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“Stay Elsewhere”
Review of Albert Street Inn

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Albert Street Inn
Ranked #16 of 18 Hotels in Stratford
Reviewed August 10, 2008

I stayed at the Albert Street Inn for four nights in August 2008, while I was in Stratford for the Shakespeare Festival. I will not be staying there again.

On the plus side, the location is great: right in the heart of downtown Stratford and within walking distance of most of the theaters. Also, the front desk staff are courteous and professional (but the desk closes at 8 p.m.).

Unfortunately, there were a lot of negatives at this hotel. I stayed in two different rooms, and both were dingy and tired. The bathrooms were not very clean; I found mold in the showers, hair on the sink and a dirty towel crumpled behind the door. In the bedrooms, the carpets were stained and felt dirty. There is no wireless Internet, which is inconvenient, and there are only nine parking spots, which are first-come-first-serve and cost an extra $9 per day. (And, apparently, having a parking pass is no guarantee of getting a space, as I soon found out.)

Other problems: The window AC units in both rooms were ancient and very noisy; there were no security chains on the doors, just flimsy deadbolts; and the hallways are dimly lit with lots of blind corners.

My trip to Stratford was pretty last-minute, and this was the only hotel downtown that had a room available all four nights. That should have been my first clue! In the future, I'll plan ahead more and stay at Bentley's, where I've always had a great experience.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled solo
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Thank ashley627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 - 177 of 194 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2008

Although I had booked for longer, I left after one night. The website doesn't capture that the Inn smells of damp and mould. Travellers should be aware that it you check out early, their policy (which wasn't told to me when I booked) is to charge you for any night you booked that they don't resell. I voluntarily paid one extra night which is the policy I am aware of in hotels. After considerable wrangling and unpleasantness I was refunded the additional charge of a third night they levied on my card ten days after I left.

As noted in other reviews, the staff are young. Frequently though their lack of training was clearly in evidence: they gave different answers, were frequently confused (that should have been my first clue when I booked by phone and it took several tries to figure out what was actually being confirmed). Worse, though, they would often get defensive. (For example, when I asked if there was an elevator the clerk exclaimed "It's an 1880s building!").

I took a suite as no single room was available. The suite had no opening windows and one very noisy air conditioner in the living room window, thus no air at all in the bedroom (and it was hot). To get any air circulation at all I had to keep the bedroom door open and pin back the heavy drapes, which meant street lighting flooded the room all night. There was no bedside lamp and the very low overhead ligting made it impossible to read in bed. I tried the floor lamp only to find the switch was broken. there was a tiny bathroom with no bath, just a shower stall. The only good thing about the suite was the bed 's nice fresh linens. The hallway and lobby carpets were dirty and noise carried up and down the halls and floors.

My booking also involved (prepaid) lunches and dinners at the Avoca Restaurant. I ate a couple and even though I had already paid for them, I and others then went elsewhere. Most food was oversalted and mediocre, and the service was extremely slow. The best I can say is that the salads were fresh. The 'breakfast' was some long made coffee in flasks, some stale muffins and some fruit.

The overall impression I got was that a service ethos and proper staff training was lacking. The underlying message seemed to be "We're trying our best in an old building, and that should be enough". Sorry, in the tourism business where there is lots of competition, it isn't.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled on business
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Thank Trakette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2008

I find it hard to believe someone could have an experience as poor as some of the recent reviews indicate. I found the staff of the Albert Street Inn (and the adjoining restaurant Avoca) to be helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. My needs were consistently anticipated and catered to. One staff member even ran up the street to find a newspaper I was looking for - not by request. The room was clean and nicely decorated. The bed and linens were new and extremely comfortable. It was hard to believe the relative cost was so reasonable. Thank you once more to the friendly, professional team at the Albert Street Inn (and Avoca). Don't let these sour reviews get you down... some people just don't want to be happy.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sjmalkmus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2008

It sounds like some recent guests of the Albert St. Inn are those typical complainers who just complain about everything. Gosh they bug me. I booked directly with the hotel and the young staff were quite helpful, and energetic. I stayed for 5 nights and got just what I wanted. A nice comfy bed (queen), cleaned room everyday, a very affordable price in what is becoming a more expensive trip to make to Stratford, and a great location, probably the most central of any accomodation available. People saying all the carpets are old and grose obviously have an axe to grind, the whole place was recarpeted 2 years ago the desk girl told me when they were explaining the history of the property. The attached restaurant is good and service there is great. I do recommend the place and dont take those other reviews too seriously, why is that one person still trying to resolve their bill, they either stayed or they didnt?? Or are they kind of complainers we all just shake our head at whining to get a deal. I know the type...

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled solo
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Thank finsmithers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2008

I spent a couple hours surfing the web, looking for a place to stay in Stratford for a wedding. I thought Albert St. looked nice, judging by their website. Don't be fooled! The duvets are nice and so is the wall paint colour, as you see in their website photo. What you don't see is that the carpet is the cheapest imaginable. The bathroom is kind of cute, but be warned that ours was very small. There was a shower, no tub, a tiny sink. That is all fine, but when we tried to shower in the morning, the water pressure was so bad (or something) that the water kept going off. I was left standing in the shower for several minutes covered with soap - no water at all. It would come on for a bit and go off again. When there was water, it was pure hot water. If I turned down the hot, the water turned right off again.
In addition, the room smelled very strongly of damp and mildew. The window could not be opened. The air conditioning unit was a very loud little thing.
On a bright note, we got a parking spot in front of the hotel for free because we arrived so late (maybe 9 pm) on a Saturday and parking is free on Sundays. It was nice to be right downtown. However, I have stayed in downtown Vancouver at a much much nicer place for the same price ($135).
I would not stay here again. I complained about the water and the smell when we were checking out and all the desk clerk had to say was, "Uhhh... sorry."

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank rtw2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2008

Pros:

Location is great. Bed was pretty comfortable. Room size (#102) was decent. (called a mini-suite with a sofa bed and a double bed and a wall between).

Cons:

Staff is pleasant and polite but not terribly competent. If you have no special requests you might not notice.

Examples: I asked for extra towels as there were three of us. The clerk turned to the maid (in my presence) and asked her to get them. The maid said "They're checking out today." The clerk said they want to shower. The maid says ok. I go back to the room. As the other two are sleeping I crack the door so I can get the towels quietly. 45 minutes go by. Suddenly three maids burst in ready to clean, including the original maid. I look at her and said, I am waiting for the towels. She says "Oh yes, sorry." Three more minutes go by and the towels arrive.

Morning coffee in the lobby. Coffee, cream, etc. is set out. I have to ask the clerk for cups. Clerk says cheerfully "Oh yes I forgot to put those out."

As someone else noted, when I called hotel direct to book, no mention of the parking situation. I had to ask for the $9/day parking pass. (Thank you Trip Advisor!) (Note: There is a public lot directly across the street and you can get a free day pass from the City Visitor Center.)

The carpet on the main stairs/hall is disgusting and dirty.

Many flies in the lobby.

In our room, the furnishings were cheap looking and old. The only exception was the flat screen TV and the bed. Sofa bed was especially shabby.

The small bathroom was adequate. The shower tiles were so cracked (BIG cracks) it looked like an earthquake victim. They had installed a newer shower head, so water flow was adequate, but it sure wasn't pretty.

By the way the cold muffins some had remarked on seemed to be gone; there was only coffee. (but it was quite good.)

At check-in, I could clearly see in large print a list of things for the clerk to review with in-coming guests. My clerk mentioned one of the 6-8 things on the list.

It's the kind of place that with a great staff and some good cosmetic renovations people would flock to. However, that's not what it is now.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Gretchen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2008

Recently visited Stratford during the early season of the Shakespeare Festival 2008, enjoyed the shows especially the Music Man, but was disappointed with Albert St. Inn, the hotel we stayed for one night.

The hotel is at a good location, the beds are generally comfortable; unfortunately there isn’t much else good about it.

A few things are not very good:

1. Lack of communication – we booked the hotel through the Stratford Festival site while booking our tickets. I never got a confirmation from the hotel. I was surprised to see a full amount was then charged to my credit card by the hotel months before the date we will actually be staying, I guess at least, it served as a confirmation that I will have a room in the hotel.

2. No parking – I didn’t know this until read traveler reviews from Trip Advisor the day before our trip, so we had to drive around try to find a parking spot that is not too far from the hotel.

3. Look old, smell old – the stairs, hallway and room all need some serious renovation - the carpet is old, the room lacks of fresh air, the window in the room is so old it can’t be opened…

4. Staff lacks basic knowledge about the town – this may not be a fair statement to describe all staff, but at least the person at front desk we talked to could not answer basic questions about the town, and she told us that she is not from around here.

Well, I would have to think there are better hotels in Stratford, next time I will do a bit more research before booking…

  • Stayed: May 2005, traveled with family
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Thank FTMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Albert Street Inn

Address: 23 Albert St, Stratford, Ontario N5A 3K2, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Stratford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 18 Hotels in Stratford
Price Range: $93 - $165 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Albert Street Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 34
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Albert Street Hotel Stratford
Albert Street Motel
Albert Street Inn Stratford, Ontario

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