The word "motel" was coined to describe a hotel geared to motorists which typically offered ample parking alongside the rooms for rent.
Motels were originally found along highways in the United States when car travel gained popularity in the 1950s. They offered a basic accommodation to the sometimes weary traveller who needed a place to lay his head overnight before resuming his drive on the highway.
The roadside motel is still found along highways, but nowadays travellers will also find motels in cities and towns. City motels have been repurposed to provide a low cost stay for families and those who need to budget their finances.
Motels in Niagara Falls provide an opportunity for enjoying this tourist attraction and surrounding area without blowing a bundle. Our picks are chosen after careful review of the following factors: value for price, location's convenience, quality of on-site amenities and customer satisfaction
VALUE FOR PRICE: This motel offers the best overall value of all our picks when comparing room rates and freebies over the summer and fall season. Besides parking, very good Wi-Fi and local calls, guests will enjoy a continental breakfast included in all room rates from May’s long weekend (Victoria Day) to Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October.
LOCATIONS CONVENIENCE: This motel works well for guests who want to save money and still visit the Falls as they can park their car for free and take the WeGo bus, which is right outside the motel, to Falls and area attractions. It’s also in walking distance of FreshCo. Supermarket for self catering, Waves Indoor Waterpark, Oh, Canada Eh? Dinner Theatre and restaurants. Skylon Tower which overlooks the Canadian Horseshoe Falls is a 9-minute drive away.
QUALITY OF ON-SITE AMENITIES: The rooms are clean and cozy (although dated) with air conditioning and all have either a kitchenette or a fridge which is handy if you want to make use of the BBQs and picnic area amid pretty gardens and a clean and warm outdoor pool. Kids enjoy the playground on site and there’s a guest laundry too.
LIMITATIONS: There’s no elevator to the second floor and front desk hours can be limited.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: The owners are gracious, and the atmosphere is peaceful and family friendly. There are many returning guests who find this a comfortable and pleasant experience.
VALUE FOR PRICE: The Travelodge offers some great rates in low season, but high season rates can be easily double those of Blue Moon Motel. Parking is an extra $10, but guests are treated to a free basic continental breakfast, very good Wi-Fi, local calls and electrical vehicle charging.
LOCATIONS CONVENIENCE: This is the best motel of our picks for location. It’s right on Clifton Hill, and only an 11-minute walk to the Skylon Tower observation deck over the Falls. Surrounded by restaurants and attractions, guests can walk to pretty much everything. For farther exploration the WeGo bus stop is directly outside the hotel.
QUALITY OF ON-SITE AMENITIES: Clean and comfortable (somewhat dated) rooms, some with a semi-private balcony and kitchenette are well pleasing. There’s an outdoor pool, restaurants, a guest laundry, a business centre and a 24-hour front desk on site.
LIMITATIONS: There’s no elevator to the second floor and sometimes fellow guests can be noisy.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: This motel was well liked by guests overall.
VALUE FOR PRICE: This motel came in second for value when comparing room rates, just behind Blue Moon Motel on the days we compared. Freebies include all-day coffee, a well-liked breakfast with fresh waffles, pretty good Wi-Fi, parking and long distance calls in North America.
LOCATIONS CONVENIENCE: On Lundy’s Lane, this motel offers groceries, restaurants, Tim Hortons and the WeGo bus stop in walking distance. It’s a 9-minute drive (or WeGo bus ride) to the Skylon Tower.
QUALITY OF ON-SITE AMENITIES: Although the motel is dated overall, some rooms are renovated with hardwood floors and new beds but guests found all rooms well maintained and clean, as well as the outdoor pool, BBQ area, playground and grounds. All rooms have a flat screen TV, a mini-fridge, a microwave and windows that open.
LIMITATIONS: There’s no elevator to the second floor.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: The pleasant and helpful owners were very well liked by guests who found a quiet and good value stay.
VALUE FOR PRICE: Price-wise similar to the Villager Lodge (lower some days, higher on others), this hotel trailed behind due to no free breakfast, which for a couple or family adds up considerably if they have to eat at a restaurant and include a tip. Lundy’s does supply very good free Wi-Fi and parking though.
LOCATIONS CONVENIENCE: On Lundy’s Lane, this motel is next to Waves Indoor Waterpark and Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Theatre as well as the WeGo bus stop. Boston Pizza restaurant is a 4-minute walk away (across from the Blue Moon Motel) and Tim Hortons, Dominos Pizza and FreshCo groceries are all about a 7-minute walk away. The Skylon Tower is a 10-minute drive.
QUALITY OF ON-SITE AMENITIES: This is an older, ground-level motel that is getting a facelift and the new owners have done a nice job with the décor, with hardwood floors and simple design (a welcome respite from all the kitschy décor typically found in budget hotels and B&B’s in Niagara Falls). Guests can expect a flat screen TV with cable, a tea kettle, a mini-fridge and a microwave in each room. On-site guests can enjoy BBQ grills, a picnic area and a playground for the children.
LIMITATIONS: There are no coffeemakers in the rooms.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: This motel provided a clean and comfortable budget stay in a good location with pleasant staff. One recent guest found a good breakfast restaurant right next door.
VALUE FOR PRICE: This is a ground level motel that is well maintained with somewhat cutesy theme rooms whose rates climb in high season. There is no free breakfast, but the motel offers free parking and free excellent Wi-Fi
LOCATIONS CONVENIENCE: Guests will likely need a car to see Niagara Falls from this location as the WeGo bus does not stop here, and Skylon Tower is a 40-minute walk or 6-minute drive away. Guests did find some decent breakfast and dining in walking distance of the motel.
QUALITY OF ON-SITE AMENITIES: The very nice owners offer tour assistance, but there are no on-site amenities other than a well maintained and clean room, each with a mini-fridge and microwave and a small table with chairs inside and also directly outside each room.
LIMITATIONS: There are limited front desk hours, only 3 pm to 5 pm in the afternoon for check in and check out is at 11 am (according to guests). Guests also missed phones and temperature controls in the rooms.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Guests loved the kindness and attentiveness of the owners and said the atmosphere was like a B&B (without the breakfast). They were greeted with warm pastries at check in and more pastries were left in the rooms each afternoon, as a token of hospitality. The rooms were very clean, cozy and reasonably priced and many guests left perfect scores.