Weekly top five of five - Canadian hotel roundup

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The Independent Travel

This weekend, the Olympic Games begin, kicking off three weeks of sporting excellence in Vancouver.

In total, over 300,000 people are expected to pour into Vancouver and the mountain resort of Whistler. Tourism officials say that there is plenty of hotel space for last-minute guests and that they are expecting visitors from as far afield as Washington and Oregon to snap up last-minute tickets available for the 86 sporting disciplines on display.

Tickets for events start at $25 (€17) for less-watched events such as skeleton or the biathalon events, but the prices can rise to as high as $775 (€527) for the Gold Medal match in Men's Hockey. The opening and closing ceremonies have some of the most expensive tickets on average, ranging from $175 - $1,100 (€119 - €749) for the opening ceremonies.

Canada sees the games as part of a long-term strategy to boost interest in the country as a tourism destination. In 2008, around 18 million people visited, making it the world's 15th most popular tourism destination.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls (the North side) is statistically Canada's most popular attraction - over 12 million people visit the town every year. As such, its list of top five hotels is dominated by top-end chain resorts - Sheraton, Marriott and Hilton all make the list. The top place, though, is held by the Sterling Inn and Spa, which claims to be the only boutique hotel in Niagara Falls - coincidence?

1. Sterling Inn and Spa
2. Country Inn and Suites
3. Sheraton on the Falls
4. Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel and Spa
5. Hilton Doubletree Fallsview Resort and Spa

Average Price $155 (€112)

Toronto

Toronto boasts a three-to-five-star range in its top five hotels. Unusually, the most popular hotel is only a three-star residence, with guests praising the great location and superb views from the 22 floor tower. Around 12 million people head to Toronto's Harbourfront area every year, making it Canada's second most popular attraction.

1. Residence Inn Toronto Downtown/Entertainment District
2. Drake Hotel Toronto
3. Cambridge Suites Hotel
4. Sandman Signature Hotel Toronto Airport
5. The Hazelton Hotel

Average Price $266 (€193)

Vancouver

Travelers loved the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Loden, voting it as the most popular hotel in Vancouver. The 77-room hotel is situated on the edge of the city's upmarket Coal Harbour and the financial district. Tourism Vancouver has advised travelers to book using an agency to secure a room for the Winter Olympics.

1. Loden Hotel
2. St Regis hotel
3. Shangri-La Hotel
4. Wedgewood Hotel and Spa
5. Opus Hotel

Average Price $316 (€229)

Montreal

Montreal, the capital of Francophone Québec, was praised for its quaint hotels, style and charm. Hotels here were also the best value for money, with the top five coming in lower than most other cities. The four-star Le Relais Lyonnaise, situated in the heart of Montreal's Latin Quarter, topped the list.

1. Le Relais Lyonnaise
2. Le Petit Hotel
3. Le Square Phillips Hotels and Suites
4. Hotel Le-St James
5. Loew Hotels Vogue

Average price $249 (€181)

Winnipeg

Capital of the Manitoba province, Winnipeg is home to The Forks, a greenspace site situated at the confluence of two rivers. Four million people visit every year, some to use the ice rink, which is the largest in the world. The most popular hotel was Marriagi's, a boutique hotel with themed rooms such as the Rome, India or Caribbean suites.

1. Marriagi's Theme Suites Hotel
2. Inn at the Forks
3. Place Louis Riel Suite Hotel
4. Best Western Pembina Inn & Suites
5. Fort Garry Hotel

Average Price $142 (€103)

Data is taken from millions of independent reviews and rankings surveyed at TripAdvisor taken at 10 AM GMT on February 10, 2010.

Website: http://www.tripadvisor.com



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