Over the years i have raced in many canoe/kayak and dragonboat races in Welland and recently stayed here for the 2011 national sprint canoeing championships.
Niagara College has two campuses in the area, each with their own residences - one on Niagara-on-the-Lake and one in Welland. The Welland location is definitelty the 'poorer cousin' of the two, and really the two main benefits of staying here are the simple but sufficient continental breakfast and the proximity to Welland proper as well as the Welland International Flatwater Course (WIFC) - less than 10 minute drive at the speed I was driving.
The Welland campus looks new and so does the residence building. But looks are deceiving and the smell and overall grimey feel of the residence had me wanting to spend as little time inside as possible.
- My Garmin GPS couldn't find the place, but search for 1st Avenue and not First Avenue and you will have an easier time finding the property
- The main reception staff are friendly and helpful so there is nothing bad to say about them however what first hits you is the smell of old uncirculated air
- Each floor has a TV and activity lounge, the hallway carpets are really worn and dirty and has the feel of an early 80s dormitory that hasn't been cleaned since then.
- Even for a residence I feel they cut corners with the rooms. Each suite does come with a kitchenette and medium size freezer/fridge, sink and microwave.
- Bedrooms: There are two bedrooms with work desk, bed, small LCD TV with 20 channels, and open closet space where your paper thin (but functional) towel is hung. Mattress is definitely dormitory grade but sleepable.
- Washroom: Shower stall, sink and toilet; Shower is of 'bath fitter' quality and the plastic flooring in room 349 is already peeling. The ceiling is panelled and the metal framing is already rusting badly and despite their best efforts to include a fan to prevent the buildup of moisture they really should have spent a little money on using the right materials for the washroom.
- Warning for those with allergies: They allow pets in the rooms for one and so the associated dirt and cat/dog hair makes this place a nightmare for those with allergies.
- Continental breakfast is scheduled to be served from 7:00-10:00 am: A good thing that the staff did during our group's stay was that breakfast was often ready before 7. Choices for cereal, fruit (bananas, apples, oranges), Bagels/Bread, jam, peanut butter, butter, margarine, juice, etc. are good plain foods for athletes on race day. Anything more complicated, a trip to Tim Horton's would suffice.
Overall there is a worn down feel to the place but if you don't mind that and want to be close to the WIFC and not paying Best Western prices, then stay here. Otherwise, if you spend an extra 10-15 minutes on your commute, you can stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake's campus and not have the same grimey feel but have all the benefits of a newer and more spacious property.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Residence & Conference Centre - Welland at Niagara College Campus offers affordable hotel like accommodations and is conveniently located at the heart of the Niagara region in Welland, Ontario; within 15 minutes of major attractions in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Fort Erie/Buffalo NY. We are a great home base for your visit to the Niagara Falls and Niagara River area attractions. Our property is just 10 minutes away from picturesque Niagara River bike trails and the beautiful waterway of the Welland Canal. A value priced alternative to bike-friendly hotels, Residence & Conference Centre - Welland is a favourite for many guests cycling in Ontario and cycling tour groups throughout the summer months. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Residence & Conference Centre - Welland At Niagara College Ontario