Hilton Toronto = Above Expectations

100   Recommended

Corner Deluxe
January 17, 2019 by

1 Review | 100% Recommended
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1 Review | 100% Recommended

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Corner Deluxe

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Corner Deluxe

I stayed at Hyatt Regency Toronto in the past and I was generally satisfied, but the HR does not have a lounge so I was open to other alternatives.  I think the Hilton is more expensive than HR more often than not, but for my dates I found a very low Best Rate Guarantee below 100 USD which made it a no brainer to try Hilton instead of returning to HR.  I did not regret it.  

 

Room

I found the room types at Hilton a bit confusing.  I booked the lowest room category for BRG but strangely the junior suites are offered at the same price as basic rooms; normally as Diamond you would hope for an upgrade to a junior suite in various hotels but here it would not make sense.  Above the basic room and the junior suites are the deluxe rooms.  I noticed the following the following differences in pricing: deluxe < corner deluxe < executive < corner executive. I originally got an executive room and asked to be “downgraded” to a corner deluxe which I guess is the same as corner executive given that I was going to get lounge access anyway as Diamond. The lady at reception said it was no problem.  I was pleased with the extra space of the corner room and being at the end of the hallway the room was more quiet because there was no foot traffic outside our room and we shared a wall only with one neighbor.  A corner deluxe is only 10 CAD more than a deluxe room so for people without status and who will not get an upgrade, I think it’s a no brainer to pay 10 CAD extra for this room.  Above all the room types listed above there are specialty suites on the top floor (32nd) but I would not expect that any of these rooms are for upgrades. 

The room is of a good size and given the setup I would even consider it a junior suite myself which is why the naming of rooms here is a bit odd.  In the living area there is a sofa bed that even if you open it, there is still plenty of room to walk around.  The bathroom was in good condition and I liked having a stand-alone shower without a bathtub.  

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Dining

Food in the executive lounge for happy hour 5pm-7pm is the strength of this hotel.  Of course it won’t be confused with lounges in Asia but for North American standards it is certainly a top quartile lounge.  Examples of what was on offer during our stay: beef stew with rice, penne pasta with chicken and tomato sauce, rice & vegetable soup, healthy specialty salads, vegetable gyozas, fruits, and of course raw veggies with cheese.  Only one evening out of 4 was more disappointing with fried stuff that you can often find in typical North American lounges.  They also had a good selection of desserts changing every day.  I particularly liked their chocolate cake, and my favorite dessert: baklava.  It is certainly not in a Hilton in Canada that I would have expected to be offered baklava for happy hour.  Drinks in the lounge are not free and in fact are quite pricey and quality is subpar (2 red, 2 white, all of them being Woodbridge) so I passed.  Breakfast in the lounge was not as good as hors d’oeuvres in the evening.  Fruits were nothing special, in fact not as interesting as fruits in the lounge in the evening where we could have blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries.  Mornings were only standard hotel fruits.  They also had oatmeal and scrambled eggs but nothing else for hot food. If you book at this hotel expecting to have an excellent happy hour, be aware that the lounge won’t have anything on Friday and Saturday evenings, although I am not sure if it’s open for soft drinks since we were there Sunday-Thursday.  

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While food in the evening was a pleasant surprise, the atmosphere in the lounge is not the best.  Most tables are in the open and we could not find a quiet spot away from crowds. The lounge generally speaking is busy even during late breakfast hours or during afternoons because there are several people having meetings in the lounge including in the large meeting room near the food area.  This is in contrast with some hotels where the lounge is almost empty between 9am and 4pm.

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Breakfast in the restaurant was much better than in the lounge and unlike many hotels, I did not find it more chaotic than in the lounge.  Instead of only having traditional North American choices such as eggs, bacon, and sausages, one morning they had veggie pizza and another morning than had a warm egg & salmon wrap.  This makes the breakfast stand out positively from other hotels.  

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Gym

The gym is somewhat small for a hotel this size. Similar to the lounge, I was surprised to find that even late morning or mid afternoon it was not so quiet.  I can imagine that it would get quite full at peak times.  

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Service

Service in the hotel was excellent in the restaurant and in the lounge.  I noticed the staff there frequently go out of their way to help guests and were very pleasant to interact with, more so than the average lounge where staff might not do anything bad but they just don’t stand out.  At Hilton during this stay I noticed a clear difference: staff is more welcoming and friendly than the norm.  One issue the hotel fumbled is that they billed me for the full amount of my original reservation before BRG.  Or perhaps this can be blamed on the BRG team not informing the hotel – I cannot know.  Anyway when I brought up the issue in the lounge they contacted the duty manager to fix my rate promptly.  

Overall

Overall there were some minor weaknesses of the hotel but they were by far overcome by the good corner room and the excellent happy hour.  I like the Hyatt Regency but now that I have tried Hilton, I do not think I will return to Hyatt Regency any time soon.  The location is almost the same, HR does not have a lounge, and the room was significantly smaller at HR.  So if Hilton sells for a modest premium over HR I will return to Hilton because I think a price premium is warranted.  

 

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