My best hotel picks are focused primarily on value for price with a lot of weight placed upon the basic room price and customer opinion. I’ve also looked at the free amenities offered for the budget category, knowing that this is a primary consideration for guests seeking value accommodations in the budget category.

In the mid-price range I’ve searched primarily for good value and also given weight to the quality of the hotel amenities on offer along with customer service. The “affordable luxury” hotels fit into this category as they may offer some luxury services and décor but are still in the mid-price range for most of the year.

In the luxury range, I’ve placed more weight on style, décor, unique amenities on offer, customer reviews and looked for hotels that offer excellence in both service and amenities. This is because guests seeking expensive luxury accommodation rarely care about how much it is costing them and look instead at how special they are made to feel and the wonder and uniqueness of the experiences they are receiving.


Our Editor's Top 10 Picks

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$78 CAD
Good value west Toronto hotel with easy highway access, free breakfast and free parking
Canadas Best Value Inn Toronto is my top pick for a budget hotel in the GTA. It has good guest ratings, a very low room price and offers free breakfast, free parking and free Wi-Fi. This hotel is a newly renovated walk-up hotel with a business centre but no gym. It offers a freshly finished and comfortable room that is well appointed with modern amenities. Guests highlighted the convenient location of this hotel, the comfort of the beds, the friendly and prompt service of the staff, and the free hot breakfast served daily.

This is a great budget choice for visitors to Toronto who want to access the downtown but avoid the high cost of downtown hotels. It's located just off the Gardiner Expressway, about a 20-minute drive to downtown Toronto. It’s also convenient to the Toronto Pearson airport, only a 12-minute drive and a few minutes’ walk from Sherway Gardens mall which is handy for shopping and dining nearby.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$45 CAD
Highly praised Toronto-Scarborough hotel near 401 with jacuzzi suites & free hot breakfast
The friendly and highly-rated Holiday Inn Express Toronto East is also a good choice for value. It offers the same freebies as Canadas Best Value Inn Toronto and is also convenient to the highway and downtown Toronto, but has a little more upscale room with the addition of attractive common areas for guests to sit and relax or have breakfast and a decent fitness room. It’s also handy to a Keg Restaurant, which is right next door, giving guests a great dining option that is very convenient. An elevator on site offers more convenience to families with young and old in tow as well.

Guests gave this budget hotel high marks for having reliable and free Wi-Fi, an enjoyable free hot breakfast, for comfy beds and for its great location, right off the 401 and only 20 minutes’ drive to downtown Toronto.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$118 CAD
Toronto-Scarborough hotel near 401 with well-equipped rooms, indoor pool & free breakfast
The clean and well-maintained Best Western Executive Inn Toronto is located next door to the Holiday Inn Express Toronto East (above). It's also an excellent budget choice with lots of freebies and is well-reviewed by guests. This hotel offers microwaves and mini-fridges in all the rooms as well as on-site leisure amenities such as an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and sauna. Guests thought it offered great value, enjoyed its proximity to the highway and restaurants, and were pleased with the staff’s service and the complimentary full hot breakfast.

It has an easy 2-minute access to Hwy 401 and is about 23 minutes to the CN Tower in downtown Toronto. The Keg Steakhouse on Estate Drive is about a 2-minute walk from this hotel. The Scarborough Town Centre mall with over 200 stores, restaurants and services is about a 4-minute drive away.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$120 CAD
Highly praised Toronto-North York hotel with well-equipped rooms, indoor pool & restaurant
I recommend the service-oriented Best Western Plus Toronto North York Hotel & Suites if you’re looking to stay in the North York or Vaughan area of the GTA, great for accessing Canada’s Wonderland amusement and water park and Vaughan Mills and Yorkdale malls.

It’s a superb budget hotel offering great value with low room rates, plus free parking and free Wi-Fi. This is a very clean and newly renovated full-service hotel with a restaurant on site serving three meals a day plus room service. An inviting indoor pool, hot tub, fitness room and business centre tops up the offerings on site.

Guests loved the staff and service here, considered it a great value and enjoyed meals on site, also receiving an extra 15% off all meals.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$215 CAD
Hospitable downtown Toronto hotel with indoor pool, restaurants and cozy jacuzzi suites
Want to be warmly welcomed? Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Downtown is my pick for Toronto’s most hospitable mid-range hotel. It’s a well-priced hotel that is well liked by guests for its cozy and comfortable rooms, delicious warm welcome cookies and the gracious treatment offered by the staff.

It’s well located too in downtown Toronto, on a quiet street close to the Toronto Eaton Centre mall and the many ethnic eateries of Dundas Street, not to mention the music and activities of Dundas Square typically enjoyed by Toronto’s tourists. Doubletree is also less than a minute’s walk from the light rail station on Dundas giving guests a hassle free way of exploring Toronto with its many attractions, entertainment and dining options.

Clean and newly updated, this hotel offers a smoke-free and pet-free environment. It also has a well-loved warm indoor pool (which is heated to 86°F I’m told), sauna and 24-hour fitness centre for some indoor recreation. Hemisphere's Bistro and Lai Wah Heen restaurants cover all meals plus room service at the hotel.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$159 CAD
Highly praised downtown Toronto all-suite hotel with indoor pool, rooftop hot tubs and spa
The beautiful Grand Hotel in downtown Toronto is another good mid-range choice offering affordable luxury. It’s well liked by its former guest reviewers with the majority giving it full marks. The hotel offers many comforts and does it well, according to guests. Its most memorable features are the outdoor rooftop hot tubs and patio garden which provides spectacular views of Toronto’s skyline and the stately two-storey indoor saltwater pool.

Guest rooms are nicely appointed suites with clean hardwood floors, kitchenettes and sitting areas. Another highlight for many is the delicious free buffet breakfast and dining on site at Citrus Restaurant and under the stars at The Terrace. Guests loved the staff and said they gave top notch service and found the location and complimentary shuttle service great for getting around downtown.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$208 CAD
Toronto-Yorkville hotel with restaurant, rooftop indoor lap pool and outdoor patio lounge
The highly rated Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville is still very close to downtown and well priced. Yorkville is a destination in itself, with great restaurants and an abundance of chic and trendy shops. It’s also near the Royal Ontario Museum and the St. George subway station which allows guests to easily access the downtown core with no driving or parking hassles.

This hotel features an award-winning restaurant with 24-hour room service, a Vodka bar, the SkyLounge outdoor patio tapas restaurant (a local favourite) and a beautiful rooftop indoor pool with skylights and gardens. Rooms are quiet, cozy and well-appointed although some guests think it’s time for a facelift for this pretty Yorkville lady.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$169 CAD
Well loved and elegant luxury hotel with old world charm, fine dining and full-service spa
Old Mill Toronto is a heritage boutique hotel that gets rave reviews from most of its guests and it’s still quite reasonably priced. It began as a grist mill and opened to the public originally in 1914 as a Tea Garden. It currently offers uniquely elegant hotel rooms and suites, restaurant, jazz bar with live performances, day spa and meeting and event space.

Situated in a beautiful treed setting near Bloor West Village about a 15-minute drive to the city centre, the Old Mill is a favourite wedding venue and romantic retreat for couples, but business travellers go as well to enjoy some pampering with spa treatments and relaxing soaks in their private in-room jacuzzis.

Guests love just about everything about this hotel from the attention to detail in the rooms, the high quality service of the staff and the superb dining on site.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$18 CAD
Luxury boutique Toronto-Yorkville hotel with indoor pool, day spa, High Tea & fine dining
Windsor Arms in Toronto’s Yorkville area is a classically elegant boutique hotel with traditional décor, and beautifully warm and inviting interior spaces. All rooms include butler service with a butler’s pantry, deep soaker tubs, separate showers, first-rate sound systems and a musical instrument. All guests will find an acoustic guitar, harp or baby grand piano in their beautifully-appointed room.

Guest reviewers give this hotel much praise for its outstanding service, perfect location, impeccable cleanliness, warm ambiance and delicious food served, from breakfast to high tea, snacks and dinner.

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$27 CAD
Classy downtown Toronto luxury hotel with indoor pool, fine dining and high-end amenities 
The high class Ritz-Carlton Toronto is the crown jewel of Toronto hotels. This highly-rated hotel delivers the best of everything with exceptional service. Public spaces exude a comfortable, yet refined elegance with thoughtful and talented design showcasing Canadian artworks. The hotel offers many high-end amenities: a romantic outdoor patio with fireplace overlooking Simcoe Park, a world-class Parisien-style spa, a stunning saltwater indoor pool and exclusive and unique fine dining experiences.

Guest rooms are elegantly appointed and spacious and some feature spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the CN Tower. Recent guests felt indulged and well cared for with special gifts from the staff and said they were welcomed with a glass of champagne, candy buffet and ice cream with all the toppings upon arrival.

The Ritz enjoys a perfect downtown location on a quieter street in the Entertainment District central to Toronto’s attractions and theatre but still near to the office towers of the Financial District. The hotel is also a short walk from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in one direction and the TIFF Bell Lightbox in the other.

How to choose a hotel in Toronto

The Greater Toronto Area (known as the "GTA") is spread out over a wide geographic region, so it's important to choose a hotel that suits the activities and conveniences you desire.

If you're flying in and out of Toronto's Lester B. Pearson airport (YYZ), you may want to consider staying at a hotel near the Toronto Airport. However, be advised that these hotels, while convenient for airport access, are at least a 30 minute drive from the downtown core - where you'll find most of Toronto's best shopping, dining and tourist attractions. Of course you could also fly in to the Billy Bishop Airport and be right downtown in minutes!

If you are driving or traveling on a budget, and if you don't mind staying out of the downtown core, you might want to consider accommodations in Mississauga or Etobicoke to save a bit of money on your reservation and overnight parking fees. However, try to avoid driving if you plan to visit Downtown Toronto, as parking in the core can be $30 or more a day. In addition, parking is not included in the nightly rate at most downtown hotels. Having a car in high-traffic areas such as Yorkville, the Toronto Entertainment District and the Business and Financial District can be more trouble than it's worth sometimes, and getting around by foot, public transit or taxi is easy, cheap and oftentimes more convenient.


What to do in Toronto?

If you're in Toronto to shop or enjoy some leisure time, I recommend: 1) Yorkville, an upscale shopping district where you'll find most of the high end designer labels and fashion boutiques and you may want to take in the ROM or Royal Ontario Museum in that area; 2) Toronto's Eaton Centre, a large urban shopping mall at Yonge-Dundas Square that anchors a larger shopping district found along the world-famous Yonge Street in Downtown Toronto, not to mention attractions such as the Hockey Hall of Fame just off Yonge and 3) Queen Street, just west of University Avenue, located in the Toronto Entertainment District, also known for its bars, lounges, nightclubs, and restaurants. 4) Canada's Wonderland is a world-class attraction and don't forget to plan to attend TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival held at the tail-end of summer each year in Toronto.

If you are an avid foodie and looking to try some of Toronto's diverse restaurants I would recommend the Toronto Entertainment District which is crawling with hundreds of highly rated restaurants and is just a short walk from Toronto's Chinatown. Alternatively staying in the Business and Financial District grants you close access to some of the best fine dining in the world.