Courtyard Toronto Markham
Markham, Ontario
Located in the centre of business and tech in York Region, straddling the Richmond Hill/Markham border is the Courtyard Toronto Markham. With easy access to Highways 7, 407 and 404, it's definitely an easy to reach property, close to shopping and a couple of business parks.
Compared to other hotels, check in was especially slow and a bit rocky as the clerk tried to convince me that I "didn't have to" redeem my gift cards as it was a prepaid reservation. Considering that there is no easy way to redeem these cards for reservations online, the usual process is to go to the hotel directly to use them up. What's the point of making what basically is currency available for purchase and redemption if they couldn't be used in this manner?
The room itself was a lot more impressive and a lot less frustrating as there was enough room to do cartwheels in (we suggest you don't to protect your damage deposit and your head). It's bright with furniture and decor that is modelled in a forest theme, if branches and leaves were really made of gold.
To ensure the room doesn't feel dark, they installed a private balcony with slightly dirty lawn furniture as a convenience in this type of room. It's got a great view of all the buildings and shopping in the area, as well as a glimpse of traffic on Leslie Street from above.
The bathroom is adorn with designer shampoo and conditioner, which feels luxurious when used, but instead of providing bottled water like some counterparts in the south, they assume we'll pay two and a half times the standard non-bulk cost at any retailer down the road. A set of mixed messages to say the least.
Although breakfast is not included in the rate (another drawback since some of the chain is known to offer it with compliments), there is free brand name coffee and tea at a certain set of hours a day in their lobby/lounge; this will at least give you enough fuel to get you out the door to find something to eat.
The swimming pool and exercise room, both indoors, is a welcome convenience since you can use these facilities in winter. Winters in Markham aren't usually very kind. The fitness centre is also open 24/7 just in case business requires you to adjust your physical regimen to an ungodly hour.
Wifi, which is extremely important for the connected traveller, was extremely hard to come by if not utterly non-existent. Even when I was in the lobby using the computers in the business centre, service was spotty and inconsistent. It's something that shouldn't require further inquries with reception, especially since this hotel is in the same area as one of the biggest tech companies in the world.
Check out was a bit more smoother in comparison to check in. However, I was then subjected to another lecture about how much of a pain it is to reverse the charges and adjust the hotel bill with their own gift cards, this time because the reservation was under a restrictive rate.
Look, consumer law in Ontario is clear when it comes to selling a product as currency and then using said product in an issuing merchant's services. It is way simpler to accept what is basically currency as currency, and reverse charges with all other merchants and retailers is a common transaction. Whining about payment methods and rules while surrounding the verbal beatdown with a top-down attitude and then calling me a "one time exception" on the matter is poor customer service that would drive anyone rational away to competitors and other destinations.
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