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“All uphill from here!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Westin Harbour Castle

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The Westin Harbour Castle
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Harbour Square, Toronto, Ontario M5J 1A6, Canada (Downtown Toronto)   |  
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Ranked #32 of 141 hotels in Toronto
Sussex, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“All uphill from here!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Modern hotel, with large relaxing entrance lobby featuring open plan coffee bar - hotel is divided into North and South Towers, and the lobby obviously spans both. There is also a little gift shop at one end.
My room had a beautiful view of the lake, and the small harbour, with the little ferry going back and forth, and a small active airport to the side (although you can't hear anything). Rooms look pretty new - although the bathroom was rather small, it was adequate, with a good modern shower with rainfall type head. Bed very comfortable. Rooms were quiet, possibly due to being in small corridors.
Reception staff were absolutely lovely, all seemed very proactive, warm and welcoming.
The main problem with this hotel - and one I've never seen really anywhere else in the world to this extent - is several huge flights of concrete stairs to access the lobby, which strangely, is not on the ground floor. (Apparently conference rooms occupy the ground floor areas?). There was no porterage to greet, so this meant lugging several heavy suitcases up maybe 50 steps or so. I think, to be honest, it's pretty dangerous - I dread to think what would happen if one were to fall. You can also go up a ramp where cars are valet parked (so dodging them is also not ideal). There is an elevator, but it is right around the other side of the hotel and involves a walk. There is currently a lot of building work going on so maybe this situation will improve when this finishes, but in any event, sadly I don't see how anyone with physical difficulties could easily access this hotel, based on the above. It's a shame, because the hotel itself is of a very high standard, once you actually get in!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerWestin, General Manager at The Westin Harbour Castle, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear kimski44,

Thank you for your recent visit. It was a pleasure to have you and to read your valuable feedback. I am glad that you enjoyed the beautiful lake views from your guest room and appreciated all your interactions with our associates.

I am sorry about the current construction on Queen's Quay and sorry that you were not made aware that there is an accessible entrance on the side of the hotel which takes you directly to the main lobby.

I hope to have the privilege to welcome you back soon and I would love for you to email me prior to your next stay at experienceteam@westin.com so that I can make sure your visit is flawless and show you the accessible entrance.

Stay well,
Edwin Frizzell
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (457)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

My husband and I stayed here on New Years Eve (2012/2013). I realize this was 4 months ago now, but I feel like writing a review.
We were looking forward to a beautiful room facing the lake, as this is what they make you think on the website. Those photos are so deceiving! We ended up getting a room facing the lake with a balcony. The balconies are not very private, as the outside walls are slanted so anyone in the adjoining rooms can look over and could climb into your balcony with no problem. It didn't feel very safe! We slept with the curtains closed and did not get to enjoy the view since the hotel was full of college kids who were loud and hanging out on the balconies.
The room was either freezing or boiling hot. There was no way to keep a constant temperature. The bed was very uncomfortable and lumpy. The wallpaper was peeling. The carpet and lounge chair had stains. The bed was not even made properly (sheets half on). In the bathroom, someone had stuffed a bunch of Kleenex into the box in such a way that we knew it had been handled and was not clean. The sink was dirty. The bathrooms are so sterile looking, you feel like you're in a hospital. The cups were plastic. The fridge isn't even a fridge, so what's the point??! The whole place has a dark and drab feel to it, which is nothing like they make it appear to be on the website! It seems like they spend all their money making just the lobby look good. What a crappy stay. We barely slept for all these reasons and the room cost almost $400!! Ridiculous.
When we were getting ready to check out, we opened the curtains and found cigarette butts, a couple beer bottles, and a plastic bottle that was obviously used for smoking drugs. These things were tossed from another balcony in the night. I realize that's not really the hotel's fault, but come on... It's so trashy.
This hotel needs some serious upgrades. For what they charge, you'd think you're getting exactly what they show on the website. This is not the case.
Read the reviews before you book. I don't know... maybe my standards are too high. I can't understand why this hotel has so many positive reviews. We'll never stay here again.

Room Tip: If you are a college kid who just wants to party, this place is perfect.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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GeneralManagerWestin, General Manager at The Westin Harbour Castle, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear M P,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us to celebrate New Year’s Eve and for sharing your thoughts now. I am sorry that your experience with us that night was not flawless. We always take a lot of extra measures to avoid noise issues on that particular night and I am sorry that you did not managed to rest well.

What you describe on the room condition is unacceptable and I will personally follow-up with our housekeeping team. In the meantime, I would appreciate if you could email me at experienceteam@westin.com

Best regards,
Edwin Frizzell
General Manager
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West Sussex
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

This hotel overlooks Lake Ontario on the waterfront and a little way from the downtown area of the city. The hotel is very dated and in urgent need of a facelift. There is currently lots of construction going on outside so dont get a room looking towards the city.The staff were reasonably helpful but somehow it just all lacks something.... The rooms are just "ok". Very few amenities in the room but some are available on request....strange to find that these days. The restaurant in the lobby was ok but overrun with children running and screaming all over the place. I will look elsewhere to stay next time I am in Toronto.

Room Tip: Choose a room overlooking the lake as its less noisy.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerWestin, General Manager at The Westin Harbour Castle, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear RichWestSussex,

Your review is really concerning me and I thank you for sharing this valuable feedback. At Westin, we pride ourselves in taking good care of our guests to make sure they leave us feeling better than when they arrived, and I am sincerely sorry that we did not meet this promise during your recent visit.

I would love to speak with you and discuss your review in further details. Could you please email me at experienceteam@westin.com?
I look forward to the opportunity to personally apologize.

Warm regards,
Edwin Frizzell
General Manager
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Kingston, Canada
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

This hotel was a disappointment, simply by being average. I had hoped for a very comfortable experience, but the room was a problem. The air vent was on an air shaft protruding from the wall beside our bed. Its noise was very disturbing. Every so often the fan would roar on, with a horrible metallic scraping sound, then run, making a noise like an airplane taking off. We tried to adjust the fan to make it softer, but without success. And so, around 3:00 am, we had to turn off the heating system altogether.

We got a good rate for the room, but then had to spend $40 plus tips for valet parking. We also paid almost $50 for a very ho-hum buffet breakfast, which was adequate but not much better than what I have received for free from some supposedly lower-quality hotels that include breakfast.

I also had to pay $14 for WiFi, and I do believe that internet access should be included in the cost of the room. (There was a notice that said the hotel would even charge for local calls--charging by the hour! That's ridiculous.)

There was some sort of problem with the elevators; it seemed as if not all of them were running. We were on the 14th floor, and whenever we needed to go down, we had to wait an inordinate amount of time. Sometimes the elevator would arrive but be so full we could not get on. We talked to one man who told us he waited so long, he eventually took an elevator UP to a higher floor in order to get on. I pity people who tried to board from floors below ours; they had no success, especially during busy times of the day.

We had a partial view of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands, which was nice. However, there is a tremendous amount of ongoing construction on Queen's Quay, and the blocking of the street serves to cut off the hotel even more than it is cut off from the major downtown sites. We enjoyed a walk along the lake, but would have had to take a substantial walk north, under the Gardiner Expressway, to get to the subway.

In conclusion, I doubt that I would book this hotel again. It is, indeed, average, and nothing more.

Room Tip: the higher the better--for the sake of the view, and also to avoid elevator problems. Be sure to as...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerWestin, General Manager at The Westin Harbour Castle, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear Introvertica,

At Westin, our mission is to exceed our guests’ expectations and I sincerely apologize that we did not during your recent visit.

I thank you for taking the time to share your comments online as well as some valuable feedback and can assure you that I will follow-up accordingly with the teams. From what I can read, it sounds like your stay was impacted at very different stages with various issues and I would love to personally follow-up with you on each of them.
This is why I would really appreciate if you could email me at experienceteam@westin.com. I look forward to connecting with you and apologize once again that you did not leave our hotel feeling better than we you arrived.

Sincerely,
Edwin Frizzell
General Manager
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Calgary, AB
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Got the Harbour View Room at the Westin. The hotel looked really dated from the outside but the valet and staff were very friendly. The interior lobby was updated and FYI, parking is $30 per day and $40 for valet. We did the valet due to construction and headaches.

It is a few blocks from a main subway station (Union) - so if you plan to tour downtown for a few days - take the subway - don't endure the craziness of jaywalkers and non signalling drivers in downtown Toronto.

We got up to our room, and our Harbour was the view of construction and a very ugly lake. It could be the fact that it is Spring, so there was no greenery and the water was mucky - but the view wasn't worth the upgrade for us.

The room wasn't too great and the bathroom was run down. Looks as if they painted the doors instead of replaced them - so the decor was very shoddy. I notice these things because you are paying for top dollar for a hotel - you expect a name like Westin to give you the best.

The positives though - the bed is the best thing ever. Clean, comfortable and well kept. The water pressure in this building (comparing to the shoddy work) was amazing. The toilets sucked like an airplane toilet and the showers had hot water immediately.

Alll in all - I love Westin - but this hotel, for the price - you could probably just go to the Hilton or Doubletree for less or a hotel closer to the action on Yonge Street or Bloor. This hotel was perfectly located at the end of all the action - but since it was Spring and cold - nothing was around and the area was under construction.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerWestin, General Manager at The Westin Harbour Castle, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Dear Sunjoyjoy,

Indeed, you should expect the best when you stay at a Westin hotel and I am sorry that your recent visit did not live up to your expectations.
What you mention about the view from your room is very surprising as our hotel is known for its prime waterfront location and spectacular views of Lake Ontario.
I am pleased that you rested well on the Westin Heavenly Bed but would like to apologize that your experience wasn't flawless. This is why I would love to discuss your review in further details and understand in which room you were to go check the bathroom door myself. Could you please email me at experienceteam@westin.com?

I look forward to connecting with you,
Sincerely,
Edwin Frizzell
General Manager
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Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

Nice hotel, I live just North of the city but wanted to stay downtown after some late meetings. Service is very good and very attentive staff. Construction around the area is a real mess, so unfortunately valet parking is really the only option. I don't know exactly how much it was but I believe it's approx $40 per day.

Had snacks and drinks in the lobby bar just before last call and the food was good and the bartender looked after our group well.

Property is pricey, but it is a good location and seems to be managed well.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerWestin, General Manager at The Westin Harbour Castle, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Dear Hoxtongue,

It was a pleasure to welcome you during your Toronto city break. I am pleased to know that you enjoyed your evening with us and that you managed to unwind after a busy day.
Stay well,

Edwin Frizzell
General Manager
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Naples, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I was surprised to know that the Westin Hotels do not have any amenities in the rooms, you have to request them! first time for me in 35 years of being in the travel business
There were three of us travellng together, a gentleman from France and a lady from Italy and we ALL had the same problem. The internet was not working in the room so we had to got to the lobby, which obviously is quite annoying when you are trying to work.

I would like however to draw your attention that it was thanks to the front desk agent Joe Capo that helped solved the problem from the lobby.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerWestin, General Manager at The Westin Harbour Castle, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Dear UrsulaJuly M,

Let me start by thanking you for sharing some feedback on your recent stay.
I apologize for the inconvenience of Internet not working in the guest rooms and I will thank Joe for his personal service and for assisting you efficiently with that issue.
Thank you again kindly for taking the time to write your review.
Safe travels,
Kind regards,

Edwin Frizzell
General Manager
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Additional Information about The Westin Harbour Castle

Also Known As:
Westin Harbour Castle Hotel
Westin Harbour Castle Hotel Toronto
Westin Hotel Toronto
Westin Toronto
Westin Harbor Castle Hotel Toronto
Toronto Westin
Westin Harbour Castle
Westin Harbour Castle Toronto
Address: 1 Harbour Square, Toronto, Ontario M5J 1A6, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Toronto > Downtown Toronto , Harbourfront
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Luxury Hotel in Toronto
#26 Family Hotel in Toronto
#33 Business Hotel in Toronto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin Harbour Castle 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto. Our downtown Toronto hotel is located on the vibrant waterfront of Lake Ontario, where you can enjoy Toronto's seasonal events. ... more   less 
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