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Niagara Falls: Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview

6361 Fallsview Boulevard, Phone: (905) 354-7887
www.hilton.com

Reviewed by: jabez from Canada, review #1564

When: Summer 2006

Overall, if you really want to go to Niagara, the hotel is pretty nice.

I havenít been to Niagara Falls in some 30 plus years. Back then I was an infrequent traveler and thought places like Wisconsin Dells, velvet Elvis pictures and orange Camaros were ďcool.Ē

I, however, considered Niagara as tacky. I also remembered that the Canadian side of the falls seemed nicer without wall-to-wall fudge and souvenir shops.

Needing to travel to Toronto for business, I searched the Hilton website for hotels within 50 miles of the city and among the search results were the Hilton properties in Niagara Falls.

I searched Flyer Talks Hilton forum and found that the best views were at the Embassy Suites, but that the Hilton also was nice and could have great views as well. Initially, I was going to go with the Embassy Suite, but their lowest price was $225 and I could get the Hilton at a AAA $135. I called the Hilton and they said Hilton Honorís Diamonds are always upgraded to the best falls view possible. Iím a sucker for great views, so I figured a short drive to and from Toronto was a fair trade off.

What I didnít know was that Hiltonís website seems to have a problem with distance and the actual mileage was more like 75 miles and the roads between the two cities have much construction and very much traffic. (Wow! Toronto really has grown.) With non-rush hour traffic, I was able to do this trip in slightly more than one and a half hours. No big deal; it was worth it for great views at a nice place.

Most of Niagra Falls is tacky exponential. There are areas (most close to the Hilton) that have some nice walks and park areas with great views.

I took a side trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Itís a quaint nice town in the midst of wine country. If my wife traveled with me, this is where I would have preferred to stay. While, obviously, many people enjoy Niagara, itís just not to my taste.

Now for the actual hotel: a very easy and nice check-in. The lobby is attractive and valet parking is $20 a night. Note: There are parking lots within a couple blocks as low as $5 and you can park at the casino across the street (after joining their players club) for free. I was only charged for one night for some reason.

The first thing you notice at the hotel is its pool area. With glass windows you get ďslappedĒ with the importance of this pool with its huge slide the moment you walk to the elevators.

These elevators go to the newer section. There are elevators further from the lobby that lead to (from what I heard) a not so nice former Dayís Inn thatís now part of this Hilton.

My room was on the 24th floor. It was described as a falls view Jacuzzi suite. The room is a sort of junior suite (one, not two rooms). It had a king bed, a couch, desk, chair and credenza with TV. Overall an okay to nice room. The bathroom was nice with a big Jacuzzi that has French-door type windows that open to the room. Ostensibly this is so you can lay in the tub and enjoy a great view. (Check out their website pictures.) This isnít possible because you lose the view the moment you sit down.

As I opened my curtains I was ready for the view. First, I opened the drapes to my left (I was in a corner suite) and got a view of a ferris wheel in the horizon. I pretty much didnít open these drapes again. The main window gave me a great view of one of American falls. That is, if I maneuvered the drapes to be entirely open (this can be accomplished with the help of the nearby lamp stand). If I got close to the window and looked off to the right I could see part of the bigger Canadian Falls. As far as the main view, it was colorful and huge. It also had a name: Casino! Not just the upper floors of the casino across the street, but the casino sign itself. That night as I waited for the light show on the falls, I already had a spectacular view of the light show of the huge word: ďCASINOĒ. Now thatís a view.

The hotel did bring two bottles of water and chocolate each night. The free (for diamonds) breakfast buffet was also a very nice touch. I ate a very average room service one night and another did a carry-out from their casual restaurant (good value) on the street level.

Overall, if you really want to go to Niagara, the hotel is pretty nice. Iím sure kids would like it. As one dad was telling his pre-teen daughter as they were checking out, ďIím glad youíve had a great time here, but donít you think youíd like to see the falls before we leave?Ē

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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