Category Archives: Hotel Review

Hotel Review: Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre

I took a quick trip to Toronto a while back and took the opportunity to try out a couple of hotels. The Westin I reviewed gave me a pretty interesting upgrade, so I was hoping for something similar at the Sheraton. Unfortunately there were no suite upgrades available, but I did get upgraded to the Club floor.

I got a pretty decent rate of $85 per night, so it was a no-brainer to just pay cash for the stay. The alternative would have been 7K SPG points, or a dismal 1.2 cents per point before taxes.

The outside of the hotel isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but thankfully the interior was much better. Still, the lobby was nothing to be excited about. At check-in, I was immediately upgraded to the club floor, but no suite this time.

The King room's entry on the 8th floor.

The King room’s entry on the 8th floor.

Don't mind the bags!

Don’t mind the bags!

The bed was comfortable, like most other Sheratons.

The bed was comfortable, like most other Sheratons.

Standard-sized bathroom, no surprises.

Standard-sized bathroom, no surprises.

The shower.

The shower.

The sink.

The sink.

I decided to check out the Club Lounge a little after getting to my room. My key didn’t work for some reason, so I just knocked and the lounge attendant let me in and apologized for the key. No biggie. Once inside, I saw the lounge was pretty empty…just one other person.

Sheraton Club

The lounge had only one other person. It was furnished pretty well.

The lounge had only one other person. It was furnished pretty well.

Lounge 2

Lounge 3

The food options were kind of interesting. There was a hot chicken and rice dish that was completely untouched and didn’t look all that appetizing. It seemed like it had been sitting there for quite a while, but there was no way to tell.

There were also some other snacks set up in the middle of the lounge. My favorite was the elegant bowl of Cheetos. Again, these things didn’t look very fresh but I’m sure the pretzels and Cheetos were still good (or at least as good as they could be). Some veggies, crackers, and cheese were also available.

There was also tea and coffee, plus a mini fridge with soft drinks (but no water bottles).

Hot food. Untouched, and not very appetizing.

Hot food. Untouched, and not very appetizing.

The snack table. Sorry for the blurry pic.

The snack table. Sorry for the blurry pic.

Coffee and tea.

Coffee and tea.

The lounge was quiet and relaxing, but nothing to go out of your way to see. The coolest part of the lounge was probably the view, which looked out towards the airport. For travelers, it could be fun to see the planes taking off from the runway.

That light in the middle of the picture is an airplane!

That light in the middle of the picture is an airplane!

This hotel was perfectly serviceable if you’re in Toronto for a few days. They have a free airport shuttle (which I didn’t use), and the rooms were clean and worth the $85 rate I paid. The rooms were also much more updated than the room I stayed in at the Westin, and even though my room at the Sheraton was much smaller, I think I’d still prefer it over the Westin. The biggest issue I had with the hotel is that you have to pay for parking (which was also true at the Westin). The daily rate was about $15, so if you’re renting a car make sure to factor this in to your travel budget!

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Hotel Review: The Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport

A few weeks back I took a quick weekend trip to Toronto and took the opportunity to stay at a couple of hotels. My first night was spent at The Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport.

My flight to Toronto wasn’t direct and I was on a red eye flight, so I was pretty tired when I landed in the morning. I knew that the hotel provided a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, and all I had to do was call them from the information desk at the airport.

As soon as I cleared customs I went straight to the information desk to make the call. I was told to wait outside at the post marked “F5, F as in freedom, 5.” After  a quick bathroom break I went outside to wait at the post. I was freezing in the 45 degree and windy weather (keep in mind I’m a southern California native). I waited and waited, then went inside to wait because I got too cold. After 40 minutes of waiting I decided something was wrong, so I went to call again.

I spoke to the same person on the phone, who this time told me to go downstairs and wait at “S5, S as in Sam, 5.” I said “OK, but last time you said ‘F as in Freedom 5’ and I waited there for a long time.” He brushed off the comment and said he’ll be there in 10 minutes. He was there on the tenth minute.

I could see the hotel from the post marked “F5” (the red building).

I was too exhausted to be upset at him when I finally got picked up, and we were at the hotel after a literally three minute drive. It was about 1pm at this point and a few hours before the normal check-in time of 4pm, but my room was ready. I was upgraded to “The Bristol Suite” thanks to my SPG Platinum status,  and I didn’t even have to ask. I love my SPG Platinum status!

I love getting these!

So I walked into my room, which was at the end of the hallway, and I was pretty surprised. The suite was very large compared to what I was expecting.  Here’s the grand tour of the suite:

The entry.

I had a kitchen!

The dining room.

I’ll call this the family room.

The family room also had a work desk.

Just behind the family room is what I’ll call the living room.

After I walked around a little bit I realized I hadn’t seen the bedroom yet, and walked down a small hallway to find several closets and the bedroom.

The hallway.

In the hallway was a walk-in closet (this was the second closet, the first was just to the right of the entry door).

Once I got through the hallway and looked right, I saw there was another entry door. I completely missed it in the hallway walking in, but there are two entry doors to the suite. The bedroom and bathroom were also on this side of the suite.

A second door! And a third closet!

The hallway to the bedroom (bathroom was just to the right).

Yup, closet #4, and walk-in closet #2.

The bedroom was a little small compared to the rest of the suite.

Yup, that’s closet #5!

Surprised at the single sink, but not a big deal.

The shower was standard for Westin.

There was a second hallway between the bedroom and bathroom. It had no light in it, and the opposite door didn’t open. It was actually a bit creepy, so I closed and kept that door locked for the duration of my stay.

Hallway to a door that doesn’t open. Creepy!

The view from my suite. You can see the Sheraton in the distance, which I’ll be reviewing soon.

The suite was pretty nice, aside from the creepy hallway. The five closets is kind of ridiculous, and one of my Twitter followers noted that she doesn’t even have that many in her apartment. I think I’d prefer a half bathroom instead of one of the walk-in closets, because honestly…who needs FIVE closets in a hotel?

While the Bristol Suite was nice, it was also starting to show some age. This was most apparent in the kitchen with the very old appliances, but the carpet in the rest of the suite also was quite worn. The TV’s and the internet connection were great though, and the bed is what you expect to get from a Westin.

I only spent one night here so I didn’t get to look around the hotel much. There are several restaurants within walking distance, and quite a few within a one-mile radius if you have a car. I didn’t hear any airplnes going overhead, which is pretty surprising considering the hotel’s proximity to the Toronto Airport.

Guess which room I got! 🙂

Other than the hassle of waiting an hour to get a ride to the hotel, I was pretty satisfied with my stay. I was upgraded without having to ask, and the room was huge. While the room was a little bit worn and had a hilarious amount of closets, it was definitely nothing to keep me from staying there again.

The whole shuttle thing, however, is a different issue. I did not appreciate having to stand out in the cold for that long. I was literally forgotten about after the first time I called, and the driver didn’t even acknowledge it. I received an email from the hotel afterward thanking me for my stay, and said to contact the General Manager if I had any comments. I did, and never got a response back.

Because of this, and despite the room upgrade, I don’t think I’d stay at this hotel again. There are plenty of other SPG options in the area for the next time I’m in Toronto, and I’ll soon be reviewing the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Center that I stayed on on the back-end of my trip.

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If you enjoyed this post and the others on this blog, feel free to follow me via the link on the right side menu and via Twitter @TravelSummary.