Staycation? Stay local and have fun at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel

photo courtesy of TDV

Have you thought about a Staycation?  I keep hearing about them and they seem to be more popular than actually going away and much more relaxing.  It’s also more affordable and easier when travelling with kids and we did a Staycation for this vacation courtesy of the Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites.
Staycations offer local adventures without the added stress associated with travel, such as packing, long drives or waits at the airport and dealing with currency exchanges.  Recent studies have found two-thirds of Canadian families will travel within Canada this summer, due to its affordability and convenience.

“Summertime means the kids are at home and bursting with energy; mom and dad might still be working but are looking for ways to spend quality family time. It’s an ongoing struggle to find that balance, so more and more Canadians are looking for simple, easy ‘staycation’ ideas,” says Kevin Porter, General Manager, Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites

I asked fellow readers/fans on my Facebook page of Everything Mom and Baby what they liked about Staycations and here’s what was said:

I like that if we need to go home we can. With four small children (5,4,2, and 1 month) it’s nice to be able to head home if needed!” ~ Stephanie

You finally get a chance to see all the sights and attractions in your own backyard that you never seem to have time for. After living in Toronto for 20 years, I still hadn’t gone to the CN Tower. I finally saw it after I moved away!” ~ Sarah blogger at Journey of the Zoo

A staycation is so much easier and cheaper than a trip away. It’s easy to overlook the great sites and activities that are right in our own backyard; a staycation provides a super opportunity to explore locally” ~ Deborah blogger at Raising My Boys

I love staycations – doing day trips to places like the zoo, the museum, Toronto Island etc. Staycations are less expensive and can sometimes be more enjoyable than vacations. Less stress, planning and cost!” ~ Amanda, blogger at Multi Testing Mommy

Staycations are a wonderful idea – a limited budget and work vacation restrictions mean that this is definitely on agenda this year. Throw in four small people and a hotel in a nearby city (short travel distance!) is right up our alley!” ~ Melanie, blogger of MBAMamaMusings 

All of the above makes perfect sense! We travel North every Summer and it’s a good 4-hour drive, just long enough to drive my preschooler nuts in the back seat of the car.

So we had a very unique opportunity to review night at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel for our staycation and it was an extremely pleasant stay.  This is an Urban Resort and a great little getaway.  Once you enter a hotel, even though you are staying in town, you feel as though you are vacationing.

Here are some photos from our stay at the TDV.  They have a fabulous outdoor pool where we spent most of our time. It’s the best spot for the kids.  Other amenities include their newly renovated gym, the indoor pool which has an amazing glass dome roof that would be awesome for a winters stay, and the sauna and steam room.
I know they were working on reinventing the menu for the restaurant and room service, but due to unfortunate circumstances, it has been delayed. The restaurant is set up in an appealing open manner right in the lobby and looks out over the pool. Very reminiscent of a summery getaway! I am hoping the menu will still get the upgrade it deserves, and look forward to coming back and trying it!

When we arrived because we participated in the Summer Sizzle Deal and were able to choose between two gifts for our son.  We chose the Spider-Man Water Wings over the bubbles.

Learning to swim! He was great in his first time using water wings!
The most memorable part of our trip.
Yummy cocktails, poolside!
 Lounging in the beautiful lobby
A lovely welcome letter and treats!  On a side note, I would have loved to see a healthier options and maybe some organic fruit juices, treats or even in-house baked goods/treats.  But I let my son indulge in the juice and Smartfood since we’re on vacation 😉
We really liked our room.  It was nicely furnished and had a Keurig machine!
Nice quality products and I LOVED the heated floor in the bathroom.
Night time kisses before bed.
We had a great time at the hotel.  I do suggest you check it out for your own staycation/getaway and see what all the fun is about.
The hotel staff was welcoming and friendly, it is designed impeccably, the beds are fantastic and you too can start building your own family staycation memories!
With the increasing interest and desire for staycations, the Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites is committed to providing a cost-effective way to stay and play with the family.  The location is great!
It’s surrounded by the tranquil Don Valley Park, their newly renovated facilities offer the perfect background for an urban getaway, while remaining close to popular Toronto tourist attractions.
You can play with the kids at the nearby Ontario Science Centre or  take a trip to Toronto Zoo.  You can even go visit and check out the view from the  CN Tower.
Special TDV room rates and family packages are available at

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Summer!


  1. Mom vs. the boys | 30th Jul 12

    sounds fun! love the water wings!

  2. Christine | 30th Jul 12

    Wow! That looks like a fun staycation! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing. This has inspired me to try something like that.

  3. Kim | 30th Jul 12

    I’m with you on quality treats. Everyone seems to give our kids “junk” from school to camps and family visits. There are so many other things to give that are healthier and free of additives and GMO corn!
    And the artificial colouring in Smarties. No thank you!

    Great post by the way, I’ll pass this on to hubby and see what he says as he’ll be on vacation next week and we have no plans!

  4. Anonymous | 30th Jul 12

    Sounds like you had a great time!
    Who knew? I never thought of doing a staycation but it’s true, once you enter a hotel you feel like a tourist.

  5. Mama Ash | 30th Jul 12

    I’m a foodie so I am a little picky. Not the hotels fault at all as it was very kind.
    I’ve worked at the Park Hyatt for about 5 years and my husband was Head Bar tender at the Intercontinental for over 10 years on Front St. So we know hotels from the inside.
    I am overly observant on things like that, LOL!

    But a lot of families love Oasis juice, smarties etc…
    After reading “Crazy Makers, how the food industry is making our kids sick” I am even more aware of what my son puts in his mouth.

  6. Deborah Coombs | 30th Jul 12

    So glad you had a great time! And thanks for the link 🙂

  7. Brandi Yee | 30th Jul 12

    What a great idea! I never knew about staycations, but sounds awesome with having kids 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  8. ~Shannon~ | 30th Jul 12

    Staycations are so fun! The pool is always the most important part of chosing a hotel with our two kids! Looks like you had a blast!

  9. NPC | 30th Jul 12

    Omigosh. I love staycations and looks like you all had tons of fun. Nothing like getting unplugged, swimming and relaxing. 😀 Thanks for sharing!

  10. The Zoo | 31st Jul 12

    Water wings or bubbles, how could they do that to you (smile)? Just kidding, how nice that they offered a gift in the first place.

    As I commented before, it seems like you really enjoyed yourself, great news for your family and the Toronto Don Valley Hotel.

    Sounds like it’s time for another visit to Toronto. Thanks for the mention.

    Besos, Sarah
    Zookeeper at Journeys of The Zoo

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