Since the distance to our hotel, the Residence Inn by Marriott Toronto Downtown Entertainment District, from UP Express Union Station was about 0.7 miles according to Google Maps, we decided to walk instead of taking Uber. While 0.7 miles walk is nothing for the three of us, between the jet lag and many crosswalks between the station and the hotel, made the walk down Front Street to the hotel seem more like a 5 mile walk. The Residence Inn by Marriott Toronto Downtown Entertainment District is located on Wellington Street but the property is clearly visible from Front Street once you get closer. The property is centrally located from the CN Tower, Rogers Center, Chinatown, Kensington Market, and the rest of downtown area. The CN Tower and Rogers Center is less than a block away from the hotel and Google shows it as 0.2 miles. The location of the Residence Inn was the primary reason I chose it vs other hotels in the city.
After a short final stretch down Windsor Street, we were at the main entrance of the hotel. Once inside, I left my parents to look after my stuff and I went directly to the front desk and informed the front desk agent that I had checked-in via the Marriott App and that I was informed that our room was ready. The agent correctly guessed who I was and I confirmed. After verifying my credit card information, I was given the key and WiFi information and directed to the elevators. The front desk area is not that big and I can see it becoming crowded during busy times of the day. The breakfast restaurant, which is right across from the front desk is only open for the included breakfast from what I gathered, but hotel guests seemed to use the facility for lounging and working when the restaurant is not used for breakfast.
This was our first time staying at a Residence Inn property. Our room, room 807 had a king sized bed, a pullout sofa bed, a kitchenette with dining table and chairs and a work desk. The TV was on a swivel so it could be turned for easy viewing in any part of the room. The kitchenette came with a small dishwasher including detergents for using it. The refrigerator and freezer is the only source of ice at this hotel. When I used the Marriott App to enquire where the ice machine on our floor was, I was informed that the property does not have ice machines since the freezer has ice making features. Well the ice maker was off in the freezer so no ice was available and since I did not want to mess with the freezer, I just let it go.
Two bottles of water were in the room but they were tagged that each bottle was $3.25 CAD. My mom needed to take her meds and was about to drink the tap water with her pills. I told her to drink the bottled water but she said the bottled water was too expensive. I gave her a stern look and asked her: “Do you know how much this trip costs? Are you really going to drink tap water because the bottled water in the room costs $3.25 CAD????” She finally saw the big picture and drank the bottled water instead of the tap water from the kitchenette faucet.The bathroom was fairly big and stocked with Paul Mitchell bath products. The shower head in the shower/bath combo seemed a little odd but it worked fine and none of us had to play with the settings to make it work. The pullout sofa bed was part of a L shaped sofa so it was nice to still have a part of the sofa for sitting even when the sofa was in bed mode. Pullout sofa beds are never comfortable or special and this one was no exception. When I sent a message via the Marriott App to have the sofa bed converted when we left to go out in the evening, when we got back into the room, the sofa bed was converted with pillows, sheets and blanket. My parents slept on the main king sized bed and they said it was comfortable. The first night I slept well, and did not notice any noise from other rooms or from the outside but on the second night, there was quite a bit of noise from there street. I heard everything from drunk screaming to trash trucks emptying those big commercial dumpsters. Since the hotel is located in the heart of the Entertainment District and it was Friday night, that probably explained the drunk crowds screaming coming from the street but I’m not sure about the trash pickup in the middle of the night. My parents said they did not hear anything and slept well both nights. The second night, I noticed the sofa bed felt a lot less comfortable than the first night. It just maybe that I was extremely tired and jet lagged the first night and slept through everything vs the second night where I could not fall asleep and noticed everything. My parents and I ate the included breakfast the first morning but not the second morning since we had to checkout early to catch our train to Quebec City. The breakfast was served buffet style in the breakfast restaurant mentioned earlier above. When we arrived, the restaurant was busy and we had to wait a bit before a table opened up. We were originally offered a two top with a extra chair but a four top opened up and the hostess moved us there and gave our original table to a couple. The breakfast buffet was substantial and decent in my opinion but my mom did not like the food saying the quality of the food items seemed “cheap” and sausages a little tough. My dad thought it was ok. If the breakfast was something that we had to pay extra for, than I would probably have some issues with it, but since it was included with the room, I really can not complain.
I think the Residence Inn by Marriott Toronto Downtown Entertainment District was a solid hotel. It is not meant to be luxurious but a solid extended stay type of hotel with a kitchenette at a reasonable price. Having said that, my mom said that she would prefer a real Marriott vs one of Marriott or Starwood’s “By” properties. As a Gold Member, I received early checkin for free, even though early checkin is not a stated benefit. The hotel had our room ready before we arrived so I would give this hotel a solid B. The deduction was due to the outside noise problem. The noise issue could have probably been mitigated by having a room in a different location of the building but I requested early checkin and that was more important during this visit than anything else, especially when arriving in the morning jet lagged. For what this property lacks in some amenities, it makes up for it in location location location!