I travel to Toronto several times per year, usually for business. Depending on where I will be spending most of my time while in T Dot, I book different hotels. I’ve stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto City Centre (200 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1Z4) three times and have this to say about the experiences.
For me, the location is great. It’s a 10-minute walk to the Eaton Centre, Yonge Street (where a lot of “action” is), and close to Ryerson University where I attend conferences. There are also several restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets and bars within a couple of minutes of the hotel. I often come by train (from Montreal) and it’s a 15-minute cab ride from Union Station.
The hotel is right on a major street (Dundas East) where street cars come by often. There is no subway stop but you can take the subway from the Eaton Centre. On a warm summer day, you can easily walk toward downtown Toronto and visit places as you go.
When I first stayed at the hotel three years ago, there was an empty lot across the street (diagonal) from the hotel. On my most recent visit a few weeks ago, I was impressed by the large condo building that has gone up.
Some people do complain that the area is a little sketchy. I agree with that to a limited extent. There are some shady people that hang around in that little area but it’s really not bad. I suspect that as the condo crowd and gentrification continue in the area, you’ll see fewer and fewer of them.
If you arrive by car, there is a paid lot across the street.
Spacious Rooms & Great Bathrooms
Each time I was there, I had a great room with very comfortable beds. The first time I stayed there, I had a room with a closed off bedroom and shared bathroom for my business associate who also stayed in the room. In fact, I find the rooms to be exceptionally well designed.
On another stay, I actually had a two-floor suite! I had the upstairs bedroom which included a large closet and bathroom with a simple water jets. My business associate took the downstairs couch, along with the small office and kitchenette.
On my third stay, I had a room with a jacuzzi for two. It was great (except it was broken and I had to ask the front desk to get someone from maintenance to get the water to go down). I also would have wanted the water to be hotter but it was still fine. One nice touch that they didn’t offer was bubble bath! Instead I put some shampoo in the water which worked like a charm.
One bathroom was large but the shower stall itself was a little tight. I’m being a bit picky though because overall the rooms and bathrooms are great. The bedrooms are large, with room to manoeuvre around the bed and open your luggage.
Guest & Customer Service
On all three visits, I had exceptional customer service. The registration desk was great. So much so that while I don’t often join loyalty programs, I did join the Hilton HHonors program (yes, double “H”). On my most recent visit, I was given a bottle of water and a room upgrade. Totally worth it!
There’s a full buffet for breakfast. It’s not included in the base hotel room price but some packages do include it. I just wanted some milk and they kindly let me take a small carton without charging me. You can get lunch and dinner at Casey’s Bar and Grill which is part of the hotel. To be honest, I would avoid this generic restaurant in favour of so many other great options in Toronto.
Cost and Value
I typically pay in the $150-200/night range for my stays here. I do require a room that’s larger than a single bed so you might get something cheaper if you’re alone or need a smaller space. In terms of value, I think you get great value here.
Who should stay here?
I have heard some people suggest that single women shouldn’t stay here because they may come across some sketchy people outside at night. I have yet to see anything scary about the neighbourhood. This hotel is great for families, business people, and individuals looking for a convenient place to rest their head.
The hotel was very clean on each visit.
Is it worth staying here?
Yes! If you get a good price, I recommend it. I would gladly stay here a fourth time.