Almost 30 million people visit Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula each year to enjoy live theatre, drink world-renowned wines and witness the incredible power of the American and Canadian waterfalls known collectively as Niagara Falls. But just a few kilometres beyond the touristy souvenir shops and quirky attractions at the Falls, the hidden charms of rural Southwestern Ontario start to reveal themselves.
Heading west, Lake Erie port towns, quaint villages and small cities punctuate the otherwise rural landscape, which enjoys Canada’s longest growing season. Revered for its temperate climate and much slower pace of life, the area is considered a relaxing retreat for big-city folks who don’t want to sacrifice modern comfort and little luxuries in place of a “cheap hotel.”
Luckily, there are a number of overnight accommodations that offer a high level of service without an enormous price tag. The following accommodations are among the standouts of Southern Ontario that offer luxury under the $300 per night threshold.
Prices were taken from trivago.ca on July 17th, 2018 for a search period of May 1st to July 16th, 2018 for stays from July 18th to October 31st, 2018
8 Surprisingly Cheap Hotels in London, Ontario and Hamilton for a Night of Affordable Luxury
Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hamilton
The city of Hamilton is undergoing a change with new development and businesses gaining momentum thanks to an influx of Torontonians looking for more living space for a fraction of the price. You can get a feel for what that’s like when you book a stay at Homewood Suites by Hilton in downtown Hamilton. Check-in through the Hilton Honors mobile app to select your suite and skip the hotel desk altogether.
With one or two bedrooms, separate living spaces, fully equipped kitchens and whirlpool tubs, the property has all the comforts of home and lots of space, but kicks it up a notch with daily housekeeping, a full breakfast and complimentary happy hour snacks. You may never want to leave except there’s so much to see and do outside your door, not to mention easy access to Toronto on the GO Train.See Rooms from $149 »
Affordable travel tip: From 4 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, home to the oldest and largest art exhibition in southwestern Ontario, welcomes visitors to view more than 10,000 works from around the globe at no charge.
Long Point Eco-Adventures, Turkey Point
Camping doesn’t typically conjure up visions of the luxe life, but the fully electric wilderness suites at Long Point Eco-Adventures will change that. The rustic, but elegant safari-style tents are large enough to accommodate a king-size bed and some even fit two queens, with enough room to spare for a fully outfitted bathroom connecting to an open-air shower. For chilly nights, snuggle under an electric blanket.
Wake up to a piping hot breakfast buffet served in a mess tent nearby. You’ll need the energy to enjoy the property’s wide range of games and activities, including ziplining, tree climbing, fishing, kayaking and bike tours. Then again, you might just choose to sit back and relax on your private porch just steps away from incredible views of the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve.See Rooms from $95 »
Affordable travel tip: Right across the street from Long Point Eco-Adventures, you’ll find award-winning wines at the Burning Kiln Winery. Single tastings are $2 and a flight of three wines costs just $5. Buy two bottles of wine and the tasting fee will be waived.
Kettle Creek Inn, Port Stanley
Kettle Creek Inn may be small, but it’s big on charm. The historic property is located in Port Stanley, a stunner of a port town, which has long enchanted visitors with its maritime history and recreational offerings. When Jean Strickland took on ownership in 1983, she created an overnight experience worthy of being included on the list of Ontario’s Finest Inns.
The 15-room property includes five suites with separate living spaces with fireplaces, balconies and bathrooms fitted with Jacuzzi tubs for two people. The rooms are named after local artists, whose paintings — all of which are for sale — adorn the rooms.
The leafy patio is a great place to eat the complimentary continental breakfast, which includes fruit, tea or coffee and locally-baked bread and sweets. If the weather isn’t cooperating, guests can choose to eat in the parlour, the dining room or the English-style pub next to a crackling fire that burns in the colder months.See Rooms from $140 »
Affordable travel tip: Enjoy a day at the beach. Port Stanley’s Main Beach has one of the finest stretches of sand on Canada’s south coast. For nearly a decade, it has consistently earned Blue Flag status, a prestigious designation for beaches that meet international water quality and environmental safety standards.
Idlewyld Inn & Spa, London
With consistently good reviews, Idlewyld Inn & Spa ranks as one of trivago’s favourite three-star hotels in all of Canada for 2018. The 21-room old-world mansion, which dates from 1878, retains the original woodwork, shuttered windows and opulent fireplaces, showing off the incredible craftsmanship that went into the Victorian-era structure. The little touches you can’t see make the stay more memorable, particularly the efforts by staff to make you feel like a special guest at every turn.
With an onsite spa and a restaurant that even locals love, Idlewyld Inn is designed to pamper its guests, whether they are celebrating a wedding, anniversary, birthday or nothing at all. Sure, the impeccable landscaping, stately fountains and garden courtyard add to the ambiance, but even the guest rooms are full of character and charm. No two rooms are alike, but they all have comfortable furnishings, including queen- or king-sized beds with premium bedding and spacious modern bathrooms. A stay includes a complimentary breakfast buffet.See Rooms from $155 »
Affordable travel tip: Get a taste of southern Ontario at the Covent Garden Market, where you can pick up fresh flowers, local produce, gifts and cheap eats seven days a week. At 11 a.m. on Saturdays, free cooking classes are offered at the market kitchen upstairs on the mezzanine level. In addition, visitors can listen to live music during the outdoor farmers’ markets on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Even if you don’t think you have a reason to stay overnight in Chatham, find one. That way, you can immerse yourself in a world of funky décor, unusual memorabilia and eclectic art at one of the most unique boutique hotels in southwestern Ontario. The brainchild of Rob Myers, a local developer with an auto renovation background, and his artist wife Cathy Van-Raay Myers, The Retro Suites Hotel has seven long-term accommodations and 45 one-of-a-kind upscale themed suites, all with kitchens and luxurious beds to sink into at night.
Each room allows you to try on different lifestyles based on the room design. Get your motor running in the leather-adorned Easy Rider Suite, which features a motorcycle suspended from the ceiling. Or perhaps you’d prefer a getaway in the Log Cabin Suite with a stone fireplace and floor-to-ceiling wood planks. No matter which you choose, you’ll soak up every little detail and the complimentary amenities that include bottled water, long-distance calling anywhere in North America, yoga classes, parking and breakfast.See Rooms from $172 »
Affordable travel tip: With at least 48 hours’ notice, you can play a free round of golf at Willow Ridge Golf & Country Club in Blenheim when you stay overnight at the Retro Suites Hotel.
If you like to gamble—and even if you don’t—odds are you’ll love Caesars Windsor for its comfortable, clean rooms, location, plus entertainment and dining options. Located on the riverfront, many of the rooms in the landmark hotel and casino have views of the Detroit skyline. The stylish and contemporary room décor fits perfectly with the urban setting, while the soft hues and comfortable pillow-top beds are designed for comfort and relaxation.
Forego daily room cleaning to receive a $5 food and beverage credit that can be applied to meals at one of the several restaurants on the property ranging from a coffee shop to an upscale steakhouse.See Rooms from $179 »
Affordable travel tip: A museum without walls, the Windsor Sculpture Park features more than 31 large-scale sculptures by world-renowned artists located on the Windsor riverfront. The outdoor public art gallery is open every day of the year, free of charge.
Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the regal Prince of Wales Hotel exudes elegance from a bygone era. Built in 1864, the property was known by different names until the future George V and Queen Mary visited in 1901. Here, you can live like a Victorian-era aristocrat as you take tea in the hotel’s bright drawing room and take a horse-drawn carriage ride from the front of the hotel.
Retire for the night to a spacious room decorated with period antiques, traditional tapestries and plush bed linens. Extra touches include the placement of a yellow rose on your pillow during turn-down service, not to mention complimentary mineral water and a plate of oranges. Once rested, the on-site concierge can help arrange theatre tickets for the Shaw Festival, wine tours and much more.
Photos by author
Affordable travel tip: While staying at the Prince of Wales, the natural beauty of Lake Ontario is only two blocks away. Head to The Queen’s Royal Park to take in the view of the historic Fort Niagara, stroll on the beach or enjoy a picnic. The white gazebo makes a nice backdrop for photos.
Sterling Inn and Spa, Niagara Falls
The unusual three-storey-high milk bottle standing at the entrance of the Sterling Inn and Spa pays homage to the building’s history as one of the largest dairies in the Niagara region. The rest of the structure has been completely transformed into the only boutique hotel in Niagara Falls. Guest rooms are designed for comfort with four-poster beds, fireplaces and oversized bathrooms with steam showers.
A spa and award-winning restaurant are certainly nice extras, but let’s be honest, breakfast in bed really seals the deal. Each morning, Chef Cory sends fresh-baked croissants, house-made granola and French-press coffee to your room for no extra charge. Anywhere else, this kind of decadence would come with a hefty charge on the hotel bill.See Rooms from $116 »
Affordable travel tip: While there are plenty of attractions competing for your dollar in Niagara Falls, viewing the falls themselves is priceless. For even more bang for your buck, don’t miss the nightly fireworks displays at 10 p.m. during the summer.