The Holiday Inn London is the proud inheritor of a rich tradition of lodging, which extends as far back as the height of the North American fur trade. The hotel is built upon land once known to the Anishinaabe as the ‘village of traders.’ Here, pelts from animals including beaver, groundhog and squirrel were traded for manufactured goods not readily available in the frontier. The demand for spatulas from the old world was tremendous, confirmed by both historical interpretation and recent archaeological findings. While commerce was brisk, Jesuit missionaries from France sought not wealth, but rather souls, and occasionally adventure. In all, it was a happening place.
Going forward to the present day, it is evident that the area continues to draw in travelers of diverse origins and aims. That includes some weird guy from Nova Scotia who wouldn’t stop watching me as I unloaded my car (Note to that fellow: Take a picture doofus, it’ll last longer).
Upon approaching the hotel, one will note an aura of exclusivity. There is what appears to be orange cones and half-removed asphalt blocking access via the main entrance. To the untrained eye, this may appear to be a simple repaving initiative. However, the seasoned traveler will reach a wholly different conclusion. This is actually a means of deterring a lower quality of clientele from reaching the building. Such riff-raff is prone to sloth and will not drive the additional twenty yards to gain access to the parking lot.
The front desk acknowledged my Priority Club Rewards status without prompting. This was good, for I am a man of business who deserves recognition.
The rooms are fresh, tastefully arranged and both bed bug and assassin free. One must always be mindful of such things when traveling alone. The bathroom was equally well-maintained, testament to the cleaning staff’s abilities. The toilet is of western design; depress AND hold handle for a proper flush. I repeat, depress AND hold.
Wireless access was quick, convenient and secure—important for those engaging in corporate espionage. Am I the only one who found the hacker film with Angelina Jolie to be pretty decent? I think it also featured the guy from “Trainspotting” in it as well.
I was pleased to find that the staff’s competency and attention to detail extended to the pillows, which are individually labeled ‘firm’ or ‘soft’ – essential information when formulating bedtime strategy. I myself prefer triple stacked pillows, arranged in firm/firm/soft configuration. That I know what type of pillow has been placed on my bed allows me to make such informed decisions.
There are a host of in-room entertainment options available. A variety of pay-per-view movies are available, and on multiple menus it is explicitly stated that adult films do not show up on the final bill. The hotel’s commitment to discretion is useful for those risking irreparable shame in selecting “Butt Frenzy 8 – Bottom’s Up!”
If video games are of greater interest, especially in the latest titles for the Nintendo 64 (or N64, as the cool kids call it), good fortune smiles widely – For the nominal fee of $6.95 one has unlimited play for one hour. Do not take home the controller, as it not only has a proprietary plug that is incompatible with home consoles, taking it will also result in a $29.99 charge on your final bill. You will also be charged with a felony.
Thanks to the courtesy of the front desk staff, I was given a room on the 6th floor. This afforded me a stunning view of London Ontario’s robust electrical grid, evidence that a satisfactory level of development has been reached. The United Nations should henceforth cut all humanitarian aid to the city.
The panoramic scenery also included Highway 401, one of the busiest freeways in North America, serving a critical artery for Canada’s economy. Watching tractor trailer after tractor trailer pass by made me think of the pioneers of centuries yonder, those rugged men engaging in the region’s brisk carcasses-for-spatulas trade. In that moment, I wept over society’s lost innocence in the face of modernity.
There are numerous hotels clustered in this area, including the Holiday Inn’s arch-nemesis the Homewood Suites. If venturing away from the Holiday Inn, be sure to bring a GPS device to ensure that you do not venture into the wrong hotel by accident.
Beyond London Ontario’s hotel district are even greater attractions. My wanderings brought me to a marketplace called the “White Oaks Mall.” This is a centre of such manic activity that it rivals even Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar (where my travels have also taken me – successfully haggling over the price of rugs). Upon entering the ‘mall,’ I knew that being compelled there was the fruit of destiny. Storefront after storefront beckoned the traveler to peruse wares. I resisted temptation to shop, knowing that these were seasoned merchants and haggling would be a treacherous endeavour.
Instead I turned to what is referred to by locals as the ‘food court.’ There I dined at this family-run eatery – ‘Manchu Wok.’ Upon the proprietor’s suggestion, I opted for the traditional dish of honey garlic chicken on an heirloom variety of rice. The carefully crafted meal brought a host of flavours; a transcendental experience that brought me to where east meets west. Oh, what a moment to be alive!
Returning to the Holiday Inn, I slept sound, knowing that I my trip business had suddenly become a journey of discovery and introspection. I am eternally grateful for the Holiday Inn London for facilitating this life-changing experience
Breakfast options are limited.
- Also Known As:
- Courtyard By Marriott London Ontario
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel in London, Ontario Boasts Convenient Location Well-appointed rooms and a friendly staff are waiting to welcome you to the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites of London, Ontario. Our hotel's location near Highway 401 makes it easy to access downtown London, and we offer complimentary transport to London International Airport (YXU). London is an energetic city with many famous attractions, from the WesterFairRaceway to The Grand Theatre in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. Our hotel's guests can cheer for the London Knights hockey team at the John Labatt Centre, picnic at the Storybook Gardens or shop at White Oaks Mall, the largest shopping Centre in London. Our rooms are ideal for business travelers, and our hotel is located minutes from Victoria Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, the University of Western Ontario, Siemens, 3M, Ford and the London Convention Centre. Lodging here also gives you easy access to our 2,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 24-hour Business Centre. From the on-site restaurant to the free high-speed Internet access, we offer the amenities you need for your stay in London, Ontario. Our hotel rates include complimentary access to the 24-hour Fitness Centre, indoor, heated pool and whirlpool. Every room features comfortable bedding, a 25' TV and a spacious work area; rooms with Jacuzzi tubs and suites with living rooms, sofa beds and additional amenities also available. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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