Right in the historic heart of downtown London is where you’ll find the Hotel Metro. This boutique hotel, London’s best, provides a prime location for visitors looking to spend time exploring the London city center or to visit the nearby universities or colleges.
A lot of people don’t think of London as a typical tourist destination but I had a wonderful time in the city and I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re looking to go on a day trip from Toronto or if you just want to visit somewhere new.
Over the past few years I’ve spent so much time exploring Europe that I have overlooked everything so close to home in my own backyard.
So this summer rather than booking another flight across the Atlantic I decided to spend some time discovering some of the best that Ontario has to offer and this is ultimately what led me to visiting London and spending time at the Hotel Metro.
London is just a short 2.5 hour drive right along of the 403 from Toronto and it’s a similar distance to Windsor and Detroit, making it a great choice if you’re living anywhere between these two cities.
In the surrounding area there are plenty of other interesting places to check out including the nearby towns of Chatham and Stratford along with some areas of natural beauty such as Port Stanley and the Lake Huron Coast.
With so many different things to do in the immediate area you’re going to want to consider spending a night or two somewhere with a central location and this is one of the main selling points of the Hotel Metro.
Getting in and out of downtown London is really straightforward with quick access to highways going East and West as well as North and South so the hotel really is the best place to stay when it comes to exploring this area of Southwestern Ontario.
I spent two nights at the Hotel Metro and in this post I want to share with you guys the experience that I had at the property so that you can get a better idea of what to expect if you’re planning on staying here or hopefully I’ll be able to convince you that this is a great hotel that you should consider visiting.
Hotel Metro – Upscale Accommodation in Southwestern Ontario
The Hotel Metro is classified as a boutique hotel, something that you don’t find too much here in Southern Ontario outside of Toronto, and it offers a unique contrast when it comes to accommodation compared to your typical hotel chain.
One of the features that makes it so unique is the interior contemporary design with exposed bricks, modern furnishings, and chic artwork rather than just a completely cookie cutter layout.
The trendy interior of the hotel is noticeable right after you walk through the front door into the lobby with the futuristic leather chairs, painted elevator door, and other small features that help put you at ease like the earth tones and quirky mirrors.
I felt very welcome walking into the hotel and it felt more like walking into someone’s home rather than just your run-of-the-mill nightly accommodation.
This is one of the main reasons that I prefer boutique hotels such as the Hotel Metro – because you get a much more unique and personal experience that has a longer-lasting memorable impression on you, which doesn’t typically happen if you’re staying at a Marriott or Hilton property.
The hotel itself is located right in the historic downtown of London, Ontario and it’s right across from the popular Covent Garden Market so the location is superb if you want to explore the downtown city center area and even if you’re in town to check out the university or colleges.
Just a short 5 minute walk from the property is the Museum London where you can learn more about the history of the city as well as check out some different art exhibits and you can reach the Budweiser Gardens in just 2 minutes on foot, making the hotel a great choice if you’re visiting for some special event.
Apart from having a beautifully designed interior as well as providing guests with an amazing location for exploring the city, there is also a great option for fine dining on the ground level of the property at the Blu Duby restaurant.
The restaurant is located inside the hotel with an entrance on the main street at the other end of the property and at the Blu Duby you can enjoy a memorable dining experience of globally-inspired Canadian menu items for quite reasonable prices.
Having the restaurant so close by is a lot easier than having to venture out into the city looking for somewhere to eat and after your meal you can enjoy a quick walk around the historic downtown before heading back to your room to relax.
Now that you have a better idea of what you can expect if you’re staying at the Hotel Metro, I want to share with you my thoughts on the room that I had and provide you with some additional helpful information if you’re planning on visiting.
My Stay at the Hotel Metro in London
For my two nights at the Hotel Metro I stayed in one of the Loft Rooms. At the property there are four different room types available to choose from depending on your budget.
The room I had was located at the rear part of the hotel facing the main street running behind the property and this gave me an incredible view of the historic downtown area.
Rather than relying on curtains for privacy the windows of the hotel room were tinted so it was still possible to enjoy the view without having to worry about anybody looking in and seeing what you were doing.
The large window, even with the tint, that in plenty of natural lighting and this kept the room bright and feeling airy throughout the entire day.
Right away I noticed that the ceilings were quite high and this helped to make the room feel even more spacious than it already was and the exposed brick walls really gave it it contemporary yet industrial vibe that really helped to play into the rest of the interior boutique style.
In the center of the room was a large comfortable bed with a desk workspace area as well as a mini fridge and coffee making station along one of the walls. There was a single chair in the corner as an additional seating space so there was plenty of room to relax and hang out after a long day of exploring the city.
I’ll be completely honest, I moved the chair over to the window so that I could admire the view with my feet up to relax after walking around for a few hours.
One of the most surprising features of the room to me was the open concept design and both the bedroom and bathroom area were simply laid out as one room with a shared space. There was a dedicated room with a door for the toilet but otherwise everything was left out in the open.
This was another of the boutique design features that I came to appreciate although I think it would be a bit awkward if you were traveling with someone that you didn’t have a very close personal relationship with.
Since I was traveling with my girlfriend it wasn’t a problem with her taking a bath, using the shower, or spending time getting ready in the morning, but if you were traveling with a family member then you might want a room with more bathroom privacy.
The bathroom itself was well equipped with an enormous soaking tub, a dedicated stand up shower with a rainfall shower head, and a spacious sink area with all of the amenities you would need.
I even spotted an iron and ironing board which is a great addition if you’re traveling for business and you need to iron your clothes before heading to a meeting.
A few other things I liked were the comfortable bathrobes that were great for using after a nice hot bath and the artwork helped to add a contemporary chic flair to the room without being too overbearing or pretentious.
For two people traveling together, especially as a couple, the Loft room makes for an ideal choice if you’re looking for comfortable, spacious, and modern accommodation in downtown London.
Helpful Tips for Visiting
Unfortunately there isn’t any free parking available at the hotel and for some reason the paid parking isn’t included in the nightly rate.
Outside of the hotel you can leave your car overnight from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. in the morning and if you want to park during the day your best bet is to park in the parking garage right across the street underneath the Covent Garden Market.
The problem with the underground covered parking is that there are no in/out privileges so once you park you pretty much have to leave your car there unless you feel like paying again.
During the weekends parking is free so you can park out front of the hotel without any issues or at a nearby meter and if you’re looking for cheaper parking I recommend checking out one of the city owned parking lots nearby as they will run you about $10 to $15 for 24-hour parking with in/out privileges.
In the lobby there is a small fruit basket that you can grab some fruit from if you want a quick and healthy snack to bring out with you or to bring up to your room.
There’s also infused water available in the lobby as well as a coffee maker so you can make coffee or tea in the morning without having to stop somewhere nearby.
One Way Streets
One thing I noticed in the downtown London area is that many of the streets are one-way and it’s a good idea to keep this in mind if this is something that you’re not accustomed to.
This does make it easier to get around since you don’t have to worry about parking or turning on too many two way streets but make sure to keep an eye on your GPS when you’re coming into town to avoid turning the wrong way down the street.
Exploring Downtown London
The historic downtown London area is rather picturesque and I would definitely recommend spending some time exploring on foot.
There are some beautiful churches and lovely parks nearby and you can basically walk around the downtown without having to ever venture too far from the hotel.
Alternatively, you can hop into your car and head to some of the parks along the Thames River if you want to enjoy yourself and explore somewhere in a more natural and peaceful setting.
Room for Improvement
Apart from the confusing parking situation I couldn’t really find anything wrong with the hotel that I feel like mentioning in my review.
Overall, I had a really good experience at the Hotel Metro and if you’re planning a visit to London, Ontario it’s definitely where I would recommend staying.
Here are some of the other hotels I’ve visited in Ontario that I would also recommend if you’re looking to explore more of the province:
- Benmiller Inn & Spa in Goderich
- Samuels Boutique Hotel in Goderich
- Retro Suites Hotel in Chatham
- Other hotel reviews