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“Not worth the money”

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Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Montebello
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I went to the chateau montebello for one night for our honeymoon, having no vacations left this year we figured it would be nice to have a close by getaway in a luxurious place. We live about 45 minutes from there so it was a relatively short drive... I reserved online a jacuzzi suite with the spa package. Cost us 820$ including taxes for one night stay, 200$ spa, dinner and breakfast the next morning. Read online that we needed to reserve the indoor tennis courts if we wanted to be guaranteed to play so I called a week ahead to reserve one hour of tennis.
The place is pretty old, and looks pretty old. My wife loved it, I prefer more modern places with trendy decor, but that doesn't matter as long as the wife loved it :)
The lobby is pretty nice, very antique, plain post and beam architecture, built a long time ago... We got into our room and it was clean, but old... Being built almost 100 years ago its old. The doors and doir handles are old style, like old! But that's what makes the castle nice, at least to people that like that such as my wife. Went to the tennis court thru the tunnel, really smelly tunnel, smelt like bad mildew mixed with cat urine or something, but it's normal I guess, it's old lol
Got to the tennis dome, played 5 minutes until some random guy came and left to come back with the kid working at the sport centre front desk. Over heard the guy tell the kid he thought he had both courts as two of his kids went on the other court and started playing. Then the kid from front desk just walked in on our court while we were playing... to ask me if I had reserved, I told him yes like a week ago (funny how this kid is the one that greeted us when we got there and told us our court was waiting for us) so then he asked for what time I reserved, I told him the time and then he asked me my name... I told him and also my room number and asked him to go check his papers. He disn't come back, but he annoyed me. We just left, so we played 15 minutes... While the other guy looked at us playing as if he was waiting for us to leave.
So the we went to the spa place for our massage, I had Isabelle, if you ever go, ask for her, she was really good. Then went for dinner, pretty good food, lots of kids, more than expected. Service was ok, not even close to down south, but as good as good service in a typical restaurant, not more class, less than expected, but ok. Food came at good time, plate after plate, then a 15 minute lag after getting the check to paying... I guess I expect too much when I pay a lot, specially when a 15% tip is expected on a typically 150$ and up bill restaurant, you expect perfection, but the overall dinner experience was good. Went back to our room late, watched a movie and went to bed. The next morning slept in late, went to brunch, self-serve style, was decent but far from expected. My mother was a chef all her life, so I know good food when I have it so as far as the breakfast, I had a lot of fruits and some coffee. I have to admit I usually don't have breakfast unless it's at my parents' ...then I eat a lot because the food is amazing. I was looking forward to the brunch because a friend of mine said he freaked out with all the food at the brunch buffet when he went to montebello, maybe my expectations were too high, but the last place I went down south to, had brunch approx 20 times bigger every morning... Overall the brunch was good. Then we went back to our room at about 10:45 with the check out time of noon, my wife and I had planned on using the jacuzzi after brunch since the night before. So I filled the jacuzzi with water with the broken drain plug, ended up managing to get it to plug the hole, once the bath was full, we went in and I opened the air traps to start it up, then pressed the button to turn the jets on... Nothing! It was not working!!!!!!!! It was like 11:00 am by then, we figured telling the front desk on our way out and maybe they would considering at least charging us for a room that has no jacuzzi, there was no point in asking them to send someone to check it out at that time, we would have had to check out even before the repairman shows up... So we packed up and went to check out at front desk, told the lady about the jacuzzi and her answer was, you should have called front desk so we could send someone to check it, i said at 11am? We wouldn't have had a minute left even if it was fixable... She repeated that we should have called frint desk. I said we paid for a jacuzzi and one that is supposed to work, if we want to use it last minute shouldn't matter, it must work. We didn't get to use it because it's not working and you still charge us for it? I thought an extremly expensive place like this would treat their clients with more attention, I guess it doesn't matter to them. And this was our honeymoon lol for 820$ we will go down south for a whole week next time, for twice that amount and will be treated like kings. This is why so many people go down south instead of spending locally, you pay a fraction and they treat you like kings.
I don't care that the food is not as impressive, that the service is just good, that it stinks in the place, that the jacuzzi doesn't work and that there is a lack of organisation at the sports centre, I actually would go back, but I have to get what I paid for, I'm not asking for much, just what I paid for and at 820$ besides the massage, I didn't get anything close to what I paid for.

Cleanliness 3/5
Bathroom looked clean, rest of room needed dusting, and mildew smell everywhere in the halls could use carpet shampoo or something

Location 2/5
Middle of nowhere, but nice location

Rooms 3/5
Clean bathroom, jacuzzi not working, dusty desks, old smell

Service 1/5
Restaurant service good but far from impressive considering the expected tips,
Front desk didn't care about our jacuzzi not working, I don't argue, you don't want to credit me anything it's ok, but I will NEVER return and NEVER recommend.

1/5 Value
Not worth more than a fraction of what we paid. It's a nice place, but if you want your money's worth, stay far far away.

3/5 overall
I still give it a 3/5 overall because it is a nice structure, when you think of them building it that long time ago all manually. Service at the restaurant was still ok, and the overall stay was ok, just not worth the price we paid, and not treated like you would expect to be treated in a "chateau".

  • Stayed: October 2012
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3  Thank Oilers25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 21, 2012

We stayed at this resort hotel for one night, for a celebration with another couple. We all enjoyed our experience in such a beautiful setting. As it was autumn and the leaves were changing colours, the trail along the river was breathtaking. We would certainly recommend this walk. It wasn't strenuous, the walkway was well kept, and flat. As it was October and in between seasons, we could not access the outdoor pool, or the kayaks and canoes. Similarly, the bbq dinner mentioned on the website was not an option. However, we filled up our short time there, at the pool, in the hotel lobby, and eating!

We stayed in a Fairmont room with a king sized bed. I was worried that the 210 square foot room would feel claustrophobic but that was not the case. It was an adequate size for 2 people but I wouldn't try to fit more than 2 big suitcases into the room The bathroom was small but fine, with a shower/tub combination. The tub seemed to be short, but because it was deeper than average, was fine for lounging, with a book, anyway. My husband thought the shower head was a bit low for his height, and although the water pressure wasn't high, was still adequate. We couldn't find a thermostat to adjust so had to open the window to cool the room down, but when we did that, were just fine.

We ate in the restaurant for lunch, dinner, and the Sunday brunch. We had excellent service and thought the food was fresh and well prepared. The chef was able to accommodate a no salt request, as well. The food was expensive but we were prepared for this and as it was a special occasion, decided to eat all our meals in the "fancy" restaurant. We actually didn't see a less expensive option as the terrace or bbq options weren't available.

We loved the pool. The building itself is spectacular with rock and glass walls. The pool is chlorine based not salt water, but there was no overpowering smell of chlorine as you entered the building. The length of 75 feet was fabulous for swimming lengths. There was a three foot shallow end and a deep end, as well as access to flutter boards, pool noodles, and children's lifejackets.There were 2 hot tubs available on one end of the deck, also very nice. In the change rooms, there were saunas but I didn't access that. The woman's changeroom had a number of lockers, toilets, 2 showers, hairdryers, and shampoo, cream rinse, and shower gel available, so that was handy. You don't have to walk outside anymore to access the pool as there is a tunnel via the Champlain wing of the hotel. I'd probably ask not to stay on that level of the Champlain wing as there is a lot of traffic present.

The lobby itself was fantastic with the large fireplace being front and centre. I believe this is a 6 sided fireplace but given the time of year only one fire was going at a time so as not to heat up the building too much, which was disappointing as we never managed to obtain a couch or chair in front of the working fire. However, we did understand the rationale for this.

We also liked petting Monte the golden retriever who is a fixture in the hotel's lobby - very friendly and sedate dog.

So, we had a good experience. However, it wasn't all perfection, and given that this is a five star hotel, and we spent $1000 for 4 people for a 24 hour visit, even with a fairly inexpensive room rate, we expected more. We were disappointed with the following, all things which should be easy to remedy in future.

When we booked the room, we received some friendly advice from a staff person via email. We agreed to a non refundable room rate for a king bed room, but when the confirmation arrived, it was instead for 2 double bed rooms as that was all that was available. I didn't receive an email back to my email expressing my concern about this, so had to call 2 days later. I was told that that staff member was in training and was only on site infrequently - surely someone must monitor the emails of a staff member who isn't there,to take over duties. When I did get put through to someone who could help me, she was nothing but polite and solved my problem immediately.

When we checked in, we asked about our relatives who were also due to arrive, and were told they had already checked in. However, this was not the case and they had not yet arrived. This caused a bit of concern and worry when they didn't answer their phone. We then had to double check to ensure that no one else had been assigned to their room in error as someone, not them, was checked in already. However, the room was indeed empty and awaiting them, so we worried for nothing.

I was also unimpressed that the pool changeroom was not cleaned to my satisfaction. I was the first person in the changeroom on the Sunday morning, and there was a dried up used bandaid on the soap dish in the shower and hair in the corners of the shower room. I can understand that this can happen as the day progresses but obviously, a thorough cleaning job was not done after the pool closed for the evening. The pool itself had sand along the shallow end edge so the vacuuming job was sub standard as well.

We bought a card in one of the little shops and when we asked the salesperson where we could buy a stamp, she had no idea. We found one in the second shop. It would be nice if the salesperson selling cards made a bit of an effort to know where stamps could be purchased as she was selling an item that required this.

All in all, we had an excellent stay here. We would definitely return for a special occasion. However, the small frustrations made the stay less than perfect, but I think they could easily be remedied if the staff paid more attention to detail. None of the issues was major in any way, but there were too many little frustrations to be able to completely ignore them in this review.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Debbie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauMontebello, General Manager at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2012

Dear Debbie T,

Thank you so much for such wonderful and constructive feedback. While we are working very hard to ensure all of our standards are constantly in place and that our employees are constantly delivering memorable experiences to our guests, it is much appreciated to be able to receive specific feedback so we can improve on our services.

You can be sure that I will personally deal with each item you mentioned in order to improve our services.

I am also very glad that your overall experience in our magnificent log cabin remains a memorable one!

Sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

My wife and I were gifted a night's stay at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello by my cousin. It was a very interesting hotel built to look like a log cabin. There was a huge fireplace which was the centerpiece of the hotel. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. The grounds were beautiful to walk around in although it was cloudy and cold the day we were there. The riverfront walk was the best as the view was outstanding. The package which was booked for us included a 4 course dinner which was from an excellent menu and breakfast which had a good spread. All in all it was a good stay and recommended although it is pricy.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank ares1370
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

We were travelling on our honeymoon and decided to stay at Chateau Montebello for one night. I can't believe we paid over $615 for our experience.

Movie rentals are outrageously priced (we could go to the movies for the same cost!). We decided to rent one anyway and it stopped itself in the middle of the movie... we had to call the front desk and have a staff member come to our room to reactivate the service. It was 11pm at night and we were in our pajamas!

Having to pay for parking AND internet is insulting considering the cost of the room (even motels offer free internet and parking!).

Dinner was good, but breakfast was awful. The waffles were hard and crumbled into powder when we tried to eat them, the bacon was overcooked with no flavour (you couldn't even tell you were eating bacon!), the fruit was soggy and you could tell it was not fresh, etc.

We will never recommend Fairmont Chateau Montebello to anyone... a complete waste of money.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Samantha D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauMontebello, General Manager at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2012

Dear Samantha D,

I want to thank you for providing your honest feedback regarding your stay and I am sorry you did not fully enjoy your stay with us. I take your comments very seriously and it sure helps us in our management decisions.

As a matter of fact, we are working in changing our movie supplier and my assistant informed me that she has reimbursed your movie as this is obviously not a great movie experience. I am sorry about this inconvenience.

For parking charge, I want to add that we are using this minimal fee to improve our roads, parking and 3700 acres of nature surrounding the hotel, including 5 km of trails, gardens, and resting areas along the Outaouais River.

As for Internet charge, all members of Fairmont President's Club can you complimentary Internet, and you only have to register at front desk or on line, and it is free of charge.

I have forwarded your comments about the breakfast to our executive chef who will immediately look into this. We mostly hear raving reviews about our breakfast so chef Jost will investigate immediately.

Again, Samantha, thank you very much for your feedback, providing us an opportunity to improve our services.

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed October 15, 2012

On a recent return to the Chateau, we were sitting in the lobby having a drink during the late afternoon and watching the goings on around us. There were probably over 100 people on the ground floor and in the galleries, yet we didn't have any problem holding a conversation without having to raise our voices to be heard. There were lots of people, but everyone was relaxed and chatting, rather than the noisy "yakking" you'd find in other locales. Sitting around the massive fireplace seems to make everyone relax and be calm -- if Fairmont can bottle this feeling, they'd make a lot with people ordering when they were having a stressful day.

This hotel is really a big log cabin in the woods, with the legendary five-star Fairmont service attached to make your stay a memorable one. People expecting the glitzy/shiny/pseudo-glamour of a big city hotel will be disappointed, but the rustic, comfortable and luxurious surroundings are the perfect spot to slow down, take a deep breath, and relax. It's quiet, it's beautiful, and the staff are there to make everything perfect during your stay. Keep in mind it's an all-wood building, not a shiny-metal/glass/concrete box, so the floors squeak a bit and it has ambiance of a cherished family country retreat. The grounds are beautiful for a walk in the country, there are a wide variety of activities you can enjoy, or you can simply sit and enjoy the four story fireplace in the lobby with other guests. I've always had fantastic meals, marvelous drinks, impeccable service and great sleep, and always look forward to my next visit.

Be sure to stop and say hello to Monte, the local Fairmont canine ambassador. He's a wonderfully gentle and affectionate Golden Retriever and you can book him for a walk if that would be a a welcome part of your stay. I forgot to get a picture of him as I was having too much fun watching him interact with arriving families (he seems to really like small children, and they all seemed to very happy to be met with a wagging tail).

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Thank 54Kardinal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

What a great hotel/complex - my husband and I stayed in a wonderful corner suite and thoroughly enjoyed the 'romantic' package. It came with a relaxation massage in a therapy room for 2, as well, a four-course dinner, breakfast in the dining room and chocolate covered strawberries to boot! The service was exceptional from the check-in staff to the spa staff. I highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Ask to view a few rooms - we had originally booked a jacuzzi suite however the front desk staff was...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank eb_trinity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChateauMontebello, General Manager at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2012

Good day Nadinka_12_12

Thank you for your comments. It’s really important for us the have guest feedback. I’m sorry for the lack of attention at the front desk, be assure that I will do a follow-up with the front desk agents to reinforce the importance of guest services.

Cleanliness is really important for us. In a log hotel dust is a real challenge. On a regular basis we do a deeper cleaning.

I’m please to learn that you enjoyed our facilities and the grounds. We recommended you to come visit us in winter; it can be so magical with the snow.

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Reviewed October 8, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for one night to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I have previously stayed here a few years back for a week or so and enjoyed it a lot. However, this time around the service was rather disappointing. At check-in, it felt like we were bothering the staff, the service was cold (even for the Fairmont President's Club member), no one informed us about the fact that the bbq dinner was closed due to low season even though it as a beautiful summer day. It's disappointing to see such unwelcoming service.
However, the hotel and its grounds are beautiful, well maintained, highly recommend staying at this hotel for a retreat away from the city.
The rooms are cozy and of reasonable size. However, not so clean as we would have liked as the ventilation opening in the bathroom was covered in thick gross layer of dirt/dust, which is surprising to see at a Fairmont.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Nadinka_12_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello

Address: 392 Rue Notre-Dame, Montebello, Quebec J0V 1L0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Quebec > Outaouais Region > Montebello
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Montebello
Price Range: $228 - $460 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello 4*
Number of rooms: 211
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape from the ordinary and experience a delightful retreat at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, the world's largest log cabin! Nestled in the heart of the scenic Montebello village, surrounded by nature, the hotel is famed for its rustic yet luxurious accommodations, excellent service and refined gastronomy. Historically founded as a private club in 1930, Fairmont Le Château Montebello has had the privilege of hosting many political figures, royalty and other celebrities. The resort is now an ideal destination both for leisure and business travelers. Entertainment, local cuisine, relaxation and a warm welcome is what you will come to expect as we want your experience to be truly unforgettable. Beautiful surroundings and year-round activities offer our guests countless possibilities of adventures, including golf, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, curling, tennis, squash as well as Canada's only Land Rover Off-Road Driving Experience! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello Hotel Montebello
Chateau Montebello
Fairmont Montebello
Montebello Fairmont

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