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The Rex Hotel
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Reviews (261)
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All reviewsjazz barlive jazzprivate bathroomfree coffee and toastshared facilitiesemergency vehiclesuntil midnightinteresting hotelqueen streetsingle roomcentral locationcn towerearly arrivaldecent bathroombasic hotelminute walk from union stationcooked breakfast
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Reviewed 2 April 2011

When I booked a room two weeks in advance they promised me a 2 night special price, of course when I arrived, by myself, with nowhere else to go, they took advantage, which seems to be the common theme of downtown hotels in Toronto. They charged me over $100 more than promised on the phone and with no choice, I paid.

When I went up to my room they seemed as if they already hated me due to my Montreal Canadiens coat, they treated me poorly until I paid them. They told me that there would be a complimentary breakfast tomorrow morning, which I thought would be good since I overpaid for the room that was extremly small, it was about a 3rd of the size of my apartment bedroom which is quite small.

The tv was tiny, though HD, it was for some weird reason 2 thirds way up the wall near the roof, and it was un adjustable to to put down to a normal level (about 4 feet lower) which was har don the neck. The bed was clean, the bathroom was very clean with a very very nice designer style shower/sink.

However due to the tinyness of the room it was hard to move without hitting something. The location is great, right downtown...unfortunatley it's accross the street from some rather unsettling businesses (if you have kids, dont let them look out the window) like "the condom shack".

Anyway in the morning I went down for my 'complimentary' breakfast, it was the most delicious breakfast I'd ever had at a hotel before...with a catch. As I walked back up to my room they stopped me and yelled across the bar that I had better stop and pay my bill, treating me as if I were some type of dine and dash criminal, embaressing me infront of a few people in the restaurant.

I asked why they lied to me and they said that the guy yesterday was simply telling me there was breakfast served in the morning, not that it came with the room. Which is BS because I specifically remember him saying "show them your room key so they know you're staying here and they wont charge you.

Synopsis: the rooms are elegant and up too date, as is the kitchen, the rooms have a powerful heat/air system that is also modern day (which is rare in most hotels). The rooms are also surprisingly quiet and though the jazz music downstairs is loud and annoying it stops at 12am every night which I found respectful tot he customers. However the crazy confusion of prices and non-exhistant complimentary breakfast is too much for me to say the least, this place may be classy in appearence but when you get down to the cost it's simply this: you will overpay at least $200.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled on business
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5  Thank commando69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2011

I travelled to Toronto with work and spent my first night at the Sheraton, yes, the company paid for that night! For my 2nd and 3rd nights, I couldn't quite afford the Sheraton and as it was Diwali, Toronto was heaving! Luckily, I found the Rex! To be honest, I think I had the smallest single room in the world BUT it was warm, the bathroom was super clean and the shower felt delightful. Best of all, it had cable!
I checked in early evening on a Saturday night and there was a band in full swing. The atmosphere was lively and welcoming, the staff were efficient and friendly. The complimentary toast and coffee in the morning was very welcome, as was the friendly chat and advice on where to go and what to see for the day. Other reviews liken the atmosphere in the Rex as a "family atmosphere" I would have to agree.
All in all, I would definately recommend the Rex for a friendly, down to earth, reasaonable priced place to stay in Toronto. If you enjoy live music, and appreciate Jazz, definately go for the "Jazz Package" as that includes cover charges to watch the live music in the bar.
Also working in the Rexs favour, is the location. Conveniently located in the Downtown area, a short walk to the mall (some of which is underground!) China Town and much, much more!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank happy-go-lucky-chick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2010

Rooms are pretty bare bones, but clean and functional. The location is superb, lots of street life and energy.
The staff was super friendly and helpful, almost sort of a family vibe.
We happened to visit on a weekend, and on early aft. arrival walked into a packed room, Dixieland jazz band in full swing. Checked in at the bar. Very festive and colorful.
Good food in the restaurant too.
You can tell they are really trying and that counts for a lot.

Stayed: October 2010, travelled on business
1  Thank cconley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2010

I expected a small room, not only from the tripadvisor reviews, but the hotel itself, however the room we were in was extremely small. A double bed almost reached from wall to wall, a very small bed side table on one side, nothing on the other. Other than the TV hung in the corner of the room (nice flat screen TV mind you) that was all the furniture in the room. Not a dresser, chair or table otherwise. No closets, a couple of hooks on the wall. The bathroom looks nice in pictures, stainless steel fixtures and walls, however you had to enter the bathroom, and press up against the sink, to be able to close the bathroom door. My partner was not able to shower, as not shampoo or conditioner was provided.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank toddbtfd2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2010

In Toronto for the first time for a weekend of site-seeing after several nights stuck out in the suburbs at a Westin, I was trying to find a hotel or other lodging that would balance interesting and unique with relaxation and quality. I thought I'd found that with the Rex and was pretty excited, imagining the awesomeness of spending all day walking around Toronto, only to go back to the hotel for some beer and listening to jazz.

I was a bit nervous about the person who compared it to a youth hostel in quality. The web sure makes it look better than a hostel.. but everything else I was finding within that price range sounded so sterile. Still, Toronto's is a surprisingly cheap city for hotels and there were lots of options in my price range.

I didn't hesitate to get one of the "larger" rooms, as I assumed these would be better: maybe farther away from the music, top floor, maybe a view. None of this turned out to be the case.

Like the reviews say: check-in is at the bar and anyone I chatted with was SUPER FRIENDLY. And then up I went to a dingy narrow hallway —and then to my room.

At first I didn't notice how tiny it actually was, all I was thinking was how grim and tossed together it seemed. It's like they've started a remodel (the bathrooms on the website) but ran out of money. Nothing at all stylish about it, not a spec of color or art on the walls, crappy pressboard desk, $5 folding chair, a bakers rack for a "closet". Opening my curtains, my view was what looked like a once used "balcony/beer garden" now filled with junk and garbage.

And then it really dawned on how small my room really was: the ugly bed with what I found to be really uncomfortable cheap pillows was a full. There would be no way to fit a queen in there and still walk around it. That means my feet dangle off the end and it also made very happy I was traveling solo. How freakin' depressing this would have been if I was on holiday for romance.

It is above a jazz club right? And they do warn there will be noise. But I fall asleep pretty easily and what I imagined was that I'd hear the music and the bar and it would be this muffled loveliness. And the second night it was...but the first night.? It never crossed my mind to think about good-time jump jazz loud enough to vibrate the floor and bed until 1 AM. Sure, a great band, but not what you want when you room is almost directly over the stage.

Would I stay here again: No. I would not.
Would I recommend it: Only to my jazz loving friends and people traveling solo and even then, I'd tell them to look around first. It's a great location, a friendly pub, a place to spend the night, but it's not actually that interesting and while on the lower end of "hotels", I'd think with a bit of TripAdvisor, you'd be able to find something in the same price point a lot more comfortable.

This place needs to do some more work to meet the expectations of the photography on the website. They need to think harder about what it's like to be guest and a traveller and realize how all the little things about a hotel room that aren't right are frustrating in a way they aren't in your own house.

My recommendations to the owners:

First, total props to manage a jazz club that is so casual, relaxed, pub-based and to manage that offer much music. It's amazing. I'd definitely recommend anyone going to Toronto to check out the music there.

But the "hotel"? You folks aren't thinking enough like guests or really thinking about what segment/income/expectations that are choosing to stay with you due to the music but could totally afford and are used to much better digs. And really, the site photography I thought is way misleading and over-glamourous for what you really are offering. Where did that lady get her bathrobe, for example? And is she in there washing up with her little bar of Lux soap?

1. Fancy looking bathroom... though I'd question why you're going dark in such small spaces and not very usable; how about a shelf to actually set your toothbrush on? I don't have much bathroom stuff, but all of it I had to leave in the "hallway' baker's rack. Even the tub didn't have much space to set the little bottle of soap that I took from my other hotel after reading yours would have any.

2. How about for those rooms that are directly above the band stage raising those beds off the floor and adding a carpet. Muffle the sound and the unexpected vibration a bit.

3. How about some art on the walls? With the whole jazz thing, no one's going to think twice about those college-shop BW posters of the jazz greats, but seriously, that high-ceilinged beige room with no view and un-artful lighting: freakin' massive depressing.

4. Let's say all you can fit are full bed in all the rooms: YOU HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE....Maybe some of the other rooms have trendy bedspreads and real pillows, but really that modern bathroom with the Day's-Inn Bedspread and mismatched curtains?

5. Not expecting room service and the girl downstairs offered a map, but in the room putting together a little binder with wireless code, your club calendar, 5 decent eats you'd recommend, and maybe a list of other local jazz options would be a easy, simple touch.

6. An alarm clock.

7. It's the small stuff that makes a hotel different than being at home: like having all the hangers matching..esp. if I am going to have to look at them all.

8. Finally, it's a shame that you have any rooms that open to what is basically the hotel's junk pile. It looks like that space was once a patio of sorts and would perhaps make a quiet lounging space again for your hotel guests. It's personal thing, but I really hate, hate, hate not getting decent natural light in a hotel room and not being able to guess the weather outside. Man, this bummed me out...

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled on business
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4  Thank knoxg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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