Travel

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hotel Review – Collingwood, ON Sept 2020

I stayed here with my daughter for a mini getaway Friday, September 25th – Sunday, September 27th, 2020, and had a pleasant stay!

This hotel was brand spanking new and it totally showed it. Prior to choosing this hotel through my number one go-to booking site; Booking dot com, I searched for reviews as we all do to get the feel of the place, but there wasn’t any. Hmm, that was kinda weird I thought.

I took a chance anyway as the price was pretty okay and reserved for the weekend.

Upon arrival just outside parking my car, we were not disappointed. Outside of the hotel were construction workers completing last-minute touches here and there and people maintaining the parking lot giving it a final wash. Who cares, it was beautiful and new!

Entering the lobby, the main entrance to check in was bright and the staff was very welcoming. We were divided by Plexiglas and all staff was wearing masks.

We asked how new they were and they replied day 2! How exciting was that!

The decor was bright and plenty of seats spread out. There are a couple of personal computers set up and a printer for guests’ use, which was a great touch.

Breakfast is complimentary and is served between 6:30-9:30 am when we were there. It was grab and go only. They served it in brown paper bags.

We sat outside on the patio because the weather was so beautiful.

The layout was open concept and was fantastic and gave off a vibrant feel. The colors made me feel alive and the furniture selection was modern and comfy and made you want to take a breather and sit down and relax.

We did not use the Gym.

The pool was unfortunately closed due to COVID.

Our room was spacious and we faced the parking lot which was just fine. I parked my car purposely underneath our window, lol.

I believe that we were the first guest in our room because my daughter had to unwrap the converter from its casing and I had to continuously pump the shower gel to get the first contents from the container, also; I had to unwind and plug in the mini-fridge, how cool is that?!

The beds were comfortable, the bathroom spacious and the water flow from the shower head was powerful and wonderful and refreshing.

They offered a big tub of shower gel/shampoo/conditioner in the shower, awesome!

There is a microwave and a mini-fridge and coffee maker.

There is also a safe in the closet.

During the night you didn’t need a nightlight because the lights from the parking lot illuminated into the room through the big floor to ceiling windows. It was bright!

This factor I truly loved, it gave us a sense of security. This hotel made us feel safe. As a woman traveling without my husband or my boys, my senses are more heightened when just traveling with my daughter. Safety is paramount and in this hotel, I/we felt really safe, because it was really bright.

The main floor/entrance was bright.

The hallway when we arrived late from the movies was bright.

Coming out from the elevators didn’t feel creepy.

Parking my car late at night, felt really safe.

Final thoughts

I will book here again. It is only minutes away to downtown Collingwood and a 10/15 minute drive to Blue Mountain.

The staff are very welcoming and always greet you with a smile.

Plenty of parking and its free.

Tim Horton’s is across the street, just walk over.

The hotel wreaked of newness, from the smell of fresh paint and the carpet to the linens and the smell of the furniture to the overall cleanliness of everything in sight.

Check-in was quick.

Check-out was even quicker.

Loved.it.here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Explore Niagara Falls (Canada) – A weekend Getaway Summer 2020

Last month my husband and I and along with our daughter, went for a little weekend getaway to Niagara Falls. It’s not a far drive from Toronto, so off we went.

The weather for the weekend was beautiful. Not too hot during the day with cool temperatures during the evening, which made going for strolls along the falls, beautiful under the starry night.

I am a lover of Niagara Falls, I never tire of it. I never get bored of it, I have seen and been there a thousand times, but always love it. I can’t say the same for my husband, laughing to myself right now, thank you for his patience though! I love him for that…

We stayed as per usual at my favorite hotel; Sheraton On The Falls Though I never seem to use their facilities because we are always out and about, so on this particular trip I made it a point to visit the pool and go swimming; um it was outdoors and it was freezing cold when I decided to go on a very early Sunday morning! Oh well, the view was beautiful and I have videos to prove it. Yay!

I love this hotel because I have the best view of the Falls. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I can’t get enough of it.

In the morning you often find me sitting by a chair just staring at it; in the late evening, I’m in the same state, it’s mesmerizing.

When the weather permits, you need to open the windows and let the roar of the water inside your room, it just lulls you to sleep, its so beautiful like you’re somewhere else in a different country on an actual vacation.

The hotel room is always clean and I never hear my neighbors which is always a bonus. If time permits there is a Spa on-site and its ambiance is exactly what one needs, calm and soothing with a spectacular view of what else, Niagara Falls.

Here is an old picture I found when I was there last winter with my daughter. The view was fantastic!

We visited Floral Showhouse and oh.my.god! The outdoor garden is so cute. Check out my YouTube video! The indoor garden is even more stunning and my daughter and I fell immediately in love. It is the spot to take amazing pictures for your Instagram, there is so much color!

There is also a gift shop and I bought beautiful cards!

Outside the parking lot from the Floral Showhouse you can see the Falls, we walked alongside it, and wow, this area is underutilized and we roamed around it peacefully with so much elbow room; compared to the main area of Falls. From this area, it is so much closer to the water and can obtain better videos & pictures!

Our hotel is right in the heart of everything; Clifton Hill, where all the fun begins! Check out the link and it’ll take you where ever you want it to take you and whatever you want to do.

If you like to shop as I do, you need to head over to Outlet Collections be aware, they took away all the lovely seating’s, ugh!

My most favorite thing to do in Niagara is antiquing. This place here is my go-to place. Have a go if you love antiquing, I’m sure it’ll be you’re favorite too in all seasons.

Also, this is right beside my favorite restaurant to have brunch; The Lakehouse. I have been here many times with my husband and also brought my children and you if you do drop by, request a seat by the window, the view of the water is gorgeous and also so romantic.

Last but not least… Niagara-on-the-lake.

Canada’s wine country, a village of restaurants, and a charming place to take unhurried steps. Stroll into boutique shops, choose from many arrays of ice-cream parlors and sit have a meal and watch horse-drawn carriages pass by as you sip a glass a wine. That’s what it feels like when you’re on Niagara-on-the-lake time. Don’t come here if you’re in a rush.

Hope this helps you if you decide to visit Niagara Falls, its beautiful here. Any season. Trust me.

Here’s a video of our weekend. Hope you enjoy it and subscribe to future travel explorations!

 

 

 

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A Weekend Getaway in Haliburton, Ontario – August 2020

As a family of 5 humans plus 2 monstrous rottweillers, we packed our bags and headed to cottage country, Haliburton.

Haliburton is a 2 hours drive from Toronto and a scenic one at that.

This is our second year going to Haliburton thanks to awesome friends who give us their keys to their cottage and everything else that goes along with it. I mean seriously, there are some decent people left out there and they are one of them!

We are so grateful to be able to take advantage of their generosity.

The cottage is located in Tory Hill area, at the very farthest tip of the forest and edge of the lake and so private. We have the lake all to ourselves practically because you would have to cross a creek to get onto our property. Just watch the video, there is a short clip of the pick-up truck going through it.

The cottage faces the lake and the view is always so breathtaking.  Every morning and every night I just can’t get enough of the water it’s so beautiful. The sunset is so gorgeous and with the bonfire and soft music it totally sets the tone for a chill evening of rest and relaxation.

We had so much fun kayaking, swimming and just lazing by the lake.

We also went into the nearest town; Bancroft, which is only a 30-minute drive from Tory Hill.

Here you will find the best damn ice-cream, sworn by my husband, of course, if you’re an ice-cream lover, you’ve got to check them out!

Here is the link Kawartha Dairy. 

This is our second year here and we re-visited our favorite antique store The Old Tin Shed   

There are two parts, outback and inside the main house. It’s really nice inside.

We also had lunch at Bancroft Brew Pub and visited a few stores in the vicinity and bought a few summer dresses!

Bancroft is also where we bought most of our groceries and where you can find most familiar stores such as Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Shoppers Drug Mart, Tim Horton, Subway, Pizza Pizza, and Foodland to name a few.

Being in cottage country and remaining unplugged and not posting to social media for the three to four days really did wonders to my mind. I embraced my surroundings and enjoyed what I had in front of me. My family.

I enjoyed the scenery. The sounds of the water splashing, the birds chirping, the howls of god knows what the hell was in the forest at 1 am and enjoyed being around the children; seeing them under the same roof all at once at the same time for three days straight!

To me that was happiness.

All in all, I love coming out to Haliburton, with its peace, serenity, and tranquility. I left with a heavy heart as usual. Longing to stay longer, bracing myself to face the hectic city life once again.

If you want peace and quiet you should visit Haliburton, it’s really pretty.

 

 

 

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