A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I decided to hit up Toronto for a short weekend trip. As a group of 11 people, it was extremely difficult to come up with a consensus for anything. One major problem that we were faced with was deciding on a hotel location and brand. As you can probably imagine, 11 people meant there were many opinions and individuals who collected points from different loyalty programs. We got pretty much the whole nine yards, some IHG, Marriot, Best Western, Hilton and Hyatt frequenters. It would either be you earning the points or I earning the points. This created quite some frustration.
In order to make this work, we would need to come up with a plan in which the majority of people would agree upon. So I started with priorities: brand, location, and price. Looks like price took the win this time. We would be paying for the hotel this time, which wasn’t a problem for most people. Location is this next thing we would look at. This got pretty easy. So we all agreed that Downtown Toronto would be the most convenient location for everyone. All we had to do was look for a cheap hotel room downtown. Simple.
And so the research begins. Expedia, Hipmunk and Priceline gave me some average prices on specific hotels in the downtown area based on the number of stars. This would allow me to know what Downtown Toronto hotels are currently going for and I would make sure I would not be paying that price. The current price for a 3.5 star hotel was about $150 (for downtown Toronto). I decided to look for a best rate guarantee price and we got some government employees who are part of the group, so there was another discount there.
A miracle. The hotel was eventually booked for $90. We got three suites to the Delta Toronto located at 75 Lower Simcoe Street in downtown Toronto. I don’t stay at Delta hotels often, so upon arrival at the front desk, I made sure I could earn some points back. Turns out Delta were in the middle of transitioning over to Marriot so we will not be able to bank our points to Marriot just yet. The good thing is, the front desk reception did not sound very sure of this, so I would definitely get another stab at this by calling customer service after I return home.
Upon arrival, we were informed by the front desk agent that the hotel was only six months old and because of our large reservation we would be upgraded to a deluxe suite on the 39th floor with view to the CN Tower, one of the country’s largest attraction.
One of the greatest features of the deluxe suite was the 360 degree four piece bathroom. I am not too sure of the open toilet concept, but I guess it would be nice to look at something while you’re there. Since the entire building was new, the 3.5 star hotel was elevated to a four star.
The building had quite the contemporary design to it, and it seemed to be the spot to stay if you were planning for some Toronto nightlife. With sliding door inventions, 360 degree open bathroom concepts, oh and the multi USB outlets (because of all the technology we carry around with us now), I had a great experience staying with Delta. Customer service was very helpful and the agent had even suggested a few cheaper options for parking to us rather than the $35 dollar overnight charge located in the hotel’s parking garage. For only $90 a night, I would definitely recommend staying with them.
One suggestion I would make is that there should be a more transparent earning system going on for Delta even during transition as I was told that the process would not be completed until close to the end of the year. This means that frequent Delta stayers would be losing out on points for almost an entire year! Of course, this could probably be adjusted if you called customer service but it would relieve some frustration by redirecting Delta clients to a temporary account in which they could bank their points.