For a return visit to Toronto, I was looking for a nice hotel in a central location and wanted to pay with reward points. The Radisson Admiral Toronto has a good location at the waterfront, a modern decor and was a good deal on Club Carlson points. It turned out to be a good stay, despite some issues.
Location: The Radisson Admiral Toronto is located on the harborfront, near CN Tower, Rogers Center and the Convention Center. That makes it convenient for business and leisure travelers, with easy access to public transportation. I arrived at the very convenient Billy Bishop City Airport – a 5 minute ride by taxi, 10 minutes by train or 30 minute walk away. Pearson International Airport is about 30 minutes by taxi or less than 1h by express train. With several bus and train lines near the hotel, you can get anywhere in Toronto pretty quickly. There are also a number of stores and restaurants in walking distance. You even have a beach nearby!
Service/Rewards: I had a points stay in mind and the Radisson Admiral Toronto was the best deal during my time of stay: I was able to use a free-night certificate from the Club Carlson Visa Card for one night, and 44,000 points for the second night. That was great value, considering the $350 cash rate during a busy summer weekend with a number of sold-out hotels in the city! I did not receive an upgrade during this stay or any other benefit, which I can’t complain about on an award stay.
Service during my stay was mixed. My check-in was quick and friendly and I received a local map as well as some tips for Toronto. Housekeeping did a good job in preparing the room and restocking supplies appropriately. I did not try out the restaurant or bar in the hotel. The staff at the pool seemed a little overwhelmed on a busy summer day in keeping the pool neat and lounges clear from abandoned towels.
At check-out, I reported that my room had bed bugs. I have encountered those nasty bugs a few times in my travels and know the very unique bite pattern they leave behind. The front desk was surprised and didn’t say much and there was no follow-up from the hotel. After posting an online review and following up with the Toronto Health Department, the hotel confirmed that they had cleaned the room according to regulations by professional pest control.
This can happen at any hotel and is not a reflection of cleanliness. What is important is an immediate response to ensure the impacted as well as surrounding rooms are professionally cleaned to end the infestation and to ensure the problem doesn’t spread. The Radisson did do the right thing, even if they communicated poorly. They didn’t offer any compensation for the trouble, which is ok but not the best way of handling it either.
Room: I really liked the room. It has very modern, light wood floors and wood furniture, combined with stylish white lounge and desk chairs. A turquoise bed throw and pillows added a friendly touch of color. All of it was functional and stylish – a combination few hotels manage. The king-size bed is very comfortable with high-quality sheets and pillows. The work desk is small, but functional.
The wardrobe had a large safe, as well as an iron board. A single cup coffee maker is provided next to the (small-ish) TV.
I liked the bathroom just as much. It has a shower-over-tub combination with a curved rod and curtain on the left side. The toilet is in the center and a large sink-in-countertop with lots of room on the right. The wooden base of the countertop added a warm touch. The towels are thick and fluffy and standard toiletries were provided.
The room is a big step up from a regular Radisson Hotel you find in the US and reminded me very much of the upscale Radisson Blu hotels in Europe!
Restaurant/Amenities: Another winning feature of the Radisson Admiral is the beautiful pool – something you won’t find at many business oriented hotels. It’s large and has plenty of loungers around it, with a nice view over the harbor front. The cabanas and loungers remind me more of a European beach club than an American business hotel – I like it!
Even better is the stunning view to the back with CN Tower and highrise buildings as dramatic backdrop!
The gym is functional, but a little less impressive, with basic cardio and weight equipment for a simple workout.
I did not try out the restaurant or bar – there are so many great food choices in Toronto to explore, but they are there if you need them!
Bottomline: The Radisson Admiral has a convenient location, modern rooms and a great pool, making it convenient. At 44,000 points (worth $176) it’s a good deal. I would bark at the cash rate of $350 during my stay, but the city was close to sold out, so understandable.
While the front desk bungled the handling of the bed-bug situation, the hotel did what they are expected to do and I wouldn’t hold the incident against them. I was not impressed with the elite treatment – most Radisson Blu hotels in Europe offer much better service and take care of Gold or higher Elite members.
Overall, I’d consider the Radisson again for an award stay in an expensive market or at a good cash rate.