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.
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