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Excellent hotel with gorgeous water views in a park-like setting on the harbourfront

Pros
  • Pets stay free
  • Many reviewers were pleased with their clean and comfortable rooms
  • Numerous guests enjoyed the hotel's proximity to public transportation and the CN Tower
  • The hotel's staff were praised for their helpfulness and professionalism
Cons
  • Some guests complained of the expensive parking and Wi-Fi costs
  • The hotel's common areas were in need of an upgrade according to some lodgers
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Editor's Analysis
Updated Aug 28, 2014
Overview
Located at Toronto's harbourfront and about a 2-minute drive from the nearest Gardiner Expressway on-ramp, the Westin Harbour Castle is suitable for travellers who prefer a full-service hotel with a spa, on-site dining and meeting/conference facilities.

This hotel has 977 air-conditioned guest rooms and suites, each offering one king or two double beds, cable TV, a coffeemaker, a desk, a hair dryer and an iron and ironing board. Some rooms have a balcony and/or a view of the lake.

Wi-Fi is an additional $14.95 per day and wired Internet is additional $10.65 per day. Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available upon request.

The hotel also offers an indoor pool, a hot tub, a sauna, a spa, fitness facilities, a tennis court, a squash court, meeting/conference facilities, a beauty/barber shop, a gift shop, a business centre, guest laundry facilities and a bar/lounge.

Valet parking is available on site for $45 per day and includes unlimited in and out privileges. Self parking is $35 per day and about a block away. Pets (a maximum of two cats or dogs) under 40 lbs are permitted for no additional charge, providing the owner signs a waiver to pay for any damages incurred by their pets.

On-site dining is available at The Mizzen Restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch, Toula Restaurant and Bar, which is open for lunch and dinner daily, and the Chartroom Bar and Lounge, which serves dinner daily. The hotel also has a coffee bar, which is open from 6:30 am to 11:30 am daily. 

Toronto's city centre and the Eaton Centre are both about an 8-minute drive north of the hotel, while Union Station can be found 2 minutes away on foot. The Air Canada Centre is a 5-minute walk northward, and Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is roughly a 15-minute drive west. The ferry is an 11-minute walk away. (All distances and travel time estimates: Google Maps)

Verified with a front desk agent: Wi-Fi $14.95/day, wired Internet $10.65, parking $40/day, 1 pet/room permitted for $25/night, wheelchair accessible. (Call Date: May 20, 2013)
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The Good
Of the reviews sourced for this analysis, the majority were positive, with much praise going to the hotel's rooms, location and staff.

Many reviewers praised their rooms at the hotel. They described them as spacious, clean, bright and well appointed, with comfortable beds and spectacular lake views. 

Numerous guests were pleased with the hotel's location. They found it to be close to downtown, public transit, the CN Tower, the St. Lawrence Market, Union Station, the airport and the Air Canada Centre.

The hotel's staff were the source of several compliments by reviewers, who characterized them as courteous, helpful and professional. It should be noted, however, that a few guests complained of long check-in times.
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The Bad
While the majority of reviews consulted for this analysis were positive, there were some common complaints about the hotel's prices and common areas.

Some guests were disappointed with the costs they incurred while at the hotel. They felt the parking fee of $40 per night was very expensive, and that Wi-Fi should have been included in the room rates. It was also reported that room service was very expensive, as was the buffet breakfast and on-site gift shop.

The hotel's common areas were in need of an upgrade according to some reviewers. They reported worn carpets and furniture, as well as elevators in need of some repair and peeling paint.
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Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.com guest reviews ranked the hotel #25 out of 138 Toronto hotels with an average rating of 4 out of 5 from 1,489 reviews.

Expedia.ca guest reviews rated the hotel 4.3 out of 5 with a 90% recommendation rate from 944 reviews.

Booking.com guest reviews rated the hotel 8.4 out of 10 from 165 reviews.

The author called the hotel on May 20, 2013 to verify some information.
Editor's Analysis by Erin H.
Analyzed by Erin H.
Erin loves to travel, and considers it her personal mission to help fellow travellers get the inside scoop, both good and bad, on Canadian Hotels.
Guest Reviews
8.5
Very Good

Rated 8.5/10 based on 1398 reviews

Ranked #37 out of 141 hotels in Toronto


10 out of 10 | Doreen stayed June 09, 2013


7 out of 10 | Kimberly stayed May 29, 2011

"High Class Hotel without the upkeeping!"

"Overall my stay was nice. The hotel is old and not up to date at all for the cost of staying there. Front Desk Staff were great. Valet Parking attendants were slow and not always curteous. Obtaining taxi from hotel was quick! Beautiful views outward, but the inside of the hotel is seriously deteriorating. It is a shame as a landmark hotel in Toronto."

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9 out of 10 | Rafael stayed March 28, 2011

"Has a very good location"

"Good: location Bad: the main entrance"

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8 out of 10 | Robert stayed June 20, 2010


5 out of 10 | Dinos stayed March 08, 2010

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4 out of 10 | Josh stayed December 27, 2009

"I stayed in a room with two adjoining rooms. Very loud noise coming from each room. Terrible. Recommend getting a new room if you have two rooms connecting or even one!"

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7 out of 10 | Frank stayed November 20, 2009

"For the amount of money that I spent to stay here for 2 nights plus the additional cost of $50 per day to park the car,I could have taken a 5 day cruise"

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5 out of 10 | Robert stayed August 04, 2006

"At the reception impesonal to rude service at arrival. Check-out was fine, friendly and efficient."

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8 out of 10 | Donna stayed July 02, 2006

"For the cost of staying at the hotel you would think that there would be parking, we had to park at a public carpark. This was annoying and costly..."

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9 out of 10 | John stayed June 20, 2006

"This may be a little difficult to do well, due to the conflicting nature of my reflections. I have stayed at the Harbour Castle a number of times, and it really is world class hotel, in my opinion, in about every way. I guess it is true though that we tend to remember what happened to us last (sort of like "Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?"). I went through a double knee replacement since the last time I stayed at the Harbour Castle, and I was about three months into a long and much more complicated recovery than anyone expected when we recently booked rooms there again. I have a legitimate handicap sticker that hangs from my mirror, authorized by the Secretary of State's office in my home state, Michigan. The reason for my use of the handicap sign is that it is still very difficult for me to walk any kind of distance. Knowing that the self-park lot for the Harbour Castle is at least a 1/8 mile walk from the hotel, I was sure that there would be some kind of accomodation for handicap parking that would reduce the distance in some fashion, but upon arrival, the door captain indicated that the good news for me was that unless my handicap required machinery to help me get around (I only use a cane), the extent of accomodation was valet parking for for $30.00 per night. Maybe I'm grumpy from this recovery taking as long as it has, but that jolted me, and has managed to stick in my memory."

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8 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed April 30, 2006

"There were some mold stains by the outlet for the heating/cooling unit that made me warry about the air quality. The bed was very very comfortable."

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8 out of 10 | Pierre stayed April 27, 2006

"It's quite expensive for the size of the room, but it was very quiet and comfortable with a nice view on the harbour and most important, I've got service excellence by great peoples."

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9 out of 10 | Shelli stayed January 02, 2006

"The hotel was very lovely, we were upgrated to a room with a view which was great. We went ice skating on an outdoor rink just a 10 minute walk away, on the water. There were also great restaurants close by. The bed was ultra comfy."

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2 out of 10 | Nilesh stayed January 02, 2006

"The bed sheets were dirty. They had asked me for any special request all i asked was for the champagne and strawberries to be placed on the bed ao when we arrived they would be there. Instead we had to wait for an hour to get them. The room service was rude and looked as if they all wanted a tip even for poor service. A tip is a privillege based on great service in which we had none. I will never stay there again!"

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6 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed January 01, 2006


10 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed December 30, 2005


9 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed December 27, 2005


9 out of 10 | Jeanne stayed October 29, 2005

"Beware! Parking a car is very expensive there. Also, while convenient, everything is a bit of a hike, so bring appropriate shoes."

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10 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed October 22, 2005


9 out of 10 | Karen stayed October 15, 2005


9 out of 10 | Richard stayed August 12, 2005

"I found that the extra friendly staff made our stay."

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8 out of 10 | Cathryn stayed August 12, 2005


9 out of 10 | Nicola stayed July 29, 2005

"The room was beautiful with a stunning view of the lake. Wish we were staying there longer."

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7 out of 10 | Ricardo stayed June 28, 2005


8 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed May 14, 2005


8 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed October 12, 2004


6 out of 10 | Audrey stayed September 06, 2004

"pillows were difficult to sleep on"

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9 out of 10 | Suzanne stayed August 25, 2004

"House keeping arrived too early.... this is okay when you are are business but not holiday... maybe this can be taken into account."

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8 out of 10 | Ann marie stayed August 22, 2004


9 out of 10 | John stayed August 22, 2004


9 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed August 21, 2004

"great place to stay, very good location!"

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8 out of 10 | Paul stayed July 18, 2004


9 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed July 02, 2004


8 out of 10 | Jim stayed November 02, 2003

"Actually I love the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco and I thought the Westin Harbour Castle would be the same. We knew check-in time was at 3:00 pm but we drove to Toronto early to avoid the traffic. My girlfriend asked if it was possible to check in early (we arrived at 10:00am). The girl at the front desk said "no" because the computer systems were not up yet and to come back later at 12:00pm. What were we suppose to do for two hours??? We stayed in the lobby and went back at 11:00am and the girl finally made an effort to try to get us a room. The only room they had available was a standard room with two double beds. Since I was really tired I said fine. It just didn't seem like they cared. You pay $200 a night for bad service. I got sick and we had to stay in. We ordered room service and the food was okay. For the price you were paying, it should have been better. My girlfriend order red snapper and couldn't eat it because it was really bad."

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Map Marker Westin Harbour Castle
1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON