Up close and personal with the falls on Hornblower Niagara Cruises
Up close and personal with the falls on Hornblower Niagara Cruises

This is part 3 of Caitlin Martin’s three-part look at three Radisson hotels. Check out the intro here, part 1 here and part 2 here.

Radisson Hotel & Suites Fallsview (6733 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, Ontario; 905-356-1944) happens to hold great value for travelers who want a panoramic view of Niagara Falls from their room without a crazy price tag. The Radisson is tucked slightly behind the Marriott on the Canadian side but the secret is that these Radisson rooms can be about 50-100 bucks less and still have an incredible view of Horseshoe Falls, also known as the Canadian Falls because most of it lies in Canada.

Oh and one more thing: You can have a jacuzzi overlooking the falls (and a long oversized panoramic view) for a great price if you book a fallsview whirlpool room (rates start at $179).

Tip: Fallsview whirlpool rooms ending in number “39” on the far end of the building are the prime ones!

Not only was the backdrop of Horseshoe Falls and the Niagara River from my hotel window not a bad deal (okay, let’s be honest, it was my favorite part), the people and service at the hotel were top-notch too. Here are the highlights from my time at the Radisson Hotel & Suites Fallsview:

View from Niagara Fallsview
View from Niagara Fallsview

1. View from the fallsview whirlpool rooms
The view combined with the sheer value of this hotel compared to that of its neighbors is a great reason to stay here. You can see the Marriott building on your left outside your window, but realistically you won’t even notice the building because you’ll be too busy looking at the view of Horseshoe Falls.


2. Service
Good service isn’t always a commodity. The front desk, housekeeping and management team were not only professional but memorable as well. We had some great conversations and laughs. Now that’s great hospitality: a team that’s professional and yet fun and that can make travelers smile.

Radisson Fallsview
Radisson Fallsview

3. Renovated hotel
I loved the look of the building from the outside. The triangle-shaped newer part of the building (although the building was slightly shorter than others hotels around it) was sleek and modern. The hotel underwent renovations in 2012. Local artwork of the Falls and green pops of color kept the hotel fresh inside.


4. Jacuzzi overlooking the falls
I know I already mentioned the view was spectacular, but it’s truly the best if you’re lucky enough to score a room with a jacuzzi. It’s the ultimate relaxation after a long day of seeing the Falls up close.

5. Quick walk to the action
The hotel is just a 15-minute walk from the main viewing area on the Canadian side, Queen Victoria Park (or you can take a ride on WEGO, the city’s public transportation). The main viewing area will give you some great views of the Falls at eye level.

While there was no balcony to listen to the rushing water or dining option that gave us a pretty view of the water up high (there is an Outback Steakhouse on the main lobby level), you really get a great bang for your buck and still get the treat of an incredibly nice hotel stay. For the price and the view, it can’t be beat.

Tip: Hey Pittsburgh and Northern PA folks: Did you know Niagara Falls is only a 3.5-to-4-hour drive from you? Crossing the border to the Canadian side isn’t terribly time-consuming (of course earlier in the day and late at night lines will be shortest). I hear an easy weekend road trip coming on!

While visiting Niagara Falls
You cannot leave without seeing these spectacular falls from every angle!

Did you know? Niagara Falls form the the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world  with a vertical drop of more than 165  feet (thank you, last ice age). They are also used as a source of hydroelectric power.

Here’s where to go to experience the best from all vantage points: up high…down low…and right in the middle:

The falls from up high
The Falls from up high

Experience the Falls up high
Niagara Helicopters offers a breathtaking 12-minute flight daily from 9 am until sunset. From this vantage point, you can see how it all connects from up high.

Observation deck at Journey Behind the Falls
Observation deck at Journey Behind the Falls

Experience the Falls down low
At Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll be front and center with Horseshoe Falls. Take an elevator down 150 feet through bedrock to tunnels leading to the Cataract Portal and Great Falls Portal, one-third of the way behind the massive sheet of water. Then walk on to the observation decks at the foot of the Falls. Don’t worry, they provide the poncho which you will totally need!

Elements on the Falls lunch view
Elements on the Falls lunch view

Tip: Stop for lunch and a view at Elements on the Falls. The upscale casual restaurant is the closest you can dine to the Horseshoe Falls.

Bridal Veil Falls
American Falls

Experience the falls right in the middle
Hop on the Hornblower Niagara Cruises boat to take a half-hour ride that includes looks at the Great Gorge, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls, and gets up-close and personal with the thundering water. Boats depart every 15 minutes.

Tip: It’s worth purchasing the day and night pass from Hornblower Niagara Cruises. You’ll get a pass to see them during the day and lit up at night.

Don’t forget the wine

Inniskillin Winery
Inniskillin Winery

If you have time for some wine tasting, Niagara is known for its ice wine. Head to Inniskillin Winery and do the ice wine flight, which you can sample my favorite: Cabernet Franc Icewine.

Ravine Vineyard
Ravine Vineyard

Tip: For a local winery off-the-beaten-path with a great family history, head to Ravine Vineyard. Ask for Paul to tell you more about the history. I thought it was a fascinating family effort to keep the land. 

All photos courtesy of Caitlin Martin.

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