Ontario hotels come in such a variety, from the budget to the luxury, from the historic Chateau Laurier Ottawa to the hip new Soho Metropolitan Hotel Toronto. Get help with choosing here.
When it comes to hotels in Ontario, the choice is overwhelming, especially in major tourist destinations like Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara Falls. So how do you know what to pick?
|Royal York Hotel, Photo courtesy of Tourism Toronto|
Here are some things to consider before you book that room.
Are you looking for something reliable and familiar? See “International Hotel Chains” below.
Do you want a place with a sense of history and heritage? See “Historic Hotels” below.
Maybe you’re looking for hip luxury Ontario hotels? See “Luxury Hotels” below.
Are you looking for something affordable? See “Bargains” below.
1. International Hotel Chains
In Ontario you'll find many well-known international chain hotels, from budget to luxurious. If you’re looking for familiarity and reliability when you travel, these hotels are your best bet. In alphabetical order, here are some of the names you may know:
2. Historic Ontario Hotels
Perhaps you crave a place with character, style and a sense of history. Ontario has some great historic hotels. For example:
For more historic hotels in Toronto, see my article about Toronto Ontario Hotels.
Budget Tip: Even if these places are out of your price range for sleeping, they might be worth a visit. For the cost of a meal or a drink in the lounge you can sample a little luxury and the grace of an earlier era.
3. Luxury Ontario Hotels
Toronto, the province’s financial centre, has a number of luxury hotels for the business traveller and tourist. Some of the best-known are:
Soho Metropolitan Hotel Toronto – a swank hip hotel in the Entertainment District.
Westin Harbour Castle – a modern hotel overlooking Lake Ontario, perfect to take in the fun at Harbourfront.
Fairmont Royal York Toronto – a stately historic hotel across from the train station and walking distance to Harbourfront and the Entertainment District.
Four Seasons Toronto – luxury in the centre of Yorkville, the city’s ritzy shopping area. Also close to the Royal Ontario Museum and Bata Shoe Museum.
Ottawa, the capital of the province, also boasts her fair share of luxury:
Fairmont Chateau Laurier – a stately historic hotel steps away from Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal.
The Lord Elgin – not quite as old as the Chateau Laurier but with an air of vintage elegance, close to the National Arts Centre.
ARC The. Hotel - designed by the same firm that redesigned Tiffany's in New York City. ARC calls itself “Ottawa’s first boutique hotel”. Don’t ask me to explain the weird punctuation in the name. That’s not a typo.
Niagara Falls, the biggest tourist destination in the province, has two competing luxury hotels with echoing names:
Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort - 6380 Fallsview Blvd.
Sheraton Fallsview Hotel and Conference Centre - 6755 Fallsview Blvd.
Confused by the annoyingly similar names/addresses? Yup. Me too. Should be illegal. Just think of them as “the Casino hotel” and “the Sheraton”. That should keep you straight.
Some of the International Chain Hotels mentioned above offer low rates. It’s always worth checking the local Best Western, Days Inn, Econolodge, Holiday Inn and Howard Johnson.
Independent hotels can also serve up a bargain but you do have to do more research because you can’t count on the “known quality” of a brand name.
In addition, don’t neglect the pricier hotels. Their “rack rates” or “regular rates” may be high, but they’re like airlines: they often offer deep discounts if you catch them at the right time.