Jump to content

Toronto- Hotel Recommendation


Recommended Posts

Best advice I can offer is to check with generic/land-based travel sites, like TripAdvisor, as there are so few cruises that visit Toronto there aren't really any locals who post regularly. As someone who lived there almost a decade, have friends there with spare rooms, our hotel stays are very infrequent - but I can at least name a few reliable names in good locations for you to help narrow your search, as I used to do some tour guiding so met with a lot of folks in their hotel lobbies and could ask them about how they were enjoying their hotel stay.

 

Depending where you plan to spend most time, there may be more/less convenient neighbourhoods - but with a decent subway & streetcar system, almost all of the big tourist draws except the zoo are easily reached from anywhere else in the city (the zoo involves transfers from subway to elevated rail to bus and the time really adds up - personally I'd be inclined to consider an extra day with rental car, which is pretty much a necessity for trips to Niagara Falls/Wine Country anyway, if you plan to visit the zoo).

 

The Fairmont Royal York has been a stalwart of the fancy hotel scene since it was built - and remains in a great location for subway access and general downtown wandering. The Four Seasons is a bit more modern, maybe even fancier, and makes a good base if Yorkdale (Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, various trendy shops) is your preferred hangout area. Moving down from fancypants to solid 'business travel' chains Hilton has three downtown hotels - any of them work well for tourists in terms of location. Marriott City Centre & Residence Inn Entertainment District are both close to the CN Tower and Rogers Centre - also good for walking the waterfront, or heading over to the islands. Relative bargain hotels, which are still in good locations, include the HI Express Downtown, the Super 8 in Chinatown (yes, the Super 8! It was brand new in 2006/7 so all the guests I met who stayed there loved it - but do check up-to-date reviews...), and the Bond Hotel (an independent hotel used by a lot of coach tour groups as it was pretty much the best bang for the buck in the city, at least back in my day - but it's been almost a decade since I last guided in Toronto so do check reviews since).

 

The best advice I can give in terms of what to do in town is to book a (free!) guided tour with the local Greeters - these run the gamut from folks who walk you round their own neighbourhoods to subject-matter experts (one lady I trained with took folks around historic fire stations) and everything in-between, but they'll always be a local who is only taking care of you rather than a big group. If you have never been, so a more 'typical tourist' overview works better than going off the beaten track, then a bus or Duck tour might work better - there are also links to professional tour companies on the Greeter page, but it sounds like your Viking cruise has a whole day in Toronto so may include some kind of general tour options already.

 

Personally the places that I would always recommend downtown, that can be easily missed, are the TD Bank's Inuit Art gallery (accessible 24/7/365, on the mezzanine level of their big tower at 79 Wellington St West, self-guided tour of the key pieces here) - the collection rotates regularly, so there's always something new - and the Cloud Gardens Conservatory tucked down an alley between Temperance and Richmond Street West (although checking that link remained correct I note that it's not just closed for Covid, but for construction, so may not be open next spring...) which is just a really strange thing to find on the side of a parking structure!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2021 at 9:23 AM, Beachvue said:

Hopefully will be cruising April 22, Canadian Discovery with Viking. Looking for hotel recommendations for post stay in Toronto. TIA.

Without knowing budget, preferences, etc its hard to say but I will second the Fairmont Royal York as a good option. They just did a massive renovation and the hotel was looking great when we were last there in Sept 2019. Its a solid 4 star-- its not a luxury hotel. The rooms can be on the smaller side etc-- all the things that come with an older grande dame hotel. The public spaces are really quite something and worth a visit even if you don't stay there. If you plan on utilizing the train at all the Fairmont is directly across the street from the main station. 

 

I saw the Four Seasons mentioned as well. Personally not my favorite Four Seasons even though this is their "flagship" property. It has very cold public spaces and lacks a lot of the character of the older Four Seasons it replaced a few years ago down the street. 

 

My personal choice on the top end of a budget would be the Ritz-Carlton. Easy location to get around from, rooms are large and well done, super nice facilities. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2021 at 12:20 PM, martincath said:

Best advice I can offer is to check with generic/land-based travel sites, like TripAdvisor, as there are so few cruises that visit Toronto there aren't really any locals who post regularly. As someone who lived there almost a decade, have friends there with spare rooms, our hotel stays are very infrequent - but I can at least name a few reliable names in good locations for you to help narrow your search, as I used to do some tour guiding so met with a lot of folks in their hotel lobbies and could ask them about how they were enjoying their hotel stay.

 

Depending where you plan to spend most time, there may be more/less convenient neighbourhoods - but with a decent subway & streetcar system, almost all of the big tourist draws except the zoo are easily reached from anywhere else in the city (the zoo involves transfers from subway to elevated rail to bus and the time really adds up - personally I'd be inclined to consider an extra day with rental car, which is pretty much a necessity for trips to Niagara Falls/Wine Country anyway, if you plan to visit the zoo).

 

The Fairmont Royal York has been a stalwart of the fancy hotel scene since it was built - and remains in a great location for subway access and general downtown wandering. The Four Seasons is a bit more modern, maybe even fancier, and makes a good base if Yorkdale (Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, various trendy shops) is your preferred hangout area. Moving down from fancypants to solid 'business travel' chains Hilton has three downtown hotels - any of them work well for tourists in terms of location. Marriott City Centre & Residence Inn Entertainment District are both close to the CN Tower and Rogers Centre - also good for walking the waterfront, or heading over to the islands. Relative bargain hotels, which are still in good locations, include the HI Express Downtown, the Super 8 in Chinatown (yes, the Super 8! It was brand new in 2006/7 so all the guests I met who stayed there loved it - but do check up-to-date reviews...), and the Bond Hotel (an independent hotel used by a lot of coach tour groups as it was pretty much the best bang for the buck in the city, at least back in my day - but it's been almost a decade since I last guided in Toronto so do check reviews since).

 

The best advice I can give in terms of what to do in town is to book a (free!) guided tour with the local Greeters - these run the gamut from folks who walk you round their own neighbourhoods to subject-matter experts (one lady I trained with took folks around historic fire stations) and everything in-between, but they'll always be a local who is only taking care of you rather than a big group. If you have never been, so a more 'typical tourist' overview works better than going off the beaten track, then a bus or Duck tour might work better - there are also links to professional tour companies on the Greeter page, but it sounds like your Viking cruise has a whole day in Toronto so may include some kind of general tour options already.

 

Personally the places that I would always recommend downtown, that can be easily missed, are the TD Bank's Inuit Art gallery (accessible 24/7/365, on the mezzanine level of their big tower at 79 Wellington St West, self-guided tour of the key pieces here) - the collection rotates regularly, so there's always something new - and the Cloud Gardens Conservatory tucked down an alley between Temperance and Richmond Street West (although checking that link remained correct I note that it's not just closed for Covid, but for construction, so may not be open next spring...) which is just a really strange thing to find on the side of a parking structure!

Thank you so much for all this great information.  Staring to build my list of things to do while we are there.  Fingers crossed that cruise will sail.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

Without knowing budget, preferences, etc its hard to say but I will second the Fairmont Royal York as a good option. They just did a massive renovation and the hotel was looking great when we were last there in Sept 2019. Its a solid 4 star-- its not a luxury hotel. The rooms can be on the smaller side etc-- all the things that come with an older grande dame hotel. The public spaces are really quite something and worth a visit even if you don't stay there. If you plan on utilizing the train at all the Fairmont is directly across the street from the main station. 

 

I saw the Four Seasons mentioned as well. Personally not my favorite Four Seasons even though this is their "flagship" property. It has very cold public spaces and lacks a lot of the character of the older Four Seasons it replaced a few years ago down the street. 

 

My personal choice on the top end of a budget would be the Ritz-Carlton. Easy location to get around from, rooms are large and well done, super nice facilities. 

 

30 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

Without knowing budget, preferences, etc its hard to say but I will second the Fairmont Royal York as a good option. They just did a massive renovation and the hotel was looking great when we were last there in Sept 2019. Its a solid 4 star-- its not a luxury hotel. The rooms can be on the smaller side etc-- all the things that come with an older grande dame hotel. The public spaces are really quite something and worth a visit even if you don't stay there. If you plan on utilizing the train at all the Fairmont is directly across the street from the main station. 

 

I saw the Four Seasons mentioned as well. Personally not my favorite Four Seasons even though this is their "flagship" property. It has very cold public spaces and lacks a lot of the character of the older Four Seasons it replaced a few years ago down the street. 

 

My personal choice on the top end of a budget would be the Ritz-Carlton. Easy location to get around from, rooms are large and well done, super nice facilities. 

Thanks so much for the hotel information.  Will check them out.   

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

If you are looking for an economical option in the Ritz Carleton and Fairmont Royal York area, you might want to look at the Strathcona hotel. It is across the street from the Ritz Carelon where the shuttle from Billy Bishop airport (porter) drops people off and just up the street from Union station where both the trains and the Up express from Pearson airport arrive. You can walk to the theatres, waterfront and many other attractions. You are also on the subway network so you can easily reach most destinations. The deluxe rooms are fairly decent, the standard room not as much. Union station is connected to the PATH which links a number of buildings and shopping centres together so that you don't have to go outside. The Aquarium is on the PATH and it also connects to the convention centre, Queen's Quay or close to it. But you will have to go up and down stairs and escalators, so it is not the best way to transport  a lot of luggage. I stayed at the Strathcona just before the pandemic hit, so hopefully the hotel is still in business. One King West is another fun downtown hotel that is nicer that the Strathcona. It was an old bank and you can go visit the old vault in the basement. The downtown hotels would be convenient for the harbour and sightseeing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: American Queen Steamboat Company
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com - June 2021
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...