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“Good location, good hotel”

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Sandman Hotel Calgary City Centre
Ranked #83 of 109 Hotels in Calgary
Reviewed September 27, 2009

We stayed here for 5 nights in July. We had a basic room with a queen bed for the first night, right by the elevator shaft. It was incredibly noisy - you can hear the elevators moving very clearly. We requested a room change and the front desk did this very efficiently. We were upgraded to a corner room with a king bed and mini kitchenette, with sink, microwave and fridge for no extra charge.
Pros:
- Location is convenient. C-Train stations are very close by. And since the trains are free within the downtown core, it was easy to hop onto one and head deeper into downtown and closer to Stephen Avenue, where there's lots of restaurants. It was also easy to walk into downtown for shopping and visiting Chinatown.
- Front desk staff was efficient and responsive. Changing our room without issue and giving us a better room.
Cons:
- Noisy elevators. Request a room away from the elevators. The walls are thin and you can hear them all night.
- The air conditioner was not powerful enough to cool the entire room. Plus it leaked water, causing the carpet to get wet in front of the unit.
- There was some construction outside, so it was a bit of hassle to get to the hotel.

Something to note: It's quite quiet around the area at night. If you want to be in the heart of things and closer to restaurants, you may want to stay further east.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AWTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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612 - 618 of 826 reviews

Reviewed September 25, 2009

I stayed in this hotel for 28 days. While there we had to change rooms not because the room we requested at the time was not available but because my wife had stayed there on business for 3 weeks and she had only been gone a week - came home to get us so we could go to the stampede. So they put us in the same type of room she had! Which was a king bed. We had requested 2 double beds because we had our two sons with us, age 9 & 11. So there was no place for them to sleep uncept either in the bed with us (unacceptable), on the floor, or in the two chairs that were in the room! Since it was now a few days before the stampede started no more double bed rooms were available and there is only 1 suite in the entire hotel! So from there things got worse!

The elevators require a room key to be inserted into a reader to operate above the 2nd floor. What they don't tell you is that THE ELEVATORS KILL YOUR ROOM KEY! AND YOU HAVE TO GET A NEW ROOM KEY DAILY! They also don't tell you - YOU CAN'T GO DOWN TO THE LOBBY WITHOUT THE ROOM KEY BEING SWIPED IN THE ELEVATOR ALSO! So we came out of our room the first day, after getting 4 room keys, and we rode the elevator until someone got in that was going down to the 1st floor and had a room key that actually worked!!!! We weren't the only people having to do this!

The room service food is from the place down stairs. The only thing I found that I could eat was the cheeseburger with fries. This is not because I'm a picky eater - I eat anything! But the cheeseburger's were the best thing on the menu because they tasted almost like a cheeseburger! I say almost because they were terrible, the worst cheeseburgers I've ever eaten, and I'm 46. One of my kids got food poisoning from the seafood and was vommitting for hours!

One other thing Americans should beware of: CANADA does not allow it's citizens or visitors to consume whole milk! In Canada there is only skim milk in 1%, 2%, or 3% - that's it! So any product that should have milk in it - say cereal for breakfast, or mac 'n cheese for the kids, or cheese, or any dish that should have milk in it -- doesn't taste right to an American!

After changing rooms we spent a sweltering first night in the new room because the air conditioner's compressor would cut off after two minutes, leaving just the fan blowing! The first room was not like that, it could get cool in that room. So I called the front desk immediately after noticing the room wasn't getting cooler. This was about an hour because I first had to shower. You see when we moved rooms, my wife was at work and me and the boys had to move by ourselves! NO BIG DEAL YOU SAY? I am a terminal cancer patient, that can only walk for long distances with a cane or crutches. I am also limited to how much weight I can carry. I'm weak from having chemo and radiation multiple times. So I'm sweating like a PIG after moving rooms, I needed the shower to cool me off. We had asked for a bellman to help with the bags, twice! I actually called for a bellman 4 times. Finally, the kids and I moved everything! Bellman never came. So after the shower and the room not cooling off - I call the front desk to tell them about the problem, they tell me maintenance just left and asked if I'd like to swap back to our old room for the night! I replied would you like a sharp stick in your eye? He didn't get it until I explained that I had less than six months to live and just went through the moving process by myself basically (the boys are scrawny. I informed the clerk at the front desk to get maintenance back and send them up to the room! THEY COMPLIED! (Lucky for them, I was getting angry.) Turns out the maintenance guy can't fix anything, he just calls the contractors that fix the various systems. That 1st night I didn't sleep at all, I can't sleep in the heat!

The TV pay per view channels NEVER worked. Each time we would try to get a movie, it either was damaged and cut off in the middle or had a loud beep sound in it (like the old broadcast test sound for the Emergency Broadcast System). Thankfully they did take the movie charge off the bill. I asked each time that it be reported to maintenance or they volunteered to report the problem to maintenance. When I talked to the maintenance guy, there with the guy to fix the air conditioner, he said he hadn't been told anything about the movie system having problems!

It was the worst hotel stay I've ever had in a developed country! In 3rd world countries, yes I've had worse - but not in a country that is America's partner to the North!

The entire stay SUCKED! And yes, we had to pay full price for the room.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank jwandfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willyc44, General Manager at Sandman Hotel Calgary City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2009

When a guest rebooks for a return visit, unless the hotel is notified of a change in requirements, it is assumed that the room type the guest had previously, is the one the guest wants for their return stay, especially after staying for a number of weeks.

If on arrival, a room change is requested, as in this case, we try our hardest to accommodate. However, if the property is running at full capacity, options are sometimes limited. The Sandman Calgary City Centre is fortunate in that we have two sister properties in the city that may have the requested room type and be suitable for the guest.

We take guest comfort and safety very seriously. Guest room floors can only be accessed with the use of a key card issued to a registered guest. These cards will on occassion have to be reprogrammed if they come in contact with keys or other cards the guest may be carrying with it. The system does not require a key if the guests is going from their room floor to the lobby.

Although we have a very thorough preventive maintenance program in place, unfortunately things will happen beyond our control and we require outside assistance to rectify the problem. We attempt to provide timely response with a minimal of inconvenience. We were pleased to have this particular problem addressed after the first night.

Our Moxies Grill in part of an award winning chain of company owned restaurants. The innovative menu offers a large choice of items and appeals to all tastes and ages. We host thousands of guests each year from all parts of the United States that find the food and service exceptional. As the restaurant could be considered a bit upper end in its offerings by some, for a more casual night out, there are a number of fast food and take out options close by.

To quell any misinformation for our southern niegbours, our government does not regulate what its citizens or visitors consume. Canadian cows do produce whole milk which is just as readily available as lower fat options.

As part of our chains commitment to guest satisfaction, our General Managers offices are located in the hotels lobby area. This allows our guests to interact on a daily basis with our property managers and address any issues no matter how small, on a timely basis.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2009

We travelled to Calgary for this year's Stampede and had a very enjoyable stay in the Sandman. We hadn't paid a fortune for the trip, so we weren't expecting the works but we were pleasantly suprised by the levels of service we recieved and standard of accomodation.

Our room was of a reasonable size, the bed was comfortable and facilities more than adequate. We were high up enough to escape street noise and on a clear day could see the glorious Rockies in the distance. The bathroom was small, but fine. There was no wardrobe but space to hang clothes and plenty of drawer space. Our room was by the elevator shaft, but this was NOT problematic in the slightest. we were not disturbed at all by any noise as I though we may be. The room was well maintained and serviced everyday, coffee\tea was replenished every day also.

The hotel had a small gym, swimming pool and hot tub - unfortunatley the hot tub was out of order during our stay. The changing facilities were a little basic and accessible from the swimming pool through the gym area only - a little embarrassing if the gym was full of people but not problematic.

Moxies Classic Grill is attached to the hotel and we used it every day for breakfast and one night for dinner. I only have excellent remarks to make about Moxies. Breakfast was superb, as was dinner. It is not the cheapest place to eat in Calgary but very good value for money. Staff were all friendly and helpful and service was fast. Most breakfast dishes came with a side of fresh fruit or potatoes and between us we must have tried every item (not in one sitting though!) and all were great.

All staff we met in the hotel were very friendly from the reception staff to the domestic staff. I would recommend the Sandman, it provides more than an adequate roof over your head. It's conveniently located by a C-Train station, close walking distance to the shops and other Calgary points of interest and we would recommend it. I'd like to add that before flying to Canada we stayed at the Hilton Manchester Airport where we were greeted with a small bedroom, extortionate cost for bar snacks, noise and a rather large bill at the end. The Sandman was considerably cheaper than this and I think we got so much more for our money.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wannabe_cowgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2009

I've stayed at the Sandman a number of times over the past few years on business and have found that while it delivers a roof overhead, there are better deals to be found elsewhere.

We've had issues with the front desk staff not honouring requests for specific types of rooms that they confirmed during reservation. Under NO circumstances get put in a room next to the elevator shafts. They're very noisy all night long. Infact, ask for a room number that's xxx1, xxx2, xx15, xx16 (where xx is the floor you're on). You'll get a corner room with a view that's quite comfortable (aside from small bathrooms).

Internet service has been spotty and slow. Tethering over an iPhone gives superior performance and reliability.

Moxie's restaurant downstairs has fairly good food especially for dinner, but as others have noted, it's chronically understaffed, so you'll be waiting an hour or so for your meal to be served.

All in all, it's a roof overhead, but for the price, I expect more. Probably won't be back.

Stayed: September 2009, traveled on business
1  Thank Nogami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2009

Calgary (after the Stampede) is not a particularly interesting city and this hotel is quite middle of the road and unexciting. Our rooms were clean and confortable but the aircon units struggled manfully. The reception staff were efficient. Moxies restaurant was very good - typically huge portions, a good choice and reasonably priced. We were advised not to be outside at night and we followed that advice. The nearby metro system is good but in daylight only !!
We stayed in Calgary for 3 nights - visited the nearby Heritage Park - very good indeed and Callaway Park. This is advertised as one of the "best" fun parks in Western Canada - very disappointing.
Should we ever return to Calgary, we would consider this hotel but only for a short stay.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank lochnagar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2009

It's not new, flashy or 5-star. But it is a great value for those looking for a place to stay in downtown Calgary. The rooms are clean, the service is good, the restaurant in the hotel is good and it's right downtown. So, there's really not much to complain about.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank Trip_tips_03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

the hotel is at the end of Calgary main street with a tram stop opposite the area is quite rough and the police were taking people away from it on 2 of the 3 evenings we felt quite unsafe.
the rooms are basic and the staff were not interested when we were booking in.
avoid the resturant we waited 30 min to be served for breakfast and eventually walked out.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank rockybuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandman Hotel Calgary City Centre

Address: 888 7 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 3J3, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Calgary
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #83 of 109 Hotels in Calgary
Price Range: $97 - $157 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sandman Hotel Calgary City Centre 3*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centrally located in Calgary's business district, and a short distance from Calgary's retail and entertainment district, Sandman Hotel Calgary City Centre is the ideal place to stay whether you are travelling for business or for pleasure. ... more   less 
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Sandman Hotel Calgary

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