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Frugal or Fabulous: Choose Your Toronto Hotel Budget

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Whether you're a native Torontonian looking for a posh venue for a dirty weekend or an out-of-towner hoping for wallet-friendly lodgings near the Raptors game or Elvis Stojko's newest project, this city's got a hotel that'll suit your needs. Today, Curbed gives you the high/low hotel options for some of Toronto's most popular destination neighbourhoods.

First up, the Entertainment District. More and more luxury hotels are popping up here ever since the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) moved its headquarters to King Street West in 2010. Even though TIFF only happens in September, the Entertainment District is hopping all year round with clublife, theatre-goers and crowds of sports fans spilling over from the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre.


↑ Expensive: Templar Hotel - $395/night
Open since 2012, The Templar is a newer player in the city's luxury/boutique hotel niche. With no external signage outside to even indicate it's there, you might miss it from the street—unless, of course, you're being driven there in the hotel's shuttle, a Porsche Panamera. At just 27 rooms, the Templar promises personalized attention; don't forget your mobile phone, though, since there are no phones in the sleek, minimalist rooms (and no coffee machines, either).

Features and amenities: Linen sheets, silk-stuffed pillows, toiletries by Red Flower, spa with 17'-deep Japanese soaker tub, glass-bottomed pool. And the hotel shuttle is a freaking Porsche.
Potential downsides: Noise drifting up from adjacent dance clubs might clash with calm ambience.

[Photos via Hilton Garden Inn]

↑ Cheap: Hilton Garden Inn - $158/night
The Garden Inn is a 224-room highrise hotel on Peter Street, at the southwest corner of Adelaide Street. It's in the middle of all the club/theatre action, so if you're booking a room here try to get one that's on a higher floor, away from revelers. The hotel's about as cheap as it gets in the Entertainment District, which is to say not really cheap; if you're on a tighter budget, you might want to check out the Bond Place or the Hotel Strathcona instead.

Features and amenities: Free wifi, fitness centre, pool.
Potential downsides: Same noise issue as the Templar.

Next, let's head a few blocks south to the area around the Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre; sports fans, concert-goers and CN Tower visitors have plenty of hotel options near the big sports venues and Union Station. Here are a couple:

[Photos via le Germain]

↑ Expensive: Le Germain Maple Leaf Square - $357/night
Attached directly to the Air Canada Centre, Le Germain Maple Leaf Square is the hotel at the heart of Leafs action (such as it is); it's part of Maple Leaf Square, the office-tower/condo/hotel complex that wraps around the western side of the Air Canada Centre. From le Germain it's an easy walk to Union Station and the PATH system, connecting you to around 30 kilometres of shopping, services and dining, as well as many of the Financial District's office towers.

Features and amenities: Free breakfast, 40-inch flat-screen TV, goose-down pillows (hypoallergenic available), in-room office area with ergonomic chairs, free wifi, windows that really open, bathrobes, rainfall spa shower, Molton Brown toiletries, in-room massage, two lounges, dog beds and dishes.
Potential downsides: Coffee machine in room will set you back $3 a cup.

[Photos via Strathcona Hotel]

↑ Cheap: Strathcona Hotel - $87/night
The Strathcona is a seriously budget hotel; amenities are few (the hotel's website lists an ATM as one of the features) and rooms are tiny, but at under $90 a night you're not going to get a better hotel deal this close to Union Station. If it's any consolation, you can look at the Royal York across the street and feel smug you're not paying primo dollar to stay there.

Features and amenities: Complimentary baggage storage, convenience store across the street.
Potential downsides: Most rooms are minuscule, pretty much no amenities, wifi is $10/day.

Over to the Toronto Eaton Centre; after a day spent exploring the four levels of the city's largest mall, you're not going to feel like walking very far to dump all your bags and flop down, groaning, on the bed.

[Photos via Trump Hotels]

↑ Expensive: Trump International Hotel Toronto
The 261-room Trump International is at 325 Bay Street, just a block south of the Hudson's Bay store's southwestern corner, giving you quick indoor access to all the wonders of the Eaton Centre. The Trump offers travellers the Trump Attaché service (a kind of personal concierge), and there are loads of high-end amenities—although sadly, there's no hair salon offering the Trump signature hurricane-styled hairdo.

Features and amenities: Salt-water lap pool, 15,000sq.ft. spa, personal assistant, nanny services, Trump Kids program, Italian bed linens, TV in bathroom, free local calls and wifi, Nespresso in room, pillow menu, free coffee/tea/bottled water, warmed towels at check-in, iPhone/iPad sound system, bedside remote for window coverings
Potential downsides: The Donald might show up.

[Photos via Bond Place]

↑ Cheap: Bond Place Hotel - $87/night
Just around the bend from the Eaton Centre, the Bond Place Hotel on Dundas Street couldn't be a better location for visitors to the city who want to shop all day, check out the happenings in Yonge-Dundas Square, or wander up and down Yonge Street just watching people and being hit up for pocket change. If you're visiting Toronto to catch some live music or theatre, the Bond Place is within a block or two of the Elgin and Wintergarden theatres, the Ed Mirvish Theatre, Massey Hall, and the Jazz Bistro.

Features and amenities: Hardwood floors, fitness centre; standard rooms have wifi (not free), coffee maker, spa bathrooms, refrigerator; upgraded rooms have free wifi, nicer bathrooms, radio with iPod dock, microwave, soaker tub.
Potential downsides: Noise from Yonge-Dundas Square and 24-hour streetcar line.

Lastly, let's have a look around Yorkville. It's pretty easy to find a high-end hotel in this exclusive neighbourhood, but are there options for those of us on more of a shoestring budget?

[Photos via Hazelton Hotel]

↑ Expensive: Hazelton Hotel - $552/night
When it opened in 2007, the narrow streets around The Hazelton were Ground Zero for TIFF-obsessed star-watchers. Famous people stayed there, or at least dined on the street-level patio despite (or because of) the throngs of unsubtle iPhone-wielding gogglers. After the Festival moved the bulk of its activities to King Street in 2010, Yorkville was no longer the heart of TIFF action, but the Hazelton is still one of the nicest hotels in the city.

Features and amenities: Interiors are by superstar Canadian design team Yabu Pushelberg, granite bathrooms with heated floors, rainfall shower and separate tub, Molton Brown toiletries, Juliet balconies, in-room Nespresso machine, free coconut water and soft drinks, original art on the room walls, 24-hour room service, private movie theatre.
Potential downsides: None, other than the astonishing hit your wallet will take.

[Photos via Howard Johnson]

↑ Cheap: Howard Johnson Hotel Yorkville - $96/night
When you tell your friends you'll be staying at a Yorkville hotel that sits between a Maserati dealership and snooty Hazelton Lanes, you don't need to let on that it's actually the humble Howard Johnson. You want basic? For a hundred bucks a night, this is basic. Tired decor that hasn't been updated since what looks like the early '90s, no wifi in the rooms (but it's available in the business centre and in public areas). But at least there's a fitness room, and free continental breakfast—though you can also just pick up stuff to eat at the Whole Foods next door.

Features and amenities: Ice machines in hallways, elevators that go up and down, flat parking lot.
Potential downsides: Might not be around much longer; a developer has bought the site and wants to tear down the hotel, replacing it with a 28-storey mixed-use building.
· Hotel Week 2014 [Curbed Toronto]
· The Best Cheap Hotels in Toronto [blogTO]
· Chase the Winter Blues Away at a Local Hotel Pool [Toronto Star]