Holiday Inn Osoyoos

[twitter]Holiday Inn Osoyoos
7960 Main St P.O. Box 1019 Osoyoos, British Columbia V0H 1V0
Call:1 877 660 8550
Ground level suite to the beach, $310/night (taxes in)

I read the reviews of the Holiday Inn Osoyoos on Trip Advisor and I knew what to expect.

I knew I was going to paying a room rate equivalent to NYC or Chicago and I should not expect value for money from my room. I knew that going in. And I was still disappointed.

Our stay at the Holiday Inn Osoyoos topped out at just over $300 a night. The only reason they can charge that rate? Location. Location. Location.

The Holiday Inn Osoyoos is on the lake. Seriously. It is on a small peninsula that juts into the lake. Stand on the roof of the building and you could throw a rock into the lake on either side of the building. The location of this hotel is first rate. The accommodations themselves however? Not even close.

Actually, many of the hotels along this prime piece of real estate seem to all be suffering the same sort of fate: they’ve got the location, they don’t need to do anything about the state of the property.

Old School Osoyoos

Old School Osoyoos

Old school, vintage even, properties line this stretch of highway, the only two modern facilities being the Holiday Inn Osoyoos and The Coast Hotel next door.

The Holiday Inn Osoyoos gets creamed on Trip Advisor. The Coast next door fares a little better, perhaps that’s why my last minute search there came up empty and we ended up at The Holiday Inn Osoyoos.

Many of the reviewers on Trip Advisor complain about the same things. The facilities are rundown, the neighbours are loud, the rooms are expensive, things don’t work. It’s encouraging to see the staff respond to each of these reviews, but the boiler plate response and lack of actual improvement to the property despite the volume of calls for improvements screams one thing: they don’t need to because location.

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The beach is short, but it’s enough. We sat our chairs on it and had enough room for the boys to play right in front of us, at arm’s reach. The beach is clean. We saw staff raking seaweed out early in the morning, and the sand in the lake is soft.

The depth is shallow too. About 50m is roped off into the lake and an adult can walk to it without the water going above their waist. We let the kids wander out (buddy system style) on their own.

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There is a pool in the hotel (odd considering it is surrounded by so much lake), which we took advantage of in the sweltering heat of the afternoon. We only lasted a few minutes, unfortunately as the chlorine was rather thick. The boys liked it though.

Pool at Holiday Inn Osoyoos

Now to the room. My biggest beef about the room is all the floors sloped. Not a big deal to read it, but wander an apartment that has upwards of 2 degrees of slope all around it (I measured with my iPhone level), and you feel like you’re walking on a boat. We felt drunk, and seasick all at the same time.

The slope was so bad that water leaked out of the shower curtain, out of the bathroom, into the hallway, and flowed 3 feet into a corner of a closet. That’s terrible.

The kitchen was small and old. The living, dining, and master bedroom were all updated and fine. The bathroom was tiny with horrible lighting. The kid’s bedroom was stuffed with a bunk bed and a bizarre mural.

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All of those issues would be minor if a) numerous other reviewers hadn’t commented negatively about the facilities on Trip Advisor and the hotel hadn’t addressed them b) I wasn’t being charged NYC rates.

When a hotel consistently gets slammed in social, and doesn’t drop rates, it tells you they don’t need to. Their location wins for them and it doesn’t matter. When you do your homework and you read so many negative reviews, you enter the property with your back up to begin with. So instead of having highlights of our stay confirmed, the negative impressions are reinforced. That’s exactly what happened to us.

It’s a shame. Osoyoos is a wonderful beach escape. We climbed U-Pick orchards, wandered to The Lake Village Bakery, explored the Desert Center, and spent the entire day at the beach. It was a great visit, but an expensive one.

Osoyoos could use some hoteliers on their prime real estate that care about the customer experience inside as much as they care about squeezing them for their dollars because of the experience outside.

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A review of the Holiday Inn Osoyoos

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