GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Where should you stay? With hundreds of Toronto hotels, it may seem like a daunting question. But fret not—our expert writers and editors have done most of the legwork. The 50-plus selections here represent the best the city has to offer—from the best budget motels to the sleekest boutique hotels. Happy Hunting!
Hotel reservations are a necessity—rooms fill up quickly, so book as far in advance as possible. Summer is the busiest time, and if you plan on visiting during the Pride Festival (late June), Caribbean Carnival Toronto (late July), or Toronto International Film Festival (September), note that hordes of visitors will be joining you in search of a room, especially anywhere in the downtown area. At these times it doesn't hurt to search farther afield, but look for places along the subway lines to the north, west, or east, unless you have a car.
Unless otherwise noted in individual descriptions, all the hotels listed have private baths, central heating, and private phones. Almost all hotels have Wi-Fi and phones with voice mail. Most large hotels have video or high-speed checkout capability, and many can arrange babysitting. Web TV, in-room video games, DVD players, iPod docks, and CD players are also provided in many hotels.
Driving a car in Toronto can be a headache unless your hotel provides free parking (which is extremely rare outside of airport hotels). Garages cost around C$25 per day, and street-side parking isn’t available in most neighborhoods, but many city-owned parking lots have favorable rates on weekends and holidays.
Many of the downtown chain hotels offer free stays for kids under 12, but it would be best to check in advance when making reservations. Bed-and-breakfasts won't impose any rules against bringing children, but they will be considerably less accommodating. In recent years, boutique hotels have begun to embrace the "family-friendly" philosophy, and many now offer welcoming gifts for little ones such as cookies or teddy bears.
When booking, remember first to ask about discounts and packages. Even the most expensive properties regularly reduce their rates during low-season lulls and on weekends. If you're a member of a group (senior citizen, student, auto club, or the military), you may also get a deal. Downtown hotels regularly have specials that include theater tickets, meals, or museum passes. It never hurts to ask for these kinds of perks up front.
The lodgings we list are the cream of the crop in each price category. Properties are assigned price categories based on the price of a standard double room during Toronto's busy summer season. When pricing accommodations, always ask what's included and what costs extra.
Although paying with U.S. dollars no longer gives you the advantage it has in the past, there are other ways to save money during a visit. Many hotels that cater to business travelers cut rates for weekends, and these hotels typically have special packages for couples and families. Toronto hotels usually slash rates a full 50% in January and February. Smaller hotels and apartment-style accommodations downtown are also moderately priced (and, therefore, popular in summer).