My review of our stay at Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls is a mixed one. I will start off the review with the positives of our experiences, and touch up with the negatives that impacted some of our stay. Let me preface this article with the fact that we have been staying here for 10 years now when we visit, and its the only place we have stayed, and frankly probably will stay at.
What was nice about the stay was that we were upgraded to a jacuzzi room suite in the hotel, I had mentioned when we checked in that we were celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary and this was our 10th year here, among 14 or so trips there. We really do like going there a lot. However, as I will discuss I am not sure we were given the upgrade because of the status we had, or if it was to make up for the “Comedy of Errors” that we were about to experience during our stay. When we book we usually book a two night package, and in this case since we were staying 4 days, booked two of those. Included in that you get a voucher for $40 CAN off of a meal at The Keg Steakhouse or $35 CAN off a meal at Friday’s next door, The Keg is part of the Hotel and is attached right to the front, along with that you get 2 buffet breakfasts with omelet station and a shuttle pass that the Hotel participates in that gets you to the major destinations, The Falls, the casino’s, IMAX theater among others. So to keep it all together that would be vouchers towards 2 Dinners, and 4 breakfasts along with the shuttle. The vouchers for dinner pay for about half of an average meal, the breakfast is all covered.
Again, we love staying here, the value you get for the packages, plus the general location is why it is our desired choice while we stay in Niagara Falls, we have often said for the price we pay for a 2 night package, that might not cover one night at one of the hotels that are right along the falls, we know we might lose that possible view to the falls from the room, but we go to see them anyways, we just feel it is a great alternative and allows us to afford more activities. Some more pictures of the room/suite we stayed in below, we have stayed in the regular size rooms as well, and can say minus the few upgrades they are just as comfortable as the suites!
What went wrong? When we got there, we were in disbelief, they had The Keg gutted, work crews had everything out, nothing was inside at all, and the entrance way from inside the hotel was all boarded up! Why does this matter?, well, we like The Keg, it is a warm Steakhouse, with great food selections and wine choices, and the ambiance was what we were again looking for, especially on our 10th Wedding Anniversary. We obviously asked about it at the desk, and we were told they were under re-construction for about 4 weeks maybe a little longer. Keep in mind, we booked this stay months ago, with the anticipation that we would be enjoying our meals there, and also the familiar breakfast buffet, and omelet station that we were accustomed too. So what did that leave us? TGI Friday’s. I am not going to put it completely down, but this is not a place that we even usually visit while we are at home, in fact prior to this trip the last time we ate at one was 11 years ago. When we went for dinner, I actually had a salad, not that it was bad for me or anything, but the steak choices were not appealing enough to enjoy especially for the prices and taxes you have to pay in Canada. While on the trip I could tell my wife was not enjoying the fact that we did not have what we were accustomed to, and when we went to breakfast the next morning we found out the buffet had about a third of what it normally would have (it was located at Fridays as well), and that there was no omelet station at all, even though they have a kitchen there. Sadly, we were disappointed, finished our breakfast and went on our day throughout Niagara Falls. When we checked in, we were offered to convert the packages into regular night stays, but this does raise the price quite a bit, we take advantage of the package because of the benefits that we have received over the past 10 years. After day 2 we did try to see if we could cancel the 2nd two day package and was told it would cost $20 more than what we already paid to do that, so we declined for obvious reasons. We did not eat the second dinner there at Fridays, and 2 of the breakfasts.
When we book our stays, we constantly check back to see if the rate changes, and if they lower, call to take advantage of the lower rates, at no time did the website list any information that The Keg was under re-construction and that we would have to eat at Friday’s next door. I think that is the part that bothered us the most, no communication, no information on their site of the changes, no phone call to say “we are sorry to inform you, but we are closing The Keg temporarily”. Just something to let us know before we came would have been nice. The front desk young lady was nice about it when we checked in, and I am not sure again if we got the upgrade because of how disappointed we shared about not knowing about it, or if it was for our Anniversary, but we did get the upgrade.
We were excited for weeks of the meals and breakfasts we would share together prior to our trip, the anticipation was more intense due to us being married for 10 years, and in a way it was crushed in minutes when we walked into the Hotel. While I kept reminding Michelle, that the most important part of this whole thing was that we were together, we ate at one of the higher end restaurants at one of the casino’s, and had a wonderful meal, we just wanted it to be at The Keg, because of what it meant to us, that we started there on our honeymoon, and for 10 years have been coming back at least once a year, sometimes twice to enjoy it all over again, we didn’t get that opportunity this time. Thinking about commercials I saw for Orbitz I think it is, they have a service to notify you, if say the pool is out, or something changes with where you are. Something like that would have been nice, even just a note on their website letting us know, that would have given us time to adjust and maybe research other places to eat.
Will we go back, of course!! We love the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls, we love how nice the staff is, the convenience of the packages, the proximity to other activities, and the memories that we have from our stays will keep us coming back for years to come. I would have to say that of all the years we have stayed, we could easily give it 5 out of 5 stars, but this time, I am having a hard time giving it: 3 out of 5 stars.
Would I recommend staying there, yes, we always will. We stayed from 10/2 and left on 10/6, Our Anniversary was that friday, October 5th.
Disclaimer: These opinions are of Michelle and I’s own thoughts, I was not compensated for any part of this review, or given any incentives to write it. I thank you for taking time to read it, and as always appreciate you being here, and have a nice day! Tom.