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“Very Poor Experience”

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Hotel Julien Dubuque
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Dubuque
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 13, 2011

In all, I was very disappointed with the Hotel Julien and their lack of basic service to guests. I had to call multiple times to get the room serviced even though I was gone all day. The wet towels on floor were never replaced during a week of stay. The room was very small, especially for the price. They did not clear the parking lot from snow until afternoon making it impossible to leave, despite all adjacent roads being cleared and multiple inquiries from guests about expected times for clearing the lots. They also would not let me borrow a shovel to clear it myself (they claimed it was a liability) but allowed the next guest in line to take the shovel. After returning from my trip, I was billed an additional $8 for mini bar/snack items, which I did not eat. They were quick to refund when called, but I would strongly forewarn future travelers of this questionable practice.

I will stay at another hotel the next time I visit the area. The hotel itself was nice enough, but it was expensive with terrible service. Overall, it was a horrible experience.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank megreen4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Julien, General Manager at Hotel Julien Dubuque, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2011

It is indeed our intention that each of our guests receives the best care and service possible during their stay with us. Our service standards provide for daily housekeeping service including the refreshment and replacement of supplies. This is a standard and should not be a concern for our guests. In our rooms, we provide a selection of honor bar items that are inventoried upon departure. If inventory errors are made, we are happy to make corrections. This is a convenience for our guests that should be seamless.

We are all happy that the snow is behind us and we are eager to enjoy warm summer weather. The safety of our guests is always of the utmost important to us and when winter storms arrive; we work diligently to make our surrounding area as safe as possible as quickly as possible. As spring is in the air, it is a great time to visit Dubuque. We appreciate your comments and hope we have the opportunity to take better care of you on a future stay.

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2,244 - 2,250 of 2,318 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2011

My wife and I stayed here partly based on the over enthusiastic reviews here on Tripadvisor. We found the hotel to be nice but nothing special.

The pros:
It is very convenient to downtown Dubuque activities, such as they are and reasonably close to Galena, IL. The renovation of the hotel was done very well, keeping the history of the hotel in mind along with modern conveniences. Rooms are nicely appointed and reasonably large, which is not always the case in older hotels. Dampers on the doors to prevent them from slamming! What a novel idea. You get kudos for that.

The cons:
We found plenty of small misses that begin to add up. Note that we frequently stay in Hampton Inn and above quality properties. So, that explains our baseline.

No covered parking. To get to the parking in the back, you either walk through the restaurant or down a flight of stairs through the lobby. Parking is not well marked. Not a big deal, but remember that this place bills itself as a luxury property and you are paying a premium based on Iowa prices.

More street and room noise that we had anticipated. Again, not a big deal, but be prepared as there are a couple of bars in the area and we could hear furniture moving above us late at night.

Toiletries are not luxury quality. I found the soap to be disgusting and I didn't think I cared about soap before this.

Ditto on the coffee provided in the room and restaurant.

Service is spotty. Again, this is billed as a luxury property. We asked a standard question about pillows -- i.e. are foam pillows available. Met with a blank stare and then a promise to follow up, which never happened. Restaurant service was similar. First night for dinner, the server appeared disappointed that we didn't order something more expensive than salads. Disappeared for much of the remainder of the meal. The following day for breakfast our server told us that her section was in the back while we were in the front.(And, I care because......?) Other employees we met were courteous and attentive.

Restaurant quality was nothing special. Grilled chicken on the salad was over done with pepper. The bread was 'infused' with sun dried tomato. Which apparently means 1/2 of your bread is sun dried tomato. Way over done. Breakfast -- I ordered the banana bread French toast based on rave review here. Was promptly told by the server that I should 'prepare myself' because it's 'way too much' sweet. I'm used to Midwestern friendliness, but was a little put off by the coffee shop familiarity in the middle of a 'luxury' restaurant. Also, she was quite right. banana bread French toast -- way over the top. Seems to be a theme with the chef here. I would recommend skipping the restaurant entirely. Wish I had.

The HBO schedule in the room was from the prior month. Yes, the month just changed. But, it does that about every 30 days.

Dust in the room and a cabinet that wouldn't shut. Renovation wasn't that long ago.

Overall, the hotel is fine. It's certainly not a horror story and they don't miss the mark significantly anywhere. But, I can't understand the 5 star ratings on here. 5 stars means you should be hitting on all cylinders and they simply don't.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank winpop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Julien, Front Office Manager at Hotel Julien Dubuque, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2011

We are thrilled that our Trip Advisor reviews enticed you to stay with us at Hotel Julien Dubuque. Our guest feedback is very important to us and we appreciate your comments. You had mentioned some amenities in the hotel that are not to your preference. We are happy to provide some additional detail for the benefit of all Trip Advisor readers. In our rooms we use Aveda products for the complimentary shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soaps. The scent that we provide is rosemary and mint. Many of our guests consider it quite refreshing. The in-room coffee is brewed using Keurig coffee makers. The brand of coffee is Green Mountain Coffee K cups in the flavor of Breakfast Blend.

We appreciate the kind comments about the renovation, we have many guests who tell us that visiting the hotel is even better than the pictures on our website. Hopefully the next time you stay with us you will also be able to enjoy our pool and fitness center as well as Potosa Spa which is located within the hotel on the lower level. Serene and rejuvenating, Potosa Spa is often visited by our guests to make their stay at Hotel Julien Dubuque even more enjoyable. Thank you again for your comments, our guest feedback is of the utmost importance to us.

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Reviewed March 28, 2011

My fiancée and I took a weekend getaway to the Hotel Julien Dubuque this past fall and found ourselves rejuvenated by our stay. This hotel is wonderfully restored and reflects the craftsmanship and refinement of a bygone era. It was definitely an unexpected find in the relatively unassuming town of Dubuque, IA.

Location:
The hotel is in downtown Dubuque and within walking distance of the downtown shops, the Fenelon Place Elevator, the River Museum, and one of the casinos. There were plenty of parking spaces available when we arrived on an early Friday evening.

Room:
We booked a Deluxe room and found it looking almost exactly like the pictures posted on the hotel's website. The king size bed was relatively firm and the bathroom was spacious with a double sink and sizable shower. The flat-screen TV was positioned in such a way that I could be turned to face either the sitting area or the bed.

Amenities:
While at the hotel, we took advantage of the fitness room, pool, and hot tub. The fitness room isn't anything fancy and only had a couple of each type of basic machine, but it was sufficient for our needs. The indoor pool area was nicely redone and ringed with several lounge chairs. There were relatively few people at the pool when we visited so we felt like we had sufficient personal space. But since the pool area isn't overly large, we could image it filling up quickly and become overcrowded.

Final thoughts:
We enjoyed our weekend escape to this historic hotel in Dubuque. While the hotel did seem to be on the relatively pricey side, we enjoyed our experience overall and thought that it was money well spent. It was a nice alternative for getting away on a smaller budget than would be required if we went to one of the big cities in the region.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank lcwlcwlcw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2011

My husband and I planned a visit to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium with an overnight stay in the Dubuque area. When we saw that the Hotel Julien was close by and newly renovated, we decided to stay there. I must say we were thrilled with our choice. The Julien combines the beauty and charm of an old hotel with the amenities of a new one. Particularly impressive was the spacious bathroom with the trendy vanity, walk-in ceramic-tiled shower and clear glass doors. We felt like we were staying in someone's home. The comfortable king-size bed and large flat-screen TV added to the luxurious feeling.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kat928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2011

This hotel is absolutely fabulous. We traveled to spend the weekend in Dubuque with our kids. There are so many restaurants, coffee shops and historic buildings in downtown Dubuque. I was looking forward to being downtown, but not on finding such a comfortable hotel. The Julien has every amenity including a workout room, pool hot tub. Carolines is elegant yet not too fancy and there is a fun nightclub as well. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the mattress was perfect. The Julien has the benefit of being a small town hotel with all the amenities of a five star hotel in a metropolitan area, The staff was friendly and always available.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank mysummer11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2011

I cannot say one bad thing about this hotel- beautifully appointed rooms, fantastic bed, french doors into the lovely bathroom with large, glass and tile shower. Aveda products. Large, LCD television, HUGE windows letting in all kinds of natural light. Worth every penny. (oh, one bad thing- fitness room was rather lame and seemed like a last minute addition. Note to owners: never point treadmills up against a blank wall). But DEFINITELY wud stay here again. Beautiful hotel!

  • Stayed: March 2011
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Thank Rjhoye1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2011

I travel on business every so often to Dubuqe. The last two times I stayed at the Julien and was shocked to see such a nice hotel in Dubuque. The restored hotel is charming and the rooms are quite comfortable. The bathrooms are spacious with pleasant walk-in showers with attractive ceramic tiles. There is no doubt that this is the place to stay in Dubuqe.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Professor_Ken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Julien, Front Office Manager at Hotel Julien Dubuque, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2011

Your comment is appreciated - thank you for mentioning our bathrooms! With the ceramic tiles, glass showers, and granite vanities, they are as beautiful as the rest of the hotel and a welcome surprise to our guests. We're glad you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to seeing you again during your next trip to Dubuque.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Julien Dubuque

Address: 200 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001-6942 (Formerly the Julien Inn)
Location: United States > Iowa > Dubuque
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Dubuque
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dubuque
#2 Family Hotel in Dubuque
Price Range: $82 - $369 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Julien Dubuque 3.5*
Number of rooms: 133
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience this remarkable full service boutique hotel, offering the area's most elegant accommodations, cuisine and impeccable service. After a $30+ million complete renovation, the Hotel Julien Dubuque is now a true landmark of luxury and sophistication. The hotel's contemporary elegance and sumptuous comfort complement the grandeur of the historic Old Main District, which is home to many of the incredible sights and cultural experiences the region has to offer.Whatever journey brings you to the Hotel Julien Dubuque, we invite you to set aside a little time to take good care of yourself.Potosa Spa & fitness facility, located on the lower level of the Hotel Julien Dubuque, is the definition of an exceptional boutique hotel spa: Steeped in service, designed with tranquility in mind, true to the culture and history of the area, and restorative for mind and body. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Julien Hotel Dubuque
Hotel Julien Dubuque Iowa

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