Crowne Plaza
Niagara Falls - Fallsview

Niagara Falls, Ontario
It has become a source of cruel humour whenever we drive to "faraway" Niagara Falls since it's only an hour and a half from Toronto's suburbs, but the natural draw of the falls and its associated attractions have continued to be a compelling reason for subsequent visits. Usually we stay pretty far from the Falls District, but this time a bit of splurging and a low season deal became a booking at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls - Fallsview; a combination of historical wonder and a glimpse at heritage accommodations.
Part of the reason why this property was chosen is because of its prestige. Cinematic icon Marilyn Monroe once stayed here while filming the movie Niagara many decades ago. In a previous incarnation, this hotel was named after Sir Isaac Brock, the renowned British general who died bravely in a valiant battle against American expansionism in the War of 1812. Pride is thus shown in its atmosphere - within the lobby there was plenty of ornate seating, a duo of pianos and an enormous chandelier. Much in contrast to the current world of minimalist sleek.
I had a very simple time during check in (or "guest registration" as they fancily call the procedure), with a curt lady who considered efficiency to be her forte. With so much to see, it seems the sooner I got the room key the better. She was gracefully accommodating in my requests to be given a room away from the pool area (with the strong smells of chlorine). I inadvertently wound up with a higher quality room with a convenient view of the falls - down the hall from where Marilyn Monroe stayed!
Apart from the occasional crack or blemish in what basically is a historically significant property, the amenities and comforts provided in the room are quite modern; there is ample seating and a table for two, a proper coffee maker and an alarm clock that can plug into a music device. Plush bedding is provided with a fair distribution of pillows - just enough to please you but not enough to stifle you. The sheets on the beds are comfortable, and the bathtub is nice and deep for a traditional soothing bath. The lack of a bathroom fan though is a bit of a concern since the humid air has a chance to waft into the rest of the room and beyond.
A few blips and inquiries surfaced during our stay with certain degrees of satisfaction in resolution provided by the dedicated staff. The room wound up rather warm and the thermostat was ineffective in providing cooler air, so front desk sent up a fan. We received a fancy letter declaring free wifi but had to go through quite a complex chain of people on the phone before it was straightened out (this could be easily solved if they provided basic internet for free, but charge for premium speeds or bandwidth). To my relief, they supplied a couple of toiletries I had forgotten at home.
Within hotel premises there's a grand swimming pool with great views of part of the parking structure and windows to adjoining rooms; what's really nice are the extras like the wading pool and the sauna room. A small business centre is also available around the front desk, alongside indoor entrances to nearby attractions like the water park and Casino Niagara (very useful whenever there are crowds in the area or on cold days that merit being indoors).
A great heritage property a short walk away to the falls - or if you booked it, a view from your window of the falls. Cordial staff that keep this grand old place running efficiently. Clifton Hill's a short walk away. All they need is better functioning heating and cooling and it will be worth a repeat visit!
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