Since we had had such a good experience at the Hampton Inn in North Bay, I was hoping to go there when we went to Barrie. Since there was a group that took the last rooms at the almost last minute, I had to find another hotel---so I decided to ended up picking out the Holiday Inn Express in Barrie. It was really nice to see the continuous smiles and friendliness of EVERY single girl that was at the front desk during our stay---this really made the stay even more comfortable as one always felt at ease with these very personable people. These girls, along with the nice young waiter I commented on at Jack Astor's restaurant (which is also very close to this hotel), really left us with a good impression of Barrie and its people.
The hotel itself was pretty nice. We enjoyed the free breakfast (I was just a little disappointed to see that there was not a waffle maker---mind you, there is a pancake one). I was impressed how they had girls always sitting near and often cleaning the breakfast area. The pool and hot tub were also nice, although the pool was pretty small and it really wasn't that relaxing to be swimming and have everybody who was coming and going at the elevator often looking in at the people swimming (the pool and hot tub can all be seen when you go or leave the elevator through the bare windows that show the entire swimming and hot tub area). The location of this hotel is pretty good----you are around a lot of shopping and restaurants---Walmart, Jack Astor's, William's Coffee Pub (which is just across from the hotel, Michael's, The Source, Home Outfitters are just a few of the many places that are within walking distance of the hotel.