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“Superb Botique Hotel”

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Kensington Riverside Inn
Ranked #24 of 109 Hotels in Calgary
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Outstanding small hotel where everyone knows your name. Near several excellent restaurants. Outstanding service.
Beautifully appointed rooms. Heated towel rack a plus, even in the summer
The only negative for me is Rosemary scented shampoo but others love it!

Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
3  Thank horidanway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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344 - 350 of 413 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2012

The internal fitting and decor of the hotel is nice enough. However, our room - an executive king room- had two windows, offering the choice of a view of a skip, or a small enclosed patio, with enclosing walls painted in a dark grey. With no tea or coffee facilities in the room or in any guest lounge, you had to go out to get a hot drink, or rely on room service. I suspect that other rooms at the front may well have suffered from noise of the busy road. The publicity material does give you the impression of a pleasant riverside location, ignoring the large main road between it and the hotel.

Let me say that staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. We did explain early on that we were not happy, but the hotel was full anyway, so no change of room was possible.

We normally prefer to book smaller, boutique type hotels, rather than the larger chains and on this occasion went against the advice of our travel agent to be closer to downtown. The Kensington area is quite interesting, with lots of specialist shops and a wide choice of restaurants. You are only a short walk across the river to the centre, which has a free and frequent tram service in the middle. (By the way, some of the pavements in Calgary are hazardous: you need to watch where you are walking). I think I still stand by the decision to be out of the centre, but this particular hotel did not give us the sort of experience we would have expected for the cost. For a special occasion, it would have been disastrous.

A few other niggles. We were given a $20 breakfast voucher. The menu listed some cooked breakfast options: we each tried one of the Eggs Benedict: there is a choice of the traditional one with ham, and alternative with smoked salmon. Both were absolutely delicious, particularly the salmon. However, the menu did not show, and we were not told, that you are paying for every other item you order - even coffee- so you ended with a breakfast bill anyway. This was very misleading and you only find out when you get the bill. How easy would it have been to make things clear on the menu in the first place. We stayed three nights and found the breakfast menu quite limiting, with no apparent alternative of cereal or pastry.

Wifi was excellent, but plugging in a charger was a challenge in our particular room: there were no obvious plugs, so it was get on your knees and get under the desk! However, another positive: the very good bathroom had an excellent good sized tub and separate shower.

Let me say that I understand that you normally get what you pay for. However, this hotel was, in my opinion, expensive, and we did not get the value, comfort or facilities that we would expect from a hotel in this category. Some of the complaints could be easily rectified. Even a coat of cream paint over the wall outside would improve the claustrophobic feeling in the room. Checking out was not the fastest experience, with the hard working lady at front desk trying to do several jobs, it seemed.

As part of the Rocky Mountaineer package, we moved for our fourth night in Calgary to the Fairmont Palliser. Very large and grandiose, but apparently cheaper.

Room Tip: If you are not happy with a noisy road or a lousy view, make sure your room will suit you.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AlbertSolihull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WernaMaurer, General Manager at Kensington Riverside Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2012

Thank you so much for your very candid review of our Inn. As a small property amongst many other, well-known chains, we take such feedback very seriously and will do our best in every case to adjust our amenities and services to meet the needs of our guests.

To address some of your concerns, part of our Vision of Service is to provide attentive and personalized service at every opportunity, hence we deliver the morning coffee/tea tray to your door rather than expecting you to make your own. On weekends, fresh pastries are provided as well, to enjoy prior to brunch.

As for the breakfast/brunch menu, we have recently included some lighter options such as the smoothie and granola parfait, nice alternative options to a full hot breakfast. As for the vouchers, our website and confirmation emails do explain the limit of $20, however, I have added this explanation to our breakfast menu to avoid any further confusion.

To touch on the room decor and accessibility of outlets, we are currently undergoing guest room renovations, to be completed by early December 2012, and one of the items we have addressed is the accessibility of outlets, so you will find plenty of plugs above the desk in all of our new rooms. The suggestion to paint the patio wall is a great one which we will definitely explore! Our windows in all of the front South facing rooms are sound proof and noise from the road is minimal.

Again, I appreciate your feedback and hope that if your travels ever find you back in Calgary, you give us the opportunity to fulfill our vision towards the pursuit of excellence!

Yours in Hospitality,

Werna Maurer
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

We made two requests from the Inn: a parking space and a quiet room. They failed on both accounts. After reading the tripadvisor review from One-Canadian, we specified in our booking that we wanted a parking space reserved and would be arriving quite late. But when we turned up and were directed into the garage- it was full as staff had parked in it. We waited with our suitcases whilst a chef moved his car. Secondly, as we were coming off an overnight flight from London, we requested a quieter room. We were placed in the room in the middle of the hotel, just at the top of the stairs that all guests come up after their quite noisy Saturday night dinner. When we pointed this out, we were moved (to one facing the main road, but that was still quieter). On the plus side, the rooms were very pleasant, the bathroom great, and the coffee thermos a nice touch (but tepid and too little for two people). Breakfast was a bit too fussy on Sunday- you are given a 'token' we realised afterwards, towards brunch. It would be better to have some simpler choice eg cereal and toast would have sufficed! Overall, this place is clearly trying very hard to attract 'foodies', but seems to fail on the basics.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Review_Monkeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WernaMaurer, General Manager at Kensington Riverside Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2012

Good morning and thank you for your review of our Boutique Inn. I realize that word-of-mouth is still the driving force that convinces guests to return and new guests to stay!

I apologize for the parking situation you encountered upon your arrival, clearly not a very good first impression and something which, due to our limited availability, we are working on correcting so our in-house guests will always have parking.

As for the Brunch menu, we do communicate the $20 limit per person for our in-house guests through our website and confirmation emails, however, I have gone ahead and posted this text on our menus as well, to avoid any future confusion. We have recently added a fruit smoothie and granola parfait for those guests who prefer a simpler breakfast, and we are also happy to accommodate any special requests, when possible, that are not listed on our menu.

I do hope that should your travels bring you back to Calgary, you give us another opportunity to provide you with a more memorable experience!

Yours in Hospitality,

Werna Maurer
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

A wonderful place to stay. It's a very intimate hotel in agreat community. Good shops and restaurants and across the river from downtown. I recommend the hotel to anyone coming to Calgary.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Glen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2012

A delightful hotel just across the river from downtown. Close to a variety of restaurants and pubs. The interior design is very cosy, the staff pleasant and helpful and the breakfast menu provides a great way to start the day? The beds are close to the best I've ever slept in.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank SpecksPearson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2012

We were travelling on a last minute business trip and couldn't get a room downtown, so our travel agent booked us into the Kensington Riverside Inn. What a nice change of pace for a business stay!

The hotel is small (hence the name inn) and the staff makes you feel like a personal guest, not just another traveller. The room was delightfully different from the standard double queen/king in most of the major chains. A walk out patio,a comfy chair, great linens and a working fireplace all contributed to the ambiance ...even though a good working desk and good lighting was available too.

The hotel is directly across the river from downtown and a 5 minute drive, or a 15 minute walk on a nice day. Located in Kensington, a delightful area with great shops, wine bars, coffee shops and restaurants all within a minute or two made the evenings a nice retreat from the busy business day.

Room Tip: I stayed in the first floor back corner room...nice and quiet with a patio.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank HappyTxTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2012

I just want to say kudos to the professional and accommodating staff! It was a real treat to stay here. Enjoyable breakfast meal also!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Travelgirl154921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kensington Riverside Inn

Address: 1126 Memorial Dr NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 3E3, Canada
Location: Canada > Alberta > Calgary > Northwest Calgary
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Calgary
#5 Romantic Hotel in Calgary
#8 Luxury Hotel in Calgary
#31 Family Hotel in Calgary
Price Range: $156 - $318 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kensington Riverside Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kensington Riverside Inn is Calgary's premier luxury boutique Inn located steps from Downtown Calgary along the banks of the picturesque Bow River in Kensington Village. This 19-room boutique inn features upscale accommodations for the discerning traveler, as well as our newest addition, Oxbow, serving unique and seasonal cuisine, letting you appreciate dining as it was meant to be, honestly uncomplicated. Your "Inn" experience will include evening turndown service, morning coffee/tea tray with newspaper, as well as complimentary high-speed wireless internet and bottled water in the guest room. When booking with the Inn directly, guests will receive a $20 per person culinary credit at Oxbow. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kensington Riverside Hotel Calgary

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