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“Not worth the Money”

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The Fairmont Palliser
Ranked #21 of 109 Hotels in Calgary
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 25, 2011

The Staff were excellent, and the lobby was beautiful, however, room was huge, but bathroom so small couldn't turn around in it. No dresser in the room, clothes had to go on shelf in closet. If you are under 6' tall, you won't reach the shelf. Internet connection was so big couldn't plug the power in to my laptop at the same time. TV had volume control limits, so couldn't hear the TV. Trains going by room at all hours. Shower controls were backwards, hot was labeled cold, cold was labeled hot. Elevators unreliable, 10 people trapped for 2.5 hrs one night and emergency phone did not work. Food was excellent, however, $23 for Bacon and Eggs. $7 for Bottle of Water, $19 for Hamburger. Parking $37 a night. If you are in a wheelchair, you either get lifted up by the staff to go up the stairs, or travel from the parkade via a number of hallways for a few hundred yards to get to lobby. Not a nice part of town, lots of "street people" in area. This hotel is not worth the money......

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank Ian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMPalliser, General Manager at The Fairmont Palliser, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2011

Thank you for your review. We are sorry to learn of your disappointing experience and hope to discuss your comments further. Please contact The Fairmont Palliser directly at -------- regarding your concerns.

Thank you,

Dan McGowan
General Manager

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Reviewed August 24, 2011

First enjoyed the luxury of a Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver, so when we had to stay for two days in Calgary for a family vacation it was an easy choice. No disappointment in this really nice hotel. Enjoy the impressive early 20th century lobby, the way the staff treats you, the bar with tasty snacks and of cause de pool and spa, which is delicious. We stayed with our kids in a superb recently renovated room, plenty of space! The hotel is near the Calgary tower, shops and Glenbow museum. A perfect place to stay (also with kids) in Calgary.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Erik1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMPalliser, Director of Operations at The Fairmont Palliser, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2011

Thank you for completing such a pleasant review of The Fairmont Palliser. We are so pleased that you enjoyed our service during your stay and the Oak Room’s food and beverage offerings. We are delighted that you and your kids enjoyed your stay in one of our newly renovated guest rooms and that you were able to take advantage of the many attractions surrounding our property. We look forward to your return in the near future!

Warmest Regards,

Frédéric Paré
Director of Operations

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Reviewed August 23, 2011

We stayed for just one night in a "Fairmont Gold" room, booked through Hotels.com in August 2011. Our room cost just over £100 for the night. When we arrived, we entered the hotel via the attached multi-storey car park and were initially rather disappointed by the interior decor which was very dated and tired (the car park attaches to the 3rd floor). However, the Gold rooms on the upper floors have been recently refurbished (in May 2011) and our room was very well appointed and spotlessly clean. It had everything we needed - huge LCD TV, Nespresso coffee maker, Sofa/armchairs, very comfy bed and a marble bathroom. The room overlooked the Calgary tower and the hotel is just a couple of minutes' walk from the very centre of Calgary where there are shops and restaurants.

With the Gold room, you also get full buffet breakfast included in the room rate and it's definitely worth it. Breakfast is taken in the Gold Club lounge, which is located on the top floor and has good views across Calgary to the mountains. We had sausage and bacon as well as pastries, bread/toast, fresh fruit juice and tea/coffee/cappucino. You also get free wi-fi in the Gold lounge as well as free use of Fairmont's iPads if you dont have your own laptop. Ther were 4 or 5 and we didn't have to wait to use one.

Parking was cheaper than we were expecting. We arrived at about 8pm on a Friday night and stayed until approximately 10am on the Saturday. The parking cost CA$11 (for self-parking), which may have been a special weekend rate. Valet parking is about CA$35.

We cant comment on the condition of the lower grade rooms, but our Fairmont Gold room exceeded our expectations. Definitely 5* standard. Would stay there again if in Calgary without hesitation. Highly recommended and we felt very good value. It's about 20 minutes' or so drive from Clagary airport.

Room Tip: Definitely book the Fairmont Gold room if you can afford it
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Henny52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMPalliser, General Manager at The Fairmont Palliser, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2011

Thank you for your wonderful comments on our newly renovated Fairmont Gold product! We are so pleased that you thoroughly enjoyed our new amenities and The Fairmont Palliser’s city-centre location. It is great that you had the opportunity to experience our enhanced Fairmont Gold Lounge, executive continental breakfast and Fairmont Gold iPads as well. We look forward to welcoming you back in the future for another memorable Fairmont Gold experience!

Best Regards,

Dan McGowan
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

I"ve been staying at this hotel for business trips for about 2 years now. The fact that I keep coming back despite some other great hotels in Calgary should tell you something.

The rooms are well-appointed but vary considerably, from "too small to swing a cat" to "oh my gosh, is this how royalty lives?" Be nice to the people at the front desk; even though they seem a little stand-offish at first. Once you break through that professional veneer, they really do want you to have a nice stay with them.

Enjoy the pool....it's a step back in time and a delightful experience, whether for a quiet and elegant adult dip late in the evening, or for a family with kids. There's a great workout center, and the hot tub and steam bath is a delightful way to end the day. If you have the time, enjoy their SPA; it really is terrific!

Dining in the hotel is elegant, but a little cold. There are lots of great restaurants in the area.

The bar in the hotel is a nice place to end the day. They have live jazz some nights. meals here are more relaxed, but you have the pretty much the same menu as in the dining room.

If you are into history, this place has a ton of it. The railway is a big part of its heritage, and you should enjoy the trains out back, rather than complain about the vibrations at 3am. Of course, if you get a room on the quiet side, that won't be a problem.

The location is great. One block south is Stephen Avenue, a pedestrian mall with some great restaurants, from Irish pubs to indian and Thai, and everything in-between. The best steaks are at the Trib, and great fish dinners can be had at Saltlick. Enjoy a hockey game at Flame Central, where you can pick up a shuttle to the game. The Fairmont is close enough to walk to the hockey arena.

The Calgary Tower right next door to the hotel offers outstanding views of the Rockies, either for dinner or for breakfast.

If you are into fishing, there is a fly fishing store just across the street from the hotel, and another one a couple of blocks away. great shirts, hats, bags, and of course, the best fly fishing advice East of The Rockies. Okay, that sounds kinda quirky, but you did want to know abit about the City, didn't you? Outdoor stores with camping and hiking gear are closeby; after all, you are only an hour and a half from the Rockies.

Check out the Steam Locomotive just down the street.

Downtown Calgary is pretty small, so doesn't take long to walk anywhere from the Palliser. You are close to museums, art galleries and the Calgary Zoo. Dinosaurs are a big thing in this part of the world. Some pretty good shopping at the Bay is only a few minutes away. In inclement weather, there is the "Plus 15", a network of connected indoor pedestrian malls that pretty well covers the downtown area.

There are lots of opportunities for cheap meals at the food courts in the nearby office buildings. Tim Horton's is within easy walking distance.

If you have time, rent a car from one of the rental agencies within walking distance of the hotel, and enjoy a day in Banff or at Lake Louise, only 90 minutes away. Check with the hotel, they can get you a great rate on the rental car. It's an easy and enjoyable drive. in Spring and Summer, you can go there for dinner, and still be back at the hotel in daylight.

Look for a couple of guys in suits who hang out around the bell desk in the evenings; they are the assistant managers, and they really enjoy treating you like royalty. If you are looking for great advice about where to eat, where to go or what to do, or if you just want to know what's going on in the hotel, these are the fellows to ask!

It can be a great place to stay if you get to know the people!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank AvidCanoeist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMPalliser, General Manager at The Fairmont Palliser, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to complete such a thorough review of your recent stay at The Fairmont Palliser. We are absolutely honoured to have you as such a loyal guest. We are delighted that you appreciate the historic nature of our hotel and its unique city-centre location. There is no end to the amenities, services and activities offered in and around our hotel. We look forward to welcoming you back on your next business trip!

Sincerely,

Dan McGowan
General Manager

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Reviewed August 16, 2011

Stayed in the Palliser for only one night at the end of our Canadian Holiday prior to flying home. Chose the hotel because it was ideally located next to the Rail Station used by the Rocky Mountaineer.
As our 3rd Fairmont Hotel on our trip we were not disapponted. On arrival around 10.00pm we were greeted by friendly and helpful staff who confirmed our suitcases from the train had already been taken to our rooms. The lobby / reception area is very impressive as are a number of former CPR hotels.
Our room and bathroom were excellent, and would have been suitable for a longer stay. The breakfast was similar to that experienced in other Fairmont Hotels, good quality and well presented, although rather expensive especially the buffet.(may be due to the poor exchange rate Canadian Dollar / British Pound)
The hotel is ideally situated in downtown Calgary for a holiday exploring the city.
Would recommend this hotel as perfectly located for an overnight stay at the end of a Rocky Mountaineer trip as it can even be accessed direct from the Rail Station.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GordonA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMPalliser, Director of Operations at The Fairmont Palliser, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2011

We are so thrilled that you had such a wonderful stay at The Fairmont Palliser, and that it was the perfect end to your Canadian Holiday. It gives us great pleasure to welcome guests such as yourselves to our historic property. We look forward to your next visit!

Kind Regards,

Frédéric Paré
Director of Operations

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Reviewed August 13, 2011

First off, this hotel was in a fantastic location one block from Stephen Avenue. When we walked in, it felt like a royal palace with the high ceilings and beautiful furniture and other fixtures. We were checked in quickly, and arrived at our room. The room was good, but was the smallest of all Fairmont rooms I've ever been in. It was perfect for one night though. The breakfast, as is the way with all other Fairmonts, was fantastic! Would definitely stay here if I was in Calgary again.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank stevenandrophy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMPalliser, Communications Manager at The Fairmont Palliser, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2011

Centrally located in downtown Calgary, The Fairmont Palliser is conveniently situated near the city’s business and financial district and is within walking distance to the city’s most exciting retail shopping, arts, culture and entertainment venues. We are delighted hear that you felt like royalty during your stay as we take great pride in providing our guests with the utmost service. We are also very pleased that you so thoroughly enjoyed your breakfast and look forward to your return! Should you require a larger guest room for your next stay, we offer a large portfolio of guest room sizes to suit your needs.

Best Regards,

Jessica Reynolds
Communications Manager

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Reviewed August 11, 2011

After innumerable business trips to Calgary---mostly staying at the Marriott or the Hyatt, I finally got my wish to stay at the magnificent Fairmont Palliser hotel on 9th Avenue in the city centre. Frequent visitors to Canada are well aware of the Fairmont chain, usually right on the railway and also usually the most elegant hotel in town. This one is no exception.
The arrival experience is all you'd expect: valet, bellmen, doormen, the works. The hotel lobby is truly grand: feels like a 19th century space though probably is early 20th C. The lobby appointments are beyond luxurious.
The elevators were my first clue that the old lady is starting to show her age. Call buttons don't light up--you just push and hope. The elegant elevator cabs show signs of numerous do-overs.
The hotel appears to be freshening up the common areas on the room floors, though I stayed on an un-freshened floor. Like with many older hotels, the paint on the doors and frames seems thick. The room was very nice, very comfortable bed. It was a king room, and smaller than I'm used to, but still very comfortable. The only ancient thing in the room was the bathtub, which looked original. All other appointments were up to date.
"Frayed" may be too strong a word. When you stay in an older hotel, you expect to see think paint. It's part of the deal. This is a great old hotel and still probably the finest in Calgary despite its age...would definitely want to stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank lesuerg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMPalliser, Director of Operations at The Fairmont Palliser, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback regarding your recent stay at The Fairmont Palliser. Our colleagues take great pride in providing our guests with a luxurious and memorable experience. As you mentioned, we are thrilled to have recently completed an extensive renovation project, in which we have completely refurbished five floors of guest rooms and opened a brand new Fairmont Gold Lounge. We We look forward to continuing with our renovations as per your feedback. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to post a review on TripAdvisor.

Kind Regards,

Frédéric Paré
Director of Operations

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Additional Information about The Fairmont Palliser

Address: 133 9 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 2M3, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Calgary
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Calgary
#7 Luxury Hotel in Calgary
#9 Business Hotel in Calgary
#9 Romantic Hotel in Calgary
#14 Family Hotel in Calgary
Price Range: $137 - $444 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Palliser 4*
Number of rooms: 407
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1914, The Fairmont Palliser has been the city's premier address, the cornerstone of Calgary's hospitality industry and a landmark building that is rich in history and architecture. Set in the heart of the city, The Fairmont Palliser is a historical landmark offering distinctive accommodation in elegant surroundings. Recent renovations include five floors of guest rooms and the expansion of Fairmont Gold. A brand new Fairmont Gold Lounge, Concierge and Check-in area can be found on the Penthouse Level. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Palliser Hotel Calgary
Fairmont Hotel Calgary
Fairmont Hotel Palliser
Fairmont Calgary
Calgary Fairmont

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