Hotel Group: Omni Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Status: None
Booking Type: Priceline Name Your Own Price
Room Type: Deluxe Room double bed
Date of Stay: December 2017
Located in the heart of downtown, off Sherbrooke St, it was first opened in 1976 as a Four Seasons. In 1994, it was rebranded as a Westin and then, after only five years, it was turned into an Omni.
The hotel has 31 floors, boasting 299 rooms and suites with no more than 12 rooms per floor. There are two dining options, a business center, a spa, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
I did not review or photo the spa area.
I used Priceline’s Name Your Own Price feature. After a little research, it was easy to tell the Omni was the hotel I was bidding on. I rarely stay at an Omni, so there was no reason to pay full price. I ended up paying $114.85 including tax per night. Compare that to $182.08, the price Omni was offering, I was able to save almost $200 on a three-night stay.
That’s pretty substantial savings but there are drawbacks to booking through a third party. The biggest is you really have no say in what room you are booked in, it’s at the discretion of the hotel. In this case, I didn’t care what room I was in because I was traveling alone.
As I made my way to the hotel, I decided I was going to ask for a room with a view. I checked the Omni website and saw availability was wide open, so I knew my chances were good. When I arrived at the hotel, I had the displeasure of being checked in by Nadia. She never smiled once and sure didn’t make me feel welcomed. I asked her if I could have a room with a view, and she said that it would be $25 more per night. A view is something I really wanted so I happily accepted. After that, she informed me I was in a double bed room and that there were no single bed rooms available. I knew this to be a lie because I had just checked and saw there were at least ten king rooms available, but I didn’t think much of it because all I wanted was a view.
The lobby is beautifully designed in marble. The first thing you see when walking in is a fireplace with a few chairs and the reception area to the left. The public spaces in the hotel are quite elegant.
After I reached my room and got settled, I started wondering why Nadia would lie to me about not having any king rooms available. Just to be clear, I’m perfectly fine with having a double room. That means I can skip housekeeping a day and still have a made bed. I also understand by booking through a third-party, they can put me in any room they’d like. However, not even offering a king room for an upcharge is silly, especially if the hotel is nowhere close to full, which this place wasn’t. So I figured I would go down later and ask the receptionist if they had any king rooms just to see what they would say. I wasn’t looking to move rooms but rather to see if they would tell the truth. Later that evening I was coming back from dinner and saw a new receptionist, Justine. I figured this was a perfect time. Before I spoke with her, I doubled-checked to see if they still had base king rooms available and they did, at least ten of them. This is where it gets fun. I went up to the desk and asked Justine if they have any king rooms available. After giving her my name she informed me there weren’t any. I asked her if I pulled out my phone and looked, I would see that there were, in fact, ten king rooms available. She was taken back and stumbled through some words and then ended up confirming what I knew, there were king rooms available. I left it at that. For two different receptionists to both lie, tells me this was a management decision not to offer king rooms to third-party bookings. I don’t necessarily blame the receptionists, I think they were just doing what they were told.
I had room 3111 at the end of the hall, to the right off the elevators.
The robes and safe were in the closet. The robes were not my favorite, very thin. At least they weren’t one-size-fits-all.
The coffee machine, wine glasses, and ice bucket were stored on the dresser by the TV. The coffee machine was pretty weak. There is no reason to not have a Keurig or Nespresso machine in an Omni. Also, for the size of the room, there should have been a bigger TV. The beds are quite far from the TV, making it hard to see.
The two beds were great, on the soft side with plush pillows. There were two outlets behind the lamp on the nightstand making it easy to charge your phone.
The wi-fi was almost unusable in the room. It would take several minutes to load webpages and there was little hope of uploading photos to my website. It would have been painful to pay $11.44 a day to use this. This day and age you would think hotels could offer a better internet connection.
There were no in-room beverages or snacks but there was a menu you could order from, and they would bring it to you. Inconvenient, if you ask me.
The highlight was the view. Being on the 31st floor I had beautiful views of the city, especially at night watching the snow fall.
The bathroom was standard. The only thing that wasn’t was the bidet (I think it was a bidet). I’m no expert but I’ve seen my fair share of bidets, and I couldn’t figure out how this bad boy worked. It was more trouble than what it was worth. The shower pressure was excellent.
The toiletries were standard Omni brand. I didn’t love the shampoo, but the bars of soap were decent.
The hairdryer was old and worn. An upgrade is in order.
The fitness center is on the third floor. There were several cardio and weight machines with another open room for exercises.
The outdoor pool is open from May to October. The jacuzzi is inside but during the summer months, there is easy access to the pool because the pool actually comes inside from a small opening in the window. You can see where they have it blocked off in the photo. Even though the jacuzzi was open it wasn’t very inviting as you could see dirt and other things on the floor. The photo doesn’t show all of it, but you get the idea.
Down the hall from the jacuzzi was a sauna. It would be hard to find if you weren’t wandering around like I was.
There’s a small business center open 24 hours. The chairs by the computers were a poor excuse for chairs. I can’t imagine sitting here for more than a few minutes.
There’s a French bistro-type restaurant named Le Petit Opus Café, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Alice Bar open from 11:30am to 11:00pm.
I did not try either of the two restaurants. After my episode with the receptionists, it put a bad taste in my mouth, so I wasn’t going to spend any more money than I had to here.
I did get a few photos, and both places were beautifully designed. Le Petit Opus, as you’d expect, looked like a French bistro.
Alice Bar is just down the hall from the lobby. I had a friend tell me they make great cocktails, but I wasn’t about to find out.
About a week after my stay I received a survey email asking how my stay was. I wanted to give the hotel a chance to explain why the receptionists would do what they did and told them I would like to hear from management before I wrote my review. About four days later I heard back from the Director of Rooms, Joanie Pagé. She was apologetic and assured me it was followed up on, and corrective measures were put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. She refunded my extra charges for being upgraded to a room with a view. I appreciated the gesture but hope they really did correct this matter so future guests don’t go through the same thing. Furthermore, the bellhop/valet guy was the worst I’ve ever encountered. Two different occasions I hailed my own taxi while he stood around chatting with taxi drivers, or he was inside getting warm. He never once said hello or welcomed me back. Service gets a 5/10.
If you read the review, you know I’m not a fan of this property. Yes, the public spaces around the lobby are chic and elegant, but the rooms are past their prime. The jacuzzi was dirty, TV too small, coffee maker was poor, hairdryer old, and employees show little interest in making guest feel welcomed. I would highly recommend NOT staying here. There are several other hotels at the same price point that you’ll enjoy much more.
Have you stayed here, What are your thoughts?