The Sheraton Gateway may very well be the most convenient hotel around Toronto International Airport considering its direct attachment to Terminal 3. Connected by a short indoor walkway and an escalator, travelers can quickly check out of the hotel and into their respective airline within minutes. Getting to Terminal 1 is made every bit as easy via the Terminal Link train, which additionally services Viscount Station in order to access the Value Park Garage, Value Park lot and the Alt Hotel. All terminal stops are indoors, so there’s never a need to go outside and encounter bad weather. Running 24 hours a day – every 4 minutes during peak hours – there’s never a reason to be late for a flight.
The pluses of the Sheraton Gateway are pretty obvious. It’s time-saving serviceability clearly ranks as number one. The name Sheraton is also favorable – the hotel brand is known far and wide so travelers feel confident they know what they’re getting due to the hotel’s pedigree of service and guarantee. That pedigree is seen in spades in the upscale lobby that sets the tone of the hotel.
There is also the added attraction of it being a great place to start a vacation, considering the rooms oversee the hustle and bustle of the airport. Whether looking directly into Terminal 3 and watching travelers scurry, watching the Link Train scoot back and forth, or viewing the planes as they take off and land, it’s undeniable that the atmosphere will fuel excitement for a vacation about to happen. However, if you’re traveling for business purposes and are tired of airports and the commotion, you can pull the blackout drapes and get a good and quiet rest. And when you wake, there are 25 meeting rooms and a business center as well as in-room desks and Wi-Fi to make your business trip easier.
The handiness of this hotel extends to a 24/7 fitness center, an indoor pool and a spa, and a small convenience store in the lobby for magazines, treats, and small-sized versions of any toiletries you may have forgotten at home. There is also a lounge, a bar and an upscale restaurant located on the lobby level.
As for the rooms, they’re likely what you would expect from a Sheraton, with the same basic set-up as most other big chain hotels. With a typical choice of a king-size bed or two doubles, the rooms are also equipped with flat-screen TVs, as well as coffeemakers, mini fridges, and typical complimentary toiletries. Special rooms for guests with disabilities are available, as are rollaway beds upon request (for an additional fee). Children under 17 years of age are not charged for their stay if using the existing beds in the room. As for the condition, you can expect cleanliness and upscale amenities, not to mention friendly service from staff should you require anything above or beyond what is already contained in the room. We did encounter an issue where we required help with the thermostat and were quite impressed with how quickly maintenance staff was dispatched and solved our problem with a smile.
No matter which floor you might be assigned to within the hotel, the big surprise is how amazingly quiet they are. With the Link Train running directly below; taxis, airport shuttles and limos conducting pick-ups and drop-offs at all hours, one would expect a certain level of ongoing noise. But somehow there isn’t much. Of course, there is a certain level of airport noise but only if the runways close to the hotel are being utilized, and this tends to decrease as the night wears on and Red Eye flights grow fewer and fewer. For some travelers, runway noise might contribute to the excitement of an upcoming trip. For others; however, it might be bothersome. If that’s the case, you can always opt for accommodations with a City View instead. Either way, the rooms are rather quiet but for the odd door opening and closing in the hallway. Even the elevators are a non-issue considering they are situated in a short, offset hallway of their own.
Like most businesses these days, Sheraton offers a membership club – Starwood Preferred Guest, often simply referred to as SPG – that can help rack up points for free stays and special perks, such as accommodations on the Club Floor of the hotel.
At Sheraton Gateway, this translates to free Wi-Fi, free breakfast for two, complimentary all-day snacks and evening hor d’ouevres, all of which are available via keyed access to the Club Lounge.
As for on-site restaurants, the Mahogany Grill restaurant is lovely, certainly upper class and dimly lit for ambiance. However, it is also quite pricey, with chicken noodle soup at $10, a chef salad at $19, and a club sandwich and cheeseburger at $18 and $19 respectively. This might not present such a drawback for business travelers or couples, but for guests with families, they might be just as apt to take the convenient walkway across to Terminal 3 and hit up the Wendy’s located inside. Problem solved!
PROS: Location and Convenience. Brand name. Signature beds are comfortable. Very helpful and friendly staff. Starwood Preferred SPG club allows for extra perks.
CONS: A few rooms are starting to show some wear and could use an update. Onsite dining is quite pricey.
All said, this hotel has a LOT going for it and definitely is one to consider if you have an upcoming flight into or out of Toronto.