Toronto- Sheraton Centre vs Westin Harbour Castle

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Old Nov 2, 11, 1:22 pm
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Toronto- Sheraton Centre vs Westin Harbour Castle

Are they any SPG Golds who have upgrade experience at either property and can make a recommendation between the two? Staying there over New Years this year..

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Old Nov 2, 11, 2:08 pm
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I have been plat for a long while now, and stayed in both properties more than I care to admit. Given the choice I would gladly choose the Westin every time. The rooms are newer, cleaner, and generally a bit nicer. The hotel is definitely quieter (fewer rooms per floor helps). The food is somewhat better (but still pretty much crap! ). And your upgrade chances are way better at the Westin in my experience. The only thing the Sheraton has going for it in my opinion is the gym--it is much better than the Westin's. Maybe it is just a case of familiarity breeds contempt (I would guess that I have close to 200 stays at the Sheraton) but I try to avoid the place these days. I don't always manage that, and I almost always regret it when I don't.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 2:20 pm
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Comparison

I've had a good stay at the Westin. I checked in very late, got a nice suite for my Cash & Points deal, so I loved my room; YMMV. It's a very peaceful experience to gaze out to the islands.

Sheraton Centre is an older property; I had noises from mechanical issues in my two stays there. In my last stay, there was a loud, late concert at Nathan Phillips Square across the street. You'll hear lots of street noise from Queen Street in lower floors on the north side. Sheraton Centre is a short or medium walk to just about everything in downtown Toronto, though.

Parking is very expensive at both locations; Sheraton Centre has options in the area if you need it.

I wouldn't hesitate to stay at either again.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 2:24 pm
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Funny, I have stayed at both hotels on many occasions. I always try to avoid the Westin. I much prefer the location of the Sheraton and I have never received an upgrade at the Westin besides a lakeview room.

While my upgrade success at the Sheraton is not great, I did many years ago as SPG Gold - get upgraded to a jacuzzi suite.

In terms of rooms, I found that both hotels have rooms that are dated, but felt that the Westin rooms were even more dated. Go figure.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 2:31 pm
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I've stayed at the suites in both properties, and I, too, found the Westin to be newer, and more modern too.

Convenience wise, the Westin is located by the lake, while the Sheraton is a lot closer to the financial district, and to shopping areas.

As an example, it takes less than 5 mins to walk to Eaton Center from Sheraton, but will take at least 15 to 20 mins from the Westin to the Eaton Center.

As for the gym, I just read on the Sheraton's site that their gym is now undergoing renovation, and has moved to the 4th floor. Not sure how big or good it is now.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 2:42 pm
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I used to live on Queens Quay. As you're in over New Years and if the winter wind is coming off the lake then it can be very cold.

All good points above but I prefer the Sheraton. Location, location, location.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 2:55 pm
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Agree with all of the above. The Westin area is pretty desolate in the winter and it feels extra cold being by the lake. With the Sheraton you don't even have to go outside as its connected to the Path which means direct access to the Subway and Eaton Center among other things.

Westin is newer and probably a bit nicer, but Sheraton has location, gym and club lounge.

Plus it being an old hotel they have a pretty good number of suites or upgraded room types (not all rooms are cookie-cutter).

However either option is a fine choice and I wouldn't say one is exceptional. They both are average to a bit above average.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 3:35 pm
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Sheraton

I've stayed at the Sheraton Center over Nuit Blanche and New Years. Nuit blanche I was upgraded from standard to a junior suite on the 2nd floor with a balcony over looking a garden/alley. A weird room and only marginally superior.

On New Years (on points) I requested to be facing Nathan Phillips Square; I was assigned a high floor standard room. It's the best way to way the New Years concert/fireworks but it's loud until about 1am. So, no upgrade but certainly a preferable room in the booked class.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 5:48 pm
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I just checked out of Sheraton Toronto Center a few days ago and I am at the Westin Harbour Castle right now.

Observations:

Westin has somewhat newer rooms (in the Sheraton I had wall paper in the bathroom).

Westin has no lounge and no breakfast benefits for Plats - Sheraton has a nicely furnished lounge for Plats that boasts excellent skyline views all around but the actual breakfast selection is very sparse. Evening snacks consist of celery and carrots with dips. Alcohol is chargeable.

Both hotel featured rooms with coffee machines (Some kind of Starbucks marketing partnership).

Sheraton has almost 1400 rooms and the energy in the place is insane! Also had excellent service at the Sheraton, OK service at Westin.

Next time we are here we will try the Le Meridien King Edward but given a choice between Westin Harbour Castle and Sheraton Center, I would be inclined to go back to the Sheraton next time. Direct access to PATH and at least a basic continental breakfast in the lounge + the excellent soft product (service) make it a better deal for me.

F&B: if you order room service at either property it's mediocre and super expensive. They add service charge, gratuity and tax so $20.00 off the menu turns into a $35.00++ charge. At Sheraton you have a million food places nearby so it's a bit easier to avoid hotel food.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by forumpersona999 View Post
I just checked out of Sheraton Toronto Center a few days ago and I am at the Westin Harbour Castle right now.

Observations:

Westin has somewhat newer rooms (in the Sheraton I had wall paper in the bathroom).

Westin has no lounge and no breakfast benefits for Plats - Sheraton has a nicely furnished lounge for Plats that boasts excellent skyline views all around but the actual breakfast selection is very sparse. Evening snacks consist of celery and carrots with dips. Alcohol is chargeable.

Both hotel featured rooms with coffee machines (Some kind of Starbucks marketing partnership).

Sheraton has almost 1400 rooms and the energy in the place is insane! Also had excellent service at the Sheraton, OK service at Westin.

Next time we are here we will try the Le Meridien King Edward but given a choice between Westin Harbour Castle and Sheraton Center, I would be inclined to go back to the Sheraton next time. Direct access to PATH and at least a basic continental breakfast in the lounge + the excellent soft product (service) make it a better deal for me.

F&B: if you order room service at either property it's mediocre and super expensive. They add service charge, gratuity and tax so $20.00 off the menu turns into a $35.00++ charge. At Sheraton you have a million food places nearby so it's a bit easier to avoid hotel food.
Agreed with most all of this. Am at the Westin right now too. Havent been at the Sheraton for a couple months... but: food choices are bad. And the breakfast buffet is terrible. So much so that I happily buy my own from Freshii or something else in the pathway rather than eat there. A few years back the selection and quality went badly downhill. A variety of fresh fruit at the buffet went to simply awful melon salads (cheaper than pineapple I assume). The pastries were decent, now awful. Anyway, yeah, familiarity equals contempt I suppose. This is basic stuff, but they just cant get it right anymore.

And I also dont understand why a basic spaghetti/pasta dish is beyond their capabilities. Anyways... very interested in the feedback on the Le Meridien.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar View Post
Am at the Westin right now too.
Hi neighbor!

Originally Posted by ridefar View Post
A variety of fresh fruit at the buffet went to simply awful melon salads (cheaper than pineapple I assume).
Last week they did have watermelon, pineapple, some other melon and 3 week old granny smith apples.

As for the pineapple: they had so much of it they put the leftovers out again for the evening "hors d'oeuvres" (celery and carrot sticks with dips).

Still, if forced to choose Westin Harbor Castle or Sheraton Center I would go back to Sheraton Center next time. Staff were cool @ Sheraton and PATH access is too useful.
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Old Nov 3, 11, 8:39 am
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thanks to all for the replies, going to go with Westin...
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Old Nov 3, 11, 9:01 am
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Meridien King Edward for a Plat is pretty good with nice lounge and food selection for breakfast and early evening drinks. Rooms are modernized in this classic older hotel. A block for PATH system (enter via King subway) lots of restaurants and pubs nearby, particularly a block south on Front Street, or along Colbourne out back. Rennos are going on but not disruptive in the evening.

Westin has the worst location if you want to explore Toronto sites on foot, other than the Island and waterfront (Queen's Quay) and I've never found it a warm or inviting property. Sheraton is large convention hotel, but best location in the city centre.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 11:12 am
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Any updates on this choice? From what I read, the Sheraton appears to have been renovated since this initial batch of replies.

Am I correct in seeing from various Toronto Parking sites, and Google, that much cheaper parking is right across the street from the Sheraton?
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Old Feb 7, 17, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Any updates on this choice? From what I read, the Sheraton appears to have been renovated since this initial batch of replies.

Am I correct in seeing from various Toronto Parking sites, and Google, that much cheaper parking is right across the street from the Sheraton?
I spent almost a year in Toronto on a project that ran long and stayed at the Sheraton Centre, Westin Harbour Castle, Hilton, Doubletree, Marriott Eaton Centre...

The Sheraton was my favorite. The renovated rooms are much nicer (even though they are VERY brown), and now the Westin rooms are quite tired. The Westin is also quite far from the action.

Great view from the rooms (I usually was upgraded at least to a Club room, sometimes a junior suite on high floors). Club lounge is sufficient for a quick breakfast in the morning, but it's nothing more than continental.

Weekdays there is oatmeal, but weekends there is not (so on weekends there are 0 hot items).

The Sheraton is connected to the PATH which is a big plus, and has one of the largest hotel gyms I've been in. I think it's the flagship Sheraton in Canada. The Saks 5th Avenue Foodhall (Pusateri's) just opened and you can walk there in 3 minutes via the PATH. Great food options.

I cannot help on parking as I never parked, but if you referring to the City Hall/Nathan Phillips Square parking entrance you can enter via Queen Street.
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