Friday, September 01, 2006

Lodging choices

This will be the seventh year that I've attended the TIFF and the seventh year that I am staying at a different place.

1999 - Howard Johnson
2000 - Days Inn
2002 - Hotel Victoria
2003 - Bond Place
2004 - Courtyard by Marriott
2005 - House on McGill
2006 - Les Amis B&B

That's not a negative on any of the places I've stayed (they've all been nice), I guess I just a nomad. All of the places, save for the 1st year when I stayed off Sherbourne, have been located off Yonge St. It's been nice b/c I can either walk or take the subway to all the venues in a rather quick fashion.

Since the Uptown closed and the Ryerson took it's place, I've stayed at different Bed & Breakfasts right near the Ryerson. I had never stayed in a B&B before Toronto, never really would have considered one. But they've been exactly what I needed.

1) If you are a true "mad" festivalgoer and are planning on seeing countless movies a day, do you really need an extravagant room. How long are you really going to be there? For me, it's at MOST 9 hours, and 8 of those is sleep. I don't need a pool or a restaurant/bar. I need a bed, a shower and a alarm clock.

2) Location, location, location. All these B&B are located a block north or east of the Ryerson. Typically I've tried to see the 9:30 a.m. shows (the galas from the previous day). By being only a block away, I can wake up at 9 a.m., hop in the shower, get dressed and get over to the theatre in plenty of time. These location also help since I frequently partake of the Midnight Madness shows which are also at the Ryerson. I'm in my bed asleep within 15 min. after the film.

One year I stayed at the Hotel Victoria which was located on Yonge, south of King St. I was a wonderful room and the service was fine. But each morning, I had to wake up extra early, b/c I was so far away from the venues (Uptown was still around at this time). Plus when the midnight movies got out (after the subway had stopped), it was a long walk back.

3) Convenience. B&Bs are typically not mamonth structures. Usually two stories, maybe three. So if you do have to run back and pick up something you forgot, going up a flight of stairs takes much less time than waiting on an elevator to take you to floor 22.

Just wondering what strategies other festivalgoers use when selecting where they are going to stay.

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