Newest Canadian hotel rankings from Expedia - I don't quite get it
Judging the best of anything, other than newspaper Travel sections of course, is a purely personal thing. You like the Ritz. I like the Royal York. You like fancy linens. I prefer space to luxury.
There's no real right or wrong here. But I still find it puzzling how different magazines or websites can come up with such radically different lists of top hotels.
The latest one to cross my virtual desk is from Expedia, which issued the "2012 Insiders' Select" list, a grouping of the top 650 hotels around the world, as determined by more than 500,000 Expedia customer reviews last year.
The top hotel in Canada was LHotel Montreal, which I know almost nothing about to be honest. It was ranked 59th in the world (see photo). There were four other properties from Canada in the top 100: the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, the Four Seasons Vancouver, the Prince George Hotel in Halifax and the PInnacle Hotel at the Pier in North Vancouver.
Nothing, ahem, in Toronto. But as I've said before, a lot of these sites seem skewed to the west coast, particularly British Columbia. They seem to get a lot of Expedia and Trip Advisor recommendations, although I think Ontario does better with Trip Advisor.
Most lists I see put the Four Seasons Whistler near the top for Canada, along with the new Ritz Carlton in downtown Toronto. Those are the only two properties listed as five-diamond hotels by the Canadian Automobile Association.
But a lot of Expedia users probably can't afford such properties, so their lists tend to be more on the moderate side. Which is probably a good thing for the average consumer.
Still, I find it bizarre not to see some of Canada's top hotels on the list. Not only are the Ritz and the Four Seasons Whistler left out; so are Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec and the fab Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino B.C. Not to mention the Thompson Toronto and Le Germain's two Toronto properties (their Calgary hotel made the list, however) and the Hazelton in Yorkville. One of my personal faves, the Hotel Nelligan in Montreal, also got shut out. So did the Royal York.
There were, however, some nice picks in the 101-650 range. I didn't see actual rating numbers for them, but I did notice there were some Ontario properties in the list. Included were the Marriott Niagara Fallsview, the Sterling Inn and Spa in Niagara Falls, the Westin Harbour Castle here in T.O., the fine and family friendly Cambridge Suites in downtown Toronto and the Novotel in downtown Toronto.
The top 10 for the world was pretty interesting. Topping the charts was Marrol's Boutique Hotel in Bratislava, Slovakia (see photo).
Looks nice but Bratislava? Really????? Best IN THE WORLD? Guess I should go, eh?
Next was the Hotel Al Codega in Venice, followed by the Royal Corin in Costa Rica, the Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen Scotland (another odd one, I'd say), the Four Seasons Miami, the Madison Hotel Hamburg, the Element Omaha Midtown Crossing, the Sonnealp Resort of Vail in Colorado, Taj Lands' End in Mumbai and the Mr. C. Beverly Hills.
Interesting. You don't see many hotel lists with a top 10 that includes Vail, Beverly Hills, Aberdeen, Omaha, Venice and Bratislava. So Iguess I'll tip my hat to Expedia for sheer geographic variety. On the other hand, I don't see any Asia properties in the top 10, which is bizarre given the luxury they often offer at reasonable prices.
Overall, Expedia said 28 per cent of hotels in the top 650 are in "America," by which I presume they mean Canada plus the U.S.. Another 25 per cent were in Europe and 19 per cent in Asia, just fyi....
NIAGARA FALLS NEW YORK WANTS BIZ
I saw the other day where folks in Niagara Falls, New York are trying to drum up business. Good for them. But I think there's an image problem.
The story I read, which came from WIVB, said folks were trying to improve things in "The Cataract City."
Maybe before chasing a new mall they oughta come up with a better nickname. I mean, really, "The Cataract City?"