Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness...Literally

I was the December Facebook winner of a free night at Hotel Victoria in Toronto. My daughter and I  took advantage of the win to go downtown, shop, stay over and shop some more. We had a lot of fun although we were quite surprised at how quiet the city was on a Tuesday night. We decided to liven it up a bit.

In appreciation of the free night (and the $24 in breakfast vouchers which she won on the Hotel Victoria Facebook page), I wrote a review for describing our experience. The review (page bottom) is pending approval. In the meantime, here are a few photos of "Girls Gone Wild".

4 of 5 stars

We found a Russian vodka bar called "Pravda". Will review it when I have time. That's us in the mirror.

Toronto flora and fauna

Hotel Review

"A Fabulous Find Near Almost Everything!"

I was thrilled when I won a free night at this wonderful downtown Toronto hotel. I was somewhat familiar with the historic Hotel Victoria since I've stayed a few times before. I phoned to book a date and was dealt with by Peter. He was friendly and welcoming.

I knew about the lack of onsite parking and did not require a car since the location is so central and convenient. It is a short walking distance from Union Station and many attractions. I am 62, so when I say walking distance, I mean it. There is parking nearby if needed.

My daughter and I arrived at 2 p.m., too early for check in, and wanted to store our bags so that we could shop. The wonderful desk clerk, Erskine, told us we were welcome to go ahead and put our things into the room since it was ready. Our room was on the 5th floor, small and lovely. It was stylishly decorated, very clean and comfortable with a modern bathroom. There wasn't much of a view but didn't care since we weren't planning on spending our time in the room staring out of the window. The hotel is smoke free and smelled fresh. Because of the modest size and the historic elements of this hotel, it does not have every convenience a larger, newer facility might have, however, any potential needs are addressed in the hotel information guide found in the room. We had a question on check-in and when we returned later in the afternoon, Erskine had resolved it in a more than satisfactory manner

Although there is a subway stop available near the hotel, we found the walk to the Eaton Centre for shopping to be quite short. ***Note to visitors...We discovered that "The Bay" gives a 15% discount to non-locals. We showed our Hotel Victoria key and saved quite a bit of money.

There are varied dining opportunities nearby from fast food to gourmet. After a leisurely dinner, we returned to find Brian, at the front desk of the hotel. He was knowledgable and helped us with directions to a major grocery store and gave us advice about nearby entertainment. Again, all was in walking distance. In the morning, we had breakfast at the onsite restaurant "Over Easy". It's open from early morning until 3 p.m. The menu included both breakfast and lunch items and was good value for the money. We checked out and were not yet ready to go home, so we appreciated having our bags stored gratis until we were finished with our city adventures later in the day.

Hotel Victoria is a terrific choice for people attending concerts, sporting events and shopping. Unlike some larger city hotels, it does not give you the feeling of being impersonal. The staff does their best to be polite, accomodating and helpful without appearing pretentious. This hotel is excellent value for the money. I wouldn't stay anyplace else. 

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