on August 16, 2009
I enjoyed my stay at the Hilton Hotel located in the downtown business area of Toronto. I should start with a commercial message regarding Hilton and their support of the association management profession and associations in general. A major sponsor of ASAE, they supported scholarship recipients with an outstanding room rate of $99 (USD). I was most appreciative of their efforts to make this conference more affordable to me, and more importantly, my employer.The hotel also supported ASAE attendees through a special welcome reception area where wary travelers could enjoy a bottle of freshly squeezed lemonade and a small snack sized Canadian bacon sandwich, that was simply delightful. Each evening they also hosted a reception in a private area of the lobby for attendees to meet and greet after a full day of speakers and seminars.The hotel has a full service restaurant (Tundra) which is also their in-room dining provider. I was personally not very impressed with their room service or restaurant menus for dinner. Breakfast was the standard affair of eggs, meats and the obligatory eggs benedict (a Canadian creation).For those who want to dine to impress, there is a Ruth Chris restaurant on the property as well. Beyond my budget, I did not take them up on their premium prime steaks.The hotel also had a nice swimming pool on the second floor that was mostly outside, but also had a small portion inside for those cold winter visits. There was also a hot tub and full fitness center on the second floor.As for my room, it was a standard double with very comfortable bedding and pillows. While not "heavenly", it was a great night's sleep. The work area was very well thought out and set up to allow you to work in your room while also watching TV.The bathroom and amenities were high end, with plenty of space for guests. I was actually pretty surprised at the overall generosity of the accommodations in terms of the spaciousness.I mentioned the $99/night rate that I had as a scholarship recipient. The hotel's "group rate" for our conference was published as $239/night CDN which would be roughly $195-$200 USD depending on the exact exchange rate of the day. The "rack rate" on their web site was $289/night when I first looked them up a couple of months ago. Catering more to the business traveler, I do not think they worry much about pricing competitively for the tourist trade. With that being said, tourism is still down and deals can be found on web sites like Orbitz and Hotels.com.The location was ideal for my convention (roughly five blocks from the convention center) so I would suggest it to anyone going to Toronto for a convention or business in the city.
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