Lake City Inn and Suites -5*’s

30 07 2012

My life as a mom with kids in sports has brought me to many different cities and many different hotels. We have our favourites, where we stay all the time and there have been some where we have only made an appearance once. Our fav’s of course are the ones where they have a continental breakfast so we can send our ravenous kids down to fill up on cereal, fruit and the muffin of the day before we head out to an early morning game. It is hard to find a perfect place where the kids can play outside without having to dodge cars in a parking lot and where parents after a few cocktails do not have to worry about disturbing other hotel guests if they were to by chance raise their voices a little after the kids have gone to bed

The more we travel the more we have stayed away from restaurants and fast food joints. Our kids do not want subway for lunch as much as they used to and ask for home cooked meals instead of going out to a fav restaurant to eat dinner.  The novelty of eating out wears off after many many years of tournament road trips. So when it came to booking a hotel for a 5 night stay  because we were headed to provincials in Vancouver I ( team manager) decided to find a place where we could have all of our needs met.

I remember hearing several times about a little motel off the beaten path in Burnaby by the parents of an opposing team. They have stayed there every year while attending a tournament that each of our associations had enjoyed attending (until we went undefeated and ended up in 5th place but that is a whole other story) for years. They said it had everything, a grassy area for the kids to play on, kitchenettes so they could prepare all of their meals at the hotel, an outdoor pool with a great deck to socialize on, a commercial kitchen that they allowed teams to use if they wanted to make team meals and even barbecues that they allowed their guests to use.

I asked one of the dads from the other association for the name of the hotel and he told me. The Lake City Inn and Suites. He said that if was definitely not a place to bring a date but it was clean and perfect for a travelling team.   I immediately googled the hotel. Wow, it looked great. The room on the website was older I will admit, but the beds looked comfortable and it was definitely clean!! It looked like there was a lot of grass, the pool area looked spectacular. I read reviews and the only negative review was from a guest who had said that they noise from a visiting hockey team had kept them up late. Well since we would be the ones making the noise I decided that the hotel was perfect. I immediately called the hotel and booked a block of rooms for our team.  We just had to hope that our team performed well enough to get us to provincials.

Our team won the “Island Championship” to take them off to provincials so off we headed over to Burnaby the night before the tournament began. While on the ferry I received texts from a good friend of mine whose son is on the same team as my son and had already checked in to the hotel.

Friend:  Lower all expectations about hotel. Poop on bathroom floor, dead bugs in room but isolated so boys can play. Bum going through garbage….ask for room close to me.

(I was thinking that maybe this time it wasn’t because we are friends and we like to be close to each other but because she was scared to be alone.)

Me: No, really? I was told that it was older but really clean w a great space for the kids to play.

Friend: Carpet in my room at least 20 years old. No grass near my room, maybe opposite side? I don’t know. My room is pretty gross to be honest. Fridge is mini. Maybe the other rooms are better? Cigarette butts outside both doors. Not very well kept. No joke- poop on the bathroom floor.

Me: Oh god!! I brought so much food

Friend:  Me too, I so regret it. I don’t even want to cook in the room.

Me:  All of the reviews are good except one talking about how a hockey team kept other guests up late with their late night socializing.

Friend: Maybe it’s just my room

Me: No offence but I hope so

Friend: Me too! Its all good anyway, it makes for good stories.

Me:  Exactly

Friend:  We will make great memories but I’m bunking with you if your room is better.

When we pulled up to the motel my heart sank!! It was obvious that a good camera angle was responsible for the appearance of grass at the hotel. The boys in my vehicle asked if this we really where we were staying or of it was a joke.  I immediately prayed that the rooms were awesome and that everyone would think this little diamond in the rough was perfect for our team.  It also ran through my mind that the dad from the association was leading us astray as payback for us always beating their association!!!

I stepped in to the lobby with one of my good friends who was also checking in and ran into a dad from our team who immediately told us that one of the families was thinking about moving hotels.  I felt terrible. I was the one who had booked the hotel so I was the one responsible for people possibly being miserable for a good part of a week.

Checking in was a painful process. The guy behind the desk was useless. It took him forever to check us in. My friend texted me while we were both standing at the counter “I’m pretty sure I could do this faster”. “Maybe I should go behind the desk and do this for him.

Me: This is ridiculous . I need a job. I could do it until Saturday

Friend: LMAO

Me: Do you think we can get this place by the hour?

It was kind of scary I will admit and I was taken back when they made me pre pay for the entire visit up front. It made me very very scared of what my room would look like. Once we were checked in and went to our rooms, I started calling around to all of the hotels that we knew trying to find someone who could give us 18 rooms.  I knew it was a long shot. I called many different hotels and no one could accommodate us. I honestly wanted to cry.

We all resigned ourselves to the fact that we had to make the best of it! I am not the type of girl who insists on a 5 star hotel room every time I travel but this was the worst hotel I had ever seen.

My girlfriend and I took a peek in one of the coaches room and were shocked as his was nice. He had a new bed and his room was renovate. We immediately recognized it as the room shown on the website. A little bit of false advertising I would say if that was the only room that looked half decent.

My girlfriend and I RAN back to the front desk and asked if we could change to a renovated room if there were more that had been spruced up. I am not exaggerating when I say that we stood there for 20 minutes while he continually pressed keys on his keyboard stopping only to glance at a piece of paper a couple of times and then he would type again. I am completely convinced that he was playing a video game and just pretending to be looking into other possibilities to appease us. (We actually tried to sneak a peek of his computer screen through a back window to see what was on the screen).  We wanted a renovated room and he finally admitted that he did not know which rooms were renovated but offered to let us see a room that was available.  We went and took a look and took a look out the back window to see the view and on the roof were pieces of full size poop. Not sure if it was human or animal but we were not sticking around to figure it out.

We ended up staying 4 nights. The beds were horrible, some suites were infested with ants, there was no consistency with water pressure or temperature, the pull out couches had huge stains on the cushions so guests used sheets to put over top. The free continental breakfast that the website boasted turned out to be $3 per person so we opted out not only because of the cost but because of the un sanitary conditions. There were pry marks on the doors, the windows did not lock and each room had its own special aroma. I preferred the odor of sweaty lacrosse gear over the stench that oozed out of some of the rooms.

The one saving grace was that the pool and surrounding area was clean and well taken care of. It was nicer than our rooms so that is where most of the parents gathered. The parents and kids were all great and said that it was definitely an experience that they would never forget but they were all good sports about it. Next year I will most definitely be going with hotels we know!!!

If ever in Burnaby do NOT stay at the Lake City Inn and Suites. Be ware of reviews!! I am now convinced that the hotel clerk was probably the one posting the good reviews!!



One response

7 08 2012
Laura S.

Oh disgusting! I do wonder if it was a nasty prank by the other team.

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