After reading other recent reviews of this hotel, I would have to say that it was just as I expected it to be based on those reviews, and that made for a great trip.
As others have mentioned, the hotel decor is outdated and is in need of updating in terms of style, but other than that, the rooms are fine. When we first got up to our room on the 10th floor, we smelled smoke (we had asked for a non-smoking room). My husband went back to the desk to ask for a new room after explaining our issue, and we were immediately given a room upstairs one floor - a fresh-smelling room. Who's to say that the last person in the room didn't just decide to smoke in the room, even if it was labelled as non-smoking, just before we got there? It's a possibility, and since we were moved to a new room without any trouble, we were happy.
We were traveling with our one-year old son and wanted a place for him to sleep. They provided us with a somewhat-old playpen (two mesh sides, mesh all the way down to the bottom). I had hoped for an actual crib of sorts, but this was our first time to travel with our baby so we didn't know what to expect. We brought our own fitted crib sheet cover which we used in the playpen since they had just folded up a bedsheet in there. We were worried that our active son would bury his face in the covers so using our own sheet, we felt fine about him sleeping in there. There seemed to be a bit of a hard bottom to the thing. I think an actual crib would be better and more comfortable for him.
Our room was clean and we had a view of St. James Park by the hotel. The bathroom was sparkling and bright and had what you want - a couple of bars of soap, the typical shampoo and conditioner, and towels for all 3 of us. They also had plastic cups, so if you're a hard-core environmentalist, you might not like this fact. As a person who has stayed in many, many hotels in many countries and had dirty glass cups in bathrooms before, I appreciated getting a clean plastic cup to use.
The free breakfast was good. Scrambled eggs and bacon one day as part of the hot meal, and cheese omelettes and sausage the next. There were plenty of bagels, pieces of bread, sweet buns, yogurt, milk, juice, pancakes and cereal. Even when it was busy in the breakfast room on our second day there, the staff was quick to keep all trays filled with food. They also had a coffee, a variety of teas and hot chocolate.
The location is really great - very close to the St. Lawrence Market (we had dinner there our first night at Buster's Sea Cove - great fish and chips), and close to the King St. subway station. The Eaton Centre was about a 10 minute walk away. Lots of restaurants and pubs around the area. We went to the Royal Ontario Museum one day, and that was about a 7 minute subway ride away. We enjoyed our walks around the hotel neighbourhood.
The staff overall are friendly and helpful. Our only complaint would be with the room heating. We wanted it a touch warmer in our room and turned on the heater to what we thought would be a low setting, but it only seems to have two settings - cool or hot. We set it on before going to bed, but I woke up hot and turned it off. It would be nice to have more precise temperature controls in the rooms. Parking was $20 which I find a bit annoying as well, but it seems that all hotels in Downtown Toronto charge something for parking.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay Smart in Our Hotel in Toronto, Ontario You'll enjoy an ideal location at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel - Downtown Toronto. Our hotel's location is near Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Toronto Island Airport (YTZ), Toronto Union Train Station and the underground shopping/walking paths, which makes it easy to navigate Toronto.Lodging here puts you in close proximity to famous attractions like the Hockey Hall of Fame and Distillery Historic District. Toronto is also home to Eastern Canada's largest shopping mall, Eaton Centre, which is within walking distance of the hotel.Toronto, Ontario's government buildings, the QueenÂ¿s Park and Provincial Parliament are nearby, as well as First Canadian Place, BCE Place, Sears, Ryerson University, Saint Michael's Hospital and other businesses in downtown Toronto. Our hotel's amenities include a 24-hour Business Service to help you complete your work.Unlike other hotels in Toronto, our hotel offers multiple complimentary services: a hot breakfast bar, high-speed Internet access in every room, a daily newspaper and local calls. Each room is outfitted with a triple-sheeted bed, a cable TV, a work area with two phones and a bathroom with specially designed amenities. Our downtown Toronto hotel's staff looks forward to serving you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Toronto Downtown Hotel Toronto