Review: The Best Western Lakeside Inn, Kenora, Ontario, Canada.


We don’t often make a point of staying in Best Western hotels, but sometimes you’d don’t have a choice in the matter. In this case, the Best Western was the option over a Super 8 or a Travelodge so it was the choice by default. We weren’t expecting a whole lot, but came away with a comfortable stay after three days.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Kenora, Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada. This trip allowed us to earn through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy). For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Hotel Review: The Best Western Lakeside Inn and Conference Center, Kenora, Ontario, Canada.

Booking and Getting there:

There is only one choice for “hotel” accommodation in Kenora: The Best Western. There are the usual suspects in the motel style: Super 8’s, Days Inn, Travelodge’s and Comfort Inns. Meh – I think we will take the Best Western. A quick Rocketmiles online travel agency booking, stacked with a 1,000 mile Father’s Day promotion and we were 4,000 Aeroplan miles richer after a three night stay. 

The Best Western hotel was previously a Holiday Inn. It has since been reflagged as the Clarion Lakeside Inn and Conference Center. The accommodations were in a seventies styled tower. The hotel is right on the water and the majority of the rooms have some form of a lake view. 

The Best Western Lakeside Inn
A Circular Design

The hotel, along with many other businesses in the area, offered a boat slip for visiting boats. It’s not often outside the Maldives you get to stay at a hotel with an attached boat jetty. I never thought I’d be comparing a Best Western to a hotel in the Maldives but stranger things have happened.

The Hotel has immediate boat access

Arriving to The Best Western:

The lobby was showing a bit of wear and tear as the hotel had several phases of a soft update program that didn’t really match together, or hadn’t been fully finished.

Lobby Area
Lobby Computers and Reception Area

A friendly check in was offered with a line for “members of our Matterhorn program.” (not really). 

The Room: A King, Executive Floor

Through some stroke of luck, we ended up on the Executive Floor. It was a bit of a scary looking décor in the hallway with the bright orange primary colors, but thankfully we were assigned a fully refurbished and refreshed room. It seems that most of the King Bed rooms, at the time of our visit, were upgraded. 

The Executive Floor
Hallways Colors

The room itself was nicely appointed. The color scheme was subtle browns with fine patterns on the bed spreads and carpets coverings.

An Executive King
New Fixtures and Furnishings

There was an attached microwave available for us, in addition to a newer television.

An Executive King with Attached Microwave
A View Looking Inward towards the Room

With big bonus points for the Best Western hotel chain from MrsWT73 for this feature – a sanitized TV remote control:

Sanitized TV Remote Controls

The room also featured the usual serviceable washrooms. The washroom had also been refreshed.

Washroom with a Standup Shower

Room with a View:

We ended up with a room with a land facing view. We had an upgrade to the Executive Floor and a room with a water view wasn’t what we had paid for. The hotel is circular so there are a good number of rooms with partial ocean views so you might get lucky with your room assignment. We had a partial lake view available if we turned our head the right way.

Room with a View (of Land)
Partial Lake Views

For those that are interested, the hotel floor plan. The hotel is completely round, making for upgrade opportunities limited to lake view or no lake view.

Best Western Lakeside Floor Plan

Food and Beverage:

The property also had a roof top restaurant with fabulous views. We took breakfast up here on a few occasions.

Recommendation for Reservations
Great Views at the Rooftop Restaurant
Breakfast Views
Lakeview at the Rooftop Restaurant

hese were the types of places you were taken when you were young for a “special” dinner. My childhood was filled with running around exploring a “fancy” hotel like these (when your parents weren’t looking) and being able to reminisce about these experiences was a neat opportunity The experience brought back lots of memories of those times, even if they weren’t at this particular property.

My Thoughts on our stay at The Best Western Lakeside Inn:

It was a pretty unique experience to stay in an older property. While admittedly, there isn’t a lot to choose from in Kenora, Ontario, it was pretty hard to beat the Best Western. It didn’t offer the most exciting stay experience, and was pretty rudimentary in it’s offerings, it was a comfortable stay that was reasonably priced, close to everything in town, and had a pretty welcoming roof top restaurant that offered a pleasant breakfast and dining experience.

Editors Note:

This property is now operating as The Clarion Lakeside Inn and Conference Center.

Have you ever stayed at the quirky Best Western Lakeside Inn?

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