We finally arrived at our hotel for our one night stay in Ottawa around 4:30PM. I parked our rental car in the outside self parking lot before heading in to check-in. At the front desk, I was greeted by a friendly agent before being asked for my ID and credit card. The lobby was busy with a tour group when we arrived, but there was still some seating available for my parents sit and relax in while I was checking us in.
When I booked our room couple of months ago on Starwood’s website, the Sheraton and the Westin in Ottawa were either fully booked or outrageously expensive. Even the Four Points that we were checking into was fully booked when I check a week before leaving for Canada. I told the agent about the fully booked hotels according to the website and asked her if there was some sort of event going going on this week in town. She replied that it was currently the busy time with tourists visiting Ottawa, the Capitol City of Canada.
After confirming couple of information and signing the required paperwork, I was given my room keys and wished a pleasant stay at the hotel by the agent who was helping me. But before leaving the front desk, I asked the agent about my free drink welcome amenity as a SPG Gold member. The question seemed to catch her by surprise as she scrambled to find one of the SPG drink coupons in the drawers. She was not able to find any so she told me that she would have someone bring it up to our room as soon as she could locate one. This wasn’t the first time I’ve been to a SPG property where they decided to automatically give me the extra points instead of letting me choose between the points and the free drink. According to the agent, since the hotel was having a free beer reception at the bar shortly, she figured I would not want the free drink. I did not ask any further regarding the free beer she mentioned or if it was offered daily since my parents and I would be missing it due to overlap in time with our dinner reservation.When we got up to our room, it looked clean overall but it definitely was in need of some fixes. The room had a faint smell of smoke from someone smoking in it before. The smell was of a mix of smoke and air freshener that was probably used to try and mask the cigarette smoke smell. It cigarette smoke wasn’t enough to hit me hard when I entered the room, but I could definitely tell that someone smoked in the room before. Normally, I would have called downstairs for a new room, but since the hotel was fully booked as I mentioned above, I decided to let it go. The office chair was seriously worn and looked bad visually. Definitely not what I would expect from a SPG property. In one of the shelves attached to the closet, was the coffee machine along with the two free bottled waters. Next to the window was a plush armchair and the room also came with a decent sized mini fridge next to the desk. The TV was a lot smaller than what I’m normally used to seeing in hotel rooms. Inside the bathroom, were the standard Four Points amenities including the shampoo, conditioner and body wash dispensers attached to the wall of the shower. All in all at first glance everything looked clean and well kept. But, as soon as I turned on the lights, the fan started making loud rattling noises. Definitely the bearings or something was worn out and needed to be replaced. Again I let it go since we were only here for one night.
After dinner, my parents and I cashed in the free drink coupon for SPG Gold members, which was slipped through the bottom of our room’s door as promised, at the L’Ardoise Restaurant which is attached to the lobby of the hotel. I ordered two glasses of white wine for my dad and myself. My mom did not want anything. If I remember correctly, I believe our waitress said the chardonnay my dad and I had was from California. So far every white wine I’ve ordered in Canada was from California. Maybe Canada doesn’t grow chardonnay grapes?After finishing our white wines at L’Ardoise Restaurant, we headed back up to our room. After channel surfing for a bit on the TV, I went in to take a shower before bed. I noticed that the ceiling above the shower had mold growing on it. I didn’t see the mold when I first did my inspections earlier in the evening but they were easily visible from inside the shower. Plus, the shower wall had a big crack running through it which looked like a fix was applied to it in the past, but the crack grew out further from the fixed area. Again, I said to myself, it is only one night let it go. If this was a multi night stay, at this point I would have called downstairs and demanded an new room.
Since we had a LONG drive to Niagara Falls with a lunch stop in Toronto, we checked out of the hotel early. At the front desk, the agent asked me about our stay and I politely informed her of all of the problems with the room, including the smell of the faint cigarette smoke. She apologized and offered me two options. One was 1000 Starwood Points and the other was a discount on the room. I told her that I would take the 1000 Starwood Points. After receiving the folio for our stay, I thanked the lady who helped me and I asked her for the prepaid ticket for leaving the parking lot. Parking here at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel & Conference Centre Gatineau-Ottawa is $15.00 CAD per night which comes with in and out privileges.
Our stay at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel & Conference Centre Gatineau-Ottawa wasn’t one of our best stays at a Starwood Hotel but it wasn’t the worst either. Even with all of the deficiencies of the room that we spent the night in, I would still recommend the hotel for short stays. I believe I was was fairly compensated for the problems with the room and I have no further gripes or issues with the property. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that the issues we experienced was a one off fluke.