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Pet-friendly Sydney hotel overlooks harbour with indoor pool and well-liked fine dining
- Free amenities: Wi-Fi, hot/cold breakfast, parking, pet stays
- Guests described rooms as clean and comfortable
- The staff were frequently complimented for their professional and friendly service
- Location was convenient to town and area attractions
- Guests really liked the chef-made meals at the restaurant
- No elevator to 2nd or 3rd floor
- Some guests found the hotel tired and in need of maintenance
- The free breakfast got mixed reviews
Updated May 14, 2015
The Hearthstone Inn Sydney, in Cape Breton Island overlooks the Sydney Harbour and is situated among other hotels and restaurants. This property is about a 3-minute drive or 25-minute walk along the harbour to downtown Sydney and is well located for guests looking to explore the area by car or on foot.
This property is 100% smoke-free and all rooms include free Wi-Fi, free local calls, a flat screen TV with cable channels, a coffeemaker, an iron and ironing board, a work desk, a mini-fridge, a microwave, a hair dryer and individual climate control. Rooms are furnished with either two queen beds or one king bed. The hotel offers suites with a jacuzzi and fireplace.
The on-site Hearthstone Restaurant & Lounge offers fine dining with vegetarian and gluten-free choices. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Room service and box lunches are also available. A free breakfast is served at the restaurant from a menu and guests can choose from a variety of hot and cold options.
Free parking is available on site and the hotel has walking and biking trails nearby. On-site recreational facilities include an indoor pool, a courtyard and a fitness centre. Other on-site amenities include a business centre, meeting rooms, guest laundry facilities and free newspapers. The hotels does provide some accessible rooms, but there is no elevator to the second floor or third floor. Pets are welcomed for free in select pet-friendly rooms.
Some points of interest in the area include the Miners’ Museum in Glace Bay (30-minute drive) the Fortress of Louisbourg (42-minute drive); the Highland Village Museum in Iona (54-minute drive); and the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck on Hwy 105 (1 hr drive).
Attractions in downtown Sydney, including dining, shopping and Casino Nova Scotia, are all accessible within a 4-minute drive. Centre 200 (arena and concert venue) is about 5 minutes away by car and Cape Breton University is a 15-minute drive away. The ferries to Newfoundland may be accessed within a 25-minute drive and the Sydney Airport (YQY) is 20 minutes away by car. (All driving time estimates: Google Maps)
Verified by a front desk agent on May 14, 2015: Pets are permitted at no additional charge.
The hotel seemed like an okay place to stay, especially if the price is kind on the budget. There were some strengths and there were some weaknesses still to be overcome it seems, judging from recent reviews posted online. The hotel's strengths were clean rooms that were found to be comfortable, a great chef putting out well-liked meals, friendly staff and the location.
Many guests found comfortable and clean rooms at this hotel. Some said they were spacious with comfortable beds and a couple of guests added that they enjoyed quiet rooms.
Guests liked the location and said it was close to shopping, convenient to major highways and the Cabot Trail, and on the main street for getting into town, only a 4-minute drive away. Others used it as a base for accessing a few area attractions by car that were all within an hour's drive and some guests found the location convenient to the ferries to Newfoundland, about a 25-minute drive from the hotel.
Staff were well liked for being friendly and helpful by many guests.
The chef and restaurant were a bright spot for several guests who really enjoyed the dining on site.
Some guests felt the laundry facilities and the pool added value to their stay.
The hotel missed impressing its guests at times, who left quite a few complaints online for travellers to read, many of which seemed to be one-time occurrences.more
First of all, the property appeared tired to some and the hotel had some maintenance and housekeeping issues. It seems that the property is older and that it can use some upgrading.
A couple of guests complained about the heating, saying it was difficult to maintain a constant temperature or that it took 3 hours to heat up the room. A couple of guests said the Wi-Fi was poor. A couple of guests said the pool was not heated at all and was freezing cold. A couple of guests were disturbed by either the smell of smoke in a room or what was described as a mouldy smell.
Housekeeping sometimes dropped the ball. One guest said they were given a room where the phone and TV didn't work and the room was dusty, and another accused the housekeeping staff of not making the bed nor replacing the towels.
A few guests found uncomfortably soft beds.
The free breakfast was the subject of mixed reviews, where some said 'great' and some said 'terrible'.
Last of all, one guest claimed to have been charged $20 extra over and above the online rate that they had already paid.
SourcesExpedia.ca gave this hotel an average score of 3.3 out of 5, with 81% of 183 guests recommending the property.
TripAdvisor.ca ranked this hotel #5 out of 7 properties in Sydney, with an average score of 3 out of 5, from 119 reviews.
Booking.com gave this property an average score of 7.5 out of 10, based on 99 guest reviews.