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If you’re looking for a reasonably affordable, yet luxurious experience when staying at Niagara Falls, the Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa may be a great choice for you. Here’s a review of my recent stay at the Fallsview Hotel and some photos to go along with it.
I started my hotel search for Niagara Falls by looking for the hotel with the best view of the falls. That was really the most important factor to me and I was willing to shell out a little extra if needed. I did some research and found articles that consistently listed the Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa as one of the best (if not the best) hotels for a great view of Niagara Falls.
I was not disappointed whatsoever with the view from our hotel room. It was really the perfect height. We were on floor 16 and didn’t feel too removed from the falls so that it was hard to appreciate its immensity but definitely high enough to appreciate both the Canadian and American sides of the falls. The photo above, taken around sunset, was taken from the window in our hotel room.
It takes about 5-10 minutes to get down to the actual falls area from the Fallsview Hotel. There’s a back exit that you leave out of that will shoot you right to the walkway where you can head to take the Niagara Falls Funiculars to get down to the falls quickly. (If you’re staring at the Starbuck in the lobby then head left along the back wall until you arrive at the back exit.) Alternatively, it will take you about a 10-15 minute walk to head down to Murray St where you can make your way down to the falls for free. It’s really about as close to the falls as you can get.
There are a number of restaurants around the area at pretty much every corner. Clifton Hills is about a 20-30 minute walk from the hotel and it is the hub of all things touristy for Niagara but you can still find plenty of places in the direct vicinity of the hotel. Do some research ahead of time and you can discover cool little restaurants like Zappi’s Pizza that can add a bit more to your experience than just eating at the big chains. Other nearby attractions include the Skylon Tower and the Niagara Casino.
The service at this hotel was top-of-the-line. From check-in to check-out, the attendants were polite, professional, and always seemed eager to help us out.
There were some complaints in online reviews about this hotel taking a long time for the valet service to get you your car ready but they took all of 5-10 minutes to pull out our vehicle when we needed it. I suspect this can get much slower during peak check-out hours (e.g., 11am to 1pm on a Sun), so I think the key is to just try to avoid peak hours when getting your car out of valet. By the way, the parking is expensive at $35CAD daily. It’s a bit steep and you can find parking in nearby lots for cheaper but if you really value convenience (and not lugging your bags around in the cold), then it might be worth it. (I honestly don’t think the price is that outrageous for a completely touristy area when compared to some other parking rates found at similar tourist meccas, at least not with the current exchange rate.)
In addition to the parking service, the room service was very prompt as well. This was one of the first times Brad and I actually took advantage of room service at a hotel so I don’t have too much to compare it to but the fact that they were very professional and quick seems like enough for me. We ordered their brownie cheesecake (pictured below) and it was verrry good… we also ordered their crème brûlée the next night but it left a little to be desired….
Since it was Brad’s birthday, I surprised him with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne. It was a bit of a splurge but it was worth it for the experience. The room service guy even offered to pop the top on the bottle and pour our first glasses for us. The strawberries were rich and fresh and I thought the bubbly was okay, though Brad wasn’t huge on it. Still, the combo of chocolate-covered strawberries + champagne + hot-tub on a cold December day at Niagara = a pretty unforgettable experience.
If you do want to surprise your S.O. with something like strawberries they typically deliver the goods about 45 min – 1 hour after you check-in. The front desk will ring you and let you know that a delivery is on its way so you can be ready. So make sure that you’re ready for it and if you’re planning on it being a true, live surprise (i.e., your partner doesn’t know what’s going on until you open the door) then make sure that you answer the phone when they call your room and think of a good excuse as to why they are calling so your partner won’t suspect anything. For example, when they called up our room to confirm delivery, I feigned a conversation about “fixing the wifi” to throw Brad off the surprise scent and it worked. If you really want to be slick I guess you could always just call ahead some time that day and tell the hotel to deliver everything without calling your room. Whichever way you choose to go, the chocolate strawberry + champagne is a great option that adds a lot to your experience at the hotel.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to check out the gym or spa at this hotel so I can’t comment on those but as for the overall lobby, hallways, etc., everything was very clean and kept up. The interior of the public areas didn’t exactly blow me away so I’m giving it a 4.5 but I don’t have any real complaints about it.
One great thing about this hotel is that there’s a Starbucks located in the lobby. I think it’s an actual Starbucks and not just a “we proudly brew Starbucks” cafe. Although I much prefer Tim Horton’s over Starbucks while in Canada, it’s always nice to have something right there that’s super convenient.
We went with the bi-level loft (with fire place and whirpool) and it was really one of the coolest rooms I’ve ever stayed in in a hotel. First, it’s just really cool to have two floors in your hotel room, especially when one side of your room is a giant glass wall overlooking one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world — Niagara Falls. That’s what you can expect with the bi-level suite.
As stated, we were located on the 16th floor — a perfect floor for admiring the falls and a pretty good vantage point for the firework show they put on every Friday night.
These bi-level suites have two full bathrooms, two fire places, two tv’s, a king bed, and a giant hot-tub! The hot tub is pretty huge and is the perfect way to relax after journeying around in the cold all day around the falls and Clifton Hill. I honestly didn’t feel much heat from the fireplace but even if it is there for mostly show, it’s still a nice cozy addition to the room.
The window in the room only opens up about 5 inches for safety reasons. It’s quite a small opening but enough for you to stick your camera or phone through and get some good shots. The room also comes with remote-controlled curtains for the top window (point your remote at the little white, fire-alarm looking thing in the corner of the window to get it to work properly).
The room had an empty refrigerator, a sofa that pulled out to a bed, and these cool lamps/alarm clocks that had outlets built into them so you didn’t have to fool around with searching for outlets behind your night stand. The bed was comfortable with medium softness and came with some very comfy pillows. I wasn’t crazy about the interior design and furniture of our room and felt like they were just lacking a little bit of sleekness that would’ve gone better with the overall vibe of having a bi-level loft, but I really don’t feel like it took away from our experience at all.
The internet was free for us since we are Marriott Rewards members and the speed was pretty good. I forgot to test the internet speed while I was there but at one point I was streaming some ESPN (which usually requires a decent connection) and the stream was coming in just fine. Thus, I think whatever the connection speed was, it was good to excellent.
Bang for Buck: 4.5/5
The rates for this room can vary depending on the season. For example, the rates for a night in the middle of the summer of 2016 as of right now (December 2015) are for $399 CAD per night. We payed about $50 CAD less than that. One thing I’ve noticed by scanning through the rooms is it seems there’s limited availability for these bi-level lofts so you want to try to book as far as ahead as possible. If the price is a bit high for you, this hotel has plenty of cheaper options closer to $199 CAD per night (or even less). So unless you’re really trying not spend much money at all, you should be able to find a room for your budget.
Overall, I really enjoyed every second of my experience in this hotel. I will definitely consider staying at the Marriott Fallsview again whenever I return to Niagara, it’s simply a nearly perfect hotel that has everything I like about hotels (great location, views, service, comfy bed and hot-tub, etc.). The rooms could use a slight upgrade when it comes to furniture but if you get a room with a whirlpool and a good view of the falls you won’t even be thinking about what color your sofa is so it’s really a moot point.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.