Canadian Maritimes - Keltic Lodge

We are hoping to go Summer 2021; however, in reading TA reviews of Keltic Lodge (October 2020), it seems to be no where near Tauck standards. Spending 3 nights there, is giving us doubts about taking the tour. Can anyone tell us anything recent about this hotel? Is there alternative dining?
Thanks,
G

Comments

  • Can't comment on this trip, but if there are no high quality hotels in an area they visit, it happens. Off the top of my head, I can think of several downright dumpy hotels we stayed at on a couple of tours - one was Scandinavia (itinerary has changed his I did the trip) at the non-big city stops and the other was Peru, near the launching point for the Lake Titicaca hydrofoil.

  • We have taken several tours of Canada with Tauck, but it’s a while ago. I can say the hotels in several places were very basic with such things as only full size beds, no queen size, things like that. But they were the best available in the locations and after all, the scenery in Canada is breathtaking and that’s what you go for. You spend so little time in the hotels. Quite frankly, I dislike the new emphasis on such upmarket hotels with Tauck that put the prices way higher and yet there is little time to enjoy the upscale facilities unless it’s the last hotel on the tour and you are staying on for a few days. I want to see scenery, culture and wonder, not the inside of a fancy hotel.

  • Gtcamper,

    We did this trip in September 2013 and loved the stay at the Celtic Lodge. We did not stay in the lodge proper but in a separate bldg. Rooms were more than comfortable and the view would be hard to beat. Lots of hiking trails. We have vivid memories of stopping along a trail that ran along a cliff top overlooking the water and watching a bald eagle fly by us at eye level. Restaurant was lovely. In fact the food, especially the chowder, was very good throughout the entire trip. Our tour director, Rob White, was phenomenal!

  • Rob White is one of Tauck’s most valuable assets.

  • We did a predecessor of this tour in 2004 with my parents when they were last able to travel. It began and ended in Boston and along with NS and PEI it had stays in St Andrews NB and Bar Harbor ME as well as Boston. We stayed at the Keltic Lodge and really enjoyed that part of the trip. Our room had a picture window overlooking the sea and offered great views. The hotel is remote so that there is not likely to be any alternate dining options. But the remoteness is what makes this an ideal place to be. Going out at night and seeing the stars in a clear sky not polluted by lights.....

    One of our unplanned adventures occurred on the Cabot Trail. The bus had some mechanical problems as we were approaching the Keltic Lodge. The company ferried in a mechanic from Sydney (2 hour trip) whom we watched fixing the bus in the dark in the hours after dinner. It was repaired by morning and we were able to get on our way without any delay. The back up plan was to bring in another bus to complete the tour.

    A highlight of the tour for us was a visit to the Alexander Graham bell museum in Antigonish. We saw his inventions as well as boats on runners that he used on ice in the winter.

  • Tauck tries to get the best in any local, but in some that's difficult. On the England Scotland Wales tour the hotel in the lake district was my least favorite. It was okay but the rooms felt a little more "motel" than luxury hotel. The TD explained that the area has mostly smaller inns and b&bs that can't handle the full tour sizes that Tauck often has. The location was lovely and we had a great dinner there with my first sticky toffee pudding.

  • edited December 2020

    Tauck uses the best available, but sometimes that is limited. They also generally pick location over amenities. If you want to visit a destination, I think that Tauck will give you a very good choice given the limitations of group size. Over my 15 years of travel with Tauck my sense is that the accommodations have generally improved (more room upgrades) and the food has improved (few take it or leave it lunches). Of course the prices have increased, as well. Over 16 tours, I've heard complaints about a number hotels that I was very happy with. You can't please everyone, all the time. Only twice have I been disappointed with a hotel on a Tauck tour. Once, I think we just got a bad room and the other time was beyond Tauck's control (and we got a substantial refund on our return).

    We're booked for the Canadian Maritimes tour next year and look forward to it.

    Claudia -
    Regarding the hotel in the Lake District I would classify it as a resort rather than a motel. It had some nice facilities (even a laundry room - rare on a Tauck tour), but really we were just there to sleep. We did get a laugh out of the "Do not disturb" hangers:

  • A number of years back -- and we've done it twice, we'd drive from our home in CT through the maritimes. We plan to do it again, taking extended family from California. At one point we had a book of Canadian B and Bs, and we chose the high end ones. I imagine one can just do it online nowadays. We even stayed at a Relais & Chateau B and B. But it was nice to proceed at our own pace and get ourselves ill on lobster. LOL. Just saying, to me, it's pleasant driving, and pleasant spending time chatting with Canadians.

  • Ken, agree the Langdale is more of a resort complex which includes condos and single rooms. Some of it very nice like the bar and restaurant. Our room was showing its age - furniture a bit battered. Also had weird room safes that worked different than most. Ended up having to call the front desk for help. I've heard others with the same experience.

    We had a few hours between the days touring and dinner so I attempted to use the fitness facility. Limited equipment and not very clean.

    One soso hotel. It was still a great tour I'd easily recommend.

  • We thought the Langdale was a bit “tired” and could use a bit of refreshing but being in the countryside there didn’t seem to be a kit if accommodations to choose from but it served its purpose!

  • edited December 2020

    I think Penelope and her husband should have let us all stay the night in their "landed gentry" house outside of Carlisle. Are tours still stopping there for lunch and a talk on the long drive from Edinburgh to the Lake District?

    It is normally cool in the Lake district but during the heat wave that swept across Europe in 2013 we had to leave our room windows open and management had to break out the desk and pedestal fans because the Langdale did not have AC!

  • We went to the house for lunch but there was no talk (except the TD) during the drive down

    Was hot the week prior to our tour so fans were still in the rooms at the Langdale but it was rainy and cool from Edinburgh to Stratford.

  • Took the Maritimes tour in 2019 and yes the Keltic Lodge has seen better days. Tauck folks stayed in annex rooms which are newer than the main lodge. But if you wish to see this spectacularly beautiful part of Nova Scotia,this is really the only place around. I would also imagine it’s difficult to get help as population is not large here. It really needs someone with deep pockets to buy the place and market it as a golf destination to get some better traffic. But of my journey there, I remember the star filled skies and the gorgeous sunrise and the walk through the woods and the spectacular scenery. And that’s why I chose this journey in the first place.

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