Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Our Toronto Digs

When we booked our trip to Toronto, I knew I wanted to stay downtown so that we'd have the option to walk wherever we wanted or hop on the transit system if we were feeling adventurous.  (Yes, that counts as adventurous for us.)  After perusing Expedia, I found the hotel in our price range and location sweet spot in the Financial District which is close to all of the other artsy districts but typically less busy at night, The Intercontinental Toronto Centre.  For three nights at that time of year, it cost $512 total with taxes.

We were in room 2020 which is a two queen room.

We booked a king room but were thankfully informed when we were checking in that it was by the elevator.  This was the only other room they had available* since they were apparently booked due to several conventions so we took it.  One for play, one for sleep.  HA!

There's a nice sized TV in the room when you're ready to kick back for the night.

There is a nice work area if business is your purpose with lots of USB ports and plugs at the desk so you can plug in all of your chargers and gadgets.

We loved the little settee by the window so we could city watch at night.  I know...creepers.

In between the beds was the main night stand that had a working (!) iPod dock with really good sound, your phone to call down with any questions and of course your obligatory pad, pen and remote.  Also a plug for chargers or whatever there in the middle.

The bathroom was standard and it has a scale if you'd like to curse your food choices of the day.

The shower thankfully looked good.  We've stayed in some high end hotels and the showers look like a before shot for a mold and mildew spray commercial or caulk peeling away.

It comes with a nice little coffee/tea station for your morning cuppa as well as the Bible in case you need to cleanse any sins you may have committed in the room.

They "thoughtfully" provide you with evil temptations in the form of a snack bar tray.  Would you like a Kit Kat Chunky that you would've paid $.99 for at Rexall?  That'll be $5 please!  It promptly went onto the upper shelf in the closet never to be seen again until our departure.

They did have two recycle bins next to it though and heavily encourage recycling which is nice to see and we were more than happy to oblige.

They do have a mini fridge stocked with the usual suspects.

They provide you with one robe and one pair of slippers.  I just can't.  I don't know whose been in those before me but nice that they do it for those who aren't easily skeeved.  Plus, let's get real.  Those robes usually fit someone half my size so I would've gotten a real ego boost trying it to see 1/3 of my body hanging out.

But thankfully a nice iron this time and an ironing board.  There's also a safe and few drawers if you want to put your laptop out of sight.

I must admit, I did love waking up to this view every day!

Oh yeah, so here's our view looking left out the window...

...and here's our view looking right.

You can see by the arrow how close Union Station is in case you're coming in by rail.  For those who may be worried about noise being so close to the train station, we didn't hear a thing the entire time!

Now we'll get to the other stuff.

While I appreciate the nice toiletries and abundance of extras, we were missing a glass.  It wasn't a big deal and not really worth calling about but this was hint one of the rush job done on the bathroom.

The second hint was the myriad of hairs both on the counter top and in the shower.  I didn't take a picture of those because I was doing good not to dry heave and didn't need the reminder.  I'm skeevy about hair especially other peoples and from unidentified parts of the body.  Oh and a tip...ALWAYS wash your drinking glasses at hotels!  Article after article confirms they often get a rinse and then tipped upside down.  Gross.  I'm not saying that happened here, I don't think it did but I washed it anyway because I'm not risking it.

The full length mirror that takes up a nice chunk of real estate had very obviously not been cleaned in a long time.  (In order to see the spots, look at the backpack.  The spots and drips are all on the mirror.)

I know that seems small in the scheme of things but it's all over the mirror and really, it takes 30 seconds to go top to bottom.  If you're not cleaning the bathroom to its full potential then at least clean the mirror.

Here's a peek at the price list if you'd like room service.

$21 for oatmeal!?!?  $23 for pancakes!?  Um, no thanks.  Oh and that was before the other fees on top of it to deliver it and stuff.  Thank God, I brought our Hot Logic Mini  (affiliate link) and we were able to have both on two separate mornings for about $7 for both of us compared to $100 if we'd eaten the above mentioned two days in a row.

I was on the floor doing PT and wished I'd put down a towel.  When you're down that close to carpet, you see a lot of hair that has become woven into the fibers.  There isn't much that can be done about this obviously but be aware if you're going to be on the floor of any hotel.

The beds.  Holy hell.  If you need a medium to plush experience like I do, this room is not for you. Both beds were like concrete and I felt like Zelda from Pet Sematary  (affiliate link) every morning.  Firm as firm can be.

Parking is $45 per night at the time of writing plus tax and some other fee so it was $51 per night for valet.  This included in and out privileges so you just call down like 10 minutes before you need the car and for us it was worth it.  You can do self park for $30 but that's if you plan to walk the city or take transit because there are no in and out privileges on that one.

Internet is not free unless you're a rewards member which is free to join so we did prior to going. Even though we booked through Expedia, we called the hotel and linked up our reward number and verified the free internet perk.  These rewards are part of other hotel chains like Holiday Inn, Kimpton boutique hotels and Candlewood Suites so it's probably a good idea to sign up if you stay at any of those places regularly.  Now the free internet is basically for surfing.  We were able to stream our workouts but not a great quality.  You have to pay I think $10/day for the good stuff.

*- Speaking of booking through Expedia.  I have used them and to save some dough and let me tell you while it is nice to save money, I have a pretty good feeling that they save the less desirous rooms for those customers whether it's this or any other hotel chain.  Any time we've not booked through the hotel, the rooms we get are always interesting.  Like the original booked room being by an elevator (and the front desk dude being nice enough to inform us of that) but this room had it's quirks as well.  While we were thankful we were not connected to other rooms due to a utility room on one side and room housing the smoke damper on the other, those rooms made their share of pipe clanging noises that were irritating at first but easy to get used to.  Especially when you consider taking that over the sound of screaming kids or couples or couples in the throes of God knows what, God knows when.  At 7am during the weekdays, some noise that sounded like a train barreling through the room would happen for about a full minute.  We suspect it was the damper room since that's where the noise came from.  Though we did have fun making up stories of what it could be between trains and an industrial sized smoothie machine.

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay here.  We've certainly stayed in worse at high end hotels so I'm not complaining about the few annoyances.  We would stay here again if we came back.  There are so many things that are walkable from the hotel including great restaurants, markets and shopping.

If you want to see how we spent our time in Toronto, click here to see our adventures.

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  1. As hotel rooms go it was one of the better ones we've stayed in and I agree that I'd stay there again if we ever go back to Toronto. Just, you know, stay away from that room service and mini bar. Sheesh!

  2. I think it's funny that the lower end hotels often have free wifi, and the higher end ones that you're already paying a premium for almost always make you pay extra. Just makes me laugh. I agree that hair in the bathroom is one of the most awful things to find in a hotel.

  3. We travel a fair amount between all of us. And I agree, if booking indirectly, they have set rooms they give. Hotels have told me that. After I book they other company, I call hotel directly and confirm the booking and check my options.

    When we travel thru a tour group, we usually have better rooms, I have noticed. So they must generate enough volume to get vip treatment.

    I absolutely have asked for a clean room when we check in and there are issues. I look. If it is not okay, I call front desk and ask for new room.

    I have asked for extra sheet to put on floor. I don't tell them it is for the floor, I just ask for sheet. If we have small kids/toddlers/babies with us, I ask for lots of sheets and totally cover the floor with them.

  4. Wow, that looks really nice! It looks like you had plenty of room and it's close by to a lot of attractions, which is always great for being able to walk back and forth. The neighbors to the north got it right! =o)


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