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“What's that smell?”

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The Marlborough Hotel
Ranked #56 of 63 Hotels in Winnipeg
Manitoba
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“What's that smell?”
Reviewed May 28, 2008

For starters, we booked 2 rooms through Priceline a couple of months before we headed to Winnipeg (for the Rush concert!!!). When we got there we found out that Priceline had screwed up our order and only booked us 1 room. The hotel staff were professional and quick to help us by booking another room free of charge. The lobby and bar were beautiful, it all looked very promising. We had 1 room on the 3rd floor and 1 room on the 7th floor.... The 3rd floor room looked nice and clean, probably refurnished in recent years, but the room my wife and I stayed in probably hasn't changed in decades. We did not ask for a smoking room, but we got one. It smelled as if there was a cigarette constantly burning in there. I was sick to my stomach for days afterwards. But the absolute worst part of the whole trip was the bed and pillows. The pillows were some sort of deformed, LUMPY, ball of stuff that wouldn't go flat. I can't even begin to describe how uncomfortable the bed was. Consider this fair warning to anyone who reads this and checks into The Marlborough. If you use Priceline to bid on a room to get a cheaper rate, be prepared to get a stinky old room.

  • Liked — pool and waterslide
  • Disliked — bed and smokey smell
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank loslobosju
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
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English first
Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 26, 2008

There was a great mix of people at this hotel, a lot of character and some characters. Super cheap breakfast. Nice pool and hottub.
It is not super fancy, some upgrades and a facelift would be nice-but this is reflected in the price. The staff were helpful to upgrade us to a bigger room, when requested. The location is great. Didn't use the parking. Good valet service to the airport (allthough not for really early flights).
Not as bad as the reviews told me it would be. The hotel was just fine for me and my family- kinda liked it actually!

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank SusieOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton AB
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2008

Stayed there on 2 different occasions: once on the way to Ontario, and once on the way back.

The first room was very cold and the shower was tricky, but the second room was lovely. Front desk staff were very friendly and helpful. Great views from the upper floors.

  • Liked — friendly staff
  • Disliked — the first room was cold!
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PollyPlague
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TORONTO
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2008

Arrived to an overworked and visibly stressed front desk clerk who took nearly 15 minutes to serve us, only to find our reservation was non-existent.
Booked in for the weekend anyway, at a rate of $10/nite more than what I had reserved.
Originally booked in room 209, but the smell of cheap floral aerosol air freshener was overwhelming, so changed to 204. The smell of air freshener is still evident in 204 but not nearly as strong as in the hallway or other room.
The room lacks extra plugins and major rearranging was required to be able to charge laptops.
Wall plug for coffee maker didn't work so coffee was brewed in the bathroom.
Brown water from taps coupled with a shower that seems to have a mind of its own in terms of temperature control (from piping hot to freezing cold in seconds).

Would I choose to stay here again? Only as a last resort. It's not the worst place I've stayed but it's close.

It's relative proximity to the MTS Centre makes it one of only a handful of hotels nearby, but I would strongly urge anyone else to spend the extra $$$ and book at the Radisson.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Poor building maintenance
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank tex919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Winnipeg hotels

Pinawa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 19, 2008

We chosed this hotel because of its great rates and convenient location in downtown Winnipeg closed to the MTS Center where we joined our first Big an Rich concert which was awsome by the way. We will definitely be back in April for the Brooks and Dunn Concert at the MTS Center.

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank PinawaFussel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John_PerrinWinnipeg, executive at The Marlborough Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2008
Dear Guests from Pinawa,

Thank you very much for choosing The Marlborough Hotel during your visit to Winnipeg and for taking the time to share your positive views both about us and about the concert you attended. Your depiction of our heritage hotel as a ‘Great Deal’ offering great rates at a convenient location close to MTS Centre describes exactly what we are committed to offering travelers to Winnipeg. As a CAA/AAA 2 Diamond and Canada Select 3 ½ Star hotel, we believe we are downtown Winnipeg’s leading full service hotel for price conscious visitors. If you wish to contact directly our General Manager, Mr. Mike Episcopo, he will be delighted to make arrangements for your April visit. On behalf of our whole team, thank you once again for your kind comments. We look forward to welcoming you back to Winnipeg and to The Marlborough Hotel.

Yours sincerely,
John Perrin
Corporate Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yarmouth, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2008

As part of a business workshop, I was booked into the Marlborough. I looked online and thought it would be a nice heritage building and prepared myself for all that entails. So when the room walls were paper thin, I expected that. When I saw paint chipped on the wall corners and wallpaper torn, I expected that. An old room with workout equipment, again, expected. Others things, however, made it disappointing.

My room was fairly spacious, a 'superior room' by their standards - 2 queen beds. The bathroom was small, but the heat and cold of the shower made using it a constant struggle to not freeze or scald myself. I have never taken such short showers. The carpet was the grossest thing - they were filthy! My first night I walked around in my socks and when I looked at them before retiring, they were almost black!! I had to go out the next day and buy slippers, just so I didn't have to wear my shoes in my room.

The meeting facilities were okay. Again, realizing the age of the hotel... and construction work is out of the hotel's control. The first room was too warm, but we ended up moving due to sewer work right outside our window which prevented anyone from hearing the presenter. The second room (Marlborough Room) we moved to was on the 8th floor and in its day, must have been a beautiful mini ballroom. Now it is dingy, with severely wrinkled carpet (almost trip over the wrinkles) and poor - if any,- heat. The last of the 2 days I sat with my winter coat on for the class and many men in the class went and brought the fleece liners from their coats in order to be somewhat warm. On the positive side, there were adequate computer and electrical hook ups for equipment in both rooms. Also, the other huge ballroom on the 8th floor looked spectacular with a magnificent view (it was much too big for our purpose).

The service at the cafe was brutal. It opened at 7am and our classes (minimum of 20 rooms booked just for this workshop) began at 8am. All candidates went to the cafe for breakfast. The first day, at 7:15 the cook walked in -- until then the first waitress just sort of wandered around, not even acknowledging the 3 tables of people with coffee or drinks. I was able to scarf down a fruit salad so I wouldn't be late. The second morning, the cafe opened at 7am, and again, tables filled up. Things again were VERY slow, so I ordered cold cereal and yogurt. This took 40 minutes to arrive!!! My dining companion ordered the same with toast and 40 mins later it arrived, with cold toast. We ended up walking the 2 blocks at 6:50 am to Tim Hortons to get food and coffee. What a mess that cafe service is --- lunch was no better, having to allow 90 minutes so we could get food at a restaurant in the same hotel??!

The workout room is plain, old, but new equipment. Again, temperature control was non existant. I was running with the room temp at 25C!! And no fans or exchange to move the air at all! There was no water in the cooler, dirty hand towels left in the room and no clean ones to be found. Disappointing.

The location is in downtown Winnipeg. A less than desirable location, other than it is close to the MTS Center - this was when the Briar was going on, so thankfully, many normal people on the streets. That being said, without the many tourists for that event, the people hanging around the outside of the hotel panhandling, I wouldn't have gone out after dark for anything. Sadly, the Fairmont and Radisson were within 2 blocks of the same area, though there didn't appear to be the same sketchy type of person hanging in the area.

I would not stay here again and have said as much to the person who organized the stay. This is not to the standard I would expect on any workshop.

  • Liked — 2 separate locks on the room doors
  • Disliked — food service in the cafe
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank RSoxFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John_PerrinWinnipeg, Corporate Director at The Marlborough Hotel, responded to this review, March 28, 2008
Dear Guest from Regina,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your concerns about your recent stay and for your positive comments about some aspects of our meeting facilities, our guest rooms and our fitness equipment. On behalf of all of us at The Marlborough, please accept our sincere apology for the problems you experienced during the workshop. With the capability to accommodate up to 3,000 persons, we host many successful meetings over the course of each year, from national and regional conferences to smaller meetings and seminars. The difficulties you encountered do not reflect our standards, which we truly regret.

In response to your specific complaints, we offer the following comments. Although a heritage building, The Marlborough is a steel and concrete structure in which the walls separating our guest rooms are solid concrete. Your reference to paper thin walls implies a noise problem and it is possible that a door to an adjoining room may have been improperly closed. If so, the problem should have been corrected when reported to our front desk. The fluctuating water temperature is a sporadic problem resulting from the historic nature of the building. It can occur occasionally during periods of very high occupancy, which was the case during the Briar. Our maintenance team works to remedy reported problems on an ongoing basis. With regard to cleanliness, our housekeeping department has been recognized for many years by external rating agencies and through regular internal inspections as performing to a very high standard. Any reported problem with cleanliness in an individual room certainly should have been met with a quick response from us. With regard to heating and ventilation, The Marlborough is equipped with various heating and air conditioning systems throughout the building. Any problem in any area of the hotel, when reported, should have been corrected promptly. The service in our unique and historic café is intended to be friendly and efficient, which was clearly not the case during your stay. Our fitness room, while not offering the latest in décor, is relatively spacious and is normally well ventilated and well maintained. In all of these matters, we sincerely regret our obvious failure to meet your expectations or to achieve our own standards. We have discussed various concerns with the workshop coordinator and are working to ensure future functions do not experience similar problems.

With regard to our location, The Marlborough is in the very heart of downtown Winnipeg, close to the MTS Centre arena; the city’s Portage and Main business and financial hub; the historic Exchange District; virtually all of the leading businesses and primary tourist attractions as well as shopping, restaurants, and cultural attractions. As in any urban center there will be, on occasion, individuals passing by who are not guests of the hotel. In keeping with the practice at other hotels, we work to maintain a safe environment around the building, within the context of the streets and sidewalks being public places. It is obvious we failed to perform this task to your satisfaction during your visit, for which we apologize. Generally speaking, however, it must be fairly stated that Winnipeg, in history Western Canada’s first metropolis, is a dynamic, cosmopolitan and historic city with a reasonably safe, attractive and quite interesting downtown.

Finally, once again on behalf of our whole team, we sincerely regret we failed on this occasion to meet your expectations or to achieve our own standards.

Yours sincerely,
John Perrin
Corporate Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2008

I really, really wish that I could rate this hotel higher but its just horrible. The staff there really does seem to try, but there's only so much you can do with this hotel. The only positive things I can think of is that the location is pretty good and the wireless internet is OK - other than that, _everything_ just sucks.

The bathrooms are small and outdated, the beds are old and the heater never quite seemed to work right. The hallways are a little creepy and the hotel shows its age. Don't even think of using the "exercise room" and the food in the restaurant is average at best.

I have no idea how this hotel was ever rated 3 stars, it's simply not that good.

  • Liked — Internet access is good
  • Disliked — Everything - this hotel is just not very good
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank TalksInMaths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John_PerrinWinnipeg, executive at The Marlborough Hotel, responded to this review, March 3, 2008
Dear Guest from Los Angeles:
Thank you very much for taking the time to provide your comments and feedback, and for staying with us at The Marlborough. Your positive comments about our staff, location and free WiFi are much appreciated by our whole team. We are very concerned, however, that you have characterized the hotel as “horrible” since we are committed to, and believe we provide, very good value in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. We sincerely apologize for our obvious failure to meet your expectations.
The Marlborough Hotel is an important heritage property recognized by the City of Winnipeg as a Grade II Historical Building. Our website, as well as those of the on-line travel agencies, display accurate photographs of our typical guestroom décor and other facilities. It is true our guestroom bathrooms are smaller than is the case in newer hotels, and the hotel, while clean and well-maintained, does “show its age” in some respects. On the other hand many of our guestrooms are exceptionally spacious and all guestrooms boast 9’ ceilings as well as a full range of amenities. On occasion, there can be problems with heater controls in individual rooms, which when reported usually require a minor adjustment by our maintenance staff. Our exercise room, while not offering the latest in décor, does offer brand new cardio fitness equipment equipped with heart rate monitors in a large and well-ventilated area.
Your comment about our “old” beds and “average” food are of particular concern to us.
None of our beds are more than 3 years old and over 80% are Simmons pillow-top mattress sets installed within the last 8 months. It is possible that a mattress may be damaged or defective, for which we sincerely apologize.
We are a full-service hotel and we strive to provide a very good quality of food in all our food and beverage operations. We have a large meeting, conference and catering component to our business as well, and successfully serve many thousands of meals to our guests each year.
The Marlborough has been repeatedly visited and rated by professionals from the Canada Select Accommodation Rating Program and the CAA/AAA. We have consistently earned the Canada Select 3 ½ Star Rating and the 2 Diamond Lodging Rating from CAA/AAA.
We would very much appreciate it if you would contact our General Manager, Mr. Mike Episcopo, to help us determine the date of your stay, which room you stayed in, and on which day or days you dined in our restaurant. We sincerely regret your disappointment with our facilities and will certainly do our utmost to satisfy you and to correct the situation.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your comments – we truly appreciate hearing your views.
Yours sincerely,
John Perrin
Corporate Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Marlborough Hotel

Property: The Marlborough Hotel
Address: 331 Smith Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2G9, Canada
Location: Canada > Manitoba > Winnipeg > Downtown Winnipeg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Casino Hotel in Winnipeg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — The Marlborough Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 148
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Marlborough Hotel Winnipeg, Manitoba

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