My review of the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Toronto International Airport

This article is a quick review of the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Terminal 3 of Toronto Pearson International Airport, where I spent Sunday evening.

My Mum and I are in Canada this week, where I am chaperoning her to a family wedding and visiting Niagara Falls.  BA99 lands in the early evening at Toronto Pearson but, of course, it is after midnight UK time.  There was no way we were heading off anywhere that night.  The Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Terminal 3 beckoned.

Sheraton Gateway Toronto

My golden rule of airport hotels is to stay in the airport if you can.  It will cost more, of course, but that is generally outweighed by the ease of access – especially after a long flight and especially if you have quite a bit of luggage.

You see the Sheraton Gateway clearly as you land at Terminal 3.  I had originally booked it as a Starwood Preferred Guest redemption for 10,000 points, but switched it at the last minute to a HotelTonight booking to use up some referral credit I had.  My Mum had a cash room because she has been targetted by Starwood for a ‘stay 2 nights, get 2 nights free’ promotion.

(Redemptions are not a fantastic deal at this hotel – cash rates generally run to around £100-£120 including tax and I would look for a better redemption result than 1p per point.  That is why I was happy to switch to HotelTonight and get my points back.)

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I wrote recently about how Starwood is relaunching Sheraton because, in general, the hotels are dumps outside Asia.  This is a prime example.  Apart from new beds, I don’t think that any money has been spent on refurbishing this hotel since Wham! last topped the charts.

However …. what it DOES have is big rooms.  And, to be honest, I forgive a lot if I have space.  The pictures below are of a Deluxe Corner King room which is where I ended up.  Our other room was a standard one which was a more traditional ‘shoebox’ layout – but still large.

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To be honest, I expected a ‘corner’ room to have windows on two sides.  After all, what other possible benefit can a ‘corner’ room have over a normal room?!  But it didn’t!  I am baffled as to why these rooms are classified differently.

The room is old and full of beige.  There is good stuff and there is bad stuff.  There is an easy to use coffee machine with Starbucks Pike Place coffee (free).  The beige bathroom is let down by no shower gel (you get a bar of soap instead) and an in-tub shower which was tricky to figure out.  Plus points for a robe in the wardrobe, even though I didn’t use it.  Breakfast is a la carte unless you have room service, and fairly priced.  The internet was fast and free.  The view was of the car park.

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A bit of good luck is that the car rental pick up offices are in the car park directly under the hotel.  It took under 30 seconds to get from the lobby to the Hertz office.  You can’t complain about that.

If you ask for my verdict on the Sheraton Gateway hotel, I would say ‘I would stay here again’.  I liked the spacious rooms, the convenience to Toronto’s Terminal 3 and the convenience to the car hire pick up desks.

That said, if you are not picking up a car the next day, only have hand baggage and don’t arrive too late, I’m sure you can find somewhere at least £50 cheaper that is easily reached by shuttle bus.

You can find out more about the hotel, and book, on this page of the Sheraton website.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Welcome to Canada! Or North America for that matter. Hotels are pretty horrible. The Intenrcontinental in downtown Toronto is a dump. We live north of Toronto and stayed there for a wedding. Can’t believe the rates they charged. I just stayed at the Crowne Plaza in San Francisco and was upgraded to their exec suite. Large room or sure but very very dated. Cannot compare to Asian and Middle Eastern hotels.

    Prepare your mum and yourself for the Niagara Falls Hotels!

    • Already there – see the Twitter and Instagram feeds! I have a couple of Toronto nights later in the week – won’t say where yet ….

      • My last time in toronto (7 years ago)….I stayed at the Park Hyatt, which was very nice.

        Also did a MR to a 4 Points while there, which was as per your your description of the Sheraton!

  2. We stayed in the ALT hotel (which you can get to by using the monorail that is in the foreground of your Sheraton picture) when we arrived in Toronto recently, and it was a better experience than the Sheraton sounds – nice modern rooms, and shower gel was provided! We were travelling down to Niagara falls and then back up and flying across to Calgary, and they allowed us to leave our larger luggage items with them for a couple of days, which was really helpful (as it meant we could get the bus to Niagara more easily).

  3. I stay in Toronto Airport area a lot for work, probably 4x per year for the last 4. Your review of the hotel would be accurate for the majority of the competition, certainly everywhere I have stayed. Crowne Plaza is equally Wham-esqu and the Internet is an abomination the HI and Doubletree (now something else) are fifty shades of brown, the Indigo and Garden Inn are cheap facia on 80’s concrete… The Hilton is ok if you get an upgraded room.

    Basically… Options are limited. It reminds me a little of Stavanger, Norway, where a limited number of 80’s hotels maintain high occupancy rates year round and don’t have to try.

    The Sandman at YYZ looks nice but I’ve never stayed. Moxies sports bar in there is nice, well, the scenery is! There are also a number of ok restaurants right by the CP which are walkable.

    Hopefully the YYZ to Downtown train will be built soon as downtown has some great and very reasonable options, esp at 1.7/1.8 to the £. The Hilton for 160-180 at weekends is a bargain, Central, modern and sleek. IC looks great but was always ‘just too much’ for reasonably expensing.

    Enjoy Niagara! If you get a chance, take a drive up to Niagara-on-the-Lake, nice little colonial town. There’s also some cracking wineries en route for lunch which have cracking restaurants.

    • Train began running on 6 June – worked pretty well.

    • Yes, the train to downtown is now running, although from what I’ve heard and experienced it’s not very successful.

      The biggest problem with it is the $28 price tag. That might seem reasonable to someone coming from London but to those of us in Canada it’s absurd. A taxi to downtown will run less than $60, so if there’s more than one person travelling the train makes little sense. Of course, if time’s not an issue public transit will get you downtown in just over an hour for the princely sum of $3.

      If you’re looking for a nice hotel in the city, check out the new Ritz-Carlton. I don’t know what the points redemption situation is like since we have a great corporate rate there, but it’s a beautiful facility in a good location. The Trump and Shangri-La are also good. The standard prices are on the high side for Canada, but compared to London or New York they’re quite reasonable.

  4. The Intercontinental on Bloor Street is a lot better stayed there in 2011 for a few nights. And rooms where quite decent, hotel food was actually quite nice.

  5. We shall be in Toronto in a few weeks and shall stay at the Hilton using our two free nights from credit cards after a paid night in a suite and using my shiny new Gold status. Hope I’m not disappointed. The exchange rate of C$2=£1 makes cash stays look good in 50,000 point hotels but points reasonable with recent BOGOF offer.
    If I were paying, I would go back to Cambridge Suites where we stayed two years ago. Excellent accommodation, esp. on upper floors; good service; superb restaurant and central location.