The 6 Best Hotels for Viewing Niagara Falls

The vistas of Niagara Falls have beckoned travelers for centuries. Long visited by newlyweds — and nowadays a mandatory stop for the Instagramming road-tripper — the self-styled Honeymoon Capital of the World has plenty to offer in addition to its thundering falls. Gambling is available on either side of the river, but it has especially blossomed on the Canadian side, which also boasts hotels situated closer to the iconic Horseshoe Falls (hello, views). Meanwhile, the New York side is home to an aquarium, wine trail, and the lushly conserved Niagara Falls State Park. So pick a country, pack your passport for optimal bridge-hopping, and book a room at one of these area hotels which will keep you close to the main attraction.

1. The Red Coach Inn (U.S.)

This historic and cozy English Tudor inn sits alongside the Upper Rapids and is a mere 15-minute walk to the American Falls. With jacuzzi tubs and a full-service restaurant featuring a distinctly old world ambiance that harkens back to its opening in 1923, this alternative lodging is much more than a simple bed & breakfast. The Red Coach Inn also offers a variety of packages for those looking to discover the Falls or simply enjoy a romantic weekend getaway.

2. Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls Fallsview (Canada)

The Fallsview Boulevard District of Niagara Falls, Ontario is home to a number of the area’s best hotels, and for good reason. As the name not-so-subtly implies, it is situated alongside the river and boasts incredible views. It’s also a developed entertainment district, and the Crowne Plaza in particular is a very family friendly choice thanks to its direct access to the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark. The hotel also sits next door to Casino Niagara and the Rainbow Bridge, which allows access to the American side and is itself a popular landmark. And don’t let its modern furnishings fool you, the hotel formerly known as the Brock Plaza has a long legacy and even hosted Marilyn Monroe during the filming of the 1953 film Niagara.

3. Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa (Canada)

The Marriott bears the distinction of being the closest hotel to the main Horseshoe Falls, and it even offers a money-back guarantee if guests on the eighth floor or higher are dissatisfied with their view. The hotel contains a luxurious indoor pool and spa as well as the Terrapin Grille Falls View Restaurant. If you want to get even closer to the water, take a quick walk to the funiculars that will lower you down to theJourney Behind the Falls attraction, where visitors don ponchos and get up close and personal with the roaring mists.

4. Embassy Suites by Hilton (Canada)

Another Fallsview Blvd mainstay, the Embassy Suites by Hilton is next door to the Marriott and a mere block from the popular Fallsview Casino Resort complex. Venture one block past that and you’ll arrive at the Skylon Tower, which offers 360 degree views of the area in case your panoramic hotel view isn’t quite enough. Guests can also unwind at the end of the day with complimentary evening receptions featuring drinks and light snacks.

5. Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino (U.S.)

If you’re looking to do some gambling on the U.S. side of the border, stay at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino for an all-inclusive experience. Furnishings are basic, but the casino attracts top comedy talent and stage shows and is conveniently located to area attractions. Book a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat tour, which lets tourists feel the power of the falls from a distinctly humbling vantage point.

6. The Giacomo (U.S.)

Situated in a stylish Art Deco building in a central location, the Giacomo offers well-appointed rooms and a cozy fireplace in the lobby for those seeking a boutique hotel experience. Walk to the State Park to explore Niagara’s natural wonders, or to the nearby Aquarium of Niagara for a fun and educational activity. Opt for the Luxury Dining Package and the hotel will arrange meals for your at area establishments, or choose from one of their many other romance, adventure, or entertainment-centric packages.

 

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on February 8, 2016.

5 Easy Tips for Getting Amazing Sleep on the Road

If you find that your sleep quality decreases while traveling, you’re not alone. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that most adults prefer the comfort and calm of their own bedrooms over a hotel room—even a luxurious one. And don’t even get people started on the perils of trying to catch some shut-eye on a cheap flight.

Short of bringing their bed with them wherever they go, what’s a weary traveler to do? Whether you’re trying to catch some ZZZs on an airplane, in a hotel, or in a train or car, here’s how to get better sleep while on the road.

Photo: Flickr user LoveMaegan

1. Get comfortable.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep next to two other people in the backseat of a moving vehicle, you’ll know that this can be easier said than done. But sleep will come faster if you do what you can to make yourself comfortable. Try to wear loose-fitting clothing, take off your shoes, and cuddle up under breathable fabrics for the best chance at decent sleep. If you’re in a plane, train, or car, an inflatable or travel-sized pillow will also help.

2. Keep the environment cool, quiet, and dark.

Studies routinely show that people sleep best in spaces that are quiet, unlit, and cooled to less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While you may not be able to control the temperature wherever you’re trying to sleep (except in a car or hotel room), you can keep things quiet by packing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones or (at hotels) asking for a room that’s located away from the elevator, stairwell, vending machines, and pool (Also don’t forget to hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door). Limit your exposure to light by closing a hotel room’s curtains or packing an eye mask for flights.

3. Stick to your routines.

Consistency is key to getting good sleep, so do what you can to mimic your own bedroom environment wherever you are. Bring along your favorite pair of pajamas, a picture of your family or pet, and any other small items that will help you feel at home. Also be sure to stick to your normal bedtime routines, such as drinking a cup of tea, reading a book, listening to music, or practicing breathing exercises before closing your eyes.

Photo: Flickr user Marianne Oleary 

4. Avoid stimulants.

Caffeine, alcohol, and exposure to “blue light” (aka the glow emitted from electronic devices like tablets, laptops, and smartphones) can all make it harder to catch some shut-eye. Try not to drink coffee in the afternoon or evening; don’t drink alcohol within a few hours of heading to bed; and turn off all electronics at least an hour before hitting the sheets. Avoiding these stimulants will help your body wind down so you can fall asleep faster.

5. Head to sleep-friendly hotels.

Reading reviews of hotels online prior to booking will help alert you to whether a hotel is known for having raucous guests or promoting quality slumber. Some hotels have even started investing in amenities to help guests get better sleep.

For example, the Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, Va. offers guests a “Dream Menu,” or a collection of services and products designed to help guests get better sleep (think hot water bottles, Snore-no-More pillows, and a Bed Wedge that elevates your upper torso). At the Fairmont San Francisco, guests can take advantage of a sleep kit complete with sleep machine, earplugs, eye mask, and slippers. Crowne Plaza hotels offer a “Sleep Advantage” program that lets guests elect to stay in quiet zones sans room attendant, housekeeping, or engineering activities from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. And Hampton hotels offer a “Clean and Fresh Bed” designed to provide guests with optimum comfort in the form of streamlined covers, four pillows per bed, and high-thread-count sheets.

Most importantly? Even if you find yourself tossing and turning, don’t lose hope. Fretting over lost sleep will only make you anxious, so try not to stress too much if you wanted to snooze through an entire eight-hour flight and only managed to catch an hour or two of ZZZs. A little bit of sleep is better than none. And if all else fails, never forget the power of a cat nap.

Cover Photo: Flickr user Mark Sebastian via Wikimedia Commons

 

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on November 15, 2015.

Where We Travelled

Let’s take a look at today’s travel trends. Where are the world’s tourists and business travelers coming from, and where are we all going? Some of the answers in this graphic from Hipmunk will surprise you. Bet you can’t guess which country’s residents take the most frequent trips, or what the top destination was in the 2010s. Spain and France remain popular as destinations, but where do the Spaniards and the French go when they want a vacation? If Americans aren’t going overseas much, where are we going? This infographic packs a lot of data into a small space. It gives a fascinating glimpse into worldwide travel patterns with a focus on what Americans have been up to for the past forty years or so. Take a closer look at where we’re all going, where we’re coming from, and which destinations are falling in and out of favor over time. Then tweet @thehipmunk and let Hipmunk know where you’re going this year.

Where-We-Travelled

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