Thursday I took off work to work on finishing the wall. I managed to get it from being just a hole in the wall to a framed pass through that just needs drywall to be finished. As it turns out, it is too low to get built-in lights but I haven’t given up yet. I may be able to find some LED lights that are super thin to wire into the house wiring as long as they don’t require a transformer, and even then, I could just hide the transformer but that is less than ideal. I also managed to do my Pure Cardio workout and go coaching so all in all a very big day. I handed in my girls’ sheets for their routines so everything is up to date. Friday both Nicole and I were off since it was Good Friday however everything was closed so once we took care of our workouts and Nicole made the house look pretty for Brendan the cat sitter we packed up and jumped into the car for our trip to Niagara Falls and yes, finally, the Babymoon.

Traffic was oddly busy, we took a detour in Burlington to find a washroom for Nicole and ended up after stopping at an insanely busy gas station with a line up for the washroom at the local hospital. Nicole ran into the main entrance and we were on our way in no time. The hotel was really easy to find since it is right off one of the main streets, Stanley Avenue. We checked in, making sure that we upgraded our Hotwire room to a whirlpool room with a falls view. Even with the upgrade we are only paying the rate for the worst room in the hotel! Victory for Hotwire once again! Upon check-in, as promised, we were given warm chocolate chip cookies and all the information about the Wifi and the amenities. The room itself is small but nice, however I am not sure I would give it a 4 star rating. The room at the other Hilton attached to the Fallsview Casino is bigger, the rooms are noticeably larger however this place is, I think, newer. The view is nice, you can see the American Falls clearly but not the Horseshoe Falls which are blocked by the Fallsview Casino buildings. However since we upgraded and are on the 19th and top floor, the view is pretty spectacular wherever you look. The only disappointment is that the windows are not floor to ceiling as they are in the other Hilton which I have to admit is a little puzzling. All in all, the room is nice, big enough but only just. The tub is very spacious and comfortable and you can actually watch TV from there. The shower, however, is a joke. It is smaller than the infamous shower at the Ibis in Geneva which was, until today, the smallest shower in the world. This shower is so small I can only stand sideways and the shower head is only high enough so that my head touches it and I am only 6 feet tall!

There are several things that may bother some people about the hotel so I will mention them although so far they haven’t spoiled our enjoyment of the facility. The fit and finish of the bathroom is a little shabby, the door to the toilet/shower area doesn’t quite fit properly so that there is a gap between the door and the frame. One of the letters in the hotel name on the roof is out which speaks to the maintenance staff. However, I will let you know if it is still out at the end of our stay to give them the benefit of the doubt. The gym is very small, having only a few dumbells and nowhere to do pull ups. There are some machines, maybe 4 or so and 3 treadmills plus a bike and an elliptical. It’s a 7 out of 10, 9 being the Swissotel in Chicago. When we went to the gym, there was a water cooler but no water in the jug and no paper cups to drink from. Both should have been replenished by now I hope. The hairdryer overheated, something which the women out there will agree is a major deal. In addition, we had to ask the front desk where it was because it was located on the wall behind the bathroom door! The room has a fridge however it is so noisy that Nicole had to unplug it to get some sleep. The “Starbucks” in the lobby isn’t. They sell Red Rose tea and take forever to make coffee. The worst part of being here so far is in fact the TV. There are not the usual hundred or so satellite channels but rather only a select few (15 or so) channels to pick from. This is a major disappointment if you like to fall asleep to your favourite shows.

I know it sounds like I am bashing the hotel but in reality we are very happy with it. To whit, I have added a list of what we have liked so far about the place.

The location is excellent, only about 400m from the Fallsview Casino and maybe 1km from Clifton Hill. The room was very clean and well kept and the tub, as noted, is huge which for someone like me is both rare and a delight. There is a fresh air vent running the length of the window which allows you to get fresh air into the room any time which is fantastic and a feature which every room should have. The free wifi is great, working without a hitch so far which is more than I can say for almost every other hotel with “free” wifi we have encountered. The front desk staff were very polite and helpful and of course got points for giving us warm cookies. Parking is an extra $12 per day which I think is ridiculous given the size of the hotel and the location but unfortunately it is pretty standard around here.

Would we stay here again? I think so as long as we got the $84 rate that we got with Hotwire. As per usual, it’s not worth the $120 a night that the website commands but then again, I am pretty tight with my hotel dollars.