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“Nice weekend away”

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Harbour House Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nice weekend away”
Reviewed January 25, 2009

My wife and I were looking for a nice weekend enjoying the Niagara Ice Wine Festival. We did look at the other "Big Three" hotels in the area before booking the Harbour House. As for pricing they were the exact same price for as the bigger hotels, but you have to get upgraded rooms at the other hotels to get the amenities you get standard here. The thing that drew me in was the Bed and Breakfast atmosphere with the comforts of a bigger hotel. The rooms were nice and we enjoyed the jetted bathtubs and fireplace. The staff was great and made us really feel at home upon arrival. We were definitely told about the parking meters outside and were advised to park in the free parking area before the took us on the tour of the hotel. They also have a collection of DVD and CDs you can have to watch in your room. It was a nice homey touch. The breakfast in the morning was a nice mixture of cereals, pastries, and warm breakfast options. They also had a nice wine and cheese tasting later in the afternoon. If you are looking for a nice time away and are sick of the same big hotel feeling, you will love it here.

  • Liked — Great Staff really made you feel at home.
  • Disliked — They don't have a kitchen open except for breakfast. They order your room service from a parter hotel. They food was great, but it took a little extra time to get it.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank WNYCasualTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (233)
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English first
ontario
1 review
Reviewed January 12, 2009

My husband and I just returned from the most incredible week-end away. We decided to spend my birthday this year at The Harbour House Hotel. We were greeted by the nicest man named Bruce, who showed us to our room, offered to help us with our luggage and even noticed we had reservations at Zee's for dinner and offered us a complimentary shuttle back and forth to the restaurant.
We stayed in room 209. This is a suite in the Hotel and very beautiful. There was enough room to have some friends in for a glass of wine before dinner and enjoy the atmosphere, the beautiful fireplace and the view. This room over looks the harbour and is just fantastic.
The bedroom has the most comfortable king sized bed and really luxurious linens, over looking the harbour. The bathroom is very clean with a huge jacuzzi tub, double sinks and shower. Loved the jacuzzi game sheets as well, nice touch.
We had dinner at our favorite restaurant in Niagara, Zee's. The meal the atmosphere and the service and most importantly the food was out of this world. It is very close to the Harbour House Hotel so if you are up for an after dinner stroll it is a beautiful walk back.
After our wonderful night we had a nice leisurely morning and a delicious breakfast at the hotel. There is a wonderful selection of homemade foods and the service is very friendly and inviting.
We have stayed at the Harbour House now twice and it just keeps getting better and better.
A special thanks to the Manager Ryan Murray who does a wonderful job of taking time to make you feel welcome and paying attention to every detail. It would not be the same without you and your wonderful team.
Sincerely,
Shelley & Mike DiRaddo

  • Liked — atmosphere
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank shelleyOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berwick upon Tweed, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2008

Myself and wife stayed in this hotel in October as part of our we mini tour of Ontario.

We hadn't booked a hotel when we arrived in Niagra on the lake and only actually ended up in the town on the recomendation of a fellow tourist while up at blue mountain.

We basically drove round the town until we saw somwhere we liked the look of. As my wife says I always head as close to water as I can wherever we are (fisherman) so this was as the name would suggest right atthe Harbour. We walked into the reception and asked if they had any rooms and they only had one left. We obviously didnt look like there usual guests as the older gentelman on reception was very quick to point out that it was $350 and how would we be paying before we had even sat down. Not to be offened as we were probably 30 years younger then anyone else in the hotel , we took the room.

I can remember laughing and joking with my wife onm the way up in the lift that it had better be worth it. Well it was worth every penny. The room was first class. Not the biggest ive ever stayed in but big enough and a excellent bathroom.

We went and asked reception for advice on somewhere to eat and he not only told us of a good PUB yes a proper pub but also that they would taxi us up there and back free of charge.

The breakfast was contineltal style which wouldnt be my first choice but the fact that the quality was so good and the choice huge more than made up for this.

The Town- Niagra on the Lake is absolutley fantastic. I would recomend anyone to go there. It is very prety, full of history and theres things to do for all ages.

I would highly recomend the whirlpool boat ride. This takes you up the river niagara up a class 5 rapid! The guys are great and gave a history/geography lesson on the way. Well worth it.

Winerys- We were completly unaware that this part of Ontario has a big wine industry. All the vinyards aroung NOTL have visitors centers which make a great day out.

If you can afford it I would highjly recomend this hotel and this town. If you want to see the falls but dont want to stay in amongst all the hussel and bussel, this is a perfect alternative as the falls are only half an hour away.

  • Liked — standard of room
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alexander1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Binbrook
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2008

My husband and I stayed at this fine Inn for 2 nights in room 209...A beautiful suite over looking the harbour...Amazing quiet hotel,even when its full..There was a convention in the hotel,while we were there,and you would have never known it....It almost felt like we were the only ones in the hotel....We chose the spa package..It was an amazing deal...Upon arriving,we were greeted by our names immediately,and we were politely taken care of quickly....My travel agent could not get us a superior room,and we were left with a suite or a deluxe room....Bruce (I think that was his name) immediately up graded us to a beautiful suite for the price of the superior....It was unexpected,and a wonderful gesture....

The suite was beautiful,clean,and it smelt nice....The sheets smelt fresh and clean,and the bed was very comfortable....Our bathroom,was exceptionally clean,and stocked full of spa toiletries...We were lucky enough to capture the first significant snow fall..Waking up to that was absolutely beautiful....

Breakfast was to die for....All home made,and FRESH....There was enough selection to keep anyone happy and satisfied....Very peaceful,and relaxing...As a part of our package,we received a spa credit...My only complaint,was we had to walk to our spa destination...Once there,we were taken care of wonderfully....Well worth it.....Dinner at the Charles Inn was amazing....We had a shuttle from the Harbour House drive us to and from...It was a nice touch...

All and all I did not want to leave..Expect us back....

  • Liked — it was beautiful and clean...
  • Disliked — I had to come home
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Harrington100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fergus, Ontario
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2008

We recently stayed at the Harbour House on their babymoon package. Having stayed at some other of Ontario's Finest Inns, my wife and I both agreed, that the Harbour House was the best one yet.

Lots of great little touches to make the stay memorable. Cookies in the lobby in the afternoon, a bag of cookies with a handwritten note welcoming us in out room, the front desk staff offering to get us cookies. Wine and cheese tastings in the afternoon were a nice treat.

Arriving on Friday night, we were asked if we had dinner plans. I was expecting them to try to sell us a dinner at one of the sister properties, however, they were simply asking so they could provide us with a shuttle, which we used on both nights of our stay. The shuttle driver was very friendly and came and picked us up with 5 minutes of calling him on both nights.

Our room was very comfortable and cozy. CD's were left in the room for us, and the lobby has an extensive collection on movies to watch.

We had dinner at the Charles on Saturday night. It was excellent, and we would highly recommend it. The breakfast at the hotel is excellent, certainly a big step up from the free breakfasts served at most hotels.

A small problem with our bill was quickly taken care of with little hassle or inconvenience. The staff all seemed to genuinely care about the guests and made us feel very welcome.

All in all we had a great time. We would highly recommend, and can't wait to go back.

  • Liked — Welcoming relaxing atmosphere.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dtwillow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port
Level Contributor
74 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2008

If the Harbour House Hotel is number one in service, that was certainly not my experience. After reviewing the rates on their website, and talking to friends who would be travelling with us, my wife and I decided to reserve 2 nights for New Years Eve at the web site posted rate $199/night. When we called, we spoke to Elizabeth, who confirmed there was no special rate for New Years, and she took our reservation. She charged our VISA for the 1st night stay and Elizabeth sent us a confirmation email. That night we received a call from Rebecca, at the Harbour House Hotel, to tell us that Elizabeth had quoted the wrong rate, it was actually $329/night. That rate included some champagne at midnight New Years Eve, a wine and cheese or something...I didn't get all the details because I was in shock, but it didn't sound like it was worth $260! Besides, we weren't going to be at the Hotel for New Years Eve. I told Rebecca I wanted to stay with my confirmed reservation, but she said that wasn't posssible, I would have to pay the $329 rate. I told that a confirmed reservation was a contract she couldn't change, but she didn't agree with me, because Elizabeth made a mistake. I asked to speak to the Owner or Manager. Rebecca told me the Owner was rarely there, but the Owners son, Ryan was the General Manager, but I couldn't speak to him, he worked during the day. I could try calling him tomorrow. But she repeated several times that I could "rest assured" that Ryan would not tell me anything different, I had to pay the "posted rate". I told her the posted rate was $199, but she said that somewhere on the website was a reference to the New Years "special" rate. If I decided (now) to cancel my reservation, Rebecca would (be kind enough to) not charge me the $25. cancellation fee because Elizabeth was a new employee and had made a mistake.
So I called our friends, to find out if they had booked? Yes they had, the first time they called to make the reservation "a guy picked up the phone who didn't know how to use the computer". They called back later, and when enquiring about the $199 rate were told it was $329. and they made the reservation anyway (assuming we had the wrong info). I checked the website again, and nowhere was there reference to a New Years special, or the $329 rate. I didn't feel like it was worth my time to try and contact Ryan, who I assessed as an incompetent General Manager:
- not to be disturbed in the evening to talk to me about this
- employed guys at the reservation desk who couldn't use a computer
- empowered Rebecca to notify customers that their confirmed reservations would not be honoured.
Then I called another excellent hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake and booked my stay.
Then I called Rebecca back and told her I didn't have the time to waste to try and track Ryan down and since I could "rest assured" that was fruitless, she should cancel my reservation and refund all of the 1st night stay charged to my VISA earlier that day. I followed that up with a reply email to Elizabeth, explaining to her that she had given us the wrong rate, that we had cancelled our reservation and to ensure we got the full refund. I then received an email from Rebecca and I quote "We are sorry that you will not be joining us for New Year’s Eve. The following is confirmation of your reservation cancellation." Her email finishes with "I have passed all of your suggestions and critiques along to our General Manager, Ryan Murray. I am sure that he will take your feedback into consideration." By now I am furious with the Harbour House Hotel, but considering their customer service, maybe I'm lucky I got my full deposit back?
But that isn't the end of the story...Three days later I get a call from the Guest Services Manager Lorissa. She was off for a few days and returned to hear about my experience when Elizabeth told her about her screw-up in quoting the wrong rate. (Elizabeth had also replied to my email and apologized for her mistake). And guess what, according to Lorissa the $199 rate was correct. There was an extra charge of $39 for champagne (or whatever). I told her I had already booked my stay at another Hotel, and would not be cancelling it now to stay with them (what am I, nuts?). She had no explanation for Rebecca's decision to use her "authority" to call me within hours of my making the reservation, rather than referring the matter to her - although she was off, she could be reached by phone. She had talked to Ryan also, and I guess he read about my "suggestions and criticque" but since Rebecca is off for a few days, when she comes back "Ryan will talk to her". Interestingly enough, Ryan didn't take the time out of his busy day to call me and apologize, so my assessment of him is bang on. So I asked Lorissa, what about our friends, who booked on the same day? She didn't know about them. She checked, and sure enough they were (still) charged $329, but she would correct that. Except she only knew about our friends, after I told her, so how many other people are there out there who have been booked at the wrong rate? Good luck to them.

  • Stayed November 2008
    • Check in / front desk
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank NukePort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HarbourHouseGM, General Manager at Harbour House Hotel, responded to this review, November 16, 2008
We regret that we could not take care of this guest for New Year's Eve. Elizabeth should have checked her own rates to confirm the price he quoted her but did not and we are very sorry for that mistake. Regrettably, we cannot seem to find any pricing on our site that supports the prices stated in his review, nor do we have any record of anyone telling him that everyone’s price should have been $199 as that is not the case. All pricing for New Year's is very clearly marked on our Special Packages Page. There is a non-package price as well as a package that includes 2 night's accommodation, a 7-course dinner for two with wine pairings at one of Niagara's best restaurants, full champagne breakfast, in-town shuttle, a bottle of wine in room on arrival, in-house wine and cheese tastings both days and a welcome treat. Our guests see these packages as great value and they sell out every year. Either way, the guest should never have been contacted about Elizabeth's mistake. We felt so bad that our Guest Service Manager, Larissa called to apologize and to let him know that we would happily honour the lower price. Larissa's sole responsibility at Harbour House is to ensure an exceptional experience for every one of our guests, so it is natural that she would call regarding this issue. It is a shame he felt so offended by that call that he needed to add personal insults to his review. As General Manager, I would have been very happy to discuss the matter with him, but truly believed we were calling with good news. We wanted to apologize for Rebecca calling him and to let him know that we would love to take care of him at the reduced rate. Hopefully, one day our intentions in this matter will be recognized and he and his partner will join us for the experience we were hoping to be able to provide them this year.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2008

Very enjoyable experience. Friendly and helpful staff. Shuttle to restaurants with fun and informative driver. Comfortable and spacious room and bathroom. Wonderful bed! Breakfast very nice even on a busy day with full house.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank OhioDiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Harbour House Hotel

Property: Harbour House Hotel
Address: 85 Melville Street | Box 760, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Niagara-on-the-Lake
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#1 Family Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#1 Romantic Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#7 Business Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Harbour House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a design reminiscent of maritime life in the 1880's, Harbour House captures the essence of historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. Overlooking the Niagara River, Harbour House is within easy walking distance to the Shaw Festival theatres and many fine restaurants, shops and galleries. Our 31 guestrooms and suites feature king-size feather-top beds, whirlpool tubs, fireplaces and entertainment centres. Our tariffs include a European-style breakfast served in the conservatory. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Harbour Hotel

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