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Recently I had the pleasure of staying in Gander for a few days. Unfortunately my accommodations were less than wonderful, but sadly expected for the area. Steele Hotels owns three hotels in the Gander area; Sinbad's Hotel & Suites, Albatross and Irving West Hotel (formally Holiday Inn until the 1990s).
During this visit, I stayed at the Albatross. The only saving grace for this hotel was the staff. They were very friendly and accommodating. Sadly however, this hotel, like most in the area, is in desperate need of repair, unless they are just going to lower their rates. There are in fact signs in some areas that state renovations are ongoing, however I had not seen any during my stay. All corridors and stairways had very warn carpet, peeling wallpaper, doors with broken handles and in desperate need of paint. If you are doing renovations you would think they would start small with the use or a paint brush, but obviously not. The only sign of any renovation I noticed was the side stairwell. At the time of this post (August 2017), it is still in the same unfinished condition as another review from October 2016. If anyone can post photos of any completed renovations, that would be wonderful.
The rooms are slightly better than the hallways, however they are dated and fairly small. Upon entering you will notice three light switches; one for bathroom (light and fan on same switch), light in front of bathroom, and the 'mystery' switch. As friends were staying in the same hotel I can confirm other rooms have this feature. You will have to walk into the dark room and manually turn on a lamp. I even tried plugging the lamps into different sockets with still no difference. Either this is left over from previous renovations or they combined the fan in the bathroom to free up a switch for the room lights at a later time.
The bathroom seems to be renovated more recently than the bedroom it self. There are green ceramic tiles on the floor and walls, with wooden home made looking mirrors and vanities with newer marble tops. Holes are noticeable around light fixtures and other accessories from when they were updated. The bedroom itself is slightly more dated. Textured wallpaper (peeling in areas) with left over cutouts and holes from old furniture and fixtures are noticeable once again. Lighting consists of a small double wall lamp between beds and a lamp on the wall next to the desk. There is also a ceiling light for the doorway.
The hotel does offer a small restaurant. Both food and service were wonderful. We had breakfast and supper there. No complaints. Furniture and walls could do with some updating though. There is a strong use of dated brick paneling throughout that could easily be updated with modern style wall coverings.
An acceptable WIFI signal was found throughout the hotel.
For three hotels to be owned by the same company in such a small area it is frustrating to see how dated and run down they have let them go. Sinbad's Hotel and Suites seems to be the best of the three. With Choice Hotels (Quality Hotel) fairly recent purchase of Hotel Gander and ongoing renovations, I hope this encourages the Steele group to do the same with their hotels. Choice Hotels Comfort Inn brand purchased another motel in the area a few years ago. That has been updated within the last year or so as well. However as these hotels were independently owned hotels, they are not consistent with other Choice hotel chain locations.
We are a group of 8 (4 couples) travelling the T'railway trail we stopped here for the night. The front desk staff are great very pleasant and friendly. The restaurant is clean, breakfast was good. The rooms were clean. It is close to a few fast food places, gas station and a store
The Albatross is tired. Very tired. Although it is under construction, it seems to be happening in bits and pieces. The hallways reek of ancient beer and Febreze, and the cigarette smell starts when you enter the lobby and never really goes away. The carpeting is worn, coming away from the walls in places. The walls are scuffed, the bathroom fixtures are old and worn. The sink was so clogged, it took 10 minutes to drain slowly after brushing my teeth. The A/C unit was so loud, but at least it still worked. We were told at the lobby to move our car around the side and use the room swipe card to access the side entrance. The desk clerk forgot to activate our room cards, so that was a waste of time. Then the swipe lock didn't actually work anyhow, and the concrete steps at that side entrance are so worn and broken, they are actually not safe. The special breakfast price for guests was a nice touch, but considering that so many hotels in NL give guests a free breakfast, including the sister hotel The Sinbad, I cannot fathom why the Albatross doesn't do the same for paying guests - the prices for the rooms are already too high, so a free breakfast would make it easier to forgive the general dumpiness of the rest of the hotel. Seriously.
This is an old hotel. It smells, old. But I would say it is clean. The staff are excellent. Very friendly and helpful. The restaurant was a big disappointment. The service is really good but I expected delicious home style cooking. The food was ok at best. The meal was a disappointment and I felt like I wasted $50. I should have had a sub from the nearby subway. I would definitely not stay here again. If you have to stay in Gander, I would try another place.
Tired,needing a comfortable mattress ,and cool room on a warm nite ,was exactly what we enjoyed.
NFLD hospitality,whether on the front desk,or serving breakfast in the restaurant should allows resemble what we expect when we come here.
no elevator ,long walk with luggage., free wifi,though had difficulty maintaining uninterrupted service.