Rated 2 out of 5 by Mamarick This hotel was unsatisfactory
The room was clean and comfortable but the staff at the hotel were abrupt and unfriendly. The parking lot was full so they told me I had to park 1 block away then they realized I was a preferred guest and then they parked my vehicle. The parking was $40.00 per day. - too expensive. I was quoted 179.00 plus birth year 1957 for a rate for room. They won't accept the birth date of the person I was travelling with, only mine, 1961. Not a big deal $4.00 difference but not what I was quoted. The room rate was $179.00 when I got my bill it was $209.00. I spoke to the front desk and they changed it no problem. When checking in the girl spoke so fast we had to ask her to repeat what she was saying three times. I'm still not sure what she was offering. Something about a $5.00 credit or no fresh towels.?There was a refrigerator in the room but it didn't work. The front desk told us to put ice in a bucket and put it in the fridge. There was no microwave. When we asked for one it was $35.00 per night. I stayed in this hotel 4 years ago and the staff was very pleasant. This time it was not the case. I realize the hotel was busy as the staff told us there was a dance competition but regardless that's no excuse. You can be busy but you can be pleasant. The reservation staff was wonderful, very helpful and accommodating. I received confirmations by email, etc.
March 4, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by Andrew1 Nice Hotel with a Few Drawbacks
Great Location and Decor. Surprising a hotel of this nature offered no free wi fi access and even the internet access in the room was $8 for 15 mins! Even when I went down to the Business Center to try the internet it too was $8 for 15 minutes! The breakfast buffet was very nice except the fact that the seating for this was actually in the main lobby area and not in the Restaurant area? Perhaps the Restaurant was closed for some reason, but the seating in the Lobby area was more for socializing and not eating a meal, especially with a young child. Breakfast was included in our Hotel Package but yet it was charged to our bill, no problem as front desk removed the charge but i am glad I reviewed the bill as I normally just do express check out. Also, I did not receive any upgrade with my Starwood Membership Rewards Card nor we were offered an additional discount with our CAA Card even though I asked the front desk and later found out from another guest that they got upgraded and received a discount by presenting there CAA card. The pool deck was quite wet and dirty in some areas as many people were wearing outside shoes in the pool area. I know it was Family day weekend so it was busy to say the least. The pool staff was extremely friendly and pleasant, can't remember her name but she worked on Saturday Feb 18th in the evening when we visited the pool area.
February 22, 2012
Rated 1 out of 5 by Disappointed4321 Worse Service - a
The service provided was extremely bad. I will remember this night for the rest of my life because it was my special wedding night on June 2nd, 2013.
I bought a romantic package for my room. Even though I was not expecting anything that late at night, reservation rep got me excited over the phone, they said they will present this and that with our romantic package.
Nothing. I got nothing. When my wife and I entered the hotel. We asked for our room key. We were given the room. I inquired about the items that were supposed to be included with our package, I was told, "sorry we don't have the package available." instead we will give you free parking.
I don't like hotels when they offer you things different prior to booking. I informed the reservation rep that I will be arriving at the hotel late at night after my wedding reception. And they got me so excited, and in the end nothing but disappointment. They charged me full amount for the package and didn't even give me single thing that was supposed to be included in the package.
I called in the manager. Instead of simply apologizing and saying, sorry. He only said, "oh, how can I make you feel better". wow how can he make me feel better?! Come-on. Just give me some or full refund.
I wish you guys communicated the correct information. This is not a good service at all.
Very Disappointed Customer
June 9, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by DerekM Chocolate, slobber and stains
First off I want to say I love this hotel. It's an amazing property and has always been good to myself and my family. Even stayed here on my wedding night!
This time however, our room (747) was definitely not cleaned to the standards you'd expect at a Westin. Upon entering the room for the first time we could see the lower parts of the windows looked as though a small child had drooled and spilt chocolate milk all over them. A quick glance at both of the beds in the room revealed the same brown (assumed) chocolate/chocolate milk splatter all over the bottoms of the matresses and the sheets themselves! It was also obvious that whoever put the sheets on the bed didn't care because they appeared to just be thrown on. Luckily It didn't take long for housekeeping to arrive to replace the bedding and clean up as much of the muck as they could but during that time we even found the same large brown stains on the lamp shades. Made for a really uncomfortable check in because you have no idea what actually made those stains! or how they got on just about everything in the room.Gross. Then to top it off the AC unit just outside our door was leaking on the floor profusely. Which made for many wet socks on trips to the ice machine. We were told "it's just condensation" but that definitely wasn't the case, it was an actual pool of water that you could splash in it and it remained completely soaked for the two nights we were there.
July 12, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by scootermonkey Service Made This Trip Excellent
Service is a dealbreaker or a dealmaker in the hospitality business, and this Westin's service was top-notch. From Juan at checkin to everyone at ServiceExpress, my boyfriend and I were impressed. Juan started off the whole stay to a great start with his warmth, friendliness, and professionalism. The room was great, with an incredible view of the lake. It was spacious and had not just one but two chairs for relaxing in, which was greatly appreciated after a long day of walking around Toronto. The hotel room is close to a bus stop and the subway (have to walk a few blocks or take the bus to get to Union Station, not bad at all). Cabs are easy to hail as well.
The amenities were great: room safe, mini fridge for beverages, flat panel TV, the Heavenly bed and pillows, and robes and slippers were all wonderful to have available for use. The internet was always stable and steady. Room service was super prompt and delicious (love their fries and burgers!). Showerhead was awesome and pressure was always perfect. Nothing beats a hot shower at the end of the night.
Another incredible service shout-out was to whoever followed up each of our calls to ServiceExpress with a confirmation that we got what we needed. I still haven't had that from any other hotel to this day, so that was pretty cool and considerate and greatly appreciated. A little effort goes a long way and the Westin knows it.
Thanks for making the last part of our stay so awesome!!!! Will definitely stay here again.
February 5, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Jasmine14 Hotel fell flat of my expectations
I was very excited for my stay at the Westin Harbour Castle, but this property certainly did not meet my expectations. Check in was pleasant. We had an early flight and the hotel did check our bags when we got there so we could explore the city, which was appreciated. The hotel said they would call us when the room was ready, I requested an email in case I didn't answer. I missed the call but I never did receive the email I requested. The room was mediocre. The deadbolt in our room did not work. Also I was promised a welcome amentity as noted on my reserverations but I did not receive one. When I called front desk they looked into it, but nothing was done as they had nothing to offer me, even though I had this in writing. Anything would have been appreciated but owership was taken for this issue. I also requested 2 seats on the shuttle to the Vaughan Mills Outlets. I was given a confirmation number for the shuttle. The next day when I went to get my bracelets for the shuttle, the company had no record of my reservation from the hotel, but luckily there were still some seats available. It was not very practical that the hotel did not have any vending machines. The pricing for room service was not reasonable and at 2am in the morning it's not practical or safe to venture the streets of Toronto for a bottle of water. Overall, I did not feel satisfied as a customer and my customer service experience did not make me feel like a preferred guest. The hotel also could be renovated, it looks a bit dated.
June 6, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by belatedhoneymoon overnight getaway
found to be average hotel. was a conference going on at time of check-in, & waited a bit in line. a one night belated "honeymoon" with husband. person who booked reservation for us was very friendly. person who checked us in was very rushed. i had gift cards. wanted to use them upon check-in. she said i couldn't and had to wait until check out to present them. i explained that this is not what i was told when booking over the phone. i had gift certificates in hand and didn't want to misplace them or drag them out the next day. why couldn't i use them while i was checking in i asked? after consulting with her computer she made it happen. i had to ask her what direction to our room, she did not offer directions until i asked....and it's a large hotel that we had never visited before. ...she started talking to co-worker thinking was done with us, but we didn't know how to get to room. asked front desk to bring extra towels while we went to watch a play. came back and no extra towels in our room. bed had "body rutts" of where people had slept. way too soft for our liking. woke up sore and needing sleep. there was used soap in the bathtub, and dried up pee on the toilet seat. our hotel "neighbour" kept us up all night while they partied on the terrace. when checking out, lady at front desk asked how our stay was. i told her all of above. no apologies. her response was that she was suprised with the lack of comfort from the bed and the Westin was "world famous" for their pillow top beds and "thank you for saying with the westin". i told her i probably wouldn't be back. her response was "enjoy the rest of your weekend"
October 30, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by ShawnYOW Not the best but not the worst
Hotel lobby was very nicely decorated and the staff are very alert and are quick to tend to guest needs when it comes to checking in. Room was good and bed comfortable. Location is not really convenient since you have a 10 minute walk to reach the downtown core and any potential shopping/restaurants, unless you have car or take a taxi.
Where I had an issue was with the room located next to mine and the staff's response. The night before I set my wake-up call for 9AM, but unfortuantely an alarm clock in the room next door went off in the early hours of the morning and kept going off consistently for at least 15 minutes. When I called down to the front desk it took the switchboard 3 separate attempts to try and connect me with no success. The switchboard registered my complaint and said they would take care of it. 10 minutes later the alarm is still going off so I call back at which point I am informed that the alarm was coming from a person's cell phone and that they would need to send security because it is private property.
The alarm is finally stopped just before 6:30AM which I was thankful for, but then I get woken up again this time by the front desk staff at 7:30AM, letting me know they recevied my complaint and wanted to see if everything was alright. Although I appreciated the follow-up, it would have made more sense to check if I had a wake-up call scheduled prior to calling my room and ensuring that the call wouldn't disturb a guest.
I not recommending this hotel primarily because of the location. Although the next door room experience and subsequent follow-up were not the best, the chances of a similar situation occuring is minimal.
November 6, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by Towanda Never Again!
As soon a we got into the room, noticed a dirty towel had been left on the bathroom floor. Called CS and they apologized and removed it. Sure sign that the bathroom floor was not cleaned after the last guest.
The next morning I went to make coffe and noticed that only decaf packages were in the slot. Another sure sign that housekeeping had no attention to detail. This was also the case the second morning.
When I was packing I bent down to look under the bed to ensure nothing had rolled under - and I was absolutely discusted ...giant dust bunnies, along with other visbile "things". I am so grossed out, having had to spend two days in that room.
Also shocked to see that Internet was not free! Was told by staff that all Starwood hotels charge for Internet. will ensure I do not select Starwood for any future stay.
Was there for a convention - the hotel was busy - pool ran out of towels, and the backage storage was too full to store our bags. Was obvious the hotel is not equipped to handle this type of business.
Had a long shower when I got home! Was surprised that a hotel at this price point would not have been clean and better able to handle a volume of customers.
This was a personal visit, but I do travel a lot for business, and will make a point of removing this hotel chain from our company list.
A friend made the same stay - she complained about the internet and they gave it to her for free -here's a little customer service advice - always assume what you do for one will be public knowledge, and don't bend over backwards only for customers that complain.
And having to drive a block to park my car, and then haul all my luggage that you couldnt store was really inconvenient.
What a lot of work it was to stay at your hotel.
January 14, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Fulvio Great location, tired public areas, terrible restaurant
After an absence of many many years, I returned to the Harbour Castle to find a hotel that is but a shadow of its former self as a premium 5 star Hotel. The facility could certainly use freshening up. The elevators look tired (brass not polished, scratches), the hallway have scratched wallpaper and the room had chipped paint on the bathroom door and floor moldings. Both restaurants were a big disappointing. The Toula restaurant particularly needs refreshing, with the seriously chipped chairs, the tattered (and dirty) menu, the wall & ceiling paint in dire need of freshening up. The food too was not very good. The "Risotto" was not made with Arborio rice which it should be. The rice was still hard (under-cooked). Our appetizer of aged Tuscan cheese was actually a semi-ripened swiss type cheese (with holes). The menu also offered "Giudecca Salad" with bacon bits as an ingredient.. This is ludicrous a "Giudecca" means "Jewish" in Italian. Consequently pork (bacon bits) cannot be part of the recipe. You cannot just write anything on a menu hoping that all your customers are mental midgets. Your chefs should be doing much better, both in menu accuracy and in cooking accuracy.The Mizzen restaurant too was disappointing, with dirty dishes, curdled coffee cream, and erratic.service. We had to chase after the waiter to get our bill! All this is very disappointing for a facility that bills itself as a premium hotel. Also, you website makes no mention of the exorbitant $40 parking fee. Finally, there was no-one at all at the front desk for close to 10 minutes when we wanted to check out. This is unacceptable. When I complained, I was given some glib reply.The music in the lobby and elevators was way too loud. It's a shame that you have become a buyer beware facility rather than the class act it once was. This is quite regrettable.
April 29, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mommasita Extraordinary kindness and generosity
It had been over 12 years since my husband and I were able to take a trip to rejuvenate our souls and rekindle our college romance. Our two beautiful daughters age 12 and 5 have been the centre of our lives. Life got busier and more challenging, and when we decided on a whim to uproot our family from the city to move to Muskoka for a less stressful more humbling lifestyle, the downturn of the Canadian economy in 2008 threw us some unfortunate curve balls that disillusioned us, and essentially continued to make it difficult for us to save for a trip. Muskoka was hit hard by the economical downturn, and as such, it affected us as educated professionals. We won tickets to the Toronto Boat Show and a one-night stay at The Westin Harbour Castle on a local radio station because my 12-year-old daughter encouraged me to call in. In just a single evening and over the course of a couple of days, I can't praise the staff of The Westin Harbour Castle enough for their compassion, outstanding customer service, kindness and generosity. The staff made our stay incredibly memorable, and they made me forget about the stresses of the last 5 years of our lives. The young lady who checked us in was simply adoring, professional, thoughtful, patient and above all benevolent! To further exemplify the kind of individuals The Westin Harbour Castle has working for them, this young lady had another staff member bring a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and truffles to our room with a card that read: "Dear, Mr. and Mrs. F, I hope you are able to have a relaxing stay with us free from your children and puppy. Please don't let another 12 years go by before you have another getaway." Needless to say, I cried. Thank you so much for your outstanding hospitality. I hope our career goals, aspirations and successes lead us back to you in the future. I would love to experience The Westin Harbour Castle again as well as share it with my children. They were delighted to have mommy and daddy smiling because "they had soooo much fun!" It had been a long time waiting!
January 20, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by Hockeysox161 Hidden Costs, Little Reward
I recently stayed here for a week. The lobby was great, the room was to be expected, and the view was wonderful, but that's all your rate pays for. I took a bus to get here from the airport and there was no ramp to get up the huge set of stairs to the front doors. I guess you could wheel your heavy luggage all the way up the valet entry, but it's very inconvenient. Upon arrival, I set up my tablet but quickly learned that internet access is a whopping $17 per day. I didn't realize this at the time of booking and at no time was I told before I went to log on. 1st hidden cost. Later in the week, I decided to rent a car for some day trips. It was only after I gave my keys to the valet and I was back in my room that I noticed on the valet ticket I would be charged $40 per night for parking. None of the staff, valet or front desk, had ever mentioned I'd be paying for parking nor did it say it on the website. 2nd hidden cost. There is a coffee machine in the room, but the hotel only provides one pod for your stay. If you want additional coffee, you must buy it from the store downstairs. It's a very unique coffee pod that would take a lot of shopping around to find. 3rd hidden cost. Say you were bored and you wanted to rent a movie on-demand. The cost at this hotel is an excruciating $17. I'd like to point out that this is the same movie you could rent on Amazon for $4 or on Redbox for $1. Not a hidden cost, but certainly an outstanding up-charge. The televisions at this hotel do not allow for you to hook devices up as some hotels do, so renting elsewhere and watching through HDMI cable is not an option. This hotel needs to get a lot better at disclosing its costs before you book. They are very ticky-tacky about charging you and as a guest, it makes you feel very unappreciated. I'd still like to know where all of the money for my rate was going to (besides to line the pockets of their executives).
July 10, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by Bishop75 Dissatisfied
I would have to rate my experience as extremely dissatisfied
We stayed a total of 3 nights in different hotels in Toronto and decided on our last night that we would forgo the budget and splurge a little and stay right on the waterfront for our last night. Although the room was lovely - beautiful view of the water - the experience was unacceptable. This was our last night/day in Toronto and we were looking forward to sleeping in and ordering room service and enjoying the view from our room before catching our flight at 2pm.
However, that proved to be impossible since at 7:30am until we finally decided to just get up and leave, there were children running up and down the hallway screaming and slamming doors for almost 2 hours (or at least until the time we left). We were in room 1718 – which was just off the main hallway – in a small private corridor that we shared with another room which was obviously occupied with a family. And this family was obviously travelling with another family down the larger hallway on the other side of the building somewhere. In total there must have been about 5-6 children and they seemed to be running around between the two rooms screaming and hollering and slamming the doors as they left one room and went to the other (and they had the flip lock thing turned so it would just bang against this every time).
Now I understand that families need to travel and stay in hotels as well – but there was no control in keeping these children in their room or quiet and this is what I am very disappointed in. I would be surprised if we were the only guests disturbed by this situation.
When I checked out I mentioned this to the Front Desk and all they had to say was that if I’d let them know they would have let security know right away – well unfortunately it was too late by that point – our morning was already ruined (we were awake) and we did not get what we paid for. And the coffee coupon that they offered us was completely unacceptable.
July 22, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Megani22 Needs some training...
When I checked in the clerk asked me if I wanted to participate in the Green Program. I said yes and that I wanted the points on my rewards instead of a lunch voucher. She said ok and provided no additional instructions. When I got to my room there was also a sign on my bed that I was supposed to hang on the door - she didn't give me clear instructions on what I needed to do in order to get my points. I hung the sign on my door just to ensure I was following policy and was given a $5 food and beverage voucher. I then had to go to the front desk and wait in line to sort it out which was a pain. Additionally, when I checked in; as part of my room fee I was able to have free continental breakfast - I asked about where the breakfast was and asked to ensure that they had me down for free continental. She said yes and showed me where it was - but did not give me the vouchers; and I didn't realize I needed them. Again something that I had to sort out with the front desk. Also within our rate we are supposed to get free internet. I incorrectly had the wrong rate selected when I booked my reservation - I realized this when I went to get online and it was asking for a form of payment. I called the front desk and was passed around to several people - and was on the phone for over a half hour. Then I was told I needed to call group sales; and sat on hold for 45 minutes and no one ever picked up. I finally hung up and called the front desk again and had someone helpful provide me the right information and got me squared away. However, when I checked out of the hotel the charge was still on my folio. I had to again call and get the charge removed (which they did after I called). When I had dinner in the Chart House I was charged $10.00 for a diet soda + refill that was in a small bar glass. When I realized I was charged this I again went to the front desk for clarification and they removed it from my bill. I appreciate that they fixed all the wrongs - but it took a lot of my time to get it all straightened out - which was extremely frustrating.
August 15, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Traveldog1231 Pretty location - hotel needs improvement
I have not stayed in a Westin hotel since the one opened in Hilton Head many years ago. Back then, Westin was kind of a hip brand, sleek and upscale.
This location needs to be renovated. The entrance was probably built in the 70's and is not easy to navigate with steep slate steps, and depressing entrance. It all needs repaving and a major facelift.
The lobby is devoid of any plant life, greenery or pictures. It's dark furniture, dark carpet and gloomy. The gift shop is not inviting, the Starbucks is in a small corner. Not bright and airy at all.
The rooms have dark carpet, army green couch, dark wood, small bathroom with outdated fixtures and it all needs to be cleaned thoroughly and needs to smell much better. The redeeming feature was the harbor view. However, the hotel doesn't really capitalize on this feature as all the sitting areas at the pool are on the 5th floor that looks towards the city. The area at the pool that looks towards the harbor is filled with enough kids water toys to fill a Toys R Us. Not sure who the is hotel catering too. Probably younger business travelers or young families with toddlers.
The elevators haven't been cleaned in months, the hall carpets are dusty, the light fixtures are dusty. Our room had so much dust, I wrote "Dust me" on the dresser but the maid never cleaned it. The carpet had pink toenail clippings on it. Yuck. Repeated requests for shower cap and other items were not part of Housekeeping staff but several days later, one finally showed up. No cotton balls, no q-tips, nothing other than shampoo and conditioner are in the bathrooms.
The restaurant - Mizzen, was well serviced and the breakfast, while expensive, was very nice. Concierge was very busy and seemed to need more staff. Front Desk said all the right things but didn't seem to want to really help you. Manager made somethings better on the final bill. Probably would not recommend hotel. The location for shopping, museums is quite a hike uptown and there is not public transportation and a cab will cost $10 each way. The hotel needs a shuttle.
September 18, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by LIENO A little disappointed this time....
I have stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle a few times, my past two visits could not have been more opposite. My one night stay in May was fantastic; friendly, attentive staff, beautiful platinum room upgrade in the north tower with an expansive view of the lake, and an overall very nice atmosphere to the entire hotel. In contrast, my stay on June 1, 2013 started off with a not-so-pleasant front desk attendant, which was a little shocking since my previous experience exceeded my expectations. No room upgrade was available, which was understandable based on how busy the hotel seemed (took 20 minutes just to drive up to drop my car off at valet). While the south tower room was a decent size, there was no lake view as described in the room description during booking and reservation confirmation (it looked out over the road construction and nearby condo buildings), the entire section of wallpaper between the front door and closet was pealing off from the baseboard up to about 3ft off the ground, the bedskirts were splattered with dirt and grime, and there were what appeared to be food splatters across the headboard and up the wall. The room had obviously been cleaned very quickly (again, the hotel seemed extremely busy), this was evident by the disheveled bedding on the one bed and the two empty water bottles left in the room - one under the bed, the other behind the curtain. I called guest services in hopes of changing rooms, but was put on hold for over 10 minutes.... at that point I just gave up and left for my dinner reservations.... by the time I returned to the hotel it was past midnight and not worth the effort to try changing rooms.
With all of this said, I'm conflicted... I'm not sure if my stay in May was a pleasant exception to the regular, or if my stay in June was a disappointing exception to their regular due to the high number of guests.
I booked this room using my SPG Starpoints, which is a major reason why I didn't push the issue of my displeasure during my stay, but as a colleague recently reminded me, these points are earned and hold cash value... I surely hope I was not given a subpar room as a way to deal with a full hotel and because I did not book with my credit card.
June 11, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by DON43 A Disappointing Stay
The stay did not begin well as the place was somewhat chaotic as I drove the car up the ramp for check-in. Self-park was offsite, a 5 minute walk in the rain and cost $30/night.. We opted for valet parking.
At check-in we were offered a SPG room on the 34th floor. This did not seem to be an upgrade. I asked about an alternative and was offered a corner room that had a little more room. We took this on the assumption that it would be outfitted the same as our original room assignment. This proved not to be the case. I mentioned this to the front desk later on our first night. There were very few bathroom amenities (no shower gel) and no complimentary water. The room had a rather tired look. No offer was made to change room. Sometime during the night, a note was slipped under our door for complementary buffet breakfast. The next morning I took a list of a number of things that were not at par for the room and handed it in at the front desk. The main problem was a very noisy air conditioner. With the design of the room, when I sat in the lounge chair, I could not hear the TV. The noise also made for a less than restful night (hence rating for room comfort). The switch on the standard lamp did not work , there was lint on the cover of the of the exhaust fan in the bathroom and the taps leaked at times. Coming back to the hotel in mid-afternoon, none of the items had been attended to. The room had not even been made up. After dinner outside the hotel, I called service express with my concerns. After talking to Kim and Gus, a couple of technicians arrived and said that sound level for the AC was usual and the taps did not leak. Since it was late, I said it was pointless in fixing the lamp. We did get bottled water but no bathroom supplies. Gus did arrange for extra Starpoints but I would have much rather someone had dealt with my concerns in a proactive manner. We did use the pool which was quite nice. The food in the main restaurant was quite good (at least for breakfast) but I prefer a dining room with some natural light..C heck out was fine but, at that stage, they had not added parking to the bill. This came very much later in an e-mail update of the billing. I doubt that we will return to this hotel.
August 16, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by Bluebell Attention to Detail Please
My Company has just chosen The Westin Harbour Castle as our new hotel in Toronto and i was looking forward to coming here as i enjoy staying in Westin Hotels.
We arrived in the evening after a long tiring flight to be met with having to lug our cases up a large flight of stairs unassisted. I had too much luggage to be able to carry them up together, therefore had to make two journeys. This meant having to leave some luggage at the bottom unattended whilst carrying the case up. Then leaving the case at the top unattended whilst going down to get the rest. On my last trip up the stairs i saw a small black inconspicuous phone on the wall saying call if assistance needed. Bit late by that time. I appreciate that building works are taking place at the entrance however, in my opinion, this does not excuse the lack of forethought or attention. Your bell captains must be aware of the situation and station assistance at the bottom of the stairs to assist your guests. The stairs, although salted, were steep and dangerous and not the welcome i was expecting from such a prestigious brand. On leaving the hotel (as no assistance was offered by the staff) I opted to use the fairly steep ramp down to the road, however, this then entailed having to walk on the road (no pavement) getting in the way of traffic to get to our transport. Also not an acceptable option.
Upon reaching reception, we were met with overly loud 'relaxing' music which was so bad we could hardly hear each other speak. We did ask for it to be turned down and this was done. Again, not the welcome i was expecting.
My room, however, was nice and i had a fantastic view over the harbour. Lovely bed as always! Shower bit low for me.
The Starbucks was only open for a short period in the morning only; i would have liked to have a coffee and sandwich in the afternoon. There are no decent coffee shops within the vicinity and i do not understand the need to close it during the day.
The gym was well kitted out and appreciated. I am very tall and the ceiling height is low; this felt restrictive whilst on the CV equipment.
Overall the stay was OK but i expected more and i do hope that the issue with the stairs leading to the entrance is addressed before someone is seriously hurt.
February 24, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Nininoni A huge disappointment
It has been several years since we stayed at the Harbour Castle Westin. Obviously, things have gone way down hill at this property. We arrived just after 2 pm on Saturday, Sept 14. We stood in line for over 20 minutes waiting to check in. This has actually happened to us in the past - BEFORE computers were invented!!! The inadequate number of staff at this busy time did not excuse the fact that the whole process appeared to be handled in an extremely protracted, inefficient manner. The young man who checked us in fumbled through the process, mumbling incoherently, calling me by a name not even closely resembling my actual name (how do you get Donna from Mary on a computer screen?). He held us up unnecessarily, muttering all sorts of inane, useless instructions for anyone who has ever checked in to a hotel. He wrote something on a piece of paper for us, but it was completely illegible. He seemed clueless as to how to handle a check-in in an expeditious manner.
Our room, a non-smoking lake-view corner suite was clean and spacious, but the air was hot and humid, the decor was tired and the room reeked of stale cigarette smoke. The porter turned the A/C down to 66 degrees and 10 hours later it was not much cooler and still humid. in fact, the air on the entire 17th floor in the north tower was noticeably warm and damp each time we exited the elevator. There was no mini bar - ridiculous! Pressed for time to get ready for a wedding, we did not bother to complain about the room, but we did go to the lobby in hopes of getting a drink and quick snack. At 2:20 pm on a glorious Saturday, the lake view lobby bar and Starbucks kiosk were closed, and we had to go sit in the dark, cavernous, overpriced restaurant - ludicrous! We were annoyed after being directed to the restaurant by the lobby bar-tender at 2:20, to discover that the bar had opened at 2:30. Why did he not tell us that? Service in the restaurant was agonizingly slow.
I heard many similar complaints about check-in delays, problems with rooms and noise on the same date as our stay.
Westin needs to step up their game at this property. They are not taking advantage of the five-star setting and the quality of service at the front desk and room amenities are at best 2-3 stars. There is absolutely no way we will be back to this hotel.
September 16, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by BaseballMommy Excellent family stay
We stayed as a family (traveling with 10 year old, 6 year old and infant) and loved our time spent here! The baby was given a welcome bag at check in (toy duck, outlet covers, night light, etc) and the big boys got water bottles. Check in was a bit slow (we arrived right at 3pm and the line was long). We opted to pay the extra $10 for valet parking (regular parking was 30 but a couple block away from what we heard). Longest wait for the car was 20 minutes but we are pretty sure they forgot about us!
We were on the 9th floor in a "non-lakeview" room... well we had a pretty darn good view of the lake! The kids loved watching the boats come and go.
Everyone in the hotel was so helpful, from getting us extra towels, to suggesting that we go to the lowest level as it takes you out at the street and was much easier to access than taking a stroller down the front stairs. Kids were treated to popsicles the night we arrived (person wandering the main lobby with them), and got to see a snake up close and personal the second day. Kids were also thrilled to have freshly popped popcorn when they got out of the pool... we didn't watch the movie but the boys loved the treats.
We walked the harbourfront often, went for a lovely trip through the islands. It was a very short trip to the Rogers Centre and CN Tower.
Checkout was a bit tricky as there were so many people checking out that the elevators were all packed (we wanted to swim first and ended up taking the four flights of stairs down and back up after our swim). To get help with the luggage we just called the front desk and someone was up in no time to help with loading up and carrying down everything.
Cleanliness.... I am a stickler for clean and found the room was generally spotless. The bathroom... well the grout could have used bleaching and the baseboards had that look of needing a scrub on the tops (accumulated dust and whatnot). It would have been nice if you could have drawn in some fresh air from outside as the room had a bit of a stale smell (the only "window' that could open was the size of a mail slot... guessing safety?) but you quickly got used to it. We ran the air conditioner and fan most of the time.
We found the stay so relaxing we are going to do it again! The location was excellent, the service was great, the hotel was quiet (despite being fully booked the nights we were there). LOVED IT!
August 1, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by Tojo Poorly Executed Customer Service and Customer Aftercare
I booked the hotel room 5+ months in advance for my wife and her cousin as they were attending a Pink concert at The Air Canada Center. Everything was done well in advance for it was all given as a Christmas present.
They arrived at 3:30 pm and their wasn't a room for them per the booking I had made. They were placed in a room with one bed (booked two) and essentially told to deal with it.
My wife called me.... (I'm 2500 miles away) to explain her situation. I had to make 3 phone calls to get a hold of someone (on hold for a combined total of 45 minutes) to work on rectifying the situation. Was immediately informed, after voicing my displeasure, that my wife and her cousin will be given the correct room.
My wife is now embarrassed beyond words.
Their evening passed without incident with my wife informing me that the rooms were lovely. Well appointed with a very nice view. Problem solved for the moment.
The next day arrives, it's time for breakfast. My wife and her cousin head to the restaurant as I'd breakfast included with the booking. Upon completing their breakfast, my wife was presented with a bill. She knew that breakfast was included and informed her server. She was told that no, they were to pay or it was being charged to the credit card they had on file. My wife's not one for public confrontation and was therefore again embarrassed in the restaurant by a less than respectful staff member. She informed the server "fine, I will simply let my husband know and he and the hotel will deal with it." So again, my intervention was required for an issue that shouldn't have been.
My wife arrived home and called me to inform me of this in a single story as opposed to bits and pieces from the hotel and I am quite disappointed.
Primarily for the hotel staffs treatment of my wife. Secondly, for their lack of professionalism in dealing with their customers concerns and bookings.
After getting off the telephone with my wife, I contacted the hotel to express my displeasure with their method of treatment in looking after my wife. Jeff, the gentleman with whom I spoke at The Westin, was yes, apologetic but unwilling to offer any explanation to why this had to be such a challenging endeavor.
I then noted that I was overcharged on my bill and informed by Jeff that my wife must have left a tip. I knew he was wrong as my wife will not tip those undeserving and I can assure you she is a proponent of gratuities. As my wife had informed me, speaking sense with the staff there would get you nowhere.
I am now left with a disappointed/embarrassed wife, an overcharge on my bill, and disdain for those who took away from what was intended as a wonderful whirlwind trip to Toronto.
Thank you very much Westin Castle,
March 12, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by AshRod Would Not Recommend this Hotel or stay there again under any means
Upon our arrival at the Westin Harbour Castle (Sun. June 30/13) we were very excited – we were attending the Digital Dreams Music Festival that day, and also the Harbourfront Festival on the Holiday Monday. We were also celebrating my fiancee’s Birthday which is the July 1st. We expected that the Westin would exceed our expectations due to its price level and prestige reputation for such an eventful weekend ahead.
Instead, it fell ay below and we will make it a statement to never stay there again as well as tell our friends and family whom travel often to never stay there. I’m not sure if they were overwhelmed or short staffed due to the long weekend and numerous festivals occurring downtown Toronto, but that is no reason to fall short in their service to paying customers.
First off, after waiting a long while (>20 mins) to check in, a lovely lady (brown/black pulled back hair, tanned, a bit of an exotic accent) assisted us in checking into our room and asked if we needed help with our bags. So far so good, but then we had to wait very long again for the elevators to the north tower.
AT FIRST, We were given a lakeview room on the 18th floor (I believe it was 1840 or 41), however upon swiping our card we realized the room was filthy, bed was unmade, smelled disgusting, and there were items, towels, sheets, empty cups, bottles, and garbage everywhere. We were in utter shock. Upon walking back out of the room there were empty beer bottle packs all lined up the hall. I was revolted and we could not believe we had just been checked into a room that was either still in use, or had not been cleaned yet. Never in all my years of travel have a I experienced this, and it was definitely not expected from such a classy, five star hotel to be given a room of people who had not yet been checked out, or a room that had not been cleaned since the morning.
Disappointed and angered, we waited for another elevator down from the 18th floor – upset because check in time was at 3pm and the music festival started at this time, so we were already running late. We waited to speak to a different lady this time – and she was not half as kind as the first who helped us. We told her the situation of our dirty room and she gave us rude comments such as “Are you sure it was dirty?” ‘Was it the right room number?” when we proceeded to tell her we used our card to open it and it was repulsive/unwashed. Then when she gave us a new card on the 32nd floor and we asked, “Is this room clean?” she rolled her eyes at us and said, “Well, let’s hope so.” I couldn’t believe her attitude towards paying customers with a complaint.
After waiting ONCE AGAIN to go up the elevator to the 32nd floor, we arrived at our room 3240 and it was lovely. No complaints here, we got ready went to the festival and enjoyed the rest of our stay and evening.
Now, on Monday morning (July 1st), we were getting ready to leave at noon hour, and went for lunch at the hotel restaurant. While I was there I received my invoice and SPG receipt to my email. My fiancée, friends and I were surprised to see that we were charged $26.55 for self-parking down the street. We were all completely confused and baffled by this because we were told by the gentlemen working valet (Indian descent) when we drove in upon our arrival that valet was $40, and self-parking was $10, down the street. We figured sure, why not do the self-parking since the man said it was not far and we are going to be walking around downtown anyways…its no harm to park only a block away down the way from the hotel and save ourselves $30.
So my fiancée stepped out of the drivers seat, went to the parking booth outside the hotel and handed the woman working at the desk $10 for the self-parking. She said no need to pay the $10 here, as the $10 will be charged to our room (the invoice I received to my email Monday morning for $26.55), and preceded to hand us a small map and printout to put on our mirror saying e had overnight parking with the hotel.
So not only were we misinformed of the price (on two separate occasions, by 2 different employers), my friends, fiancée and I were all perplexed that in my email we were charged $26.55 instead of the $10 we were told. We weren’t sure if it was because it was a long weekend and they had upped the price, but had we known this we would have paid the extra $13 for valet and saved ourselves the drive, hassle of finding an underground parking spot, and the walk back with all of our heavy bags back to the hotel. We were dumbfounded and couldn’t believe after the mix up with our room, we now had to deal with THIS mix up as well.
After our brunch/lunch at the hotel and already checking out in the morning, we went back to speak with someone and clear this mishap. We explained the situation about not only the self-parking price misunderstanding, which we were told by two separate employees (and attempted to pay but were told it would be charged to our room), but also the issue we had with being given a dirty/still in use room when we first arrived. She called upon the manager on duty (tall, Caucasian gentleman). He was very kind, shaking mine and my fiancées hand and introducing himself, listened to our complaint, told him how the second customer service lady was less than willing to help us get a new room, and at the end of it all he told us he would take off the parking completely from our bill.
We were happy about this, and of course it helped. But still- had we known this in advance we would’ve considered paying $13 extra and saving ourselves the hassle of walking that distance with our bags and also not being conveniently parked on-location.
He was very generous to take off the $26 for us, but for me this does not pay for numerous issues, wait times, rude workers, misinformed workers, and disappointments we dealt with at the Westin this long weekend. For a hotel of high status and reputation, also not cheap in price, we were blown away by these things and for that reason we will not be returning to the Westin Harbour Castle on our semi-regular visits to downtown Toronto and will be sure to tell our acquaintances in travel to be careful of these things and avoid staying there if possible. Thank-you.
July 4, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by MrCrow Great hotel and excellent staff, with some bottlenecking during peak hours.
It has been one month since I checked out of the Westin Harbour Castle and I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my stay.
First of all, I must give a big thumbs up to the staff; My fellow conference attendees and I were almost always treated with great courtesy and consideration, the exceptions to this are so few and specific that I won't detail them. I would, however, like to give special mention to a few staff in particular who stood out and went above and beyond to ensure our stay was enjoyable:
Bronwyn at the Front Desk was very helpful in alleviating any pre-arrival anxieties I had, assuring me of room confirmation and helping me to plan for how I might best manage my tight breakfast schedule on a budget. So helpful and friendly. Bronwyn, I really appreciate that you spent the time on the phone with me to answer my many questions at what was probably the end of your overnight shift. Thank You!
Monica was very courteous and efficient when my roommate and I were checking in. Although our delegation arrived earlier than check-in time (and no room was understandably available upon arrival), she was apologetic of that fact rather than being justifiably frustrated at so many arriving for early check-in. Thank you for your patience and friendly demeanour, Monica!
I was in charge of setting up my delegation's courtesy suite and your staff were also very helpful with regards to this: A bell person, Warren, brought up two trolleys' worth of goods and unloaded them nearly himself. While I was in charge of setup, I had no budget for giving him the sort of tip he deserved (or any tip at all). I sincerely hope he receives some Kudos for his excellent and helpful service, especially when he would have earned more in tips by helping several individuals rather than helping me over the same period of time. I really appreciate his help. Thanks, Warren!
On check-out day, Yahya helped navigate our trolleys (which a colleague and I loaded) to a storage area, and, later, Danny helped us move them from our storage area to our bus for loading. These gentlemen did so knowing there was to be no tip given the budget-less position in which I found myself, but they worked tirelessly and efficiently to ensure our satisfaction. I tip my hat to your fine employees!
During our federation's formal dinner, my table was served by a cheerful and observant staff member, Abdul, who ensured our comfort, considered our members' preferences and dietary requirements, and made us feel like we were special guests. Thanks for the great service, Abdul!
The cleaning staff member assigned to my room, Marissa, was thorough in keeping my room clean and stocked with towels. I appreciate your helpfulness and your quiet and kind nature.
These staff (and the countless others whose names I did not get and/or who worked in support of these front line workers) really helped to make sure that my stay was enjoyable and stress free. There was a lot of work to be done as part of my federation's annual general meeting as well as for my local's hospitality suite, so I really appreciate that I did not have to spend time trying to remedy problems with regards to my own room. Of the many times I have attended this meeting at the Harbour Castle, this recent trip was my best personal-stay experience.
I must now mention one staff member in particular, one whose regular personal inquiry and assistance most assuredly contributed to the positive experience I had regarding my personal-stay, and especially regarding my local's hospitality suite: Aditya.
When unloading the bus at the side of a busy, construction-laden street during a busy time when hotel trolleys were difficult to acquire, Aditya really helped to save the day, bringing two carts and staff to assist with our unloading of the bus. Though rooms were not available at our time of (early) check-in, Aditya made regular inquiries on our behalf as to the room status and promptly informed us when the suite was available so we could unload the trolleys, and sent Warren with us to help do so. When our suite required any extra furnishings, be it a fridge, an extra table, table cloths...Aditya oversaw the expedient delivery of such, even despite it being a very busy few days. Additionally, (and this really struck home for me) Aditya would ask me personally and by name, every time our paths crossed, how my stay was going and if I needed anything for my room or for the suite. This is rare and much appreciated service excellence for which I truly hope he is awarded some recognition.
Of course every trip has some room for improvement and I will list a few recommendations, but please know that my overall impression of this venue was quite high for this recent stay.
The recommendations I have are largely in regards to how things seemed to 'bottleneck' quite easily for a hotel so used to large conventions.
It is never fun to stand in line for almost an hour -especially without a water table. Might a ticket system (like at a meat counter) or, even better, a table reservation-style paging system be made available for future use? This way, the arriving delegates could sit in the restaurant or bar area and converse while waiting for their turn at the check-in desk.
Our federation's meeting schedule is posted and known by your staff. During the peak hours (the half hour before starting in the AM, during lunch and dinner breaks, and for the half hour at the end of each day's session), the elevators could be split for specific use: From the Main floor and lower levels, reserve one or two elevators from each tower for service only to the top half of the hotel and another one or two for service only to the bottom half. Marked as express elevators, these would avoid the stop and go slow-down we always encounter at these peak times (when we are all in a rush).
3) ROOM READINESS
Understanding that many delegates arrive well-before your usual check-in time, we nonetheless have many delegates whose rooms are ready long after their expectation. As the large number of rooms required is known well in advance, might there be some way of more quickly prepping (or keeping unoccupied the previous night) rooms for our members?
While I recognize that it is normal for hotels to charge for Wi-Fi access, given that we are such a large organization and that we are already spending so much on the meeting, it would really behoove our members to be able to access free wi-fi as part of our stay, especially given that some of our members do not receive a strong cellular signal in the basement.
Overall, I had a great stay and I look forward to next year when I will once again be able to enjoy the comforts of your facility and the hospitality of your exceptional staff. Please give my regards and gratitude to your staff, especially those whom I mentioned by name.
Thank you, once again.
September 15, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by MrCrow Quality not as high as reputation and past experience led me to believe
I have stayed at this location on several occasions, each with a business organization (business meetings), each for several consecutive days/night. Previous visits had groomed me to expect a certain degree of service and accommodation. My most recent stay, unfortunately, lowered my expectations for this location.
To begin, this location is in a very scenic and accessible part of Toronto with many shopping areas in walking distance and various entertainment venues and restaurants nearby. The view from my lake view room was very nice.
Arriving with a large group on a coach (meeting with hundreds of others from the same organization on the same day), I would have expected that the large numbers would have been accounted for in advance. Instead, we had several problems with this:
1) We had to persist and insist several times on being able to use trolleys to remove luggage from our coach bus, and had only vague directions as to how we might safely get said trolleys to the street level. We took several trips and only received help from a service worker who, judging by his uniform, I do not think even worked in the porter department. (Note: This individual who worked on his own to see us safely unloaded and who brought us into the building via a street-level staff entrance (which we would not have found on our own) was the saving grace of our arrival experience and he certainly deserves kudos. Please acknowledge and praise Sydney B. for his above and beyond efforts!)
2) The large number of guests should have been anticipated (as this was booked months in advance and was a HUGE expense - many tens of thousands of dollars). Instead, my colleagues spent a long time in line, some for over half an hour. No refreshments were given to help comfort these many dozens of waiting customers, nor, I recall, any attempt at providing a quick service (i.e. take a number and relax at the lounge until called, etc.).
3) Many were told upon registration that their rooms were not yet ready for check-in. This is understandable as we arrived before the guaranteed check-in time. What I do not understand is why bags were not taken right there at the counter, marked, and sent up to the rooms as they became available. Also, despite guests being assured they would be called on their cell phones upon room availability, many had to continue to check in as phone calls were still not made even as we were approaching our 4PM meeting times (guaranteed check-in is at 3PM). When a front desk worker says they will call, they should call. I had one front desk worker fail to call me back in the 6 DAYS preceding our arrival. (While I leave names for Kudos, it would not serve to single out this individual as this seemed a systemic, not individualistic, problem. I do, of course, recall the name, however.)
Beyond our arrival process, there were still several areas of service which failed to meet the expectations of such an upscale, downtown, high-cost hotel.
The 'Green Rooms' option (to eliminate the need for nightly changes of bed linens) stated that towels left in the tub would nonetheless be changed daily. My roommate and I left our towels in the tub (wet and used) on the morning of our second day (day after arrival), yet after the day's business and return to the room, we found neither had the bed been made nor the towels been changed. When we called down for new towels, they delivered them while we were at dinner, but they left the old ones in the tub. Only on the third of four days did the towels get removed, and our beds were never made, except by us. (Perhaps the 'don't change linens for the environment' option implied a 'do not make the bed, I like it messy' message?)
Our drinking glasses were never replaced.
Our cleaner did, however, volunteer to change the duvet cover after we noticed a stain upon arrival (she was in the next room and easily accessible), and fresh housecoats were sent up upon request.
2) Fitness Area/Pool
The hours were nice for these amenities, and the staff working them were friendly and helpful. I appreciate that towels and lockers were available for use. Unfortunately the steam room in the men's change area was not working during my four day (three night) stay, except for during one visit. The whirlpool/hot tub was also only weakly able to create jets. Luckily the sauna was working and nice and hot.
In the fitness area, while the amount of cardio equipment was reasonable, it seemed a shame that although some free weights existed, there were few standard weights for the universal bar (on the bench press). This meant that I had to adjust the weights I was used to using to accommodate the lack of available options.
3) Catered Dinner
We had as part of our meetings, a formal dinner. This dinner was set up nicely, with appropriate lighting and well-spaced tables. The table settings were elegant and well-appointed (buns, butter, cutlery). The food, however, was surprisingly disappointing (although it looked like it would be delicious). The beef was slightly overcooked, and lacked flavour -I rarely put salt on my beef, but this required it. I was also surprised that we had to request horse radish for the table, as it was a known beef or chicken main option.
While each table was given one red and one white bottle of wine, additional bottles could be purchased if a table chose. This seems a rather reasonable option. What was not reasonable was the wine offered for the price at which it was being sold. While I understand and support some mark-up for hotel profit (200% - 300% is the web-stated standard in most restaurants), this was unacceptable. A bottle of wine (Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc), available for $9.95 at the area LCBO (wine, spirits, and beer store), was being sold for $55!! After tax, this is a 500% markup!! After the hotel is already charging per person for the meal and the service? This was more than an appropriate amount of profit-seeking!
For those of us that chose not to spend 5 times the retail rate on wine, we were left without water. No one came to refill our glasses on their own and no pitcher was left at the table. Instead, we had to seek staff (who were already busy) and ask them for water. I would expect better service at my local family restaurant.
4) Making it up to us
At most hotels, when expectations are not met and drops in service have been made (long delays in receiving call backs, inability to accommodate room upgrades when requested weeks in advance and when one is willing to pay to upgrade, long lines to check-in, etc.) staff volunteer to make it up to the customer. Traditionally, an invitation to enjoy their buffet breakfast on the house is offered as an apology. I requested this (as it was not offered) and I was told I would be called back once the manager had been spoken to about it. Big surprise, no call back. I did, however, go back to the counter and ask about it. After speaking with this agent, she went into a back room for several minutes and then came back with tickets for a 'fruit cup, coffee, and pastry' and the coffee counter - three each for both my roommate and me (covering the duration of our stay).
While I do appreciate the effort, it was only upon my insistence that we received anything at all.
For the amount I know my affiliate organization paid to have this meeting hosted, and the advance notice regarding how many would be in attendance, I am surprised and disappointed by the quality and lack of service. The previous visits I had to this location left me missing it during our last few years when we conducted our business at a nearby affiliate hotel. I look forward to our return to the downtown affiliate, and hope it is sooner than later. Next year would be nice.
August 19, 2012