The Aloft Hotel is an upscale family/business hotel in the middle of a parking lot in Vaughn Mills, Ontario, Canada; a town about an hour north of Toronto. The location is highly odd, as there is nothing around. The hotel sits on the corner of an intersection just off the highway, and at the end of a mall parking lot – though LegoLand is in this mall. It is also about 15 minutes down the street from Canada’s Wonderland, an amusement park that is home to Canada’s largest rollercoaster.
Although the hotel looks rather ridiculously placed from the outside, inside the hotel it looks upscale and businessy. The lobby is home to a circular and open reception area, and opens up to a variety of table and cushioned furniture to lounge in. The elevators, have a cool blue pressure floor – where when you step, a blue & glitter gel under the clear Plexiglas tiles moves as you touch it. It is eye-catching and unique.
When you step off the elevator, you enter generic yet modern hallways to your room. A little disappointing after the fun elevator floor. I rather expected wither pressure tiles on the hallway floor or a runner of similar tiles, or at least a similarly colored band, running mid-height, down the length of the hallway ways. Or just anything else eye-catching to go on with the mod-tech theme.
Inside is a super modern décor room. You walk and face a wall with a few drawers, “closet cubby” (large recess with a closet rod on top where you can hang clothes, some more cubby spaces and a safe. There is even FREE bottled water next to the ice bucket. This multi-use cubby area creates a nice separation between the bathroom area and the bedroom area. It faces the sink (which has an awkwardly placed mini fridge under it), and creates the wall for the bedroom.
Before you walk into the bedroom area, you notice that to the side of the sink is a door which separates the toilet and shower area.
The shower has a semi-fogged door and includes 2 pump dispensers for soap and shampoo. The soap and shampoo are distinctly masculine smelling which sucks for girls but is great for guys.
The bathroom is decorated in glass and dark tiles, and does have a bachelor feel about it, but also a rather sexy-mod feel about it. Other than the design it’s a pretty standard bathroom. The towels were surprisingly scratchy. With all the attention to details, I was disappointed when the towels, which looked like thick plush towels, turned out to be nothing more than cheap Walmart-ish towels. Though thick, they were anything but soft.
The bed however was a different story. Wider than long (which my tiny 5’2” frame still tries to take over), the bed was super plush and comfortable. It sat high off the ground, and the bed-base was slightly narrower than the platform the mattress sits on. This creates a foot or so overhang around the bed, which is a great area to store a small suitcase, shoes, and so on, out of the way and off the floor.
There is a giant plasma TV on the wall, a bench seat under the TV, nightstands with lights and outlets on either side of the bed, and a business center area with a desk, phone, and a little charger area with multiple outlets and charger ports. It also had adapters that lead to the TV. I didn’t try this, but supposedly you can plug your camera into this adapter box, and watch your photos and videos directly on the TV.
The windows in my room looked out over the parking lot for the strip mall. Like I said earlier, there is NO view from any direction on this hotel, so unless a carnival comes, don’t expect a view of anything.
Breakfast here has a pretty amazing selection, though many things outside the traditional cheap, ‘from-a-carton’ style scrambled eggs, greasy bacon and home-fries, and waffles breakfast are an extra charge. Also, the coffee is off to the side, separate from the actual food. What is near the food is a cheap, gas station style ‘cappuccino’ machine, which of course, is an extra charge, and before you have coffee this arrangement is quite confusing. I had to ask for the actual coffee (which was actually marked “Hot Water”) to find it. It rather seemed like they were purposely trying to make you buy their horrible ‘cappuccino’ by hiding the coffee.
The good thing about this food station though, is the variety. Fresh fruit, yogurt, sandwiches, salads – all the food looks fresh and delicious, and this “refuel” area is open 24 hours. So if you get hungry in the middle of the night, you just have to pop downstairs for a huge selection of healthy and snack foods.
The hotel room was $70 a night plus fees. Though the hotel is pretty fancy for the most part, it sits in a horrible location, only really close to LegoLand and Canada’s Wonderland, but, being only an hour from Toronto, there is really no reason for anyone to stay up here overnight. Most Torontonians will come up to this area as a day trip, and most visitors to Toronto don’t make it up to this area (but should). This hotel seems mostly beneficial to business workers with meetings, or groups coming for special events, at likely, LegoLand, Canada’s Wonderland, or a nearby golf course. There does seem to be a lot of businesses in the area though, so I don’t see this as the most worthwhile place for families.
Overall this hotel is pretty swank. The rooms are extremely nice and comfortable (except for those scratchy towels), but the specific location is horrible. Breakfast is average and generic, unless you want to pay for the good food, but the reception is friendly and the hotel offers a range of amenities (FREE Wi-fi, pool, gym, super comfy lounge area).
However, for the location, it is rather expensive. This hotel is mostly useful to business and large group trips, not for the average Toronto native or family coming up for a day of fun. I’m not sure how the hotel stays in business up here in the middle of a parking lot, but I guess they get enough business clients to keep going.
I would definitely stay in one of these hotels again, but only on someone else’s dime (i.e.: business trip), or if I could find one, for the same price, in an area with things to actually do. It is really just the awkward location – in the middle of a parking lot – that makes this hotel not one I would normally pick. But I don’t do a lot of straight business traveling either.
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.