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Toronto is one of Canada’s most iconic cities, famed for its towering skyscrapers that rise through the downtown core. The Westin Harbour Castle Toronto is a 977-room twin tower that makes up part of the skyline, situated in an ideal location in the heart of the Entertainment District overlooking scenic Lake Ontario.
If you’re searching for a hotel in Toronto and considering a stay at the Westin Habour Castle, this detailed review will help you make the decision.
Westin Harbour Castle Toronto review: 5 reasons to stay
I called Toronto home for years, and it was so much fun to come back and visit this summer as a tourist. During my time, I was kindly hosted for two nights at the Westin Harbour Castle Toronto. As always, all opinions are my own.
#1 Gorgeous location on Toronto’s waterfront
When deciding what area to stay in Toronto, you can’t beat the location of the Westin Harbour Castle hotel.
Situated on the waterfront in the Entertainment District, this hotel’s prime central location puts you in the center of the action within walking distance of many of Toronto’s top attractions.
The hotel is a 10-minute walk from Union Station, which makes it convenient if you are coming into Toronto by train, or from the airport on the UP Express train (it takes you to Union Station in 25-minutes).
Union Station is one of Toronto’s main subway stations, and from there, you can pretty much get anywhere in the city. But with the hotel’s central location, you can also walk or bike to many attractions.
The fantastic location on Toronto’s waterfront makes for gorgeous views of Lake Ontario from the rooms and fitness center at the Westin. I loved waking up to the view of the Toronto islands from my bed!
Below, I’ve suggested some things you can do within walking distance of the Westin.
#2 Walking distance to many of Toronto’s top attractions
The property is located between the convention center and Harbourfront, with parks, bike trails, entertainment venues, and many of Toronto’s museums outside your door. Let’s look at some of the things you can do around the hotel.
Catch a ferry to the Toronto Islands
Step outside the back entrance of the Westin, and you’ll be at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, where you can catch a ferry to the Toronto Islands. You can even see the ferries passing by if you have a Lakeview room!
Visiting the islands is one of the best things to do in the summertime. I love going on bike rides around the paths – It’s a nice nature escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and you get amazing views of the Toronto skyline from the boat.
You could also opt for a scenic harbor cruise if you’re short on time.
Just a 15-minute walk away is the Rogers Centre, home to the Blue Jays. Although I’m not the biggest sports fan, I love going to games with my friends as the tickets are inexpensive, and it’s a fun experience to be in the crowd’s excitement. See game times and ticket prices here.
Catch a show at the Scotiabank Arena
Just a 5-minute walk up the street is the Scotiabank Arena, home to the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs. As you can see, the Westin is a perfect choice for your Toronto hotel if you’re looking to catch sports games while in town.
When there are no sports games on, the Scotiabank Arena also hosts concerts of big hames acts like Bryan Adams and Elton John. See what’s going on during your visit here.
Visit the CN Tower
It’s impossible to walk around Toronto without seeing the iconic CN Tower rise from the sky, and going up the tower is something everyone should have on their bucket list. I hadn’t been up since I was a kid until my recent visit, and I forgot how impressive the views are!
It’s the tallest viewing platform in North America and gives you a unique perspective of Toronto. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk outside it on the Toronto Edgewalk. See options for activities at the CN tower here.
Go on a bike ride around the waterfront.
The Westin Harbour Castle is conveniently located next to The Queens Quay waterfront bike trail, one of the best bike routes in Toronto. It goes along the lake through many parks and is a great way to get around Toronto’s diverse neighborhoods.
Immerse yourself in a sensory experience at Lighthouse Immersive
Just a minute’s walk away is Lighthouse Immersive, which puts on these incredible immersive walk-through experiences. I went to the Bob Marley show, an interactive exhibit that takes you through his life and the legacy he left on the world.
These are just a few of the many attractions around the Westin hotel in Toronto. For more inspiration on what to do while you’re in Toronto, don’t forget to check out my guides to visiting Toronto in all seasons:
- Toronto summer bucket list
- Toronto winter survival guide
- Things to do in Toronto during spring
- How to spend autumn in Toronto
#3 A perfect retreat to come back after a day of exploring
As much as I love Toronto, the busyness of the city can leave you feeling overwhelmed at the end of the day. The Westin Harbour Castle is the perfect urban escape to retreat to.
The rooms are quiet, and the beds are so comfortable you’ll never want to get out of them! While I suggest getting out and discovering Toronto’s incredible food scene, there’s the option for room service if you’re feeling lazy.
The room service menu is extensive, and you can conveniently order it from your phone. They have many vegetarian and healthy options, like this delicious Beetroot salad.
I realized during my stay that I forgot toothpaste, but a quick call down to reception, and they brought some up for me! So much more convenient than having to run out and get it, and one of the reasons I love staying at Marriott properties.
#4 Stay healthy with the expansive fitness center
As glamorous as traveling may look, it can become exhausting, and it’s essential to keep your mental health and wellness in check while on the road – especially if you’re a full-time traveler like myself! Luckily, the Westin makes this easy.
The on-site fitness center is fantastic. There’s more than enough cardio equipment to use while you take in the beauty of Toronto through the expansive windows or catch up with your favorite show on Netflix on the built-in TVs. They also have a separate weight lifting room, squash room, and roof-top tennis court.
There’s a brightly lit indoor pool where you can practice your morning laps and a heated whirlpool to relax your muscles after a workout.
If you prefer to work out outside, they also offer an in-house running concierge where you can sign up for group runs. And as mentioned above, the bike path is right outside, and you can rent bikes from the concierge desk. Which brings me to my next point….
#5 Complimentary activities
Free e-bike rentals
You can rent free Zygg e-bikes to explore Toronto’s urban surroundings as part of the complimentary activities. E-bikes are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the concierge desk and are a great way to get around the city.
Just outside the Westin is the lakefront trail which takes you quickly to other points of attraction in Toronto, like Ontario Place, which puts concerts on throughout the summer.
On the 5th-floor patio, there are BBQs that you can use. You choose what you want to order from a menu 24 hours in advance, and they will prep the ingredients, deliver them in a cooler, and you grill it up!
It’s a great way to spend a summer afternoon in Toronto while enjoying the beautiful summer weather (which goes well into September).
There’s also a kid’s movie room, business center, and high-tech workspace you can rent out for video conferences.
Westin Harbour Castle Toronto Interiorr
The entrance to the Westin is large, with valet parking available as well as wheelchair-accessible entrances. As soon as you enter the lobby of the Westin, it has that wow factor. The lobby area is massive, with a buzzing bar where you can connect with fellow travelers over a cocktail.
The hotel has two towers with four elevators. My room was in the North Tower, a king-bed deluxe guest room on the 31st floor.
Inside the room was a desk with charging points, a phone & lamp, and a comfortable chair, which made it easy to get some work done. WiFi is complimentary with high speeds.
One of my favorite parts about staying in Marriott properties is that you can always count on their beds being incredibly comfortable, and the Westin Harbour Castle was no exception. It was difficult to get out of!
On each side of the bed is a nightstand with charging ports and lamps, making it easy to charge all my camera gear.
The room also had a comfortable chair for reading, a standard-size closet with hangers, a safe, an ironing board, a large screen TV with cable and Netflix, a mini-fridge, and a coffee maker with Starbucks coffee.
The bathroom had a large mirror with bright lighting, making it easy to get ready for a night out, a shower with good water pressure, quality bath amenities, and a hairdryer.
Overall, the room felt a bit outdated and could use some refreshing with more modern appliances and finishes, such as the coffee maker, carpet, and lights. Still, the stay was very comfortable with Westin’s heavenly beds and daily housekeeping services.
The best part of the room was the view from the window, which overlooked Lake Ontario. I loved waking up to a bright blue sky and watching the boats and planes fly over during the day.
The Westin is a dog-friendly hotel, so you can bring your dog at no extra charge. They even have Westin Heavenly dog beds available! Someday I’ll have my travel dog to enjoy these experiences with me…
Food and drink options
There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from nearby. Check out Amsterdam Brew House for craft beers or Boxcar Social on the water for great coffee (and beers). They are both a 10-minute walk away.
If you don’t feel like going far, the Westin offers several on-site food and drink options.
In the morning, you can grab a coffee from the Harbour Coffee Bar and Marketplace in the hotel lobby.
The Mizzen Restaurant offers a breakfast buffet and daily a-la-carte menu that you can also have delivered to your room.
If you’re craving a drink or want to meet fellow travelers, head to the Chartroom Bar and Lounge. It’s a restaurant and bar serving artisanal cocktails, local brews, and innovative dishes. This is a great place to wind down at the end of the day.
Getting to the Westin Harbour Castle from Pearson International Airport
Getting to the Westin Harbourfront Hotel from Pearson couldn’t be more convenient as you can take the UP Express train directly from the airport to Union Station.
It takes 25 minutes, and from there, you can walk to the Westin in ten minutes. You can also easily grab an Uber or Taxi, but honestly, if it’s during traffic (which is most of the time in Toronto), it will take you longer than the train does.
Maximizing your stay with Marriott Bonvoy
If you stay at Marriott properties, you should become a Bonvoy member. This free program allows you to earn and stay points on each stay, which you redeem later for free nights. But to get there faster, take advantage of these credit cards.
I’m an avid travel hacker (collecting points and miles), and through my American Express Platnum Business Card, I get Instant Marriott Gold Status, which gives you perks like welcome gifts, free room upgrades, and late check-outs.
Having gold status really enhances your experience at Marriott properties. The staff at the Westin Harbour Castle even e-mailed me beforehand to check my preferences and arrival times, which was greatly appreciated.
I also have the Marriott Bonvoy credit card, which has a slew of travel benefits and is an easy way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points. It also gives you a free annual night on renewal (the fee is $120, but you can easily get a room above that value).
If you’re looking for a centrally-located hotel in Toronto with all the comforts you need, look no further than the Westin Harbour Castle. This hotel has everything you need to make your stay in the city unforgettable.
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