My trip to the Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview actually started a few months ago. Those of you who have been around for a while will remember that Vince DiCosimo Jr left a comment on the blog. We emailed back and forth a few times and agreed that I would contact Vince after Labour Day to arrange to stay a night and to take a tour of the new hotel. I didn’t contact him until late Fall, and then we couldn’t arrange anything until into January. Finally, on January 22 my wife and I, along with our 3 kids, stayed over.
We aren’t really a traveling family, so I don’t have a lot of experience staying in hotels. I can only compare the hotel to others that I have stayed at in Niagara Falls (Great Wolf Lodge, Doubletree Resort Lodge & Spa Fallsview, Americana Conference Resort & Spa, Comfort Inn Clifton Hill), and the Hilton certainly more than holds its own. From the time you walk into the hotel, to the time you leave, everything is of a very high quality. The lobby is very impressive. It is elegant, but has a warm and comfortable feeling. It is open beyond the second level, so people going into the various conference/meeting rooms can see down to the lobby. The pool area is right off the lobby as well, and there are glass walls to the wading pool. Also in the lobby is a small cafe/bar.
We checked in, and headed up to the 26th floor to our room. It was supposed to be a Family Fallsview Suite. The room was absolutely stunning. As you walk into the room, there is a very large bathroom with a jacuzzi. To your right was a separate bedroom with two queen size beds. To the left was a King size bed. The side of the washroom with the jacuzzi had a “window” that had shutters that opened to into the rest of the hotel room. The only thing that was disappointing was the view. The room was on the south west side/corner of the building. Looking out the side windows gave you a decent view of the Falls, but it isn’t what I was expecting in a “fallsview” suite.
We needed a couple of amenities, so my wife called the front desk for a playpen and a fridge. Surprisingly, the rooms do not have fridges in them. You have to ask for one, and it is an extra $10. The service was prompt from the front desk and housekeeping.
We decided to take the kids swimming next. The pool area is very nice. The main pool is in a figure “8″ shape. One side of the pool had water flowing making it kind of a large whirlpool. There was also a large water slide (which I was too chicken to try), a hot tub, a wading pool, a sauna, and a steam room. Essentially there was something for everyone.
Upstairs from the pool was a small games room. It only had 3 games, and one of them was broken while we were there. They could/should improve this. Beside that was an excellent exercise room.
That night I had a meeting in St Catharines, so while I was away for an hour or so, my wife and kids were in the room watching TV having dinner. We had picked up some pizza slices before checking in. While in St Catharines, I picked up a friend who came to the hotel to look after the kids while my wife and I went to The Watermark Restaurant for dinner. I’ll have a separate post on the food tomorrow.
We all slept very well in the nice beds. In the morning, my wife used the jacuzzi. On either side of it are mirrors, so you can see forever. My sons also tried it after, and thought it was great.
After breakfast, we went swimming again, and then went back to the room to get ready to go. I was supposed to meet with Vince in the morning to get a tour of the new building, but he wasn’t feeling well so it was postponed. Hopefully we’ll arrange something soon. I did meet with Andrew, one of the office staff at the Hilton, and we talked about a few things.
The new hotel is coming along well. They are aiming for a late April or early May opening. We talked a bit about the history of the Hilton. Apparently the original, smaller hotel was a Days Inn. The larger building was built just before the casino opened, and now they are expanding more. They figure they will need more than 500 people for the new hotel, and are having a hard time finding people.
Andrew commented on how it truly is a real family business. Frank, Vince, and Joe DiCosimo are brothers who are all actively involved in the business. It’s a good company to work for. Based on my limited experience with Vince, Andrew, and the rest of the staff at the hotel, I’m sure it is. We had a great time.
I took a bunch of pictures and put them in the Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview in January 2009 gallery. As is always the case, you can see some thumbnails below and the rest of them as well as larger versions in the gallery. Note: there are now 2,850 images in 235 categories/sub-categories in the Niagara Falls Image Gallery.
I also took a video of the Falls from our window, as well as the pool area.