Hampton Inn North of the Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
A while ago, a friend and I as hyped up teenagers wanted to visit Niagara Falls for Boxing Day, since it's an affordable destination during the off season. Part of our original plans was to stay at the Hampton Inn North of the Falls, but we had to cancel the reservation at the last minute because of a scheduling conflict. For some time, I was waiting for the perfect reason to stay at this hotel.
This property is pretty self-described by name, located a short distance from the falls and its attractions. If you have the right identification, the directions couldn't be easier since the Whirlpool Bridge (a useful border crossing) is nearby. Train travellers also benefit from the strategic location since their station is barely a short walk away. Despite the longer trek to the Falls District compared to other accommodations, two important attractions are nearby: the Whirlpool up the road and the White Water Walk directly across the street. Its distance is a benefit if you prefer to be away from all that noise.
Right from entering the hotel, there was an immediate staffed presence and hearty greetings, which felt quite nice after grudgingly getting used to hotels and motels that constantly abandon their reception area and requiring you to "call them up". Two clerks were on shift during check in, one who struck a friendly conversation, while the other was always smiling in response to my occasional curious glances. The process couldn't have been quicker as I was able to bolt upstairs and settle into my room. There's constant beverage service and the lobby is full of comfortable seating. The breakfast area is also quite modern with a coffee house sort of decor.
The room, facing the Niagara River, is a little older by style but there's no shortage of useful features like an extra chair beside the desk, extra coffee with sturdy paper cups, and a wooden laptop support with a leather cushion if you feel like surfing from the bed. The linens are luxurious with a gentle feel, and the size of the room is perfect for two couples plus luggage. It would have been nice to have a room type with a single bed since the smallest option available to me had two beds.
The bathroom shows a bit of age, but thankfully with the normal travel sized bottles of shampoo and the like, as well as a friendly reminder that reception has much of the stuff you might have forgotten to pack; a very useful service since there is little in the area by way of drug stores.
One sore point that is clearly of my own paranoia that would have been otherwise enjoying with a travelling partner is the swimming pool and outdoor deck. I felt a real fear when I walked into the facility by myself! Large and spacious with a sauna room, it triggered anxieties of deep water that shouldn't happen to you. I should've been more brave and let me stress, this isn't the hotel's fault!
On the whole, I love the concept of a hotel that includes all the stuff you need most without nickel and diming you. With free parking, a real breakfast and friendly customer service, this property is one of a kind in an area full of choices and tricks. Shame on me for not liking shade in the pool!
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