannot begin to say enough praises of the Kingsbrae Arms. It is located in the charming town of St. Andrews next to a beautul 26 acre garden. I went with my husband on a special birthday vacation. It not only met, but exceeded our expectations. The property is beautifully restored with georgeus antiques, books, and housed with a staff that met our every need. They currently have one of the best chefs we have ever experienced at an exclusive property. Needless to say, we were blown away. I cannot wait to find a way back there. It is a fabulous Relaix Chateaux property.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2010

Very disappointing for the price. There was no mini-bar, ice bucket, coffee machine in the room, and the pool didn't look clean. It was also very difficult to find staff working in the hotel between breakfast and dinner time. We had been to much nicer Relais and Chateaux before.

Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarryR-C, Owner at Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, August 13, 2010
My staff and I are perplexed by this review. “Terrible” because the guest couldn’t find an ice bucket or ask for a coffee maker? Ouch. For the record, we don’t have mini-bars because we’re not keen on people being charged ten bucks for a candy bar. We’ll leave that to large corporate hotels. We have plenty of ice buckets located right next to the ice machine in our guest pantry. Coffee service and/or coffee machines are available any time of day on request. Our staff is scheduled seamlessly from dawn until late night, and our pool is professionally maintained daily. We’re sorry we disappointed this reviewer, but frankly we’ll have to continue to scratch our respective heads about the reasons.
Harry Chancey, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2010

After reading other reviews and speaking with Harry (one of the owners) on the phone, we were quite excited to travel up to St. Andrews and base our celebration of a 50th birthday celebration around our stay at this Relais and Chateaux . While every meal at this Inn was simply fantastic, the first room we were in had a tired bathroom with an insert shower with a plastic floor. The water pressure was uneven and the water kept going from hot to cold. Additionally, the room was unable to receive any wireless service. Although the view was fantastic, we did not want to spend 3 nights in this room. When we asked to be moved, we were placed in the newer building which felt much fresher and had a much nicer bathroom. When I am spending almost $600 per night, I like the bathroom to be at least on par with the bathroom in my home.

During our stay, the hotel forgot to acknowledge the 50th birthday celebration. When asked about it, they said that the change in room caused the mix up. When we received our bill at breakfast and inquired as to why there was not a reduction in rate for the room with almost no view, we were told that this new room was actually in the same category. Upon further inquiry, I was asked by Harry to come to his office to discuss my issue. There I was CONFRONTED by his co-owner, David who decided that rather than take responsibility for any issues in his inn, that he would rather be confrontational with his guest who just paid a bill in excess of $2,000.00 Since neither Harry nor David really intended on working out any of my issues and not even wanting to apologize for our feeling that our stay was not all it could be we ended our conversation. While Harry was as pleasant as could be during our stay and prior to our stay, the addition of David to the conversation truly soured our entire experience. He forgot what it means to be in the hospitality business and was extremely arrogant and basically hurtful.

We went from a large city to a quaint town to relax and not to be challenged and abused. While the food was great, I would not say that the inn was up to Relais and Chateaux standards. My warning to you is if you have an issue, beware of David, his desire is to not accommodate, but to attempt to belittle you.

In the spirit of full disclosure, as we were about to pull out of the driveway, one of the office people and then Harry did come out to apologize. However, it was really to little to late.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

We knew very little about St. Andrews when we decided to go to New Brunswick instead of Nova Scotia. (We had planned on Nova Scotia, but the ride from Manchester NH was just too much driving.) We found The Kingsbrae Arms in Fodor's, checked out the website and decided to stay there. It is absolutely gorgeous. Go to the website! The rooms and grounds are even more beautiful than the pictures. Service was excellent. The room (we stayed in the Pinnacle room-a nice way of saying the former attic)-is a junior suite with a deck.. Although the sloping attic ceilings took some getting used to (and a few bumped heads), the rooms were comfortable and lovely. It is pricey-we went on a "special" and it was still expensive. You have to add on the $100/day/person MAP-bfast and dinner. They accommodated our particular dietary restrictions with a smile. I believe that you can forgo a dinner to try one of the town restaurants-find out when you make your reservation. The Inn is next to the magnificent Kingsbrae Gardens, a real gem. St. Andrews is charming: un-hurried, full of small shops and great outdoor activities. And magnificent scenery. Enjoy!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux

Address: 219 King Street, Saint Andrews, New Brunswick E5B 1Y1, Canada
Location: Canada > New Brunswick > Saint Andrews
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Saint Andrews
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the Atlantic coast in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Kingsbrae Arms is an eco-friendly Relais & Chateaux hotel and restaurant dedicated to serving locally sourced organic and whole foods without trendy pretense. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kingsbrae Arms Relais And Chateaux
Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux Hotel Saint Andrews
Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada

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