Holiday Inn & Suites – Osoyoos, British Columbia

We stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Osoyoos, BC for 5 nights in April of 2017. This was our first trip to Osoyoos as a family and we picked this hotel largely because all of the other hotels I called in Osoyoos were booked solid. They all told me the same thing – Osoyoos gets a number of snowbirds that rent out the hotel rooms on a monthly basis through the winter and they don’t go home until the end of April. Apparently the wheelchair accessible rooms get booked up by people looking to escape the winter weather elsewhere in Canada. This isn’t too surprising given that the daytime average temperatures are higher in Osoyoos than anywhere else in Canada. The winters are shorter and milder and spring arrives earlier than in other parts of the Okanagan. If I could afford it, I would spend my winters in Osoyoos too!

THE GOOD

The Holiday Inn & Suites is located in one of the best spots in Osoyoos. It is right on a peninsula in the middle of Osoyoos Lake. There is a small private beach area in the back of the hotel and it is an easy walk to the larger public beach (Gyro Beach) and the downtown area. 

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Our room rate for the accessible room with a wheel-in shower was $158.95 per night. The room was really well-appointed for a family. It came with two queen-sized beds in a separate bedroom, a large accessible bathroom with wheel-under sink, wheel-in shower (with built-in bench) and a toilet with grab bars.

Bedroom

The rest of the room had a very large living space with a full-sized kitchen, dining area and living room with couches and a TV.

There was a large balcony off of the living room which made for a nice spot to sit at the end of the day. 

There was free laundry available at the end of one of the hallways. The hotel also had a restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking the water. 

There was a pool, hot tub and fitness room located on the main floor. There was a large, accessible washroom located in the pool area. 

Our nightly rate included free, underground parking. 

THE BAD

This hotel is clearly not one of the finer properties in Osoyoos. It served its purpose, however, it is outdated, dirty and looks run down. It was probably in its prime 30 years ago. 

The wheel-in shower in our room had a built-in plastic shower bench. However, the bench was really far from the taps and it would be a challenge to stay on the slippery bench while trying to reach the taps. If you have mobility challenges, you may require help with this shower. 

The hotel had a pool and hot tub, however the pool wasn’t functioning for the first 3 days of our stay due to an issue with the pump. Also, every time I went to the pool area with the kids I had to go to the front desk to ask for towels as they weren’t stocked on the racks near the pool. They would often give me 2 towels for the three of us, which I found strange. 

When we checked in, they gave us “kids eat free” coupons for the restaurant. Apparently these coupons can only be used to order food off of the kids’ menu and when we ate at the hotel’s restaurant, we were told that they didn’t have a kids’ menu. 

THE UGLY

The hallways and common areas in the hotel smelled very strongly of curry and other combinations of food and grease. 

OVERALL 

Although the hotel itself wasn’t amazing, the location of this hotel was great. The view from the balcony was really beautiful and it was a very short walk to the public beach area and downtown. We were able to walk everywhere once we arrived. 

Some highlights of our stay in Osoyoos included the Desert Model Railroad (www.osoyoosrailroad.com) and the Rattlesnake Canyon Theme Park (www.rattlesnakecanyon.ca). The town also did an amazing family oriented celebration for Easter, complete with an Easter Egg Hunt, live music, petting zoo, face painting, games, bouncy castles, etc.

At that time of year, the town felt a bit sleepy, but it was a great place to unwind, relax and enjoy the beautiful Okanagan air. 

Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre – Toronto, Ontario

This hotel is located on 30 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario (there are a couple of Holiday Inns downtown). I stayed here for 2 nights on business in 2014 but was able to view the wheelchair accessible room while I was there. 

THE GOOD

This affordable hotel is just off Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. While it is a bit further towards the north side of downtown, it is only a 10 minute walk to the Eaton’s Centre. It is less than a block away from the entrance to the subway, next door to a Loblaws grocery store and across the street from several small, independent restaurants. There was a restaurant in the lobby of the hotel for those interested in a sit down meal and there was also a Starbucks connected to the front of the hotel. 

I particularly appreciated the fact that there was a Subway restaurant across the street from this hotel and there was a big Winners store on the corner of Carleton and Yonge Street. 

There was a large ramp at the entrance of the hotel for wheelchair access. The doors into the hotel were automatic, the lobby was accessible and there were elevators for access to each floor. 

Ramp at Front Entrance

Ramp at Front Entrance

There was a pool at this hotel, but no hot tub. The pool was located on the 6th floor and it was accessible. The bathroom immediately outside of the pool area was also relatively accessible, with large showers, wheel-under sinks and a large changing area. The water in the pool was very warm.

Pool

Pool

Access to Pool

Access to Pool

Showers in Pool Change Room

Showers in Pool Change Room

Sinks in Pool Change Room

Sinks in Pool Change Room

There was a gym at the back of the pool area. The gym was accessed by walking up a few stairs. I did not see any wheelchair access to the gym, although I didn’t use the gym so I may have missed it. 

The wheelchair accessible rooms were very small but functional. They had a wheel-in shower, a wheel-under sink and grab bars by the toilet. There was a built-in shower bench in the shower. 

Queen-Sized Bed in Wheelchair Accessible Room

Queen-Sized Bed in Wheelchair Accessible Room

Wheel-Under Sink in Wheelchair Accessible Room

Wheel-Under Sink in Wheelchair Accessible Room

Wheel-In Shower With Built-In Shower Bench

Wheel-In Shower With Built-In Shower Bench

Toilet With Grab Bars

Toilet With Grab Bars

The rooms had a mini-fridge, a TV, a desk, a chair, a safe and an iron and ironing board.

Mini-Fridge and In-Room Safe

Mini-Fridge and In-Room Safe

The trip to and from the airport in a taxi cost about $65 each way and it took about 30 minutes. 

THE BAD

There was nothing luxurious about this hotel. It was basically a cheap place to sleep. The carpets were dirty and although the bathrooms appeared to be recently renovated, the rooms appeared run down. The decor was a hideous orange colour and could definitely use some major updating. There was no view to speak of. The window overlooked an alleyway. 

King-Sized Bed in Regular Room

King-Sized Bed in Regular Room

Desk and TV in Regular Room

Desk and TV in Regular Room

TV and Closet in Regular Room

TV and Closet in Regular Room

The bathroom in the regular (non-accessible) room I stayed in was extremely small and had no bathtub (only a shower). 

Sink and Toilet in Regular Room

Sink and Toilet in Regular Room

Shower and Toilet in Regular Room

Shower and Toilet in Regular Room

The location of this hotel isn’t great if you want to be in the heart of the action.  Although it is only 10-15 minutes away from the central part of downtown, this may be too far for some people.

Downtown Toronto - Across the Street From the Eaton's Centre

Central Downtown Toronto – Across the Street From the Eaton’s Centre (about a 10 minute walk away)

This hotel is also not in a location where you would want to be out walking around by yourself late at night. It is a bit too far from the main action and it is very dark on this street.

THE UGLY

The rooms in this hotel are really ugly. I felt like I didn’t want to touch things in the hotel room because everything looked so old and dirty. You typically get what you pay for and this hotel is no exception. 

OVERALL

While this isn’t an amazing hotel, I think it is a good alternative if you are looking for a cheap place to sleep in downtown Toronto. A nice hotel in downtown Toronto will cost you over $250 a night. This hotel cost me $150 a night. Considering it had easy access to food, good wheelchair accessibility and was close enough to the heart of downtown to walk/wheel there, I thought it was a decent choice for a short stay.