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.
- 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