By TIM JOHNSON
Given a location directly across the road from Pearson International Airport, you might think that a stay at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel and Suites involves a bit of an exchange—that is, proximity for serenity. But this sleek property, which recently completed a two-and-a-half year, top-to-bottom renovation, has quiet, soundproofed rooms, meaning you can get both a good night’s sleep, and a fast shuttle in the morning.
Despite its two diminutive-looking low-rise towers, the hotel is deceptively large, with 419 rooms, including an executive floor and lounge where evening hors d’oeuvres and a morning continental breakfast are served. A smart feature for budget-conscious business travellers is an unusual queen-queen room layout. Instead of the common side-by-side bed configuration, these rooms place the beds back-to-back. With tall headboard units and two flat-screen TVs on opposite walls, the overall result is two semi-separate living areas—perfect for companies dealing with belt-tightening times.
Amenities surpass the usual offerings at one-and-done, just-here-for-the-night airport hotels. There’s a seasonal outdoor pool, a 24-hour gym, his-and-hers saunas and even a squash court. In addition, Bliss Restaurant offers a comfortable environment (private banquettes, each with its own embedded television set) and a diverse menu of fusion cuisine, which pairs well with the restaurant’s international wine list. While you may not want to stay a whole week, it’s enough to make the average traveller a bit reluctant to fly away the next day.