Rated 3.7 out of 5 by 292
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 It was fine until the flood & fire
I traveled to the hotel as a member of the organizing committee for the Polar Chill convention & Constellation Awards ceremony being held there from July 4-6. During the planning process, we had two meetings at the hotel during which the staff were friendly and helpful. When I checked in, my room was clean & well-stocked.
On the night of Friday July 4 there was a small problem with a member of the cleaning staff removing the scavenger hunt clues I had hidden around the area the convention would be using, despite my warning the hotel liaison twice beforehand that I would be doing this and his making a note of it for the staff, which I did see. I had to reprint 68 clues in the business center and rehide them in order for the game to continue.
Otherwise, our stay was excellent on Friday and Saturday. Our pool party Friday was very nice, the bar staff were very friendly, the rooms were clean & stocked, everything was good.
Then at approximately 2:30 am on Sunday July 6 a drunken idiot decided to pull out the fire hose on the 7th floor, which leaked down the elevator shaft, caused an electrical fire, and forced an evacuation of the hotel. I certainly don't blame the Holiday Inn staff for his actions--I blame him for the disruption of both our sleep and the convention.
I have been volunteering with conventions for many years, and this is the third time that the fire alarm had gone off during a convention I was attending in the last 6 years. However, this is the first time I have not seen a single member of the hotel staff after the fire alarm has gone off. No one directed us to leave the hotel or to a gathering spot in the parking lot away from the building, checked if anyone was missing or hurt, directed us back inside, told us to gather our belongings when the evacuation was declared, handed out the lists of hotels that supposedly had spaces, nothing. All information was handled by the Fire and Police Departments.
Moreover, a friend of mine called the Holiday Inn call center about the HI down the road and made 4 separate reservations for a group of us, since we had to leave our hotel due to the hydro being turned off. This Holiday Inn was on the list the firefighter had handed out as supposedly having free rooms. She explained the situation and specifically told them that we would be arriving in 5 minutes, and they said that would be fine. She gave them 4 names and 4 credit card numbers, and got 4 confirmation numbers. When we arrived at the second Holiday Inn at 5 am, we were told that we were unable to check in until 3 pm despite what we were told on the phone. Being turned away from this second Holiday Inn was extremely stressful, since at this point I had been up for over 20 hours. I understand that my friend spoke to a call center and not to the HI front desk directly, since they made that clear at the HI. However, she should not have been told by the call center staff that the rooms were available and she most certainly should not have been given confirmation numbers since she was very clear that we would be arriving in 10 minutes and not 10 hours.
I was fortunate enough that another friend offered to put a few of us up for the night, and I was able to sleep badly on a loveseat, while another friend who had traveled from Montreal slept on the kitchen floor. We were fortunate to have generous friends in the area, since hotel rooms were very scarce in the immediate area.
While my stay was quite good until the fire alarm, and as I said I don't fault Holiday Inn or its staff for the actions of one guest, I am highly disappointed with the lack of direction or information provided after the alarm went off and by the actions of the call center, who should not have promised rooms that were not available.
July 10, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 Hotel was fine while it lasted
Check in was fast and easy. Front desk staff member was very nice and easy going.
The hotel room was spacious and I actually wondered if there had been more furniture at one point. The room is a bit dated and the carpets looked old and ugly. I'm sure the carpet was clean though. The washroom is tiny but it has counter space and you can't say that for a lot of hotels these days. My one complaint about the washroom was there was a mark or burn mark on the toilet. At first I thought it was dirty but it's a permanent scar on the seat. I think it would have been better to replace it.
Bed was ok...but the pillows were a bit firm for me. Just a tad too big for my neck. I think I'd prefer 4 medium pillows to 4 firm ones since I can stack the medium ones.
Restaurant staff are extremely nice and polite. Very fast service. Food was delicious. I tried the dinner (wonderful ahi tuna!), lounge (pizza was very good) and breakfast (fresh fruit!)
Your parking is odd. Exiting is not the most efficient with the camera. Technology is cool but not when it's not working. There must be another way to handle the exiting.
Unfortunately, the emergency evacuation ruined the rest of the stay but I must commend your staff for handling the emergency. One fellow in particular was everywhere that night. I'm sorry I didn't catch his name. And a concierge who came in when he saw the fire trucks... he helped us out too. The kitchen and restaurant staff provided us breakfast the next morning when we were still there (we were part of the convention that got interrupted). That was very much appreciated (the coffee especially). They welcomed us in and that was very kind.
The hotel is average but your staff is excellent.
July 10, 2014
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by evacuee evacuee
we stayed here on the night when we were evacuated TWICE because a drunken man had decided to play with the fire hose resulting in a great deal of damage to the hotel and considerable discomfort to the guests...I think that the confusion to the guests could have been alleviated by clearer messages by the manager of that night...for example "take your stuff" could be better phrased as "take all your belongings"..I observed many guests who were bewildered by the word "stuff"...not everyone understands colloquial English...so far I have not been contacted by this hotel about a refund for the night or for the breakfasts or parking fees....when the hotel has had all the damage repaired and is once again open I probably would stay there again.....Toronto Fire Dept., Police, and Ambulance are to be recommended for their prompt and helpful services.....
July 10, 2014