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“Good but not as good as it could be”

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Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Ranked #17 of 67 Hotels in Ottawa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Good but not as good as it could be”
Reviewed April 22, 2012

I stayed in a suite on the gold floor with my husband, we were there for business so we wanted a little extra space. Suite was indeed spacious, living room area with couch (sofa bed) and a couple armchairs plus desk and a large dresser/tv stand piece of furniture. The king bed was separated by french doors from the living room. We had 2 closets, lots of drawer space, separate TV in LR and BR. The bath was indeed small, this is par for the course in theses historic hotels. It didn't bother me as the space is utilized wisely and the bath is deep and long and you can actually have a bath in it, as opposed to the tiny modern tubs that are the norm now.

I enjoyed the high ceilings and large windows that open. The decor was classic and maybe showing some wear but most certainly all very clean and acceptable. The room had a mini bar and wired as well as wireless internet (included on Gold floor). House keeping was excellent.

My one complaint was the lack of climate control throughout the entire suite. There was only 1 air register, in the LR part of the suite. So, the bedroom area even with doors open was very hot and stuffy. The hotel staff came to look, and told me the climate control was indeed working properly, but that there was just no vent in the bedroom. I was given a fan which made it acceptable, but if it were the middle of summer, I may have thought differently.

I had asked for a quiet room, and my room was indeed quiet. I did not hear another guest for my entire stay. I heard a few doors slam late morning, but that was it. My take on this, from my experiences and from speaking with other guests, is that there is a lot of variaiblility in rooms in theses older hotels since they were not built as identical little boxes. Perhaps other suites have different layouts that do not experience the climate control problem or that may not be as quiet.

As for the hotel itself, I found all of the staff to be very helpful. I had lunch at Wilfred's one day and it was great. The gold floor lounge was good, but not as good as others I have experienced at other Fairmonts or at other hotels. The room is tight on space and could use one more staff during breakfast hours to keep the coffee etc supplied when busy. All of the lounge staff were doing a great job and provided excellent service, but there just weren't enough staff at breakfast time when the lounge was busy.

The gym was excellent and had good locker facilities. The pool looked inviting but I did not have time to use it.

Location can't be beat, central to Parliament and shopping and restaurants.

Overall, if I was in Ottawa again I would likely stay here as it probably is the best hotel in the city.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aparticulartguest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauLaurier, General Manager at Fairmont Chateau Laurier, responded to this review, April 24, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us, and I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
North Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
57 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

I assisted in the coordination of a conference at this hotel, so this review will cover some of the business aspects as well as the guest aspects.

FOR PLEASURE:
The room I had (397) was quite small, with a bit of a hallway. It was a corner room the furthest end away from the elevators but I had a lovely view of the parliament buildings from my small bedroom (queen bed, desk, but only one arm chair... other rooms had two), and a view of Major's Hill Park from the bathroom. The bed was super comfortable, as were the pillows.

I like to sleep with the window open and no a/c, and so it was that I could hear the Parliament Hill Peace Tower clock chime every 15 minutes. Annoying, yes, but with the double-paned windows closed, I could not hear a thing.

The housekeeping attendents were the friendliest I have ever encountered.

Room service was prompt. I ordered the maple crepes for breakfast one morning as a "treat" and they were delicious.

The coffee maker in the room used Nabob coffee, which isn't my favourite, but I really did appreciate having it a few mornings. There is also a small selection of complementary teas.

One evening I had dinner in the bar/lounge, Zoe's. The service was alright, if a bit slow. The menu is very expensive and although I was very impressed with the delicious flavour of my meal (I ordered a BBQ sandwich), I was so disappointed with the extremely small size of it, and no fries or salad to accompany it either. I left feeling a bit ripped off as it wasn't cheap and I was still starving. (I should mention here that I am a woman with a small to average appetite). I went to the little Fairmont shop and purchased a bag of chips to help curb my appetite. (the mini bar items are outrageously priced... I'm not sure why hotels even bother with that anymore).

I had lunch one day in Wilfrid's. The prices are a little high there as well, but at least my cobb salad was yummy and satisfying.

The hotel is currently celebrating their 100 year anniversary, and have several pictures around showing the interesting history.

I saw the pool, but didn't bring my bathing suit. It has recently been upgraded to a salt-water system, rather than chlorine. It's a neat room and I wish I had been able to go for a swim. They have a sauna, but no hot tub. The fitness centre is large and clean and has lovely new machines.

The location of the hotel is convenient to tour around Parliament Hill, the National Art Gallery, The Museum of Civilization, the Rideau shopping centre, the Rideau canal and Byward market. Several restaurants are nearby, including several places on Elgin Street.

FOR BUSINESS:
Any time something urgent came up, I could rely on pretty much any hotel staff I came across to assist me. I was so impressed with this level of service.

The conference rooms we used had some natural light and were fairly comfortable, although after a few hours the chairs started to cause some fidgeting. We ordered simple breakfasts and lunches, and they were quite good. One day we had a squash chipotle lime soup which was outstanding.

The business centre was helpful, but can quickly get pricey if you have large jobs (like photocopying or shredding), so you would be best to plan ahead or go to another vendor.

I was surprised that some of the water glasses we had in the room were super dirty - lipstick smudges & lots of water stains. I didn't have time to bring this to their attention, but it was the only thing that was way below their standards.

This is a beautiful hotel, definitely up to Fairmont standards. But it's their staff that made my stay truly outstanding.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iloveclubmed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauLaurier, General Manager at Fairmont Chateau Laurier, responded to this review, April 24, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us, and I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
74 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

Perfect location, good sized rooms and friendly staff. Excellent fitness facilities and a beacutiful 1920's designed swimming pool. Make sure you ask for a room facing the canal as the views are excellent. A stylish design without making you feel uncomfortable. I would definitely stay here on my next trip to Ottawa.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kaeru30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauLaurier, General Manager at Fairmont Chateau Laurier, responded to this review, April 24, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us, and I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Osnabruck, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2012

We spent a few days in Ottawa and chose to stay at the Chateau Laurier as it was right in the middle of the tourist area and was within walking distance to places like the Byward Market. The hotel itself was stunning, and has the old world charm and history. The service was the best I have ever had and the staff are nothing but professional and friendly. My only complaint is that it was pricey, but for the level of luxury its understandable. Probably wouldn’t go back again, as this was a one time splurge trip, but only because of the cost and nothing else. If we found they had a more economical rate, we would be there in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sabir H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
781 reviews
144 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,309 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2012

I recently visited this grand old hotel again after about 24 years away. I have stayed in Fairmont properties in Toronto, Banff, Boston, Chicago and Ottawa and this one holds its own. It is a gra d old castle that is worth I try. The setting is spectacular ( right next to Parliament Hill, steps from the National War Memorial [which is a must visit site], right beside the Rideau Canal, steps from Byward Market) this hotel has location and history on its side. As I do with all Fairmont Hotels is spent some time just wandering around to see what there is to see and there was plenty of history to absorb. I learned that the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's tragic sinking is also the 100th anniversary of the Chateau Laurier (and the Copley Plaza). There is a Peacock Alley (reminisient of the Waldorf Astoria) and a magnificent lobby and bay (where I recommend you have a night cap before retriing). The staff are friendly and helpful. The downtown awaits. The main museums are close at hand. There is an excellent Irist Canadian pub nearby called Darcy McGee's. The gym is well equiped and spacious. It is a great spot.

I recommend that you join the Fairmont's Presidents Club. It provides you benefits immediately and costs you nothing. After 10 stays you are at the maximum level and get somepretty spectacular benefits.

So do yourself a favour and try this place out and then know that if you go to the Royal York you will get all this buton a grander scale.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JamesII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauLaurier, General Manager at Fairmont Chateau Laurier, responded to this review, April 18, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us, and I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2012

We have stayed at the 'Chateau" many times in the past few years, mainly for 'staycations' & we love this old hotel. Sure, the rooms are a bit 'tired', but they're clean & bright (big windows). The location is perfect, close to the Parliament Buildings, Byward Market, National Gallery, National Arts Centre etc. Zoe's Lounge is a perfectly gentile place for a drink or light supper.

Room Tip: Try the West side for Parliament Hill
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank canuck2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauLaurier, General Manager at Fairmont Chateau Laurier, responded to this review, April 18, 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us, and I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2012 via mobile

I was a little worried as I read some of the negative reviews after I booked this hotel. But we checked in and all worries went away. The service was terrific and the king room we stayed in was nice, large and clean. The location cannot be beat short walk to all the sights I wanted to see while in Ottawa and it is such a beautiful building. However the hotel is old, I would describe it as old world luxury, if you want something new and trendy stay somewhere else.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Allison555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Property: Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Address: 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8S7, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Ottawa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Ottawa
#5 Green Hotel in Ottawa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ottawa
#12 Business Hotel in Ottawa
#12 Family Hotel in Ottawa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Chateau Laurier 4*
Number of rooms: 429
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reflecting the confidence, dignity and style of Ottawa, Fairmont Chateau Laurier stands as a testament to this dynamic, thriving city. Located in the heart of Canada's capital next door to the Parliament Buildings, the landmark Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa is a magnificent limestone edifice with turrets and masonry reminiscent of a French chateau. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel Ottawa
Fairmont Hotel Ottawa
Fairmont Hotel Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Ottawa
Ottawa Fairmont

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