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Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

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Danbury, Connecticut
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Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

Hi all,

My husband and I (in our early 50's) are coming to Toronto and Niagara for the first time in July.

We are planning on a 2-3 night stay in the Niagara leg of the trip, and I was originally looking at a large chain hotel right on the falls, when my sister (who went to Niagara last year) advised me to also consider Niagara on the Lake because of the shops, restaurants and proximity to vineyards.

Having never been before I am not sure which way to go. I can get a great deal on hotwire on what appears to be the Oban Inn and OSpa in NOTL. There are also some good deals for Falls hotels.

While we we are coming to see the falls, we aren't interest in overly touristy things like amusement parks, casino and such. The idea of driving to a few vineyards is appealing.

Just wanted your thoughts on the matter, and your opinion of the Oban as to be honest, we aren't spa people, we just like to stay in nice places.

Thanks for any and all help!

Voy

West Grey, Ontario
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1. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

Hi Voyagereuse;

Do you want to be near all the action, and the Falls, or are you looking for something more quiet and romantic ?

The former is Niagara Falls, the later is Niagara on the Lake.

The two are approx. 13 miles / 21 km, about a 20 minute drive, apart. Commenting on his ride along the Niagara Parkway;

Sir Winston Churchill said "it's the prettiest Sunday drive in the world".

Best Regards

Edited: 10 April 2010, 20:18
Horsham, United...
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2. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

I can highly recomend the Pilar & Post hotel in Niagara-on-the-lake, beautiful hotel. Niagara on the lake is a lovely town to visit, we stayed there for 3 nights a couple of years ago, much nicer than Niagara, which is great to go to see the falls, but looks very tacky, I wouldn't want to stay there personally..

London, Canada
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3. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

I think you would much prefer staying in Niagara on the Lake with your interest in vineyards and your sister's recommendation. The Oban Inn has a good reputation and the location is right in town where you can walk to shops and along the lakeshore. Friends have gone for weekends and always enjoyed it.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g154999-d185608…

If you're not interested in a spa and want a stay in a gorgeous property, the Riverbend Inn is located on the Niagara Parkway in a beautiful setting of vineyards. We love staying there, even when we are seeing a show in Niagara Falls.

http://www.riverbendinn.ca/

Hope that helps......

Danbury, Connecticut
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4. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

Thanks for the input, we are definitely considering staying at NOTL. My other question would be... would you just drive to the Falls or are there regularly scheduled buses? We wouldn't necessarily want to stay a whole day each day.

London, Canada
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5. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

There really is no public transportation between the two so we usually just park and visit wherever we want---the Falls, Butterfly Conservatory, the Gorge.......your choice. There is also the People Mover--- available once you go to Niagara Falls.

niagaraparks.com/plan/peoplemover-buses.html

That website has a lot of general information about the Niagara area if you have a look.

Also helpful is the TA site:

tripadvisor.com/AllReviews-g154998-Niagara_F…

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

Hi Voyagereuse,

Welcome to the NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE TRAVEL FORUM.

Gosh where to start, eh? Sometimes a visit to Niagara Falls / Niagara-on-the-Lake can seem so overwhelming… with all the choices that are available… but it need not be that way.

First off, the two destinations are extremely different. NF is very commercial (some folks would even say over the top tacky). I’ve been to NF many times in my life and I still enjoy its natural beauty… it truly is a Wonder of the World… but I don’t enjoy the commercialism or overpriced side-show tourist traps (someone last summer reported they paid $ 4 for a 500 ml bottle of water).

I am quite content to “visit” NF but spend a good portion of my vacation time exploring the rest of the Niagara Region… and for that NOTL is an ideal location.

NOTL is primarily considered a couples-getaway destination, and as such is a bit more sophisticated than NF just up the river.

It for me though captures what makes the Niagara Region so special… a gorgeous setting on Lake Ontario, quiet streets, gorgeous buildings, historic sites and an abundance of flowers and greenery in the summertime. There is certainly a reason why it is considered Canada’s prettiest town.

Add to that The Shaw Festival, Art Galleries, Music Venues, Antique Shops, Boutique Shopping, Spas, and gorgeous scenery on a countryside that combines both the Escarpment and the country roads thru Vineyards & Orchards (fabulous spot for biking, wine touring or just a leisurely drive).

Travellers may discover NOTL because of those Big Falls up the road… but it is the beauty and variety of the Niagara Region that brings the faithful back time and time again (we have been devotees now for going on 10 years).

Wikipedia – Niagara-on-the-Lake = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara-on-the-Lake

NOTL Chamber of Commerce = www.niagaraonthelake.com

The Chamber, acts as the main tourism office for NOTL… and their website it chocked full of great info.

As for accommodations, NOTL has a lot to choose from… Boutique Hotels, Country Inns and B&Bs are all very popular.

When it comes to B&Bs for example, there are over 100 in the NOTL area… so something for everyone’s taste and budget.

Infact, NOTL placed 5 B&Bs in TA’s BEST B&Bs IN CANADA List for 2010, one of which also placed in the BEST B&Bs IN THE WORLD List.

See the topic entitled *TA's 2010 Travellers' Choice Awards - NOTL Winners* = tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154999-i270-k33600…

For info on local B&Bs check out these Websites:

NOTL Chamber of Commerce (Accommodations) = niagaraonthelake.com/accommodations/jpage/1/…

NOTL B&B Association Listing = niagarabedandbreakfasts.com/accommodations.h…

When it comes to Boutique Hotels and Country Inns, NOTL has an impressive list of 9 properties that are CAA / AAA 4-Diamond Lodging Winners for 2010… including The Oban Inn and Spa (which has been a winner for 4 years in a row). Infact NOTL has the highest percentage of CAA / AAA Diamond Winners in Canada (based on the size of the town).

For more info on that see this recent post entitled *CAA / AAA Diamond Awards Lodging & Restaurants* = tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154999-i270-k33813…

The topic also covers nearby locations in the Niagara Peninsula, as well as the CAA / AAA 4-Diamond Winners for Restaurants (11 in NOTL).

Other websites you might find useful in your research…

Ontario Finest Inns = www.ontariosfinestinns.com

In regards to other info on NOTL… you’ll find a ton of stuff both on this TRAVEL FORUM (remember it is Searchable… just type in any keyword(s) to the SEARCH BOX at the top of the List of Topics in the FORUM). As well as in the HOTELS REVIEW Section (click on the button to the left of this screen… there is also a tab on the page it will take you to for Country Inns and B&Bs if they interest you).

There have been a lot of topics in the past on accommodations… and just by doing a SEARCH using a property name you might be interested in you’ll generate a lot of “hits”. Some of which no doubt will be past Trip Reports (always a good source of info).

When it comes to Restaurants, Theatre, Wineries, Wine Touring, Historic Sites, Country Drives, Notable Places to See etc… again you’ll find a lot of previous topics… but I can certainly help you out with that too (suggest though that you post NEW Questions for NEW Topics).

Also as my colleague TOBIE has noted there is no real public transit between NF and NOTL… the PeopleMovers in the summertime only go as far as the escarpment (ridge) at Queenston Heights (Brocks Monument). We have never found taking our car back and forth between the two places that much of a hassle… and the Niagara River Parkway is just so gorgeous a drive. Like you said, we tend to scoot over to NF for a couple of hours and then move on to something else… the MUST DOs in NF Ontario though would be:

*Maid of the Mist - do it late in your visit… as it is just so darn incredible… that after it nothing else measures up.

*Journey Behind the Falls - gets mixed reviews… often from those who have already done MOM… it is pretty spectacular as a first encounter up close and personal with all that water.

*IMAX Theatre & Daredevil Museum - film has seen better days… it was one of the first made when the technology for IMAX was invented here in Canada… still though the film does tell a good story about NF including the Geography, History and modern fascination.

*If you like heights… then the Niagara Skywheel gets good reviews… and a different perspective. If you have wads of money to spend… do the Helicopters instead.

*Botanical Gardens – Unbelievable a draw to the area for over 50 years (you’ll probably see a couple of Brides).

*Butterfly Conservatory – Great fun for all ages.

*If you are a thrill seeker… the Jetboats are a good choice (they depart from NOTL).

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Danbury, Connecticut
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7. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

Well everyone, your wonderful and very informative posts convinced me to go ahead and book our lodging in Niagara on the Lake. For us, it seems like a much better match than staying at some hi rise in an amusement park-type atmosphere.

I went ahead and gambled on hotwire for what I thought would be the Oban, but it turned out to be The Shaw Club, which gets wonderful reviews on trip Advisor. At $116 a night it is a bargain, and we're quite pleased!

I am looking forwarded to traveling along the countryside and taking in some wineries. Have never had ice wine before, so looking forward to trying it!

See you in July!

St. Catharines...
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8. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

I think you will be very happy with The Shaw Club. The rooms are very nice and the service there is great. The location is also convenient for walking along the main street in NOTL and visiting the different shops.

FYI - The Shaw Club has a shuttle van that will take you to local places of interest. It will only take you to places in NOTL but it is free of charge. We used it to go to dinner away from the main street. Just ask at the front desk.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

Hi Voyagereuse,

Sweet indeed... $ 116 is incredibly good value. Congratulations. I think you'll be quite happy.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

10. Re: Niagara Falls v. NOTL lodging

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