Let me preface this review with saying that I read the over 130 reviews prior to our weekend Valentine's trip to the Marriott. I was expecting to be overwhelmed with additional charges, bad food and poor service. On the drive home I concluded that I had delightfully misjudged and underestimated a beautiful hotel. Upon arriving we noted the posted $20 CDN/ $16 US valet rate. Pricey, although acceptable in a crowded tourist area, the valet service proved to be first class. Upon check-in no one offered us "a better deal" or an upgrade. Perhaps because we booked the reservation with the hotel directly and not through a travel service, we were given a room in a new section on the 16th floor. The Junior Presidential Suite overlooking the Falls consisted of a tastefully decorated downstairs with a full bath, a living room with new, modern furniture, a glass table and 4 chairs and a television with a stand. The view from the 2 story glass windows was breathtaking.
Consistent with previous reviews, there was no HBO or Showtime etc, but they did have local channels, TBS and other familiar stations as well as pay-per-view movies (some on newly released DVDs, a few soon-to-be released onto DVD movies and even a few that are still being shown in the theatres.) They had a mini bar and consistent with any hotel in which I have ever stayed, it was stocked with overpriced selections for impulse eaters. I would suggest purchasing favorite munchies to take into the room. They had a small but adequate empty refrigerator in which to place guest purchased sodas or snacks. The card upon which is placed 4 gold tokens clearly stated that if used to purchase soda from the vending machines, the room will be charged $3 CDN per... In addition, the coffee was also clearly labeled as to the free vs additional charge selections.
The spiral staircase leading to the upstairs led to another tastefully decorated room which included a comfortable king size bed facing a faux yet believable fireplace, an armoire which opened up to another TV and a small closet for hanging clothes (2 guest robes,) a large (at least) 2 person Jacuzzi, a vanity, a glass shower with side jets and a "toilet room."
Taking the advice of the previous reviews as well as the hotel personnel, we ate daily at the breakfast buffet in the restaurant but avoided dinner. Even the staff had concluded that the price did not match the quality offered....so we simply wasted the $75 voucher. When we return, and we have every intention of doing so... we will use this voucher for appetizers as one reviewer suggested.
Because there were few suggestions for alternative restaurants in the reviews written, it was difficult to find acceptable dining. The Head Valet, Anthony (who also directed us to a terrific cigar shop in an area away from the tacky Clifton Hill area- Gordon's) suggested we go to an Italian restaurant called "Casa Mia." It was exquisite. The restaurant paid to have a promptly arriving taxi pick us up for the reservation and drop us off when we finished. The food was superb. The waiter, Chris provided impeccable service. We had 2 delicious entrees, salad or soup, an included sorbet course and wine / beer for about $100 CDN. It had won many local awards...it is just difficult to find on your own not being familiar with the area. We ate the first night at the recommended Keg next door and were disappointed with the ordinary offering. It was just convenient, nothing more. We would not bother to frequent such a place here in the states. We expect more for our approximately $100 CDN. Other suggestions from the locals were Casa D'orio and Capri??? We did not eat at either place so we have no true basis by which to judge, but one might inquire as to the credibility of these suggestions and others rather than to be stuck with a big bill for an ordinary and disappointing experience.
In conclusion, we would highly recommend this hotel. It was one of the nicest weekends in one of the loveliest hotels we have ever had... With one caveat: Like many of the other reviewers, we suggest that one just be careful and educated in making decisions and therefore know that you too will remember this stay as a favorite forever.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.