An April 2004 trip
to Niagara Falls by Muchmor
Quote: Whilst we were planning our trip to Ontario, we decided to stay in Niagara for a couple of nights. We were not disappointed -- it is truly spectacular and a definite wonder of the world!
Hotel | "Embassy Suites Hotel"
The process of checking in went smoothly and we were given not only room keycard, but vouchers for the inclusive breakfast and the shuttle pass to and from the casino area.
Our suite was located on the 28th floor and upon entering we were left speechless. The first thing you see is the living area, with sofa, coffee table, TV, etc., and a great view of the Canadian falls directly under our room from the dining area. The room is very large and leads through to a kitchenette area with microwave, coffee maker, small fridge and sink. You then go through to the vanity area and then on the other side of the corridors the bathroom. This is in two sections, first the Jacuzzi bath area with additional vanity area and then the separate shower and toilet area. There are small windows which open out to the bedroom over the Jacuzzi from which you can see the views.
The bedroom has the most stunning view you could ever wish for. For a start, the room is large, with king bed, wardrobes, TV etc. You then get a table and comfy chairs in the bay window area – yes bay window! The window is huge, floor to ceiling and about 10 feet wide with unobstructed views of the falls, both Canadian and American. You can also see down into the main town and casino area. Stunning! We spent the first few hours just sitting staring out of the window as it was raining, but what a way to spend a few hours!
Your stay comes complete with complimentary breakfast, which is served in the TGI Friday restaurant in the lobby. You hand your voucher in and help yourself to the buffet. You really cannot fault this breakfast as it includes almost everything you could possibly want either hot or cold, you get drinks of every description too.
The hotel shuttle is free and available outside the hotel at frequent intervals throughout the day and takes you down to the main town and then onto the falls themselves. We took the shuttle to the town and then walked to the falls and then back to the hotel, but it will bring you back too.
The hotel has an excursion booking facility and a concierge to help you plan your stay and also has a Starbucks in the lobby. It also has a pool, gym, fitness centre, games room and shops. This hotel really has everything you could ask for, great suites, great views, great breakfast and great service.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 23, 2004
Embassy Suites Niagara Falls - Fallsview
6700 Fallsview Blvd
Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G3W6
Restaurant | "Applebee's"
The waitress seated us and took our drinks order. My husband decided to have buffalo wings for starters, which he thoroughly enjoyed. I didn’t have a starter.
For the main course, my hubby had a Bourbon Steak, which arrived sizzling on a platter and smelled lovely. I have it on good authority that it tasted just as good too. I had chicken fingers with fries. The chicken was very succulent and tasty and the fries were good too.
Although we were both full after these feasts, we still had to have a dessert as they sounded so nice on the menu. Hubby had apple pie, which was a huge serving covered in streusel and topped with ice cream. I had a triple chocolate meltdown, which was a huge chocolate cake with dark & light chocolate on top, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. We both thoroughly enjoyed our desserts although both suffered for several hours after really eating too much.
Whilst in the restaurant we noticed that some of the seating was a little worse for ware, indeed my seat had half the covering missing, but the service was excellent and the food great.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2004
6546 Buchanan Ave
Niagara Falls, Ontario
The restaurant is clean and looks reasonably new and is done with an Australian theme. We were greeted at the door and let to our seats. The waitress came to take our drinks order, but returned with one of them incorrect, so had to go back and get the correct drink.
Whilst we were looking at the menu trying to decide what we wanted to eat the waitress continually interrupted us insisted on going through every option on the menu and explaining the obvious. Although we are not American or Canadian but in fact English, this didn’t mean that we could not understand the menu. We found this very annoying, but being Brits, didn’t complain.
After eventually choosing what we wanted to eat – not the first choice of the waitress, we waited for the food. The service did seem quite slow and my order of chicken breast came with a dressing on it which I had specifically asked to be removed. So I then had to wait again for a replacement dish.
After all the errors, the over attentive waitress and the wait, we decided not to bother with dessert as we basically just wanted to leave.
This was in great contrast to the Applebee’s which we had eaten at the evening before and indeed another Outback which we had enjoyed very much in Raleigh, North Carolina.
I cannot recommend this restaurant, although other people may have had completely the opposite experience.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 22, 2004
6700 Fallsview Boulevard
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Attraction | "Niagara Aviary"
After buying your tickets, you go up an escalator to the first area. You are greeted at the entrance and given a large colour sheet with pictures of all the birds, so you can identify them as you go. This area has a large caged area with lots of birds, both in the trees and on the ground. The mesh is quite a distraction, especially when trying to take photos, but the birds are quite beautiful. When we were there, there were lots of birds nesting, so lots of twig collecting going on, you could see lots of nests stuck in strangest of places. As you leave this area you enter the nocturnal area where they have some owls, frogs (I know these are not birds!) and lots of bats (birdlike). It is very dark in here, so not ideal for photo or video.
The next section is the actual aviary, which is a large multi-level room with free flying birds. As we entered we were greeted by two amorous doves who were trying to mate on the door handle, one was carrying a twig ready for nest building (see photo). There is a separate cage to your left with hummingbirds inside which are quite beautiful. You just wander around this area at your leisure; again there is an info sheet for identification purposes. We saw all sorts of birds including parrots, toucans, ducks, hornbills, doves and many whose names now escape me. You really have to keep your eye open as there are birds everywhere, you will also see nests if you look closely. They have a lovely waterfall in the centre and lots of landing spots around the place; it is beautifully landscaped. There are feeding pots dotted about and we found it good to watch these, as this is where the birds tend to go, idea for a photo, the toucans seemed to pose for us! I had two birds nearly land on me on two occasions, and they weren’t small!
Another separate area within the main aviary was the lorikeet area. They open this every so often so you can buy a pot of food and go into the cage. Be warned though, the birds will land on you, sometimes lots of them at once, it is good fun though.
There is a small café in the aviary, so you can get a drink or snack whilst watching the birds out of the windows. There are restrooms here too. You exit the aviary via the gift shop, from where you can buy everything from t-shirts to model birds and everything in between.
Well worth a visit, if like us you are bird lovers.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2004
Niagara Falls Aviary
5651 River Road
Niagara Falls, Ontario
The American Falls sit between Prospect Point and Luna Island and stretches over 1000 feet. The sight is quite tremendous and the noise from the 150,000 gallons per second falling over it is something else. There are a lot of huge rocks and boulders directly under the falls, which create lots of spray as the water hits from 170 feet above. When we were there in April, there was still evidence of ice/snow on the rocks, which made it look even more beautiful.
Although these falls sit in America, the American visitors usually walk across to Canada to see the falls better. The only outlook from the US side is from a platform to the side of the falls, but you really need to see them from the opposite side of the river to appreciate them fully.
As you walk towards the Canadian Falls, you get to a high viewing platform which overlooks the falls; this is also the point from which you catch the Maid in the Mist boat trip.
Carry on walking and you get to the Canadian Fall or Horseshoe Falls, be prepared to get wet here. There is a large viewing platform called Table Rock directly at the side of the falls. You are so close at this point you can almost touch the water. If you take things literally, you do touch the water as the spray is like a torrential downpour. The noise is deafening at times and gives you an idea or the sheer power of the water going over the edge, apparently 600,000 gallons per second. The Horseshoe Falls is 2600 feet wide and as the name suggests is in the shape of a horseshoe. It sits between Goat Island and Table Rock. You could stand here for hours just being transfixed by the beauty of it all. In the right conditions you can see a rainbow, but we didn’t see one.
This area also has a large shop with some quite nice souvenirs at reasonable prices and also places to eat and drink.
The falls are certainly stunning and definitely worth visiting. I would also recommend that if you are staying in a hotel you get a room with a falls view as it beats TV anytime. You will also get the chance to view the falls at night in the comfort of your room. From about 9pm they light up the falls with all different colours, which change every few minutes, it is quite beautiful.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 4, 2004
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Attraction | "Niagara Falls Illuminations"
These pictures were taken from our hotel window at the Embassy Suites Hotel.
You get in an elevator to travel down to below falls level. When you exit you can either go straight to the viewing area or go down the tunnel and look through the windows directly behind the falls. The tunnel is quite long and there are several viewing windows. The view is rather unimpressive as you are literally looking from directly behind the falls and really cannot see anything other than a hole with water pouring past it, but it is the noise that really impresses. It is incredibly loud and you really get a sense of the power of the water.
After the viewing windows, you can then go to the upper viewing platform, the only one we could see at the time. You are located to the side and under the falls and the water gushes past you just a couple of feet away. You get very wet, so watch your camera!
The other viewing area, as I said, was still icebound when we visited so we could not enter; however, if you do you see the same view, but from outside, so get much wetter.
As this tour costs only a few dollars, it is worth doing; after all, where else could you stand behind such a huge waterfall?
The main thing I will take away from this tour is the noise -- awesome.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 4, 2004
Journey Behind the Falls
6650 Niagara River Parkway Located In The Table Rock Complex
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Attraction | "Capital Hill"
We were staying at the opposite end of Niagara Falls, opposite the Canadian Falls in the Embassy Suites Hotel, so was not aware of the Capital Hill area until we took the shuttle bus into town. The area is full of hotels, attractions and the like. It was like walking into Vegas and was horrendous. I’m sure that many people will love this area and I’m sure if you have kids it is great as there are lots of attractions such as haunted castles, wax museums, Ripley’s Believe it or Not etc. I just felt that it completely took away from the beauty of the falls. Fortunately you can easily leave this area behind and wander along the riverside to view the falls. The only place worth visiting in this area is the aviary (see separate review).
I was very relieved that our hotel was not located here as many are.
Capital Hill Hotel & Suites
88 Albert St
Niagara Falls, Ontario