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“Wonderful, cosy, welcoming hotel”

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Harbour House Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 27, 2010

This hotel is rated as the number 1 hotel in Niagara on the Lake. Considering there are many five star hotels, this is some accolade. My wife and I had visited Niagara on the Lake a couple of times and fell in love with the place so we decided it would be lovely to get married there. We wanted a small ceremony and spent several days visiting all of the best hotels in the town to find a suitable place for the ceremony, and then obviously we wanted the best room we could find for our wedding night.

Having viewed the Honeymoon suites in every hotel in town, the one at the Harbour House was the one that blew us away. It was a beautiful room, a large comfortable bed and lovely fireplace, with a stunning bathroom with large whirlpool bath, separate shower and a lovely view over the river. Accordingly this is the one that we picked.

Unlike most five star hotels, this hotel has no swimming pool, no gym, no restaurant and very few facilities at all. However, what this hotel does offer is a very cosy place to stay and it really is like staying with an old friend (albeit an old friend who has serious amounts of money and taste!). Guests are made to feel like guests in the truest sense of the word, rather than just paying punters like in most other hotels.

The reception area is like a lovely lounge in a country retreat, with nice comfy chairs around an open fire. There are a selection of books on the shelves and a large selection of DVDs which you may take as you please to watch on the DVD player that each room has. Each afternoon guests are invited to sample some local wine and cheese in the reception area, which is a really nice touch.

All of the staff are so friendly, yet not-over friendly. They are polite, professional, courteous and make you feel as though nothing is too much trouble. They are all genuinely welcoming and I got the impression that even if they weren’t being paid to work there, they would probably come in anyway just because they enjoy being there.

We checked in early and so our room wasn’t quite ready. However, upon arrival we were given some freshly baked cookies and a cup of coffee, all for free, whilst we waited. It’s little touches like this that really set this hotel apart from pretty much every other hotel I’ve ever stayed in. In many ways it is more like the best English style B&B in the world, and whilst it is not cheap, I think it has the character and charm that most larger/chain hotels lack.

As I said earlier, there is no restaurant and there is no pool/gym etc but unless you really need these facilities then don’t let that put you off. They have partnerships with the Shaw Club and the Charles Inn where you can enjoy a spa or a fine meal, both of which are within walking distance.

There is however a breakfast room, where a simple breakfast is laid out every morning. It is an interesting mix of a continental breakfast and cakes and sweet pastries. The breakfast room had a lovely atmosphere and although it was busy and clearly almost at full capacity, the room was quiet and we felt that the staff really treated us as though we were VIPs.

Having stayed in the Pillar and Post, and visited the Prince of Wales, The Queen’s Landing, Shaw Club, and the Charles Inn (which make up the rest of the top 6 hotels in the area), I can say with confidence that in my view the Harbour House is miles better than all of them.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank RJOfford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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946 - 952 of 1,236 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2010

Booked this hotel with great anticipation through expedia. Called the property in advance to assure availability which was confirmed by hotel staff. Proceeded to book and confirm on line. Received confirmation and credit card was charged. Proceeded to book and make other plans for activities while in the area. When we arrived at the hotel we where informed that expedia had overbooked us and they had no rooms. Feeling vulnerable to the circumstance as we had travelled a long distance and had made deposits and booked other events that were subject to cancellation charges we were compelled to take alternate accommodation in a related property. Appreciating that staff had tried to provide a suitable remedy we agreed. Whole experience dampened or plans and enthusiasm. Will not likely attempt to return to an ontario finest inn property. Love expedia and have never had this experience before this hotel chain seems to use the conditions of booking to fill vacancies in there less desirable and cheaper properties. Had found the property through expedia and relied on the reviews and ratings by them. This company clearly does not honor the business partnership they have with expedia.

Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
8  Thank sceezicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

this is a slightly below average inn at a highly inflated price. we were in river view rooms that really had a very poor view (both rooms 305 and 206). Although the mangmt gave us the second room at the same price as the first which we booked earlier(a nice thing) the room had visible signs of a leak and had to be changed when it started leaking (not really a big deal but could have been avoided). towels put on the floor after use were rehung in our bathroom which was very unsanitary, and they are very stingy with the towels at only two per room. turndown service was a joke the one eve they did do it. (only took pillows off the bed and put on the floor, weird)

The beds were said to be rated as the most comfortable in canada which was truly a joke. Any nice hotel ive ever stayed in had more comfortable mattresses

In the morning the buffet breakfast had nothing hot except drinks and the juices seemed more like drinks than actual juice.(cheap stuff not squeezed). What seemed to be left over from our first day was on the buffet the second day and obviously not as fresh!

The wine in the aftternoon is served by the same person who watches the front desk and you cannot pour for yourself. It is an effort to get a second rather small glass and only had wine the first day in that it had to be a very inexpensive and not very good bottle of local wine (there is a law that you cannot pour yourself wine so they say). Also there are only a few chairs where a person can sit in the lobby so if there are five people there already you are out of luck. No pool, No restaurant, convoluted entrance from the parking lot.

Although i was not going to complain to mgmt i mentioned a couple of problems to the night person who gave us more towels. He in turn must of reported to the person who checked us out. It was nice of them to offer me a 20% discount on my next visit,. i thought that was strange. All the poor things that happened were on this visit why not compensate me then? I realized it was just an effort to get me to return to a substandard as well as overpriced inn(even with 20% off) when there are so many better choices.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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9  Thank travelguy500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

Staying here was a real treat. They look after all the little details to make the stay a great one. It is walking distance to the Shaw Festival and most restaurants. The beds are oh so comfortable. The breakfast was European continental and delicious. Enjoyed meeting others at the afternoon wine tasting although it was limited when we were there. It is an expensive getaway but you certainly get treated royally

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank chrisbob499262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2010

This is the 3rd time we have stayed at this Hotel. We love it. The rooms are decorated like someones room not like a hotel. Everything is new and clean. When you walk into the lobby you can smell homemade cookies, which they give you to take home. Breakfast is included in your stay and it is all homemade, buffet style. The Hotel itself is gorgeous, it looks like someones house. The staff is friendly and helpful and value for money is great. This is not a cheap place to visit the town is here for tourists. Lots of great restaurants too around town.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank sandybeachsareus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2010

Wanted to try this highly hyped new hotel at NOTL. Not really a hotel as has just 25+ rooms and they are relatively small and inexpensively built. This is more like a bed and breakfast but at high season hotel prices. Room was $299 plus tax and total bill of $335 per night. They pull the breakfast at 10 am and kick you out at 11 am sharp! If you stay at Harbour House you are paying double what you should pay. I recommend that you find a bed and breakfast elsewhere because thats all you get here. Staff was cool as the reception desk girl talks on the phone and ignores the people standing in front of her. I wouod not go back to this place.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank krpsarasota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2010

thank you for our wonderful stay at your hotel; everything was spectacular. Your staff is definitely very well trained, very personal and available when needed. Our room, the service, the breakfast and everything was just very special. We received this stay from a group of friends at our church who wanted to show their appreciation for some volunteer work we did, so receiving it as a gift made it even better.
Thank you for everything, we will tell everyone what a nice place you have.
Sincerely,
Julie and Bob Furminger
Tonawanda , New York

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Julie60974
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

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 Romantic Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#1 Family Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
#7 Business Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Price Range: $156 - $343 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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