Review of Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown

by GO GlobeHopper

Visitors to Toronto likely would not expect that in the midst of the skyscrapers and hustle and bustle of the big city, there is a hotel offering a seaside-like atmosphere. But there is, at the Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown.

Unlike the towering hotels that blend into the backdrop of the many skyscrapers, the Radisson Blu is located at Toronto’s Harbourfront and features a laid-back, waterfront escape much more along the line of a ‘holiday’.  And the décor perfectly captures an aquatic, beach-like feeling, with a look akin to what you would find in hotels in Florida.

Pale hardwood floors, pillow-top beds, modern furniture, and sea-blue and white color schemes all mesh nicely with unencumbered views of Lake Ontario looking out toward Toronto Island.  The hotel hosts 157 smoke-free rooms, all of which feature a 32” flatscreen TV, coffee maker, mini-fridge (which is always handy) a hairdryer, and ironing board.  Bottled water is replenished daily.

Specialty rooms include a fireplace, California shutters over windows that offer bigger views, and a telescope… for even bigger views. Business classrooms come with complimentary breakfast each morning and a complimentary drink voucher each evening. Wi-fi and local calls are free as are newspapers.

The location is nothing less than perfect as the hotel is situated directly in the Harbourfront district, ideal for catching a dinner cruise or attending any of the many events that happen along the waterfront throughout summer and fall.  And, it is within walking distance to most major downtown venues and attractions, such as the Rogers Centre for baseball games and shows, the CN Tower, and Ripley’s Aquarium.  Union Station is within reach in case guests need to travel to or from Toronto’s Pearson airport and the hotel is also close to several dining options.  A relaxed bar and grill atmosphere is available at Shoeless Joes, which is no more than a 3-minute walk from the hotel entrance. If dining in the hotel, Radisson Admiral boasts the Watermark Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  While the atmosphere is somewhat lacking here with a barren layout and minimal décor, the food is good and the prices are reasonable. Seasonally, SPLASH Pool Patio and Terrace is available for bar service and dining. And, within the lobby, guests will find a very convenient Starbucks for coffee, specialty drinks, and pastries.

Want to work off those pastries and anything else you might have dined on?  The hotel offers a fitness room. Other amenities include a concierge to help with tour plans, a dry cleaner, and a handy 24-hour business center.

After a stroll or guided tour through the city, visitors might enjoy cooling off at the rooftop pool or patio overlooking Lake Ontario, which at any given time throughout the summer is dotted with sailboats and summertime cruises.  The pool deck is very resort-like with the adjacent SPLASH patio and waterfront view. All considered it’s enough to make guests completely forget that just beyond the hotel lies a frenetic big city.

PROS: Location. Convenience. Reasonable rates. Beautiful rooms, and beautiful views of the poolside and lake. 

CONS: Pricey room service and per day parking fees. 

With reasonable rates despite the recent upgrade to the property, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to the Radisson Admiral.  If pressed to mention anything, it would be the pricey room service and the underground parking fee.  However, we tend to think that the convenience and atmosphere of this hotel more than makes up for it.  It’s like a little bit of seashore right in the heart of Toronto.

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