6.9 | Fair
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Older Prince George hotel with indoor pools, waterslides, kitchen suites & free hot breakfast
- Free amenities: Wi-Fi, hot breakfast buffet for 2 guests per room, parking
- Several reviewers found clean and comfortable rooms
- Many enjoyed the free breakfast promotion given by the hotel
- Location easy to find and convenient to shopping and restaurants
- Many enjoyed the tropical gardens and swimming pools with waterslides
- No elevator to the second and third floors
- Waterslides were often closed or closed too early, according to several guests
- Some guests complained of dated decor in the hotel and rooms
- The restaurant received mixed reviews from guests, some enjoying meals and some finding it pricey with too many buffets
- Guests gave mixed reviews of staff
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Updated Sep 12, 2015
Esther's Inn is located just off Highway 97, on a commercial street near fast food restaurants, a 7-minute drive west of downtown Prince George. This budget hotel provides a fun place for families with children to come and enjoy the swimming pools, waterslides and hot tubs in a tropical garden themed waterpark.
All 118 guest rooms are smoke free and pet free. Common room amenities include free Wi-Fi, a 32" flat-screen TV with cable and pay-per-view movies, a coffeemaker, a mini-fridge and a hair dryer. Rooms are furnished with 2 double beds, 1 or 2 queen beds or 1 king bed. Room extras include air conditioning, a sofabed, a full kitchen, a large living room, 1 or 2 separate bedrooms, a dining table for 4, a second bathroom and a second TV. Ironing boards and irons are available upon request. Rooms offer views of the tropical courtyard or city. Accessible rooms are also available.
Free secured parking is available on site. Parking is gated with camera surveillance and security.
The hotel offers a free hot breakfast buffet for 2 guests per room from 6 am to 10 am.
The Rolling Barrel Bistro Bar serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is open from 6 am to 9 pm or 10 pm. This hotel also has an on-site bar, Monsoon Lounge, which is open during the evenings. Guests should note that the restaurant and lounge are closed for dinner on Statutory Holidays.
Hotel amenities include 1 main indoor pool, 2 kid's pools, 2 hot tubs, 2 waterslides, a steam room, and a fitness centre with spin bikes. Other on-site amenities include an atrium with tropical gardens, a business centre, a hair studio, a guest laundry, and meeting and banquet facilities. There is no elevator to the second or third floor.
Downtown Prince George is about a 7-minute drive away and features shopping, restaurants, the VIA Rail station and the Greyhound bus station. The Prince George Coliseum (home of the Prince George Spruce Kings Junior "A" Hockey Club) is a 5-minute drive away. The University of Northern British Columbia is a 9-minute drive away. The Prince George Airport (YXS) is a 16-minute drive away. (All driving time estimates: Google Maps)
Confirmed with the front desk on September 10, 2015: the number and types of indoor pools, free hot breakfast for 2 guests per room, the hotel has a steam room not a sauna, ironing boards are available on request
Guest opinion was quite mixed overall. Guests who gave the higher scores and enjoyed their stays were typically families who came to enjoy the pools, and couples that liked the vintage feel of the decor, and did not mind the budget accommodations. Many were return visitors who came to visit with family and enjoy the pools.
Many guests found the pools to add positive value to their stay. They mentioned enjoying the ambiance of the tropical gardens with fountains, a little bridge and the many streams and pools. Others came with friends and family to enjoy a swim, a soak in the hot pools and the thrill of the waterslide. Guests typically reported the pools to be clean.
Some reported clean and comfortable rooms. They mentioned fluffy towels, fridges with freezers, and spacious layouts with good-sized, comfortable beds. Guests with families liked the spacious family rooms which allowed them to only have to book one room instead of two.
The recent free breakfast promotion was a winner for many guests. They liked having eggs, bacon, sausages, French Toast, hash browns, fruit, plus continental options such as yogurt and cereal and beverages.
Those who had good encounters with the staff said they were courteous and friendly, professional and helpful, although there were also complaints about them.
The location was convenient to shopping centres and nearby restaurants and was easy to find, according to the reviewers.
Guests who criticized the hotel and its services were less in number than the guests who left positive comments, in the recent reviews sourced for this report, and complaints ranged over a number of topics.more
One such topic was the lack of an elevator. Guests who stayed on higher floors, not realizing they were booking a hotel without an elevator, were sometimes disappointed to have to carry suitcases up to the second and third floors, mostly without assistance from the staff it seems.
The rooms had some faults. Guests complained about a lack of air conditioning or even a window in some rooms; another who had an air conditioner said it was difficult to adjust. The decor was dated and some guests complained of musty or smokey odours, outdated and old furniture and uncomfortable beds. Guests who stayed near the main pool found it quite noisy. Occasionally guests found rooms that needed to have some repairs, or that needed better cleaning.
A few guests complained about the pools. Complaints were: too much chlorine resulting in bleached bathing suits and chemical burns on children's faces, black scum along one of the pools, the waterslide often closed or closed too early, pools were overcrowded, and the pool area was poorly lit. Some mentioned that the pools were very dated.
Recently the hotel offered a free hot breakfast to its guests and some were disappointed to discover that not all members of the family were included in the free promotion, but only 2 from each room. Although the extra person charges were only $6 per person, this caused a sense of disappointment for some.
The restaurant received some complaints as well. Although the restaurant was enjoyed by some guests, other guests complained about the quality of the food served on occasion and a couple of reviewers said that the hotel offered too many buffets that were also too expensive (as opposed to a la carte options).
Occasionally guests had unpleasant encounters with staff or management. This covered a variety of issues such as staff not assisting guests with pool towels and causing them to have to walk back to their rooms wet and cold, the pool attendant yelling at the guests (instead of asking nicely) to clear the slide area of the pool (for safety's sake), and the pool cleaning staff repeatedly informing guests of the time of the pool's closure so as to cause them to not be able to relax in the hot tub while it was still open. Also, recently management clashed with guests over drinking alcohol in public places in the hotel and evicted offenders with the aid of the police. More recently, the management prevented what appeared to be law-abiding locals from booking the hotel (due to the fear of partiers filling the rooms).
SourcesExpedia.ca gave this hotel an average score of 3.5 out of 5, with 85% of 256 guests recommending the property.
TripAdvisor.ca ranked this hotel #14 out of 23 properties in Prince George, with guest ratings of 3.5 out of 5 from 154 reviews.
Booking.com gave this property an average score of 7.6 out of 10, based on 187 guest reviews.