Review: Toronto Marriott Markham, Ontario, Canada
There are a whole host of Marriott properties in the greater Toronto area. This particular trip would take us to the northern business area of Toronto in the Vaughn / Markham region. During this trip, I would get the opportunity to check out the new Toronto Marriott Markham hotel in the up and coming area of Downtown Markham. How would Marriott’s newest Toronto offering measure up for this business traveller?
Review: Toronto Marriott Markham Hotel, Markham, Ontario, Canada.
“A brand new Marriott Property in Markham’s Tech District that will really appeal to business travellers, but isn’t located near any good dining options”
Booking the Toronto Marriott Markham Marriott:
A business trip took me to the Markham, Ontario area for a first ever “live” conference after the Coronavirus pandemic started to ease. As the hosting conference hotel wasn’t all to appealing, I ended up staying nearby at the almost brand new Toronto Marriott Markham hotel located just a short drive away.
I booked this stay via the Marriott website direct. As I booked with Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite level status, I was promised an upgrade to the best available room (including suites), lounge access, and a guaranteed late check out to 4 PM.
The room rate was soft but not at rock bottom when I was travelling during mid week in February. My rate at the time was under $200 CAD ($156 USD), which appeared to be on the low side for this property. I had more typically seen rates between the $290 – $320 CAD mark, which seems to be pretty constant for this hotel.
Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards:
The hotel offers a few rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Award pool. Marriott Suite Night Awards are awards give to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador level members for passing certain stay thresholds. The Suite Night Awards confirm the guest into an elevated room category; typically 5 days in advance of any stay.
The Toronto Marriot Markham offered two categories of suites in it’s Suite Night Award pool; a Large Suite Executive Suite and a standard Suite.
The hotel participates in the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program. The rates under their new variable pricing ranged from 20,000 points for a standard room redemption to 32,500 for a M Club Lounge access room. If you value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.005 cents per point, you’d have to have a paid room rate of more than $100 – 162 USD to come out ahead redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points versus paying cash.
Getting to the Toronto Marriott Markham:
After a visit to MrsWT73’s brother and a stay at the Delta London Armouries, we drove our rental car from London to Markham, Ontario to the Toronto Marriott Markham hotel. The hotel is located off the Toll Route 407 highway, which is exceptionally inconvenient for those using rental cars on a business expense reconciliation basis, since the toll payment and rental car services administration charges makes for a headache in billing. As a result, I avoided the toll routes using back highways, which took us slightly longer to get to the property.
The Toronto Marriott Markham hotel is situated in a new mid rise apartment tower development complex in the neighbourhood known as Downtown Markham. There were approximately 12 – 15 mid rise towers going up in this neighbourhood with almost all towers being new construction.
Like with many new properties, the hotel operates in a hybrid concept. The hotel operates on the lower floors of the building, with residential apartments located above the sixth floor of the property in residential units that feature balconies.
The neighbourhood is an up and coming neighbourhood. I got the sense that there were many international or overseas residents in this area and that many of the apartments may have been empty.
Along with an empty apartment neighbourhood, I would later learn that there weren’t many restaurants within the immediate hotel area, thanks to the developing nature of this particular up and coming neighbourhood.
Checking into the Toronto Markham Marriott:
I parked out front of the Toronto Markham Marriott. Consistent with being an almost new property, the arrival was very urban and contemporary. There was a large concrete courtyard underneath towers that allowed for unloading of the vehicle.
Strangely absent from my usual Marriott arrivals was the usual Marriott doorman. I entered inside the property and started the check in process for a three night stay. The lobby had a great first impression, with views in to the high ceiling Draco Restaurant and Bar immediately off the lobby.
Heading up to the front desk, I was greeted and welcomed to the property. There was an efficient check in and I was acknowledged immediately as soon as I stepped into the reception area.
My Marriott Bonvoy Titanum Elite status was recognized. I took the Marriott Bonvoy Elite Welcome Amenity of 1,000 bonus points. In a nice tough, I also received apologies from the reception about not being able to be accomodated with a suite upgrade. However, the hotel was able to soft upgrade me to an M Club Floor level with convenient same level access to lounge.
While I was offered a guaranteed Marriott Bonvoy Titanium late check out of 4 PM, I didn’t need it and as a result, didn’t accept their offer.
After getting some advice from the front desk, I unloaded the car at the lobby loading zone. I self parked the car ($20 CAD daily) with self parking located in an adjacent tower on above ground levels P3 to P5. Unfortunately, there was no bridge pass over to the hotel, meaning that after parking your car, you had to take the elevator down five levels, cross over to the hotel outside on foot (and in the inclement weather) and then back up to your room once inside the Marriot. Accordingly, it’s much easier to unload your vehicle at the main level, than within the parkade instead of having to navigate through all these elevators and corridors.
The Room: M Club King Bed
I led myself up to room #444. The interior corridors of the Toronto Marriott Markham hotel are modern and quiet for the most part. I found my way to room #444, which looked inwards towards the arrival concrete courtyard.
Being a newer hotel, the room sizes at the Toronto Marriott Markham hotel are on the smaller size at about 300 square feet. While that’s perfectly fine for a single business traveller that this hotel caters to, it can get a little compact when travelling with a partner. Thankfully, the room is well designed to maximize the available space, so I didn’t notice the tight configuration as much as I would have expected.
The room is decorated in various shades of dark greys. Immediately upon entering the room, you’ll find yourself passing the bathroom and headed to the main sleeping space. The M Club Lounge room offered a King Size Bed.
The Toronto Marriott Markham M Club Lounge Room featured a King Size bed. The bed was up to the usual standards of Marriott comfort with crisp and unmarked linens.
While a hotel room usually has an occasional chair in the form of a sofa or an easy chair, this room featured a cosy corner couch. MrsWT73 appreciated this space, as she was able to flip onto it to handle some remote work calls, instead of being seated at a formal desk.
Despite the corner couch being highly functional, it wasn’t all too soft in terms of comfort level. It was more built for institutional use, and the softness met the usual sofa bed firmness that you’d expect from sitting on a less than comfortable area. As a result, I didn’t tend to spend much time sitting here.
The room featured a long horizontal desk that ran the length of the room. This was probably the best feature of the space, as it allowed for storage of everything on counter space, with baggage storage underneath the counter tops. I was able to set up charging of multiple computers, smart phones and devices in this area without cords running into each other.
Instead of a closet at the front door, there was an open horizontal bar that allowed for hanging of work clothes. By incorporating the rack in open space, the hotel was able to allow for more space than a tiny closet in order to hang work clothes.
The Toronto Marriott Markham offered bottled water in the room, in addition to proper glassware. Proper glassware is something I always appreciate, as it makes the stay just that much more comfortable.
The hotel room also offered in room drip coffee maker, with Higgins and Burke Coffee.
The bathroom was of standard variety. It offered a single sink vanity, and a stand up shower.
The toiletries were the common “thisworks” Marriott branded toiletries.
The room faced the property courtyard, which appeared to be an upgraded view, although it was not green in any way and was mostly a concrete jungle type of environment. The courtyard was quieter than facing onto a city street.
In terms of sleep quality, it was pretty good with not a lot of noise in the room or in the surrounding area. We did have some construction noise in the morning from nearby skyscrapers. However, the noise didn’t interfere with our stay.
Around the Property:
M Lounge (Executive Lounge),
The property offers an M Lounge located just off the elevator landing on the fourth floor. During our visit, it was open and accessible for those staying on a Concierge Level Floor and on a complimentary basis for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador Bonvoy Elite members per the terms of the Marriott Bonvoy program.
The timings of the M Club Louge were as follows
- Breakfast 6:30 AM – 10:30 AM
- Appetizer 5:30 PM – 10:30 PM
During our visit, a host regularly took our room number on every attendance, and they were quite pro-active in verifying lounge access.
Entering the M Club, you are immediately led into a hallway that offered a comfortable seating area next to some televisions. It is also next to the food service area.
Continuing down the hallway past the food service zone, you’ll find yourself next to a long artificial fireplace. Despite what you think about artificial fireplaces, I found that it actually added some personality to the place, even if it wouldn’t be a feature I’d want in my own home.
The M Club Lounge wraps itself around he artificial fireplace, and offered a variety of spots to sit. The seating offered a combination of bar, tables and chairs and the occasional couch space at the end of the lounge.
The lounge was frequently empty during my travels through, and I never had any issue finding a place to sit or work. The bar seating had USB charging ports from within the counter top space, which was exceptionally functional in design
M Club Lounge Breakfast:
The M Club Lounge offered breakfast between the hours of 06:30 AM and 10:30 AM. The breakfast offered continental breakfast items, in addition to an egg item and a meat item.
There were enough items to keep a traveller engaged on a multi day stay, and it was a good set up for those on the business travel circuit that were looking to get something quickly and go.
M Club Lounge Appetizer Snacks:
The M Club Lounge offered evening appetizer snacks between the hours of 5:30 PM and 10:30 PM. The appetizers offered hot and cold items. During our visit, there was a soup offering, a pasta offering and mini quiches. There was also a small salad bar.
The lounge also offered wine and beer for purchase. In an advanced touch, the lounge offered a wine thermador to allow for a better quality of wine. The wine prices were quite reasonable and cheaper than in a restaurant. Despite this, i didn’t see many guests taking advantage of this.
The M Club Lounge was quite convenient as a place to spend time in and allowed some additional room to work.
The Indoor Pool.
The Toronto Marriott Markham property featured a medium sized indoor pool and hot tub zone. The pool had tasteful decorative art in it. Along with many pools in Ontario, the outdoor season is so short, so it makes sense to offer an indoor pool space that can better take advantage of the colder weather seasons.
The Toronto Marriott Markham also featured a nicely sized indoor gym. The gym was often in use during the after work period. There was also a small weight area located within the gym.
The workout room had a whole series of treadmills and workout space.
Food and Beverage:
The Toronto Marriott Markham hotel is located within an up and coming neighbourhood. While we frequented a Milestones casual dining restaurant nearby in the area, there weren’t too many appealing restaurants.
The Toronto Marriott Markham features two restaurants in the building. There is a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and the “in hotel” Draco restaurant. While even the Ruth’s Chris steakhouse was beyond my company’s expense account, we did spend one night dining at the Draco restaurant.
For one night during our stay, we dined at Draco restaurant. In a point maximization exercise, I was able to book via Open table for an easy additional 100 Open Table points.
The Draco restaurant offered a pleasant atmosphere although it was a little hotel like in feel. There were business travellers swishing the night away with whiskies at the bar and a group of well dressed dentist convention attendees sitting at a table for twenty laughing quietly into the night.
During my meal, I enjoyed the seared pickerel. The seared pickerel was served with sautéed quinoa, braised broccolini and lemon beurre blanc. The pickerel was tasty although it was a little overcooked for my Pacific Rim tastes.
MrsWT73 enjoyed a flat bread with arugula, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. It received high marks on the casual dining front.
While the food at Draco’s was enjoyable, it wasn’t a place that I would find worthy enough to return to for a second meal.
There aren’t a lot of great restaurants in this neighbourhood. Much of the surrounding area has not completed construction and there are many vacant lots. One evening, we dined off property at the nearby Milestones restaurant. On another evening, I drove the ten minutes up the road to the Joey’s Markham attached to the CF Markville retail mall. Even though the neighbourhood restaurants aren’t within the hotel’s immediate control, I found the lack of options the main drawback about staying at this particular property.
Departing the Toronto Marriott Markham:
When it came time to depart the Toronto Marriott Markham, our bill was prepared without any issue. It was completely accurate and our Marriott Bonvoy points posted without any issue. We were thanked for our stay and welcomed back anytime.
The service was pleasant and professional. I couldn’t have asked for a more polite stay.
The Toronto Marriott Markham Bottom Line:
I enjoyed our stay at the Toronto Marriott Markham. The property offered everything that a business traveller would need, including convenient M Club Lounge access. While the property was a full featured property that included a pool gym and restaurants, I found that the largest disadvantage was the lack of appealing restaurants in the immediate area. While this isn’t within the hotels immediate control, it’s a factor to consider when picking any hotel when a longer business traveller stay is considered.