Fodor's Expert Review Hilton Garden Inn Downtown

92 Peter St., Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2G5, Canada See on Map

Dignified and reliable, this centrally-located downtown hotel in the entertainment hub is a safe bet. Just steps from Toronto's business, financial, and shopping districts, the hotel offers guests 24-hour access to the fitness center, and business center, and even an all-night miniature convenience store in the lobby for munchies. There's free Wi-Fi and every room comes with a fridge and microwave....See "24-hour convenience store" to trigger a popcorn craving.

If you like a small lobby, and the anonymity it ensures, this place is for you. The lobby isn't an airport-style space with miles of sight lines.

room

Wait--is that a Herman Miller chair? That's a good start. All rooms feature the Garden Sleep System Adjustable Bed, black-out curtains, free Wi-Fi, 37-inch flat-screen TVs, microwaves and refrigerators. Consider paying $6.95 per day to upgrade your Wi-Fi, or else you'll be frustrated. Better yet, choose a luxury room with a whirlpool bathtub and gas fireplace.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Traditional and staid, the rooms won't ignite any passions--new or old. Also, request a room away from the elevators and away from the neighbouring disco's thumping music. Some guests grumble that the noise from the mini fridge keep them awake, too.

bathroom

Curved shower rods have an out-sized impact on a small bathroom. Nice touch, Hilton. We also like the granite counter tops, Neutrogena bath products, the generous counter space and wall-mounted lights.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Some rooms have a peek-a-boo bathroom--like an open window without glass--so the tub is visible from the bed. Maybe you want that, maybe you don't.

lobby

Polished and convenient--those are the two words that come to mind about the lobby. There's a 24-hour Pavilion Pantry for quality junk food, as well as a 24-hour business centre designed to save your career. There are complimentary Kleenex in there, so have a good cry as you build that Powerpoint presentation. The hotel's reception desk is grand, and gleaming marble. The sitting area is clustered around a gas fireplace.

pool

On the second floor, near the gym, the pool is big enough to get in some laps. It has a hot tub, too.

YOU SHOULD KNOW There's almost no natural light, and no greenery (fake or otherwise) so don't expect a spa-like experience.

gym

One big mirror propped against the wall isn't enough to fool anyone--this gym is small. Still, it's possible to break a sweat on the tread mills and use the free weights. There are benches and balls. Open 24 hours.

dining

The Marquis Bistro, located on the second floor, does the breakfast buffet, then opens again at 5 p.m. for dinner. A full breakfast menu is available (make your own waffles, pancakes, omelettes, warm cinnamon buns, pastries, fruits, homemade oatmeal, yogurt with granola), as well as a self-serve hot buffet ($16.95). Make sure the server knows which one you want.

For dinner, get the Muskoka Cream Ale battered fish and chips or the Hilton Mobley burger.

drinking

The Marquis Lounge features small-batch Ontario ale by the Muskoka Brewery, plus predictable bottles of red and white wine. Classic cocktails are an option.

LOCATION

Getting Around

Valet parking is your only option, for $48 per day, tax included. Or, find a public lot. Good luck with that. It's best to arrive via train or plane, as the Hilton is easily accessed by all forms of public transit. Most theatre venues are within walking distance.

Restaurants

Rodney's Oyster House (5-minute walk) attracts a fun, young crowd, while Jacob's (7-minutes walk) is an upscale steakhouse that challenges even the most generous of expense accounts.

Bars

Uniun is a nightclub (15-minute walk) built for bad behavior. The cocktail menu made you do it. Same goes for the 44th floor lounge at Bisha (3-minute walk), with stunning views and serving staff.

WHY WE LIKE IT

We like the comfort of a big-brand hotel inside Toronto’s entertainment district, just steps from the business district, the Rogers Centre and the CN Tower--to name just a few local attractions. The 24-hour business centre and gym are thoughtful, if small, and we appreciate that every room has a fridge, Keurig coffee maker and a microwave. The decor isn't special, but presumably guests are looking outward for inspiration. My sassy BFF's comment: "Paris Hilton would never, ever stay here. Just saying."

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Lively
Central
$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 416-593–9200

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