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“Excellent View” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Prince of Wales Hotel

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Prince of Wales Hotel
Off Hwy. 5, Glacier Park Inc., Box 33, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta T0K 2M0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Fort Myers, Florida
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Excellent View”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

Stayed here back in Sept 2008 and it was a gorgeous building with a spectacular view, but don't expect any frills. This is definitely a place that's neat to stay for one night, but that's all - our room was over $400 a night for 2 beds and a water view. The walls between rooms might have been made of thin cardboard because I could clearly hear the conversations taking place by the couple in the adjoining room.

This was the 3rd hotel my family stayed in during our trip to Glacier Nat'l Park and considering the cost (all $300+) we couldn't wait to leave the park and move on to the portion of our trip where we stayed in newer hotels with all the comforts of home at 1/3 the price.

We were only in Waterton Park one night but had a great time walking around the tiny tourist town and shops. Also did the boat tour when were there and I highly recommend that as well.

Like someone else mentioned in their review of this hotel, if you have realistic expectations you will enjoy your stay. It's a beautiful old hotel and if you can appreciate it for it's history and location, then give it a try. If you're not willing to rough it for a night and over-pay for the privilege, this is probably not the place for you.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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473 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (154)
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English first
Reston, Manitoba
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2010

Well, first of all, you will enjoy this hotel greatly, as long as you know what to expect!!! I have to stress that; otherwise you will be very dissapointed.

What you need to know, this is one of the original spledid railyway hotels, not the Canadaian Railway, but the U.S.'S Great Northern Railway, so take note that these are not as luxurios as the hotels the CN built in Banff/Lake Louise, they are more...well I hate to use the word, but "rustic", the prince of wales is a lot more elegant than that of it's sister properties in Glacier, but non the less, still "rustic".

I do not agree with Glacier Park Inc. management style what so ever, they treat their hotels like cash cows, rake in the dough but never put anything back into them, this year they finally replaced some of the carpet at the Prince of Wales, but that is as far as there renovations seem to go....even though the lobby and rooms really really really need new carpet!!!

So this is what you can expect: the rooms furnishing's are probably original, the property looks exactly as it did in 1927 when it opened.....but that is not always a bad thing, it was kind of nice to "step back" in time.....even tho they really need to update the rooms, and the whole building, there is no reason why they can't update and rennovate this property and keep it's historical significance in tact! (other than excuses). There is finally some new windows too I guess.

For those other reviews that complain there is no T.V.'s in the room... I say to you, why are you even visiting this place, there is some of God's greatest scenery outside of this hotel, a T.V. is pointless at a place like this! Even in the rain, it is nice just to sit in the lobby and look out the window as you play cards with family and friends. That is what these old hotels werea ll about, and it's nice that they are still this way!!! That is what the big lobby's are all about!

Now....the bed's may be old, but they have pillow toppers and are very comfy, the rooms are small...but this hotel is ALMOST a century old, it's amazing that this hotel even had bathrooms in every room for it's age, so don't complain about the size of the rooms, it was the norm in those days, if you want to stay in this place, ACCEPT IT! In those days Insulation was looked past, especially when you plan to close for the winters, the problem with that is you can hear everything throughout the hotel. Every whisper next door, you can hear!! All the rooms are ajoining, and it makes it worse as the wood has aged so the doors have cracks and gaps to the next room.......this does bother me because Glacier Park Inc. should spend the money on sealing off the ajoining doors to most of the rooms and soundproofing them, for what they charge per night, this would be only fair to their paying guest! Also, they leave a note saying this building is old please accept the fact that there will be leaky faucets....and then later they tell you to conserve energy and water....UMM...... leaky faucets CAN BE FIXED!!!

The thing I love most about this hotel is the view! Second, the wind....I slept like a baby with the wind howling at the window everynight, and there is no air conditioning, so opening the window every night lets in the breeze off the lake.....VERY RE-FRESHING! And the rooms cool off nicely without air conditioning just in case your worried. Some people complain about the wind, but I love how it is funneled down the lake at your window, the breeze and fresh mountain air is part of the "relaxing" experiance.

So I know I have rambled on, but I just want to cover everything....I highly reccomend this hotel, it's an important part of Canada's and the US'S history....the architexture is amazing, the hotel is beautiful......you can't go wrong....but if you plan on visisting for a while, don't stay here any longer that 2-3 nights, this hotel still has it's downfalls, and you will wake up at whaterver time the folks in the room next to you wake up, that's how paper thin the walls are.

Also....the food here sucks! Flat out dissapointing, which is weird because the food at Many Glacier hotel is amazing, whoever their executive chef is here needs to be terminated! Service is also bad, especially in the dining room. I DO reccomend the high tea, and a lot of people complaing how expensive it is, in the Fairmont properties it's $45 and lacks the view, so the $29 here at the Prince of Wales is worht every penny!
Food all over Waterton is actually very poor, I would say that the better choices are the Bayshore or Vimmy's, anywhere but at the hotel!

Also expect to dish out the coin, because this hotel is owned by Glacier Park Inc, and not run by them as a concessioner for the National Parks like their sister properties in the states, they can charge whaterver they want without needing approval from the parks service, so be prepared to spend $300 night, which is steep for what you get, but don't cheap out and get the value rooms, mise well get the view for a few more bucks a night. I do think for that kind of money they should really upkeep the property a lot better and start putting some money back into this place!!

I would like to also say that our room was clean, but there was some mold in the bathroom, which I can understand as this place was built before exhaust fans, but staff should still be cleaning it off the ceiling and not letting it out of control.

To wrap this up, there is some truth in all the negative reviews, but take the downfalls with stride, and you will have a great unique experiance...just know what your expecting and you won't be dissapointed.

And...Cindy Ognjanov.... THERE IS SOME TRUTH in all these reviews, DO SOMETHING, and put some money into these properties, guest spend $300 a night and deserve something in return, it's horrible to neglect this hostorical landmark.....as someone in the same industry as yourself, If this hotel was run by my company, I would take a lot more pride in it!

And just a FYI other reviews that say this place is owned buy the Dial Soap company, look up the history, years and years ago the company shared the same parent company for a while, but Glacier Park Inc. has always been these hotels, and they are now a division of Viad, a U.S. company, Dial is now owned buy a seperate holding comapny overseas.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kingston, ontario
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2010

I grew up in southern Alberta, but the last time I was in Waterton was in 1969. I wanted to show my spouse the joys of Waterton. Went to the Prince of Wales.
My goodness, how awful, spent 25 minutes in the bar trying to get lunch, not even a chance of a server looking our way, and for our standards, not that busy. Left, went outside and enjoyed the deer and the view. Many people think that the Prince of Wales is a Canadian Railway hotel - not so. Owned by an American company.
We ended up at the Bayshore Hotel, clean, reasonable view, helpful staff and good restaurants.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.

Travelers are raving about these Waterton Lakes National Park hotels

Helsinki, Finland
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
140 hotel reviews
Reviews in 131 cities Reviews in 131 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

The hotel has a superb location and a grand view of the Waterton Lakes National Park. From outside the building is very attractive and I also liked the lobby and restaurant (great view).

I stayed in a standard room (no view). The room was small and so was the bathroom. Having read the negative reviews in Tripadvisor I was not disappointed because I was prepared. My friend stayed in a value lakeside room. The view was great but the windows were not tight enough to keep the wind from the room, so the room was cold and windy during the nights. I did not have that problem in the standard room (other side of the building).

All in all I did not regret staying there but had I not read Tripadvisor I would have been disappointed in the small and simple room compared to the high price. So if you want to stay there, it is for the view and the historic building, not for the room.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 3 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2010

We stayed in 4 lodges in the Glacier /Waterton park complex. Three were very good and this was the worst. The prices are nearly double the others for room and food. The food was poor for both dinner and breakfast (cold eggs and potatoes).The staff was not helpful for travel advice. They also assigned our reserved room to someone else and after a 30 minute delay gave us a different lower quality room. The view is great so take a look and avoid this place.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schrocket
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2010

This is a must-see location. We returned with family members from three generations to visit the hotel where we had stayed as kids. It's a spectacular place, with a gorgeous setting, and history a-plenty.We felt sad to see the paint peeling and the landscaping looking unkempt, flower pots untended. We paid nearly $300 per night for each double room. All were definitely from a different era, with original dark woodwork, tiny bathrooms a little pinched but passable. Beds were fine, but outdoor lights on the "mountain" view side shone at night if you kept the blind up to let air in. The lobby has a stunning view and is old and comfortable. The bar is a bit tatty, but who cares? Our evening in the restaurant was nice.... the food was fine, some dishes better than others. People were very happy with their steaks. Service was good there, and overall very friendly.
All in all, it's an event to stay here and enjoy a bit of what the old railroad hotels were all about. Just great if you're happy with rustic and not looking for luxury. I'm glad for my visits here, but for the money, next trip I'd probably come here for afternoon tea or dinner, enjoy the view and stay in the village. The views, especially at sunrise and sunset are incredible... bring your camera!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medina, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2010

We stayed in this place last week. From the outside, it looks like a great hotel. Inside was a different story. The place is old, the carpet needs to be replaced, the bathtub was an accident waiting to happen as it had no safety bars to hang on to. Someone especially the elderly could easily slip and fall. The tub surround had mold on it which totally grossed me out. The light on the nightstand had bare wires showing. Because the place was so old and the bare wires, it was definitely a fire hazard. The place could go up in flames in minutes. There was no tv in the room. When it gets dark early, there is absolutely nothing to do in the evenings. It was extremely loud and you could hear everything happening in the surrounding rooms and main lobby. I would definitely not recommend this hotel. Way overrated and extremely expensive. Its been called "rustic" - I call it a dump.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Prince of Wales Hotel

Address: Off Hwy. 5, Glacier Park Inc., Box 33, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta T0K 2M0, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Canadian Rockies > Waterton Lakes National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Waterton Lakes National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1927, the Prince of Wales Hotel is located on the bluff overlooking picturesque Waterton Lakes and the township of Waterton, Alberta Canada. This stately hotel, named after Prince Edward, offers 86 guest rooms and a traditional British atmosphere complete with Afternoon Tea, the Royal Stewart Dining Room, Windsor Lounge, and the distinctive gift shop, Princess Gifts. The Prince of Wales Hotel is a smoke free, 7-story facility with designated outdoor smoking areas. Check-in time is after 3:00 p.m. and checkout time is 11:00 a.m. All rooms are accessed via stairs and are sold based on view or room size. An antique elevator is available for floors 2 through 4 and requires assistance to operate. There are no ADA-accessible rooms available at Prince of Wales Hotel. The self parking lot is located a short walk from the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Prince Of Wales
Prince Wales Hotel Waterton
Prince Of Wales Hotel Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada - Alberta

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