Paranoid about missing your 6 a.m. flight to Cuba? Business folk and vacation travelers with quick layovers love the location of this mid-range hotel right inside Pearson International Airport, connected to Terminal Three. Rooms are simple with crisp white linens and unremarkable furniture, but all have the Sheraton's signature beds. A 24-hour fitness club, pool, and business center mean that guests can go about their business and pleasure even when jetlagged. Nonguests can have access to these amenities for C$25 per day.
It's genius--guests can store their coats and boots during their vacation for a flat fee of $10 per person. That saves valuable luggage space if you're trying to travel with carry-on luggage, alone.
Tasteful and spare with lots of beige and dark wood, the rooms will offend no one. Focus on the "Sheraton Signature" bed, fluffy white linens and generous square footage. No room is smaller than 320 square-feet! Plus, triple-paned windows let in all the light while keeping out without the noise from overhead traffic. The luxury suites provide spectacular up-close views of the airport runway.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Wi-Fi isn't included in the room rate. It cost $15/day, for up to three devices.
Big, clean and boring, the bathroom is fine. Be warned, the oversized mirror may provide too much truth at 5:30 a.m.
Ready for a do-over, the lobby (level 2) is drab but presentable, with comfy wing back chairs. The main feature is a Sheraton Link business centre to print boarding passes, get newspapers and use internet stations and ethernet portals. There's an ATM machine for cash.
Big enough to do laps, the heated indoor pool is a treat. Skylights keep it airy and fun.
Dive in, at any time. The pool is open 24 hours a day.
Open around the clock, the fitness centre has big windows, Lifecycles, stairmasters, weights, treadmills and steam rooms.
Mahogany Grill Restaurant and Bar has bistro classics and North American staples (think fish, burgers, salad, steak). The menu is surprisingly small, but that's a good thing--keeping the focus on what they can do best.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Mahogany Grill needs those guys from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to drag it into the 2010s. They'd start by shaming the carpet and light fixtures.
The long bar has seating and decent light. It's stocked with popular beer and booze for classic cocktails. Don't expect anything too fancy.
Directly connected to YYZ's Terminal 3 via a climate-controlled walkway, the Sheraton also offers easy access to both Terminal 1 and the city. It's a 45-minute drive, or a $60 taxi, depending on traffic. Expect heavy traffic, like, all the time.
Zorro's Steak and Seafood House (8-minute drive) features white plaster walls and low arches to capture the charm of a European "taverna". Get the seafood platter. Or, enjoy a night of Italian cuisine at Via Allegro (10-minute drive), where diners marvel at the 5,000-bottle wine cellar on view.
Casual and young, the Arizona Grill Lounge feels like a sports den with a wrap-around bar and every conceivable form of ale. Fionn MacCools is the nearest Irish pub (5-minute drive) to calm your nerves about flying with imported brews and hard liquor.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Anyone willing to store our coats and boots in winter is a good egg. Merci. The Sheraton Gateway is as advertised--an airport hotel that gets you to your flight on time. Don't expect magic. What you can expect is a sound sleep on their signature beds, a quiet night (triple-pained windows!) and a 24-hour gym to burn off jetlag between flights.