Review: Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport

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By the time I got through immigration in Toronto it was around 1AM, and my flight the next day was scheduled to depart at around 1PM. So I decided to book the only hotel connected directly to the airport, which is the Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport.

The price for the one night stay was 230CAD (~175USD), which isn’t cheap, but seemed worth it for the convenience. As a point of reference this is a Category 4 SPG property, meaning that a free night costs 10,000 Starpoints. Since I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, paying cash was the better option.

I was arriving on Air Canada and departing on EgyptAir, and they both operate out of Terminal 1. Meanwhile the Sheraton is connected to Terminal 3, which is the terminal used by most non-Star Alliance airlines.

So upon arrival I followed the signage towards trains and hotels, which required a fair bit of walking.

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Signage for Sheraton Toronto Airport

Then I had to take the train between terminals. Since it was around 1AM, the wait between trains was about 10 minutes.

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Taking the train to the Sheraton Toronto Airport

Once at the Terminal 3 station, I took the escalator down a level, and then at the bottom and on the right was the entrance to the Sheraton.

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Entrance to the Sheraton Toronto Airport

When I arrived at the hotel at around 1:15AM there was quite a line to check-in. There were four people ahead of me, and several people behind me as well. Most people seemed to be on airline vouchers (I guess because their flight was canceled or they misconnected), which makes the check-in process more complicated.

Eventually I was assisted by a friendly associate, who had me on my way to my room in less than a minute.

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Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport lobby

The hotel’s lobby area is pretty nice, with an escalator in the center of it, and then a lobby bar on the far left side.

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Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport lobby

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Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport lobby

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Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport lobby lounge

I was upgraded to a room on the eighth floor, which is the club level. Upon exiting the elevator I turned left and walked down the hallway, where my room was located at the end and on the left.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport hallway

I was assigned room 850, which was a club king room.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport room entrance

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Sheraton Toronto Airport floorplan

The room was almost strangely large, in the sense that it felt like it was about 100 square feet bigger than it was supposed to be, based on how it was furnished. There was an entryway with a closet on the right and the bathroom on the left.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room entryway

That led into the rest of the room. First there was a big open space, which just had a bench, mirror, and coat rack.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room

Then the room featured a bed, desk, and sitting area.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room

The bed was comfortable, as I’ve come to expect from Sheraton brand beds.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club room king bed 

Across from the bed and next to the TV was a single-cup coffeemaker with Starbucks coffee.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king in-room Starbucks coffee

Also next to that was a welcome amenity, consisting of a bottle of sparkling water and a cheese plate.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport Platinum welcome amenity

In the far corner of the room was a sitting area with two chairs, one of which had an ottoman.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room sitting area

Then across from that was a desk with a lamp. I appreciated that the desk had a built-in power outlet, so you could easily plug things in.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room desk

The bathroom was back near the entrance, and featured a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room bathroom

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room shower/tub combo

Toiletries were the typical Sheraton ones, which I don’t mind, but also don’t love.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport toiletries

As an aviation geek, I loved the fact that my room had a direct view of the gate area and runway in the distance. Unfortunately it was so foggy and rainy for much of the morning that I couldn’t even see the planes, though finally at around 10AM it cleared up a bit.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club king room view

Overall I thought that the room was spacious and the bed comfortable. I didn’t love the decor of the room, as it felt about a decade past its prime (i.e., the vertical striped wallpaper in the bathroom), but that’s a minor point for a well located airport hotel.

As a Platinum member I had access to the club lounge, which was also located on the eighth floor, right across from the elevators.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge exterior

I appreciated that the lounge was open 24 hours per day, so you could grab a drink at any hour. Otherwise breakfast is served from 5:30AM until 9:30AM (6AM until 10AM on weekends), and the evening service is from 5:30PM until 8:30PM.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge hours

The lounge is a pretty nice space from which to work, and it has both dining tables and couches.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge seating

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge seating

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge seating

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge seating

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge seating

In the back corner of the lounge was a small business center with a computer and printer.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge business center

Just inside the entrance and to the right was the buffet.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge buffet

I visited the lounge for breakfast the next morning. The espresso machine seemed to be broken, so there were a few canisters with drip coffee (which I prefer anyway) and hot water.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

In terms of cold options, the breakfast selection consisted of croissants, pastries, muffins, fresh fruit, hardboiled eggs, yogurt, cereal, and granola bars.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

Then there were scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and waffles.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge breakfast

Overall I thought that was a very solid breakfast spread for a Sheraton, especially when you consider that those with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express get access to the lounge as well.

One thing I found a bit tacky is that there were slips in the lounge where you were asked to sign your name and room number, which also had a place to add a tip for the attendant. Is Canada as out of control with tipping as the U.S. is? In fairness, the attendant was very friendly.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport club lounge tip slips

Back on the lobby level of the hotel was the gym, which had a good selection of modern equipment.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport gym

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Sheraton Toronto Airport gym

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Sheraton Toronto Airport gym

Next to it were a pool and hot tub, though I didn’t have the chance to use them.

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Sheraton Toronto Airport pool

I got a good night of sleep, had breakfast, worked for a bit, and then at around 11AM headed back to Terminal 1. So after check-out I got back on the train, and 10 minutes later found myself at EgyptAir check-in.

Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport bottom line

The Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport is incredibly convenient, given that it’s connected directly to the airport. Ultimately it’s a bit more convenient if you’re flying out of Terminal 3 than Terminal 1, but I’d still rather take a short train ride than have to wait for an airport shuttle.

The room I had was spacious and had great views. The club lounge was a nice space with a good breakfast selection. For a quick overnight, that’s all I could ask for. So I’d definitely return under similar circumstances.

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Comments

  1. “Gratuity not included” in a hotel lounge with self serve breakfast? I guess Canada is getting as out of control as the US on tipping. Although I can’t say I’ve ever seen a tip envelope, jar etc. in a hotel lounge anywhere in the US when I’ve travelled. I do tip at the lounge bar if the staff mixes a drink however. At a hotel buffet restaurant where the server brings your coffee etc. and you pay for breakfast with a coupon, that calls for a tip, but not a completely self serve lounge.

  2. Thanks for the great review. I stay there frequently when I transit thru Toronto or if I have an early AM flight and don’t want the morning hassle of taking the train from downtown. Completely agree with your review of the Club Lounge. I have always found the Club staff to be very well trained and the “buffet” is always well-stocked and/or replaced quickly. Also appreciate the large and well-stocked fitness center, as well as the steam & sauna in the locker rooms – something most Sheratons in the US/Canada don’t have – it’s a nice place to relax on a layover. Also…if you are arriving/departing from the UP Express train platform – it’s a very short walk to the hotel.

    One thing for you readers to note – there are two Sheraton Properties at the airport 1) The Sheraton Gateway which is attached to Terminal 3. 2) The Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Center which is located about 2 miles from the Terminals and frankly not as great as the Gateway.

  3. Pearson has an alt hotel on the airport grounds too. If you take the terminal link train one stop farther to the Value Park station, it’s there. While it’s not connected directly to a terminal, it’s still much more convenient than the off-airport properties.

    And yes, tipping is almost (but not quite) as bad here. Thanks for that. One of these days we’re gonna build a wall and make you pay for it!

  4. There is also a Four Points that is an easy walk away (less than 10 minutes), just across the street from the airport. It is usually much, much cheaper (in the low $100s CAD).

  5. Even if you don’t stay, but want to freshen up between flights, you can buy a fitness room Day Pass. Take a nice shower and go for a swim. You will feel great and ready for your connecting flight.

  6. Amazingly the rooms are virtually unchanged since I stayed there regularly for a stretch 10 years ago.

  7. I had the same reaction when I stayed there with the tip cards in the lounge. Do they still have that pancake “copy” machine (like the ones in Alaskan lounges)?

  8. Heh. I stayed there probably seven or eight years ago and it hasn’t changed a bit. I was mostly unimpressed. I had to wait in the lobby because a room wasn’t ready and they charged $10 CAD for one hour of Internet access. In the freaking lobby! It was 6PM and I didn’t have a room until 8PM. Then once I got to my room you could hear every conversation in the neighboring rooms and hallways. At 5AM the guy in the room next to me either left his room or died because his blackberry alarm went off for 30 minutes.

    The guilt envelopes are getting out of hand. I even saw a tip jar at a Hyatt self-serve breakfast buffet.

  9. Yeah, I’ve stayed at both this sheraton and the 4pts. Honestly, I felt the service was better at the MUCH less expensive 4pts. I think the sheraton suffers greatly from being The Hotel Connected to the Airport, while other nearby hotels have to actually compete for repeat business.

  10. I stay here about 6 times a year as an SPG Platinum. Overpriced, but I pay for convenience when I have early flights. Good lounge, decent gym. They often deliver a nice fruit plate as a Platinum amenity. I wear earplugs at night so I don’t have any problem with the noise.

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