We all need a staycation once in a while, right? Especially after surviving the pandemic!! That’s why I was excited when I was invited to stay at the newly-renovated Sheraton Gateway Hotel at the Toronto International Airport last week. Sheraton Gateway has direct access to Terminal 3 and the UP Express to take you to downtown Toronto. I brought my podcasting partner Grace with me and we had a wonderful time! [Disclosure: We received a complimentary stay and dining credit in order to complete my blog review.]
Sheraton Gateway Hotel has just undergone a $30 million renovation and it shows. We were dazzled when we entered the spacious lobby decorated in a calming grey-and-taupe colour scheme and featuring an enormous wall unit encasing abstract art pieces and ceramics. Table lamps add warmth to the modern decor. This decor is part of Sheraton’s new global look.
We were quickly served at the front desk and assigned a Club Level room. Upon entering the room, we saw that it had one king-size bed although we had requested a room with two queen-size beds. We went back down to the front desk and they changed our room for us. When we returned to our new room, the cleaning staff were still cleaning the room, but they let us leave our belongings in the room so that we could head down to the fitness centre. It all worked out!
Sheraton Gateway Hotel has an impressive fitness centre by any standards. There were about eight Peloton bikes, eight treadmills and half a dozen machines to work your arms and legs. The fitness centre is also equipped with free weights, balance balls, Pilates balls, yoga blocks and yoga mats! Grace and I had not seen the inside of a fitness centre in years so we were eager to get on the exercise machines. We were a bit surprised to find out how much muscle strength we lost over the course of the pandemic!
After finishing our workout, we headed to the women’s changeroom to change into our bathing suits. The changeroom is lovely – very spacious with a shower, washrooms and lockers. We then headed to the swimming pool and swam for a bit. The water was fairly warm – 83°C! I couldn’t wait to get into the jacuzzi as my muscles were already stiffening up! The hot tub was quite large – you could probably fit about 10 people in there.
Because we were staying in a Club Level room, we had access to the Club Lounge located on the lobby floor where there were complimentary snacks and drinks. I was able to get a juice and an Oikos Greek yogourt while Grace picked up a bottle of water, apple and a bag of Miss Vickie’s Potato Chips. These snacks was perfect to tide us over until dinner. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Club Level room guests can drop in for complimentary appetizers.
Our Club Level room was so inviting! If you are an aviation enthusiast (and even if you’re not!), you can’t help being impressed by the spectacular view of the runway. The comfortable beds are made with high thread count sheets and super comfortable pillows. Our room had one upholstered chair with a small table and another chair and table, which was perfect for using Grace’s laptop. The bathroom featured a double shower with its own light (!) and a marble countertop. I loved the Gilchrist & Soames Warm Oak shampoo, conditioner and body lotion in our room and in the changeroom.
We were hungry from our workout so we were ready to have dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the hotel’s &More by Sheraton. The restaurant, which is just off the lobby, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Executive Chef Pravin Kumar Bagoli has prepared a menu with a variety of dishes to suit diverse tastes. The all-day menu items include poke and Buddha bowls, pizza, burgers, salads and entrées. Grace and I each ordered Bam Bam Shrimp, $19, as an appetizer. You may know this dish as Bang Bang Shrimp.
The Bam Bam Shrimp at &More is the best you’ll ever have! What a satisfying blend of textures and flavours: crispy battered shrimp and crunchy Asian slaw form a winning partnership dressed in a delicious creamy sambal lime aioli. If you are a seafood lover, don’t even consider ordering anything else 😉
For her entrée, Grace ordered Kingsley’s Jerk Chicken, $30, which comes with urban salad, fries and caramelized pineapple aioli. Grace loved the spicy marinade for her chicken, as well as her fresh and crispy salad!
I ordered the 10 ounce striploin, $43, which was served with caramelized onion, wild mushrooms, fries and tomato jam. My steak was perfectly cooked at medium rare as I had requested. The mushrooms and onions added an earthy and sweet flavour to the steak. I would have liked the plate to include a green vegetable, but that’s because I am a vegetable lover!
We enjoyed our relaxing dinner at &More Restaurant and I loved being able to see the TV screens in the bar area that were showing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blasting a home run for the Toronto Blue Jays!
After dinner, we slipped into the Club Lounge to get some juice and chips to take up to our room.
If you’re wondering how loud it is in the room with the planes landing on the runway, Sheraton Gateway has installed double-pane windows. I did bring my earplugs just in case and generally, I could not hear the engines roaring except once around 12:30 p.m.
From 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Club Level room guests can enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the Club Lounge. Grace and I arrived at around 8:15 a.m. and the buffet was still well supplied. That morning, the breakfast items included kale and mushroom omelettes, sausages, steel cut oats, thinly sliced meats, various cheeses including aged cheddar, apricots, cashews, bagels, toast, croissants, muffins, fresh fruit, yogourt, freshly-squeezed orange juice, coffee, milk and tea. We were well fuelled for our day!
We loved our stay at Sheraton Gateway Hotel. The room, &More restaurant, lobby and amenities are all first class! Whether you are looking for a staycation or you’re on a stop over in Toronto between flights, you will feel pleasantly pampered at Sheraton Gateway!
Sheraton Gateway Hotel
Terminal 3 Toronto Amf
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