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“Recommended - great value but rough around the edges” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Senator Saskatoon

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Hotel Senator Saskatoon
Ranked #28 of 39 Hotels in Saskatoon
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Recommended - great value but rough around the edges”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

More like 3.5 stars. The hotel market in Saskatoon is dominated by the chains and the prices are exorbitant throughout the city. So, when planning for a conference, I tried to go indie and found the Senator. The prices were lower but the look from their website gave it a classy feel. So, I booked a week for conference and family time afterwards. After the trip I can say I'm pleased with the purchase, but was left with some less-then-perfect vibes from the place.

Overall, the rooms were clean although small (I prefer small, so no problem there) the beds comfortable, and bathrooms had all that one needs. The rate was on par with what one might pay in Vancouver -- high! But still less than anything else near the downtown core. I thought the prairies were cheap, but I thought wrong.

The hotel itself is a mix of opulence and decline and possible remodel? It's clear that it was once the place to be in Saskatoon. There's a marble stair case, rich wood panelling at the check-in desk and the attached restaurant is decorated in fine Edwardian style. However, it's also clear that the maintenance has slipped some time between the establishment of the place and the present. Things seemed a little shabby with loose stair steps, lots of worn furniture in the hallways and smells that seep up from the pub below which have permeated the stair wells and hallways. Rooms are remodelled and very clean and comfortable though and that's the most important thing.

The downtown location is fantastic and gives access to lots of good food and things to do in the city. I was repeatedly pleased to step from my hotel onto a street filled with shops, restaurants, and lush trees. I'm a runner and appreciated that the river is two blocks from the Senator so I found lots of trails to run and keep me entertained while there. Finally, the attached bar is very good. They have a great selection of beer, good drinks, and it has a busy friendly atmosphere. The location made a week in Saskatoon for work feel a bit more like a vacation and that alone makes the Senator worth checking out.

One area the Senator could work on is improved staffing either through training, uniforms, or replacement. The staff was unhelpful/indifferent when I was having trouble with my internet connection. They eventually allowed me to change rooms after I repeatedly complained. Overall, they were only moderately willing to help. Additionally, although I'm a pretty shaggy guy, I somehow expect people behind desks to be dressed professionally. At the Senator there were no grooming requirements which doesn't lend confidence that the people running the hotel are pros at the business.

Overall, an okay experience. I'd go back to the senator were I to make another trip to Saskatoon. But, there are lots of things the hotel could work on which would cost little and greatly improve the experience.

Room Tip: For reference, rooms on the wing above the check-in desk and the pub have good wireless connectivity...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank faronium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver Island, BC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel despite some of the more negative reviews - we like to experience local flavour, rather than a generic cookie cutter hotel. As in other reviews, we felt the location was absolutely perfect for dining, shopping and exploring. The renovation in the common areas was gorgeous. Now for the negatives. We absolutely agree that the hotel reception was frosty and not very welcoming. No greeting and hardly any information offered voluntarily. We had to ask about the location of the parking etc. When we saw our room, we thought there must have been a mistake as we were aware that some of the rooms still were undergoing renovation. We went down to reception and asked if we could be upgraded to a renovated room. We were told that our room had been renovated. Upon closer inspection we could see that there was new carpet and paint. However, none of the bathroom fixtures had been upgraded - there was still the bottle opener from the 70's on the sink cabinet and there was black mould around the tub caulking. The door to the room looked like it was left over from the 70's as well. The room was extremely small for 2 people - absolutely no place to sit down except for the bed, but as we were usually out and about most of the day, this did not bother us too much. The hallways were very wide, dark and spooky - but we kind of enjoyed this - it added to the ambience - we expected to see Jack Nicholson from the "here's Johnny" scene in "The Shining". Would I stay here again? - not sure.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Vanx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gibsons, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

I originally stayed here in January - sure, the pipes froze and the Wifi was unreliable, but I was charmed. I decided to stay again for four nights in March, and I wish I could give it a better review. I also wish I had booked elsewhere, or maybe insisted on a better room.

Pros
- great location
- staff is generally friendly and helpful
- Winston's, right downstairs, is nice
- comfortable bed

Cons
- Unreliable wifi connection. Unable to work for more than a few minutes at a time.
- Paid extra for a corner room, got room 110. Unfortunately, it was unpleasant. Had all Saskatoon hotels not been sold out, I would have moved rooms or hotels.
- Door does not lock unless slammed - each day, after housekeeping had been, I came back an unlocked room, despite telling front desk about it. Didn't feel safe.
- Strange loud noise every few minutes, maybe pipes from above?
- Heating is very loud, which is unfortunate because thin windows make the room very cold.
- Room is on the corner of main intersection, and above door to bar. Loud traffic and drunk people all night.

I really, really wish I could give this place a better review. I'm not a complainer, but I'm really disappointed with my stay. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I do not think the extra space in room 110 is worth the extra cost.

I think that this hotel is great if you are looking for an affordable and charming central hotel (and ask for a quiet room.) However, if I return to Saskatoon on business, I will be staying elsewhere as I could not depend on their facilities to work efficiently.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the parking lot
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank geoallie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

We were enjoying our time in Saskatoon, while on a trip across Canada, we stayed an extra day at Hotel Senator. It would be what I consider a boutique hotel, modest amenities, but a lot of charm. We wanted to try some wine we purchased at the Market (which is awesome) and they lent us crystal glasses from their restaurant. Did everything they could to help us enjoy our stay. Would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Erin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince Albert, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

I knew this hotel when all anyone could say about it was that it was time to go. Then came the renovations. Slowly but surely the hotel regained its glory of days gone by. There are still things to do, but for the location , price, checkout time, charm, restaurant, Winston's pub, you can't beat the Senator. The marble in the staircase and the way the hotel has a way of transporting a person back to its heyday of the early 20th century is great.
I have stayed in the smaller rooms, a suite and the corner room, which for my money is the one to get. Beds are comfortable. It is quiet ( unless you believe in ghosts) and has charm, lots of charm.
Parking is a little tight at the back, but then when this Hotel was built the horse and buggy were king.
If you need shiny , new chrome and no personality this is not the hotel for you. But if you want a great sleep, with history and charm at a great price, stay at the Hotel Senator, I do.

Room Tip: Ask for the corner room overlooking 21st and 3rd.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Al B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
146 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2012 via mobile

The hotel itself is very old but it's been maintained over the years. Great downtown location!!! We stayed there for a Christmas party and it was great overall.
The location to downtown is perfect. Restaurants, shopping is only a short walk in any direction! Love this!
The rooms are older and small with some having newer tvs. But they were clean and well kept. I did notice some mold spots around the sink and in the tub. That was really the only downfall in the room.
Parking, well, that would be the other downfall. We parked on the street (free on weekends) but I did find out that there were a few spots in the back.
If you stay here you have to check out Winston's Pub (attached with a separate outside entrance) wonderful food and atmosphere!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bergs_Bees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level Contributor
179 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2012

A good hotel but quite old and as an air of having seen better days. My room was a bit cold but it was -5 outside. My room was very clean with a double bed, TV and adequate bathroom. A low rise hotel my room was on the 1st floor but it was pretty quiet. Handy for downtown Saskatoon, what there is of it!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Clembo1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hssaskatoon, General Manager at Hotel Senator Saskatoon, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Thank you for your review as we do appreciate all good and bad feedback for evaluation. We are constantly working on the hotel and just finished a 5 year upgrade of heating and air conditioning to a state of the art energy efficient closed loop heat pump system. I apologize if you experienced issues with your system while you stayed with us, and I hope you called to inform the desk, as we would have had it checked for you immediately. The dated and seen better days comment seems a bit unfair, as we have aggressively renovated all areas of the hotel, and are continually upgrading, as well as keeping the accommodation prices reasonable for downtown Saskatoon.

Thank you again for you business, as it is always appreciated, and safe travels!

Chris Beavis
Owner/Manager
Hotel Senator
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Senator Saskatoon

Property: Hotel Senator Saskatoon
Address: 243 21st St E | Downtown Saskatoon, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 0B7, Canada
Location: Canada > Saskatchewan > Saskatoon > Central Business District
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 39 Hotels in Saskatoon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Senator Saskatoon 3.5*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Saskatoon boutique downtown hotel, the Hotel Senator features Rembrandt's Fine Dining & Wine Bar with international cuisine, Winston's English Pub & Grill with over 50 taps, 80 imported ales, ciders, stouts and lagers and a home away from home personal attention and service. Your room awaits! Safe travels and we hope to see you soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Senator Hotel Saskatoon
Hotel Senator Saskatoon Saskatchewan

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