we went up to Bala for our annual Thanksgiving Blue Rodeo show. This was the first time staying at the hotel - in the past we have stayed at a motel and bed and breakfast.
The hotel room was small, but suited our needs, as we were only staying one night. I read some of the reviews regarding the rooms prior to going, so knew they would be small - The room had a fairly large bathroom. Water temp kept varying though from really hot to really cold - It helped to wake me up!
People have complained about the TV being small, but honestly who cares - you aren't up there to hang in your room and watch TV.
Bala is a really nice little town with a lot of hiking trails. Well worth the visit.
Our only disappointment was that the bar was closed down after the concert and there wasn't anything to do. I'm not sure why they closed the bar down early? Everyone staying there was looking for a place to go after the concert.
Lots of places were fully booked for the long thanksgiving weekend and Bala Bay Inn had one room left facing the lake. It came with one queen and one twin bed and suited my family of 3. The rate was $174 + tax.
The pictures on the website gave me a funky vibe. Bright green walls, colored towels etc. It looked new in the pics but when I arrived, we were given keys to a room on the 3rd floor and on the way up, I couldn't help but noticed how old the carpet looked. The stairs going up to the 3rd floor was not well lit even during the day.
In the room I noticed that the decor was very much a DIY job and a badly done one. The wallpaper was clearly an amateur effort. The ceiling had a piece of plywood hammered on it in one corner and was an eyesore. The towel rack in the washroom dropped on the floor as both ends that hold the rod were loose but we got it fixed by ourselves easily. Thankfully the washroom was clean enough. The only light in the room was the table lamp and it wasn't working. There was no phone in the room so I walked 3 flight of stairs down to let the staff know. The maintenance guy was kind enough to check out the problem and eventually replaced the faulty lamp with one that worked. The duvet on my bed had some stains which looked like shoe marks but it was a warm night and I certainly had no use for a duvet so it didn't bother me. The Venetian blinds was about 6 inches shorter than the entire window and made me wonder if it was meant for this room window at all. If you are the kind who needed a decent size tv, you will be disappointed as the tv was only the size of a computer monitor.
I think I can overlook all the shortcomings of the room as this is an inn after all and did not claim to be a hotel. But I was horrified by the disposable plastic cups provided. One of them had a sticky rim and another one had lipstick stains on it as can be seen from the attached photo. This is totally unacceptable. Housekeeping did not check or tried to reuse disposable cups.
Overall, I won't say it's a terrible experience but for the rate I pay, i think I expected a better and cleaner room. The building is old, about 110 years old and the amateurish updates to refurbish the inn just couldn't cut it.
Upon arrival, the clerk was very friendly and helpful. We went straight to our room and found it quite small and the TV was the size of a computer screen and outdated. While watching TV, the channel would go off air. No fridge, no microwave. Had an alarm clock but nowhere to plug it in. One socket was behind the bed and the other was occupied by the TV and air conditioner. Asked to remove the portable air conditioner in order to turn the heat on. The heater in the bathroom did not work. After the restaurant closed, in order to get back in the hotel, you had to punch in a code at the door (during the night until 9:00AM). The stairs and floors in the general area were creaking. I understand it being an old building but in order to attract more customers, serious renovations need to be done. The only plus for this place was the bed which was comfortable and complimentary coffee in the morning.
Stayed there for one night, as many do for a concert at the Kee. Looks beautiful from the outside and the lobby is OK but has too many signs telling you what you can't do! The room was small but that is expected in an old hotel. The bed was comfortable.
This the best I can say about the place. It felt like we paid $200 for a hostel or dorm room, the room furnishings were very old and dated, actually the only furniture was an old desk with a computer monitor or something leaning against the wall, it didn't work. No phone, maybe there was wifi but it didn't reach our room, no fridge, the lock on the door was the kind like in your bathroom where you push the knob and turn it to lock the door and I could see that our door had been kicked in at one point. No deadbolt and the room took regular keys which I can't remember the last time I saw that, and they charged a $50 deposit for an extra key. On checking in they made us give our names so that we could return at the end of the night- we are a bunch of 40 year-olds, and we were also warned of consequences if the room sustained any damage. Actually felt pretty insulting. The air conditioner was set at 77 and the temperature would rise as soon as there were any people in the room but we could not adjust the temperature. I can't imagine how hot it would be up on that third floor. We had some time before the concert so went for a walk, on our return the desk where we had put some snacks for later on had a bunch of small black ants covering it. We had to put our food up on a ledge and have a drink to try to block that out if our minds. We had supper at the pub restaurant which was decent. The food was decent and our server was very nice. He said his parents are leasing the building and I could see his mother and him running around working hard seeming quite understaffed.
All in all the owner needs to put some serious money into renovating the rooms as the state they are in is insulting when you are paying $200/night. Either that or just market the place as a flop house/hostel for travellers and concert goers as that's the feeling you get when you are staying there.
Our trip started with a little bit of chaos. There were thunderstorms the night before and the power went out in Bala. We received and email the night before saying they 'hoped' to have the the room ready by 4pm and they were still out of power. Of course we got lost(we always do), so we got there shortly after 4pm. The power had just been restored about 5min before we arrived. Housekeeping cleaned with no power. They were ready for us. No problems checking in. Building could use some attention, but it's an old building. Next day at check out. Our ride home was late. Check out is 11am. The front desk stored our luggage for us until around noon when our ride came. The staff was polite and accommodating. Very happy with our stay. Will come back again!!!!