Review: Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre

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I stayed at the Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre while visiting family back home in the Big Smoke over Easter in April 2022.

It’s always a treat to visit loved ones, and I found the accommodations here to be satisfactory, albeit standard-issue. Still, the rooms were comfortable, even if the exterior of the hotel suffers from the same Brutalist architecture which mars much of the downtown core.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Booking

For my three-night stay, I booked using a combination of Marriott Free Night Awards and Marriott Bonvoy points.

Fortunately, I secured my stay prior to the advent of dynamic pricing. I booked my first two nights using Free Night Awards, and the next night at a fixed cost of 35,000 points.

Cash rates at this property tend to cost between $375–450 during peak season, and between $230–300 during low season. Meanwhile, Bonvoy points will cost around 35,000–40,000 points through most of the calendar year, although this may change once Marriott Bonvoy goes fully dynamic in 2023.

While I didn’t necessarily get spectacular value out of my Free Night Awards and Bonvoy points, especially when compared to our Points Valuations, I was happy to avoid paying cash for this trip over a holiday weekend.

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Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Location

Nestled in the centre of Toronto on bustling Bay Street, the Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre lives up to its name. It’s right next to the famous shopping mall, which unsurprisingly possesses the name of Cadillac Fairview (CF) Eaton Centre.

This proximity also provides access just down the street to both the new and old City Halls, as well as the iconic Nathan Phillips Square.

The great advantage of this positioning is that the Eaton Centre is right above Dundas subway station of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). You’ll never be more than a subway ride away from interesting restaurants, shows at Mirvish Theatre, or shopping destinations suitable for purses of any size.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – View from entrance
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Entrance

I personally chose this hotel because I’m the product of a split family, and my parents live on differing ends of Downtown Toronto.

As I wanted to make time to see both halves of my progenitors, it made sense to select the one hotel which is equidistant from both, via any transportation medium: Uber, walking, and the ever-precarious TTC.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Check-in

The entrance to the hotel is what I’d consider to be typical of mid-range Marriotts: brightly lit, well-staffed, and populated by guests in the midst of their comings and goings.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Entrance

The check-in process was smooth and rapid, which was a pleasant surprise considering I was visiting on a long weekend. I had previously stayed at this location on a Labour Day weekend, and the staff had been positively slammed.

On this occasion, however, I was thanked for my loyalty as a Titanium Elite member, and immediately presented with my welcome amenity options of either complimentary breakfast or points. After opting for breakfast, I was also notified of my access to the M Club, as well as told that I had been upgraded to a One-Bedroom King Suite on the 7th floor.

It was nice to not have to “suite-talk” or otherwise have to work for my elite benefits.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Check-in desks

There was also a seating area, where I often saw families waiting for their valet-parked cars, or later in the evening, revellers assembled for their night on the town. I sat down and collected a quick drink from the bar.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Elevated seating area

With check-in concluded, I made my way to the elevators and up to my room.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Elevators

I later felt there weren’t quite enough elevators. They were often full, or obligated to stop on every floor, and sometimes there were lineups or waits. Another pair of elevators to complement the four presently operating would have been optimal.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite

I got up to Room 720, which was found next to the elevators on the 7th floor. The hallways themselves are a bit drab, with a grey-on-grey colour scheme that was not as warm as the wood panels of the lobby.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Room 720

The room itself was much larger than I had expected, which is beautiful in a city that is becoming as space-constrained as Toronto. The entrance hallway and common area alone seemed to be sufficient for a suite-sized room.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite foyer view

The couches and coffee table were quite spacious themselves, and while the decor couldn’t be called brand-new, it was at least modern. Better yet, it was in great repair, and I noticed no tired or beaten pieces of furniture.

The couches were comfortable, too, and more than adequate as a rest stop for a visiting friend.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite living room
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite living room chairs
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite work desk & television

The entryway also had a large closet, so their business clientele can store a professional wardrobe. Inside was a bathrobe, which I declined to take with me.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite entryway closet
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Bathrobe

The bedroom was also spacious and comfortable, and came with yet more seating options in the form of an extra desk and extra table. Seriously, part of me wonders why this room type required so many places to sit down.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite bedroom desk & chaise longue

That having been said, the bed was a plush king with ultra-soft linen. The dressers came with plentiful power outlets, always vital in this electronic device-addicted epoch.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite bedroom
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite bed

After poking around for a bit and seeing how widely the room was laid out, I realized that my suite may have served the dual function of also being an accessibility-oriented room for people with disabilities. It’s good to know that Marriott is making sure that there are premium room options for all their customers.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite accessibility button

The bathroom was likewise enormous and filled with accessibility-positive features in both the bathroom and toilet areas.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite sink
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite accessible toilet
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – One-Bedroom King Suite accessible shower

As a “premium” hotel within the Marriott portfolio, I was a bit surprised to see that the bathroom kits were provided in squirt bottles instead of travel-friendly individual units.

For me, this wasn’t really a deal-breaker, but definitely indicative of the post-COVID cost-cutting to which the industry has become accustomed.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – M Club

The M Club lounge in this hotel is small, and by that I mean tiny.

It’s located on the ground floor, right next to the main restaurant, and is frankly quite easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. It also had some lame business hours, only being open to 8am8pm on weekdays, closed entirely on Saturdays, and on Sundays open from 10am7pm.

Inside, I was likewise slightly underwhelmed, and though the hotel was near capacity, the M Club was dead when I poked my head in.

There was a customary spread of snacks and chips available, which at least were complimentary. Any alcohol, as is customary in North America, was an extra charge. 

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – M Club hors d’ouevres

On the upside, non-alcoholic beverages, including normally-expensive individual bottles of San Pellegrino, were entirely complimentary.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – M Club beverages and honour bar

There was also a series of plush seating areas with stuffed chairs or hardwood tables, but the entire lounge still felt a little bit sterile. Also, and this is a tiny nitpick, the carpet felt outdated by about 15 years apart from the decor of the rest of the hotel.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – M Club seating
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – M Club seating

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Breakfast

The hotel’s restaurant, Trios Bistro, was located right across from the M Club, and was likewise adequate for the purposes of nourishment.

I don’t think anyone would opt to dine there as a first choice, given the sheer plenty of Toronto’s high-quality culinary options within walking distance, or when compared to the choices that are covered via Uber Eats or similar platforms.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Trios Bistro

I went here for my complimentary Titanium Elite breakfast buffet though, and I must say it hit the spot, particularly after an evening of hearty carousing.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Breakfast buffet
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Breakfast buffet

The buffet had all the classics you’d expect sausage, eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast. There were even a handful of fresh pastries that morning, although I didn’t indulge.

The options were tasty, and the coffee hot, so I felt like I got decent value from the elite breakfast. However, the normal rate for the buffet was around $32 plus 13% HST and gratuity, and that in my estimation was far too much given the plainness of the fare.

For that price, either order the à la carte menu, which admittedly looked tasty, or hoof it to a local brunch joint.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Other Facilities

Aside from the breakfast and buffet, the hotel also contained a decently nice fitness centre on second-highest floor, which I used to run off the previous evening’s excesses.

Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Fitness centre entrance
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Fitness centre cardio equipment
Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre – Fitness centre towel racks

Finally, the hotel possesses a tiny, one-desk business centre on the ground floor, but at the rates they’re charging, I can advise you to just ask the front desk to do your light printing.

The front desk workers were lovely at accommodating my requests, and didn’t charge me a dime for the paper, ink, or effort.

Conclusion

I would return to the Marriott Downtown at Toronto CF Eaton Centre because of its location, which really is second to none. On top of that, it provided comfortable lodgings, and had a friendly and professional staff that was very welcoming to guests with elite status.

I can’t, however, state that this hotel “wowed” me. While the Marriott Eaton Centre was a comfortable enough experience, it’s a bit older, and the price on it outstrips its utility as a decent full-service hotel.

Indeed, given the choice between prices at this location, which can reach as high as $400, versus the $250 or lower charged by other limited-service Marriott properties available in Toronto, I think I’d hang my hat up in the latter.

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