If I had to tell you one thing about the Downtown Home Inn, it's that it isn't an inn, at least not In the American sense of the term. It feels more like a dorm to me.
We stayed in the basement apartment suite. From what we could tell online, it was the only space with a private bathroom, and that's non negotiable for us. The suite itself was comfortable - a living room with a sofa and chair, a small desk, a pass-through kitchen on the way to the bedroom. It's all furnished with IKEA, so it has that cheerful Scandinavian feel. There are basic amenities downstairs - a fridge and small stove, silverware and plates, and so on.
There are three things to keep in mind about this basement space. First, it's freezing. The first night we were wearing jackets inside, and it was literally 80 degrees outside. It got better as the days went on, but it was still cold. Second, you can hear people moving around upstairs especially at breakfast time, so if you're a light sleeper, pass on this. Third, you need to be comfortable with a flight of stairs to get down there and with a few random steps downstairs (a big step down into the apartment, and a random step between the living room and kitchen). All in all, it felt a bit like sleeping in an Aunt's comfortable refurbished basement. (The highlight : the second to last day when there was a pounding on the door and the gas company had come to read the meter. No one from the inn accompanied this man to our room. They just sent him downstairs. It was odd, and definitely not an inn experience.)
As for the place itself, it had the feeling that no one was running the show. In other words, it felt unmanned. When we arrived on Tuesday, the communal area was a disaster - boxes of open cereal everywhere, dirty towels on the floor, dishes piled up, and so on. It looked better by Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn't a good first impression. The guy who was working here during the week gave the impression of sweet cluelessness - most of the time when we were coming and going, he seemed to be either watching movies or playing on the computer with a man who seemed to be his friend. Except for the time when we saw the man who owns the business next door yelling at the inn worker for throwing trash out illegally. Again, not a good impression. He also constantly seemed to have bathroom floor mats drying in the banister between the kitchen and the basement which didn't add to the aesthetics of the place.
As for breakfast, at an American inn, someone would an effort (e.g. Take the cereal out of boxes and put it in some glass containers, put the bread in a basket so it doesn't look like you just made a Costco run). It doesn't have to be fancy or even home cooked, but at least it would look like someone cared. Here, about ten bottles of Smuckers seem to always be on the table, and there's open boxes of cereal, bread, and milk. It's pretty low budget and low effort, and they don't make it seem otherwise, especially since everything is always out on the counter.
There also seemed to be no systems here around room maintenance - when we arrived we had no towels, and at 2pm, when none had arrived, the man working upstairs told me he was still "making them." Two days later, we asked for a fresh towel since no one seemed to replenish them, and if we could throw away our garbage since our small pail was overflowing. Two days later, someone had come into our room to place a towel and to empty the trash. I'm not sure what their systems are around cleaning, but it was strange that no one bothered to explain.
It was also generally unclear who was running the place. One day there was an older woman outside watering plants. We never saw her again. One night at around 11pm, we came home, and there was a tall guy standing behind the counter. We had never seen him before. He might work here, but he didn't say anything to greet us or indicate as much, so we just kept walking. That also felt strange. Aside from the sweet clueless guy, I'm not sure if we encountered anyone else who works at the Inn. This gave the whole place a serious dorm vibe, and the sense that no one was really running things.
Finally, I hate to be a complainer, but the keypad in the the door felt oddly unsafe to me - who knows how many guests have had that code, and if the inn ever bothers to change it. It seems much safer to have a finite number of front door keys - say six- that you can keep track of. I found myself wondering if this is the system they have evolved because it allows the place to stay unmanned (they send you an email when you make the reservation with the front door code, and telling you the key to your room will be in the door in case no one is here to greet you. You could cancel your reservation and still have a code to the building).
While the location is great, I don't think I would stay here again. The setup was just too strange.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Whether you’re visiting Toronto on business or pleasure, Downtown Home Inn is excellently located within walking distance to Yonge and Bloor, the crossroads of the city and subway system. Here you are surrounded by multicultural dining, museums, art galleries, theatre, nightlife and exclusive shopping. "Perfect Location and Value" is the right phrase for Downtown Home INN. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Odigeo, TripOnline SA and Agoda so you can book your Downtown Home Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Downtown Home Hotel Toronto