Hotel Review: Strathcona Hotel, Toronto

The Strathcona Hotel on York Street, Toronto is a centrally located 194 bedroom contemporary hotel in the heart of the city. Probably it’s biggest selling point is it’s location – it’s a 5 minute walk to Union Station and another 5 minutes will have you a the Rogers Centre, CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium.

I didn’t realise when I was booking accommodation for my Toronto stay that Taylor Swift was also in town playing two sold out show’s in the Rogers Centre. Nuit Blanche, the all-night Art Festival was also on that weekend so the city was particularly busy.

I get that hotels increase rates depending on demand and the weekend I visited was a busy one. A point is reached though where the price is so high that the rate is not justified for the level of service or amenities on offer within that hotel. When this happens, visitors like me, get much more frustrated with minor issues because the level and quality of service is out of sync with the rate charged. I’d usually let minor issues fly but when you’re paying $302CAD (€220 / $240US) for a night, you kind of expect things to be right.

The Strathcona is a 3-star hotel but I paid upper four-star prices for my stay. The single biggest point of frustration has to be having crappy, almost non-existent wifi and being charged an extra $6 to use that wifi. I had no data roaming while in Canada so I relied on wifi to route my maps and find my way. When in the hotel the signal is weak, speeds are slow and it kicks you off the network every 5 minutes or so. They offer an iMac in the lobby for guests to use also but it’s in need of maintenance.

There was no remote in the room to work the TV so housekeeping had to bring me one. Housekeeping had to come again when I discovered a drain was clogged. Nobody came to fix it the first time I called so I had to call again. The lady who fixed the drain and brought me a remote was incredibly friendly and apologetic.

The room itself was clean, functional and fairly basic. The rooms don’t have quite the same boutique hotel feel that the lobby does. I have to say that the bed was incredibly comfortable.

All in all, the Strathcona Hotel served its purpose as a central place to stay in Toronto for a Saturday night. If I was coming again, I’d probably look at alternatives.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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