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“Mixed feelings about this hotel”

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Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Ranked #16 of 67 Hotels in Ottawa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Montreal
Level Contributor
43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings about this hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2009

I stayed earlier this week at the Chateau Laurier. I had booked a two-double bed room for me and my friend. We were given a room on the second floor with a view of the Parliament. I would not recommend any room with a view of the Parliament these days because of construction right below our window. It starts at 8 am! It's okay if you usually get up early, but if you prefer staying in bed late, better ask for a room in another part of the hotel. I did not like our room that much. It seemed from another era. The bathroom was very small but this was not a problem for us. TV was an old 20 inch model and the torch lamp almost fell in pieces when I attempted to turn it on. The bed was very comfortable. Overall the room was very clean.

Parking was very expensive, 38$ for valet and 28$ if you parked your car in the hotel parking. However, the valet gave us a map for a cheaper parking lot located about 5-10 minutes walk from the hotel. You can leave your luggage with the bell man and come back after parking the car.

There is a nice patio overlooking the Parliament, a lounge and a restaurant. The patio is quiet and it's a nice place to have a drink before dinner. The staff there was helpful. I had a question about some wine and the server could not give me an answer as she did not know that particular wine. She offered to bring me a glass so I could have a taste of the wine and I really appreciated it.

At the lounge, they serve the afternoon tea from 2pm, however nowhere it is mentioned that a reservation is preferable, yet required. My friend and I attempted to have the afternoon tea before our spa appointment at 4 pm so we went to the lounge at 2:20 pm. We were asked whether we had a reservation and we did not. We were asked to come back in an hour as they had reservations to honour. I still wonder how it was complicated to serve us tea and scones. It seemed to us that they could have accommodated us as there were a lot of empty tables in the lounge and I doubt that they were all for guests with reservations. Ah well... I wish the staff had been more helpful in explaining why we could not be seated and maybe suggest alternatives.

I mentioned a spa, but this was not the hotel spa. Two blocks down Rideau St., there is Holtz spa which is somewhat affiliated with the hotel. We had massages and we really liked the place. There is a little bistro on the premises, but we did not eat there.

I did not really enjoy my stay at the Chateau Laurier, as the afternoon tea episode left me with a bad impression. I am not sure If I will stay there again for leisure, maybe for business as I may attend conferences there in the future. Staying at this hotel would then be more convenient.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Steffie22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,675 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Vermont
Level Contributor
72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2009

Made our first tip to Ottawa this past weekend and booked in advance at the Fairmont Chateau Laureau. Arrived approx 10:30am and had a room immediately. Paid extra for the Parlament Hill view and wasn't dissapointed. Room looked down on the Rideau Canal locks, very clean and looked like newly rennovated. Chateau Laureau is definitely the best location in Ottawa. Besides being very close to Parlament Hill, is within very 5 min. walk of ByWard Market and Stark St. Pedestrian Mall and provides complimentary bicycles to use on the great bike paths. Chateau Laureau has the best elevators I've ever seen in any hotel. If you waited more than 30 sec. you wondered what the problem was. This was especially impressive considering the age of the hotel. Check out Milestone restauant for dinner (right next to the hotel) and Darcy Mc'Gees Irish Pub for drinks. Down by Byward Market, Stellas restaurant is very good as is the Cornerstone Cafe. We thought overall Ottawa had the best restaurant service we've had. Great trip. Chateau Laureau is worth extra cost. Before you go, join the Fairmont Presidents club and you get the free high speed (100 mps) internt access. Great city, great hotel, loved it.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JimVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2009

It's definitely a cool looking building from the outside and the main lobby is great. The staff often seems 'absent' though in the very large main floor.
Being so close to the parliament buildings is great for those interested in touring around the historic part of the city. It's also very close to the market area with all the store and restaurants.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Trip_tips_03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2009

Four nights here on business with my partner accompanying me. The room was spacious and the rate affordable. Check-in service was OK, although housekeeping hadn't removed all of the party streamers from the walls which remained from the previous guests.

The hotel billed the bed as "queen" but it was actually a double and was too soft for my liking. The bathroom was one of the largest I've seen in a hotel and had nice finishings around the sink but the shower was worse than primitive.

Good exercise room but the pool has a sickening amount of chlorine which permeates the air. Overall, everything was stylish in the building, including staff uniforms, and the location is unbeatable. We would stay again but would insist on a room with a decent shower!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Europhile_Pacific
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2009

Location Location Location for sure it's bloody great and the hotel itself is grand and has some sweet regal charm and all the pomp you'd expect and enjoy from a Fairmont. The rooms are big and clean. The staff however unfortunately are (well, they get what they pay for shall we say) - a little underwhelming. Sleepy and disintrested - not extremely accomodating. How so?

We arrive expecting to have our rooms prepped properly for a family of 5. We have two young boys with 2 King size rooms we were told had sofa beds. They didn't. They accomodated us with a comparable room switch alright, but with some attitude and it took FOREVER to get us moved. I had to call the front desk, then I had to call again - and again. We were there for a very short stint - no time to spend a precious hour waiting for them to get their act together.

Then we hit the terrace for some drinks and food. All told pretty good food and the price not bad really. The view was nice, the air was cool as was well. What was sad here again was a sleepy young waitress with too many tables and an expression that said 'ask me if I care chump, ask me if I care!'. I'm guessing she doesn't get paid to care.

Upon checkout (since they wasted so much of our time the night before) we wanted to leave a little later. We asked for late checkout for one of our rooms. They hummed and hawwed and finally gave in to one measly hour as if we were asking for the world. We checked out at the end of a holiday weekend - AS IF another soul was coming that night - they didn't need the room anyway. An extra couple hours would have made our world, they didn't care evidently. Petty. Three star response. Maybe a two star response. I spent a good fortune at the hotel and would likely again - OR NOT if they can't spare some weary travelers some extra sleep and sun time before heading home.

Another annoying incident occured as I attempted to take our own dolly upstairs to check our own baggages (since it took FOREVER for someone to come up). An elderly conceirge guy chastised me for taking the dolly and mentioned how they've already sent someone up.

Said someone may well have had a powernap on the way up because it took a friggen ENTERNITY for him to arrive. I tipped him well anyway. Why? Because I blame his boss Mr. Grouchy conceirge guy and not the messenger itself as it were. Imagine getting chasitsed by the staff at a hotel? Are they for real?

The bathroom was smaller than a old witches breast and the counter top space was laughable at best. The whole stay has blogworthiness. If you're a writer or a aspiring writer and any kind of critic whatsoever you'll LOVE the easy to point out 2 star failing points no purported 4 star hotel would dare sport.

We are a totally liberal super congenial couple and almost NEVER have any kind of issue with anyone. We're patient and thankful and courteous with the staff (perhaps annoyingly so) and bottle up our anger nice and healtily for a review such as this (versus complain to the underpaid staff who really don't care anyhow. It isn't their fault really, it's the management that clearly don't know how to run a classy hotel).

Would I go again? Perhaps, assuming they step up the service a chunk. Was I overwhelmed, hell no. EVERYTHING ELSE WAS GREAT don't get me wrong. So sad to fail at such a small few points. Their staff should be their strongest asset. Aparently they think the fancy spot and history are enough. It isn't.

Step up your staff Fairmont and regain the lost star. :(

Sadly yours, Jon

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WearyTravellerON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alicant
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2009

did not recieve reserved room even though i booked over a year in advance,hotel room door would not shut! for a hotel with it´s reputation you expect much more

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jameshart1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon, UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2009

I stayed her for a one week business trip. I liked the central location - couldn't be better - and the historical feel that the hotel has; it has lots of character.

The service was good throughout the week from all areas of the hotel: restaurants, room service, front desk & etc. absolutely no complaints there.

My two areas of complaint are:

1. My room was a bit 'tired' and could have done with a refresh. I suspect that this would be a general complaint in a hotel of this size and age and the cost of refurbishment would be huge. As examples, the air conditioning was noisy and I had to turn it off at night, which detracted from my enjoyment of the hotel, and the TV was pretty antiquated and had a limited choice of channels - no BBC World News for example.

2. The food in the bar was variable. I ate there on my second night and my meal was dried out and tasteless so I avoided the place until the last night when I came in late and just needed a snack - which happened to be a whole lot better.

Overall summary - an enjobale experience that could have been better.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IandKV
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 Romantic Hotel in Ottawa
#5 Luxury Hotel in Ottawa
#5 Green 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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