A shopper's delight, the Marriott's flagship hotel downtown is connected to the Eaton Centre through an aboveground walkway. For a hotel in the heart of downtown, it boasts stunning urban views from the guest rooms, from the indoor rooftop swimming pool, the gym and the on-site restaurant. Rooms were recently renovated with sectional sofas and snazzy work desks. It won't win any design awards, but it's modern enough. Families like that it isn't too fussy for small children.
Attention Netflix addicts! The televisions are Netflix capable, ready for you to log into your account and keep binging. Plus, Wi-Fi is included in your room rate if you join the free Marriott loyalty program. Otherwise, Wi-Fi is $10.95 per day.
Congratulations to the Marriott for installing edgy, cool carpet in the hallways and the rooms. Well done. Likewise for the gray corner sofas. Room renovations are now complete, featuring pillow-top beds, pivoting desks, ergonomic chairs, black-out drapes, soundproofing, connectivity panels and wooden headboards. Ask for a room with a fridge when making your reservation.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Despite the renovation, the rooms are a little colorless. One blue accent pillow is not enough, folks.
The renovated bathrooms have soft, kind lighting around the large mirror. Ivory-hued, ample counters and modern taps keep things chic, as do the THANN body products. Some rooms have walk-in showers and separate soaker tubs.
Ignore the building's clunky facade, with the dated glass pyramids over the entryway. Be grateful for such an expansive driveway and drop-off zone in the middle of downtown Toronto. The lobby is bright, but hasn't been renovate yet, so turn a blind eye to the swirly rugs and dated floral displays. However, there is a round fireplace and ample seating.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The salmon-hued accents in the lobby's "design" say it all--this is an outdated reception area howling for a makeover.
Found on the 18th floor, the pool area is bright, clean and well supervised.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While the pool is a good size, it's square in shape, and therefore not conducive to swimming full laps.
Inspirational sayings--"Nothing worth having comes easy"--are stenciled at the top of the walls in this airy, bright, 24-hour gym. Cardio machines face outward, with great views of the city. There are free weights, a rowing machine, exercise balls and mats, too. You have no excuse.
Trios Bistro, the lobby restaurant, is surprisingly dramatic--from the twinkly chandeliers and striped booths to close-up views of the Church of the Holy Trinity. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls allows sunlight to flood the dining area and glint off the Art Deco light fixtures. The menu is international. Buffet breakfast isn't included in the room rate, unless you have a package, so expect to pay $30 to visit the morning omelette bar.
Best to order two plates of crab cakes, a favorite among regulars and staff.
Mingling at the Marriott's bar is a contact sport, as the after-work crowd gathers to flirts and sip classic cocktails. Dramatic decor and stunning views of the church next door are easy conversation starters.
Take a cab from the airport, or there is valet parking for $50/day. Once docked, go everywhere by foot, Uber or taxi. Alternately, the Dundas subway station is connected to the Eatons Centre, which is connected to the hotel, and Union Station is just four blocks south.
Elm Street, a couple of blocks north, boasts an upscale Italian eatery called Donatello Restaurant (7-minute walk) as well as a popular Greek seafood emporium called Adega (10-minute walk).
For a memorable mix of live jazz and booze, you must visit the famous N'awlins (8-minutes by cab) on King Street, or head to Jazz Bistro on Victoria Street (7-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Within walking distance from dozens of boutiques, restaurants, malls, and attractions, the central location sets this Marriott apart. It's actually attached to the Eaton Centre, so winter shopping couldn't be easier--leave your winter boots behind when you head to Nordstroms. We love the views of City Hall and Trinity Square, as well as the panoramic views from the treadmills in the 24-hour gym.