New Element hotel near Pearson looks great/Lake Ontario Ferry?/Deal of Day
Looking for a place close to Pearson Airport or to friends or business types in Vaughan? The new Element hotel from Starwood looks like a huge winner.
I had a tour last Friday and thought it was simply outstanding; spacious rooms with kitchens, barbeques out back (!) and a bright, sunny lobby where they have drinks in the evening and also Wii and board games. It's also LEED certified as an environmentally friendly and energy efficient building.
Located on Highway 7 just west of the 427, it's maybe a five minute drive to Pearson and convenient for anyone in Brampton or Vaughan. It opened about ten days ago and is the first Element brand for Canada.
All the 152 rooms are suites and they range in size from about 387 to 500 square feet; very nice.
There are a ton of features worth mentioning, including Westin heavenly beds, rainshower bathrooms, ergonomic work stations, kitchens so you can save on dinners out, a nice breakfast station with healthy foods and smoothies, huge windows with tons of natural light, 42 inch flat screen TV's, bright and airy meeting rooms, a saltwater pool and a hot tub, windows that actually open, blackout blinds, electronic privacy buttons, free bikes for use, good counter space in the bathrooms, a nice-sized, well-equipped, 24-hour-a-day gym (where you can ride a bike and charge your electronic device with the energy you create from cycling) and a whole lot more. I LOVE the barbeques in the lovely garden they have out back and I"m sure a ton of business folks would be thrilled to grill their own steak (the hotel will have groceries delivered for you) or to show up at the general manager's weekly ribs and burgers barbeque (and how smart is that?).
There also are two "e-concierge" stations in the lobby, where you can print your boarding pass or check out restaurants or what have you.
The lobby is done up in dark wood with apple green accents and features huge windows. Even on a rainy day last week it looked bright and welcoming.
I haven't actually stayed in the rooms, but judging by what I saw it's a great deal at $159 and up.
ST. CATHARINES FERRY?
I see an interesting item on the Canoe website about the idea of a ferry from Toronto to St. Catharines. I've often thought it would be a good idea to cut down on travel times to Niagara. But it may actually not be that much of a time saver.
The story I read suggests it would take 45 minutes. But I doubt that includes the time to get your car loaded and then to drive it away from the dock. Which means you're likely looking at something more than an hour. And that's about all it takes to make the drive in good (not that that happens much anymore) traffic.
It's an intriguing idea, but I suspect it's not going to fly. It certainly doesn't seem like the Ontario government is intereted.
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