Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor
Thursday, March 19, 2009 1:18 PM EDT
Last week I was invited down for dinner at the freshly minted Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Toronto (warning: outdated website). After a scrumptious and surprisingly refined experience I requested to view the virgin rooms – the hotel has barely been open a month, and has not yet officially launched.
Double Room, Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown Toronto.
The rooms were lovely -- spacious, state-of-the-art custom-controlled beds (I had to stop myself from diving onto the pristine down comforter), flat-screen TVs, good lighting, pleasant colours, and upgraded bathroom finishes. The King Room even had a bathtub right in the room, with a walk-in shower in the bathroom.
The reason why I feel compelled to blog about this, is that The Hilton Garden Inn is a price-conscious brand. Although they operate much like a franchise licensed by Hilton, and hence vary some from city to city, I’m seeing this up-scale boutique approach to traditionally budget lodging more and more.
The rooms average under $200 a night, and can dip down to just over $120 (Can). To me, that’s pretty good bang for your dollar. The sleek building with modern-traditional frurnishings is smack dab in the middle of the entertainment district of the city, and has a pool (closed at the moment), a business centre, work-out facilities, conference/meeting rooms and a premier restaurant with an Executive Chef.
If this is the new face of affordable lodging, then up-scale needs to up it some more.
As the hotel has not yet officially launched, it’s lacking in promotional material. I snuck some photos with my blackberry while on the tour, so please take the sneak peak gallery below with a grain of eye salt.
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Have you noticed this trend? Or stayed at similar hotel with equally surprising results?