Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Package

This week I had my bathroom re-done, an event that meant that for one night, my husband and I had had to be out of our condo. We decided that this was a great opportunity to try out one of those Niagara Falls packages that you always see advertised on the deal sites and so we purchased one for the Hilton from

The Hotel
The Niagara Falls Hilton is a massive hotel (the tallest in town) that was surprisingly busy for a mid-week day.  Because of its size, it felt rather charmless (the ugly neutral décor didn’t help either) but it was clean and efficient.  It also has a great location, close to the Falls and right across from the Fallsview Casino (the two buildings are actually attached by a walkway). It’s also about a 15-minute walk from Clifton Hill.

The hotel has a large pool, complete with a waterslide and a hot tub, that’s unfortunately overrun by kids (this hotel seems to be very popular with families). There also aren’t any change rooms, which I found odd.

Our Room
We chose to upgrade our package from “city-view” to Falls view for $20, money that was very well spent. We had an excellent view of the Falls and I suspect that by upgrading, we also got a nicer room.

While a Jacuzzi and a king bed were part of our package, I wasn’t expecting a massive suit that came with a separate seating area, two TVs and an electric fireplace. While the décor was a bit dull, the room really was wonderful and most importantly, very clean and, after the outdoor music was turned off at 10 pm, completely silent.

Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse

For dinner, our package gave us two options: $75 at the Hilton’s fancy The Watermark restaurant or $40 at its Brazilian-style steakhouse. We decided to go for the latter option because it sounded like a very different dining experience.

For $40 a person (Sunday-Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays are a bit more), you get access to a massive buffet and Brazilian-style BBQ, which is fire-roasted meat served to you by “gauchos” who come around to your table and basically cut a chunk of meat off a stick for you.

Now, I don’t eat most kinds of meat and so I was a little worried that maybe this restaurant wasn’t for me but that turned out to be totally wrong. The buffet part had more than enough options (including salmon) and I did try a few of the BBQ options, including some mediocre chicken and amazing sugar-glazed pineapple that was probably the best thing in the restaurant.

My meat-eating husband quite enjoyed the 11 different meat options, particularly the lamb, and we would both eat here again.

If you decide to eat here, make reservations for around 7. It wasn’t too busy then and so the gauchos were regularly stopping by our table, offering us food (in fact, sometimes they were coming by a little too frequently). But as the night went on and the restaurant filled up, the gauchos stopped by less and less.

Breakfast Buffet

This was your typical big hotel breakfast buffet, complete with an omelette bar and a large selection of good-but-not-amazing food. While nothing special, this buffet did fill me up and I was surprised but pleased to see that the price (normally $15 during the week) covered beverages.

Again, try to eat here on the early side, preferably before 9, because this place does get quite busy quite quickly.

Other Notes
Our package included a few other items including two drinks at the Hilton’s Myst Lounge. Located on the top floor of the smallest tower, this bar was supposed to have great views of the Falls. Unfortunately, those views were restricted to the far sides of the bar and yes, other people had already claimed those spots.

There was though plenty of seating without a view (the lounge was pretty quiet) and the drinks were fine so I can’t really complain about this part of our stay.

We didn’t use the vouchers that offered discounts at the spa and a bus tour company but we did redeem the one that gave us a free tour/tasting at Hillebrand Winery. We arrived just in time for the ice wine tour, which, while short, was informative and quite tasty.

This was my first wine tour but it definitely won’t be my last because we still have a valid voucher for a tour of Peller Estates.  I’m hoping to use that some time this summer.

Out package cost $139, which makes it one of the pricier Niagara packages I’ve seen advertised. However, it was packed with vouchers, most of which we used, and I feel we did get our money’s worth. I would look at purchasing this package again, if it was available and I had an excuse to leave the city for a night.

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