"If you want to change the world, stay here"
Reviewing the Marlborough is complicated. A bit rough around the edges, yes, location not prime, sure, but all that is unimportant. The Marlborough is a venerable 1914 hotel at the vanguard of a revitalization of downtown Winnipeg; the owners and staff are doing an amazing, practically heroic job helping to reclaim the urban core.
Admittedly, this is not for everyone. It's not for whiners who pine like Edwardian aristocrats ordering underlings about and complaining about sauces ;) This is not a Marriott -- this is like old world hotels in any European country, elegant relics of a grander age reinventing itself for the modern world. And for the price, really, whiners can go elsewhere.
The staff are proud of their hotel, and rightly so. The ballroom, pub, banquet hall, even the breakfast hall ... eager staffers fumble for keys offering to open up the hall, "Take a look. It's amazing," and they were right. Visit via Google Streetview if you don't believe me. Service was prompt, courteous and enthusiastic, always a can-do attitude. The City of Winnipeg should grace them with an award.
For the basics: *full* breakfast is included, except for juice or special side orders, and those were unexpectedly pricey, the pool is a hike but serviceable, WiFi works! (each floor has its own router), rooms while short on sockets are spacious and clean, and walking distance to downtown attractions. Overall, perfect for the travelling family/group/student on a budget.
MrG from Owen Sound, ON