The Royal Ambassador
Pros:Sent on 19/01/2013
- Grounds are beautiful (that's about it)
- food is okay, typical banquet hall quality
- HORRIBLE customer service
- EXTREMELY unprofessional and rude
- OVERPRICED for a banquet hall (charging price of high end, getting low end, mediocre typical old banquet hall crap)
- old and dated interior (carpets ripped and lifted, sconces broken, dance floor not maintained, just to name a few - overall lack of maintenance)
- bar area is small
Would not recommend this venue to anyone. Once you sign the contract, everything to follow is terrible. This review is based on personal experience, shared by many others. Visit other sites such as the knot and read the horrible experiences other people have had.
If you want your whole wedding experience to be memorable and happy, don't book here.
If you expect 5 stars for the price paid (and you should!), I repeat, don't go here. Don't be swayed by the beautiful outdoors, that's all there is to that place. Don't be swayed by the false promises made. Consider the service from start to finish, the space inside and the food. Keep looking for venues that will offer you the total package. Planning a wedding is very expensive, so don't waste it here, because it would be that - a big waste of money.
Remember, it's your special day and you deserve the best quality of service and treatment - you are the paying customer!!!!!
Jason Sparkes · Married on 05/08/2012
I had a great overall experience dealing with the Royal Ambassador. Stella, our coordinator, was fantastic and quick to respond to any questions and concerns my wife and I had. The food was great and the venue was amazing. Our wedding was in the greenhouse and thankfully the weather held up for us and all of our guests. Don't even think twice about not booking at the Ambassador. They are professionals and helped make our wedding day perfect.Sent on 10/08/2012
Pelin Kaya · Married on 05/08/2012
Great Venue! Great Food! Great People! Very accommodating and easy to communicate with! Thanks!!Sent on 11/08/2012
The Royal Ambassador was fantastic, but I did have a few issues with it. So let's start with those before I get to the good stuff.Sent on 08/08/2012
1. The bathrooms weren't kept clean enough. I had to ask the staff a few times to clean it up. I thought we were supposed to have a bathroom attendant, but there was no one there.
2. My mom called the venue a few days after the wedding. My groom had lost his sunglasses and she wanted to know if they found them. She was treated really rudely. To be honest, to the point I was a bit shocked. The girl who answered the phone sort of yelled at her and told her she was being ridiculous calling to ask for stuff because "they don't do that."
That said, those were two minor issues of an otherwise great wedding venue. I would still recommend the place for the following reasons:
1. The place is gorgeous. You don't need any other words. It's just gorgeous. I loved it and all my guests were impressed.
2. The food was good. My guests all had their fill and were happy. It's basically typical wedding food, but it is pretty good.
3. The tent is separate enough that I didn't even remember there was another wedding nearby.
4. Stella. Stella was awesome and easy to work with. She seemed excited about working with me and helping my wedding run smoothly.
5. The staff were all courteous and helpful. I didn't have any issues with them.
Overall, a great place to get married. I don't regret any of it, even if it is a bit more expensive. It was worth it.
Josie Maniscalco · Married on 15/07/2012
The Royal Ambassador is a great place to have a wedding, it has it all, spectacular views , great food and professional and friendly staff.Sent on 09/08/2012
Our wedding was perfect, and I had many guests compliment the food and the venue.
I hope I can be a guest at someone's wedding soon, so I can sit back and enjoy!
John T · Married on 27/05/2012
half of my guests received half of their meat plate. 10 minutes later, a staff member asked how they were doing and they told them that they were missing part of their plate. 10 minutes after that, the staff gave them chicken from the other party (not the chicken that I ordered). I never saw the manager during the whole entire event. DON'T BOOK HERE, EVER!Sent on 28/05/2012
Please reconsider booking here if you are planning to have your ceremony and wedding reception at the Royal Ambassador. It's not worth the money! You will be paying over $150 a plate during the high season, and you will be very disappointed with the quality of service. I know the grounds are beautiful for an outdoor ceremony but if you are paying this much money then go to Casa Loma, Hockley Valley or another place that has exceptional outdoor spaces for wedding ceremonies and pictures. Not to mention you have to pay the final tab a week before your wedding date so they have your money already and they promise you that everything is going to go well because their "reputation is on the line." Well judging by these reviews, you can see this system is not working for them.Sent on 24/06/2012
We got married a week before JT (same gazebo and hall), and in fact we share a similar guest who participated in both weddings), and she witnessed the same issues. Basically, someone dropped the ball at our wedding. We were expecting for drinks/refreshments to be served to our guests in the conservatory after our ceremony because it was too hot to have the antipasto bar outside. Well, what happened after our ceremony was a nightmare for our parents and families assisting us because there were no refreshments/ drinks ready (only one bottle of water and the liquor bottles were not out on the receiving table), and guests were sitting outside for about 45 minutes or longer in the sun. Guests were lost and didn't know where to go for water, and our parents didn't know what to do or who to turn to because no staff members were around. Once guests saw a bar open in the hall where the antipasto bar was people went rushing to get their seating cards because they needed to get a drink inside the hall and then they saw the food and obviously they had to sit.This is not what we wanted because we wanted to do a proper receiving line. Complete chaos and disorganization! Where was Daisy (the owner)? Nowhere to be found. Where was Lorena (the manager)? Nowhere to be found. Where was staff? Nowhere to be found. After spending a year of planning and spending a great deal of money, you hope that the venue fills their end of the bargain. This shouldn't have happened. When we spoke to Stella (the salesperson who we dealt with us all year), she said "I wish it could have been more perfect for you; this shouldn't have happened." And basically that's all you're going to get, an empty apology because they have your money. This is not acceptable for a place that prides themselves on service. They should be making guests a priority since "their reputation is on the line."
Working with Daisy was a nightmare. I agree with the mother's review on this site whose son had a tent wedding a year ago at the Royal Ambassador. Daisy has to be one of the most unprofessional people to work with. Coordinating staging with her was one of the most difficult tasks we confronted during our planning. She basically wanted us to pay for extra staging and insinuated that band leaders bring their own staging. This is false, because my husband is a wedding band leader and he never brought his own staging. Don't believe this if they tell you this. She eventually accommodated our requests once she learned that we're not just hiring a band, it was the groom's band who was playing. Don't expect her to come and say hi to you ever. She will not make you feel special at all, and the minute she sees you she'll offload you to a staff member. And when I asked her about providing gold napkins she told me, "Our clients don't want the napkins we provide, they want more expensive and high quality linens" suggesting that our $80,000 wedding was not good enough for her to even bother with us.
It's the small details that the Royal Ambassador will not pay attention to and that they will neglect. For instance, we had an oyster bar at the wedding, but no oysters were left for the bride and groom or our parents' tables. Although they saved some food from the antipasto bar, they put four plates on the head table with heaps of food piled up which was totally was unappealing. No food from the antipasto bar were left for our parents' tables (which my mother after marrying two sons never experienced before). How could our parents, brothers, and sisters eat while the antipasto bar was out if they were dealing with the chaos post-ceremony? Also the partition wall was useless! When the best man was saying his opening speech the bass was at full volume in the hall next to us which was brutal. Thankfully our 16-piece big band drowned the noise out once dinner started. Again why wouldn't staff have the common sense to go next door and ask them to lower the music for 10 minutes? And one more thing. Although they tell you that staff will make sure that there is no noise on the terrace during a ceremony, this will not happen. We had an honored guest, a Canadian icon, who didn't go to Ottawa to receive a prestigious award to be at our wedding but unfortunately could not make his way down to the gazebo because of the steps and had to sit on a chair on the terrace, and I remember during my ceremony looking ahead and just seeing a bunch of idiots running around making noise and all I was thinking was of this poor man who had to see and hear these guys. I mean where is the level of sophistication and class here? Trust us the staff will not take care of these small details.
My husband, as a wedding musician, has seen and participated in many weddings, and he knows very well that things cannot be perfect and there will always be issues. However what we cannot accept is when so much money is taken from us before a service is provided and then when service is substandard and wedding planning proved to be difficult because you basically got trapped when you gave your deposit, you are just given an empty apology (and it's not even from the owners). My husband doesn't operate his business like this, call it old school or not being greedy, but you provide a service and then you get paid.
So please take these comments into consideration before booking here. Unfortunately, I read these reviews after booking and I was hoping I wouldn't have the same experience and I was keeping positive, but our experience was no different than the others on this page. Good luck!
Leah Di Girolamo · Married on 12/05/2012
My husband and I were a guest at a wedding at the Royal Ambassador, and we truly were amazed at the beauty of the venue. The servers were polite and very efficient; the food was delicious and looked fabulous on the plates. A perfect setting and food for any occasion!!!Sent on 17/11/2012
Diana Vanelli · Married on 15/10/2011
The Royal Ambassor team was an absolute dream to work with. From the very moment we stepped foot into the venue we knew we wanted to have our wedding there. The entire team and especially Stella made sure our wedding went off without any problems. ...Sent on 16/12/2011
The food was amazing... I am still having people tell me how much they enjoyed the food... it was incredible.
We were hoping to have our ceremony outside, however mother nature was not on our side... but the Royal Ambassador team set up the conservatory and it was still beautiful.
The grounds are beautiful... This venue is tucked away in the country side and it has the best landscaping around the property with a beautiful lake and gazebos and a water ful and beautiful trees surrounding it.... it took my breath away.
The way they set up my sweet table was immaculate... it was just stunning... they really know what they are doing over there and I am so glad we had our wedding there and I would recommend this venue to anyone.
Terri De Palma · Married on 01/10/2011
Hello,Sent on 03/10/2011
any of you planning your weddings, best wishes however, BEWARE the Royal Ambassador as your venue, particularly if you are thinking about the tent wedding!!! My son and beautiful daughter (in law) had their wedding their this past weekend, Oct 1st.
The grounds at this venue are absolutely breathtaking but nothing else about the Royal Ambassador is Royal. Once you've signed the contract you I can assure you be prepared to have no help/assistance of any kind from the staff - the administration staff who will be taking your $ and definitely not the set up staff including the management. They will not disclose the details that a new bridge and groom should be prepared for before one of the most special days of their life together. Let me explain below:
1. Management does not pay attention to details. The tent will not be prepared ahead of time as required (setting up tables/washing floors/preparing the bar). They seem to focus on the events going on in the main hall, example, if the bride is planning to have a bridal suite get it into the contract. Two days before the wedding my daughter in las was told there were two other weddings taking place in the main hall that same day and therefore she would not be getting a bridal suite. Remember folks, the safes for safekeeping of monetary gifts are kept in the bridal suite. Basically, because she was having a tent wedding she was not given the courtesy of the bridal suite (yea, bull).
The day before the wedding I went to RA to discuss a few things in hopes to clarify any misunderstandings. When I got there after finding out the tables had not been set up (for the bridal party to decorate as required) I went to the main hall to speak with the Admin/Sales person, Stella. I was told unless I had an appointment she was not available (get real!!). I then asked if I couldn'to speak to Stella I would need to speak with someone else in management. So I end up getting Daisy, who for some reason, as soon as she came out to see me was already defensive (hmm, never met this person before so that should have been a clue of service my son and his fiance must have had to deal with). Explained to her we were there as scheduled to decorate the tent...which was not ready, nor was it even clean and this is now after 1:00 in the afternoon. She said she was the owner etc and would get someone over there when she could. Translation - she'd get someone there when they were finished with the main halls.
2. Day of wedding - bar not set up. Son paid for deluxe bar. Every type of drink was poured into water glasses (and not even nice ones). Translation again - don't expect martinis or grandmarniers to be served in the appropriate glasses unless you're prepared to bring your own. Bartender said he ran out and would get more - how could he have run out when this occurred at the very beginning of the event - really?? He clearly did not have any nor was he prepared to get any.
3. Food was just o.k. Warm food served on cold plates. Servers were not coordinated - you'll get your meat and then be waiting at least 10-15 minutes before you see you vegetables on that same plate. Make sure you eat quickly because they will be snatching that plate away while your still putting the fork to your mouth ( I am not kidding and you'd think the parents table would be treated a little nicer huh?:) Also, they squeezed 10 people to a table, because in reality, there really isn't enough room for enough tables to adequately seat 200 guests. Really, than why was my son told he had to have a minimum of 150 guests in order to have the tent and then find out afterwards they would be squeezing 10 to a table?
4. The servers are not in the least bit interested in being courteous or really giving a crap overall. However, the male server was somewhat nicer than the female staff.
5. They really do not know how to set up tables and especially the receiving table if you are doing the receiving line thing. The receiving table is set up in such a way that soon as you walk in the door it's there - which means everyone else behind you is standing outside. Not a good thing if it's freezing cold and windy as it unfortunately was on Oct 1st.
6. The desert table (chocolate fountain and very expensive wedding cake)was set up at the back of the tent by the bar (where it was very dark) and the guests didn't know it was there until the time the servers started taking things away. Translation - they did not mention to anyone that it was out and ready for the guest to enjoy.
7. Unfortunately it was a freezing cold day and windy day, although sunny *thank God* and we had to bring in what ever heaters we could get our hands on, which was not very many. RA does not provide any but my son was told they can provide them as long as they were ordered up to the day before. Not true - day before wedding we were told, too bad, you should have ordererd them last week. Seriously, if you are in the tent too bad....if it's cold your guests will freeze.....bottom line. Note: The servers were standing under our heaters instead of doing there job while our guests were left aside to freeze.
So, in a nutshell, please know that if you are paying the 20K or 30K of your hard earned money for this beautiful day, I'd seriously rethink it. You may have heard that it was a nice place to hold a wedding but the key word here is "was".
Apparently there have been staffing and severe management problems at this place for the last year and a half. I think it has something to do with exploiting staff who, when I was there the day before the wedding were not being spoken to very nicely by Daisy (SHE DID APPEAR SCARY) and I am one whom is not easily scared.
Unfortunately, my son and daughter in laws wedding day cannot be recreated and their hard earned $ was given to a facility which really does not seem to pride or care about making their clients feel special on the "big day". The reason I am putting this post up is because I am hoping other couples (and their parents) will not have to endure this nonsense (at a high price).
Royal Ambassador may have once been a "high end" venue to host weddings and special events but after my recent experience, I can confidently say this place is anything but high end. Rent the closest legion hall, get a great caterer and save yourselves the anxiety. O.k you don't have to rent the legion hall (I've never been in one myself but it can't be any worse than the crap at RA). Also, we had lamb and prime rib as the meat choices....Warning....lamb was just o.k. but prime rib was very very "fatty".
All and all my son and dauther in law had a very special day due to the very understanding friends and family that attending the wedding but it still does not erase the embarrasement caused by the management and staff at RA.
Good luck to all and wishing you a wonderful day at a venue that will treat you and your family with respect as you so well deserve.
I would be happy to provide more details if you wish to contact me - provide your email address and I will reply.