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“On Life Support” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Mermaid Lodge & Motel

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Mermaid Lodge & Motel
3622 North Street | P.O. Box 1333, Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia V0G 1A0, Canada   |  
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Hotel amenities
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“On Life Support”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

On arriving at the Mermaid, I noticed that the property is for sale, so there is hope.

The Mermaid Motel is old. Its motel room facility is reminiscent of my Grandparents factory buildings from the turn of the last century. Dark warrens for utility rooms with dank concrete floors and questionable wooden-plank board walks. The “newer” kitchenette units are circa 1970’s, with an almost flat roof (in the West Kootenay this is madness) that looks like the owner’s keep dry by annually draping it with sheets of tar shingle. The balconies overlooking the majestic lake and mountains are woefully under built, basically deep enough to lean over while you’re having your smoke, as many of the guests seem to enjoy. The focus here is on budget. While the units are pretty clean (until I looked up, that is, and then spent some time clearing spiders, their kill, and their new hatchlings from ceilings, beams, behind the bed and bathroom doors, and in the corners) they have been just kept up. Kind of like on life support. Some for instants: the sliding door on the balcony had a handle on one side and a tape wrapped piece of wire on the other. The kitchen sink trap had a beer pitcher sitting underneath it to catch rusty, dirty water from a persistent drip. The drywall in the bathroom at the shower surround has been “replaced” with a plastic strip following water damage. The drywall screws are rusted. All the baseboard heaters are starting to pull away from the walls and they have been painted, cleaned, and burnished down to rust in multiple spots. The bed mattress looks like it is a twenty year old model, and has been buttressed up from sagging by a plank of plywood cornered with what looked to be an old laminate kitchen table top. From its pattern and worn down weave, I’m certain the bedroom carpet is over 20 years old. It can’t possibly be clean at that vintage. A vacuum can’t remove decades of residue. The operators are available, accommodating (they gave us a different unit so we could check in earlier with our luggage), and clearly have tried on a budget to keep the old gal going but it is just not enough anymore. It’s time to move on with a major overhaul.

My advice to potential purchasers: Change pretty much everything but for the buildings original foot print. The lawns and parking, and overall situation on the hillside are ideal. After that, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Put a Peaked A-frame metal roof over the kitchenette units, insulate underneath. Replace the single paned aluminum 1970’s era windows and sliding balcony doors with double paned, energy efficient new ones. Replace the balconies. Give them railings you can still see the lake through and make them much deeper so that you can put a table and chairs on them to enjoy meals and encourage longer stays. Take out the wall between the bedroom and living room, turning the suites into lofts. Gut the bathroom. Paint the walls with a contemporary pallet. Put in a tile splashguard in the kitchen and new countertops. Update the light fixtures. Install decent flooring. Get a dumpster and haul out the ancient sofas, TVs and beds and carpet. Buy new linens. Double the rates and don’t allow more than two adults per room. Keep the hospitality (the current owners are friendly and helpful, policies around towels, housekeeping, pets all sound and well thought out). Voila! You’ll have the best accommodation at the Hot Springs on the nicest property by topography, parking, ready access to the Springs, and far more appealing than the neighbouring resort’s cinderblock elementary-school-gymnasium-like facility. Since there is no hope for the Ainsworth Resort hotel, I’m putting my best wishes out there for the Mermaid!

Room Tip: Wait for new ownership and in the meantime stay in Kaslo
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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100 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    44
    25
    8
    4
    19
See reviews for
28
43
2
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Trail, Canada
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

The rooms are very clean, quaint, spacious and comfortable with attached balconies that have a magnificent view of Kootenay Lake and the Purcell mountains. The owners are very friendly and hospitable as well as knowledgeable about the surrounding area. The rooms are reasonably priced and they also have a hot tub. The Ainsworth hot springs are a 2 minute walk away. I would recommend the mermaid lodge to everyone that plans are visiting the area. It's the best place we've ever stayed

Room Tip: Room numbers 7 and 8 have very spacious balconies
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

price was a little high at 11$ however i was pleased that we could rent towels since we forgot ours. The gift shop was really great, had a lot of fantastic brand name products at the regular prices.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stettler, Alberta, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

This was our second trip to Ainsworth, but our first stay at the Mermaid. We found the room clean and comfortable, and the owners very friendly. Prices are very affordable. The views from our balcony were amazing!!! A very short walk to the Ainsworth Hot Springs. Say hi to Nevis, Precious, and Hulio for us when your there!! We will be back to stay again at this quaint, rustic, jewel of a place in Ainsworth!!

Room Tip: We really enjoyed the top rooms with the balconies...the views are amazing!!!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

My wife and i have been coming to the mermaid for 13 years. It makes us upset to see some of the negative reviews, so here are our thoughts. If you want a bell boy to haul your luggage to your room, or a personal maid to pick up your mess and do your dishes for you, you may want to stay somewhere else. If what you do want is peace and quiet, value, convenience, very nice hosts, wonderfull lake and mountain views, and a overall comfortable place to stay, you will be happy. Ainsworth is a very rustic town, if that. You wont find the conveiniences of a larger city, this is why we choose to vacation there, to get away from it all. The mermaid fits the setting perfect. In all 13 years, we have never had one problem, and always leave happy.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Edmonton, Kentucky
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

We booked here to stay for a wedding last summer, we couldn't stay at the main resort as I had my dog with me. The room was not very clean when we checked in and when we walked around the place, there was garbage and junk tucked everywhere under stariways, etc. We went to meet the wedding party for dinner and did not arrive back at the room till around 11:00 p.m. When we went to go to bed, we discovered the bedsheets had been slept in and were filthy. When we tried to contact the office, they would not answer so we ended up sleeping on the couches all night on top of our coats as we didn't want to touch them either. In the morning we compained and were given clean sheets to put on but with little apology and no offer of compensation for not being able to sleep in the bed. We had to stay the second night as there was nowhere else available to stay and the wedding was important to us but we got up the morning after the wedding and left by 6:00 a.m. just to get out of there. DO NOT STAY.

Room Tip: Stay at the resort or there are several private accomodations that can be obtained on line.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Northport, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

We have been staying at the Mermaid Lodge each year for over 12 years. The Gillies always treat us like family (that's a good thing). The convenience to being a parking lot away from the hot springs is unbeatable. The rooms are comfortable and well equipped. We stay in a kitchenette room so we have the convenience and money saving addition of a stove, refrigerator, dishes, silverware, etc which makes this an even better deal for us. We intend to continue making the Mermaid Lodge our home away from home for many more years.

Room Tip: We travel with another couple so we get two kitchenettes next to each other. Great views of the lake...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mermaid Lodge & Motel

Address: 3622 North Street | P.O. Box 1333, Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia V0G 1A0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Kootenay Rockies > Ainsworth Hot Springs
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Ainsworth Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clean, comfortable, newly renovated motel kitchenette units that will sleep 2-6 persons and modest, historical lodge units that will sleep 2-5 persons. All units have balconies with lake & mountain views and are conveniently located next door to the Ainsworth Hot Springs Pools and Cave. On-site outdoor BBQ and Jacuzzi/Hottub open year-round. Additional amenities include wireless Internet, satellite TV/Radio and complimentary pool towels. Don't want to drive here?? No problem, we can arrange shuttle service from Nelson Greyhound Bus Lines or Castlegar Airport to Ainsworth Hot Springs. You can also fly in to the new international airport in Cranbrook., B.C., Then rent a car for the scenic 3 hour drive to Ainsworth Hot Springs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mermaid Hotel Ainsworth Hot Springs

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