A historic hotel but needs work
Wow!!! This place got slammed! Lets get the views out of the way first. They are unbelievable, not as amazing as Many Glacier but stil impressive. Unfortunetly every word written about the rooms is correct. They are small, crowded and have thin walls. Stay here one night, just to say you did, but spend the majority of your time in Waterton. Stay in the Prince last, Waterton doesn't have the view and you may find yourself comparing your view in Waterton with that of the Princes' if you don't. I gave this hotel 3 dots because of views, history and.......well, o.k views and history. If the owner of this hotel reads this you really should upgrade the rooms for the price you are charging. But what do I know I only live in the tourist capital of the world....Orlando.
This hotel is definitely not worth the money
Do not waste your money on staying at this hotel. My boyfriend and I spent a week at Glacier National Park, which we loved, and our last day we went up to Waterton and stayed the night at Prince of Wales.
The view is amazing and the town is cute. The hiking is also great, just like Glacier.
However, do not waste your money on this ridicolously overpriced hotel, it was over 200 dollars to stay here and the room was tiny, not very clean, and the beds were hard as a rock.
My recommendation is to go up there for the day, they have buses that do this, or stay somewhere else. We wish we had and we won't be back to this hotel again.
View not worth the money poor management
Althought it's been 10 years since I stayed for four nights in the Prince of Wales Hotel with my wife, it still stands out as the 2nd worst hotel we've visited. Yes, it certainly does have a spectacular view, but the view is free. Just drive up, park, walk the grounds, and take all the pictures you like. And yes, it does have a charming look to it. It seemed very grand inside, and picturesque outside.
However, the prices I paid were the highest prices I have ever paid out of my own pocket for a hotel anywhere. Our room was over $300 a night. It was a corner room. I like that it had a great view on two sides, one of which overlooked the lake. It was without a doubt the most spectacular view I've ever had from any hotel I've ever visited. That may be enough for some people, but for me, I wanted more for my $300+ a night...like service.
The first night we arrived late, so we ate in the dining room. The food was so expensive! And really, I've had better meals at regular franchise restaurants. It was bland and skimpy, not cooked very well.
The elevator didn't go high enough to get us to our room, so we had to haul our luggage the last few flights...but no discount for THAT!
The next morning I wanted coffee. Many hotels have a coffee pot in the room, Prince of Wales rooms do not. I went down and inquired into this, they told me I could get it in the restaurant, for about 3 bucks a cup!! And only if I'm sitting down to a meal, no carry out, or carry up to the room.
Later, in the lobby, we asked about the visitor center, they gave us the directory, but would not let us use the phone. "Why not, I'm a paying guest", I asked. "The phone is for hotel use only" was the reply. So I trudged back up to the room to make the call (pre-cell phone days). It's the little things that give big hints about the quality of a hotel.
Each day we learned to avoid the restaurant, the "high tea" (or as I call it, Highly Priced Lipton), and asking for anything from the staff. Remember this, you are the guest, they are the staff, they don't like you and don't want to have to associate with you, it's beneath them.
The rooms were small, and the bathroom was just a closet with facilities. No AC, so hope for a good breeze. Cheesy furnishings, like a cheap motel. Actually, that's the feeling I had from this place from the start...a cheap motel, tacky...tacky...tacky... They capitalize on a good view and the heck with the rest. As cheaply as they can do it, is good enough for THEM! I suppose I wouldn't complain if I'd only been charged $50 a night or so, but for the price I was charged, I expect a LOT more. I have noticed that park hotels are usually bad quality...such as the #1 worst hotel I've ever stayed at, the one at the Grand Canyon.
Waterton is wonderful, the hikes are some of the best I've had, the shops, restaurants, pubs, ect, are great. The lake is beautiful, the scenery is well worth the trip.
I asked the staff who owns the hotel, thinking a complaint letter would be in order. I was told, get this, it was the Dial Soap Company! I'm sure they know tons about the hotel business. If I had the money, I'd buy the place, just to shut it down and put up a sign saying "closed due to horrible management".
A Grand Old Lady - But Not Again
We hadn’t planned on staying at the Prince of Wales Hole in Waterton, Alberta, Canada, but we discovered that the hotel had opened two weeks early, and the hotel had many rooms available at discount prices of 150 USD per night so we stayed one evening on Jun4th, 2006. The historic eighty-year-old hotel generally brings two types of travelers’ reviews: grand old lady with epic scenic vistas, or run-down overpriced old place totally lacking in modern accoutrements.
Travelers should know and fully comprehend that staying in historic lodges or hotels in national parks means staying in a much older set of buildings which were not constructed with spacious and large rooms having the latest in modern conveniences and technology. You stay in these hotels because of their historic significance surrounded by astonishing epic scenery. We knew this in advance and we weren’t disappointed.
The hotel is not open all year. The harsh winter weather does batter the building and you will see signs of weathering such as peeling paint, but the overall condition of the building was satisfactory to me. We found the hotel staff to be friendly, efficient, and willing to respond quickly to any of our inputs and needs. No problems there.
Our second floor corner room was small, but not cramped. We took the stairs to our room, but an old-style elevator is in operation to take you to the upper floors. The bathtub/shower combination is in a small room all to itself and allowed me to shower or to comfortably soak in the ample hot water. The sink was inset into the wall outside of the toilet area. We didn’t mind this arrangement. The double bed in the room was a bit small, but comfortable. We slept well. I did sense that when the hotel is fully booked, the place would get noisy.
The rooms do not have televisions, radios, or Internet hookups. The rooms do have telephones. The rooms do not have air conditioning, and I can’t comment on what the temperature is in the summer. We had to turn on the electric baseboard heating in our room as the evenings were still chilly.
Our south-facing room gave us a grand view of the lake and surrounding mountains. This was worth the price. You won’t see this from any other place in Waterton. Yes, you pay for the view, and what a view it is! A circling bald eagle one afternoon astonished even the most experienced high-country travelers. We did sit in the large and wonderfully built lobby just to enjoy the solitude and the scenery through the massive south-facing windows.
The restaurant and bar are too expensive; I would avoid them. Except for the hotel’s delicious buffet breakfast, we ate our meals in the small town of Waterton: a short distance away.
I most likely will not stay in the Prince of Wales Hotel again but I will certainly return just to sit in the lobby and have tea. A reasonable, experienced traveler would conclude that the hotel’s historic significance and scenery just are not worth the high seasonable price, although we got a bargain when they opened early. I would recommend you find lodging in Waterton proper and go to the hotel just to have tea in the wonderful lobby and walk through the grand old lady at least once.