Great Visit to Hilton Niagara Falls
We stayed at the Hilton, Niagara Falls from 11/6-11/10/03 and had a great visit! We read many reviews from this site before chosing a hotel. We flew into Buffalo, NY and rented a car from Hertz and drove about 20-25 min's to Canada. It is a beautiful area! As some reviewers have said, the construction was in full swing of the new casino in front of the Hilton. The road directly in front of the hotel got new pavement on Friday or Saturday. However, we located the hotel easily and got great service from the valet parking. We chose to upgrade from the 22nd floor to the 31st floor and our view was spectacular! We could see both the American Falls and the Canadian Falls perfectly. The new casino blocks the view of Goat Island, but we walked the waterfront on each day and got great photos of Goat Island and of the falls. Because it's past tourist season, there were no crowds. The room was very clean with excellent amenities in the large bathroom with a whirlpool tub.
There were two TV's - one in the bedroom area and another in the sitting area with sofa, coffee table, and large desk. There were two windows, as if we were on a corner, for a better view of the area below. The maid service was prompt each morning and they came after we headed out at 8-9 am for breakfast. You can walk all over town - laterally to the Skylon tower and IMAX theater or downhill to the riverfront. The walk downhill (and uphill back) is steep. We spent just a little bit of time on Clifton Hill - gaudy but fun shops and museums.
We found cheap breakfasts there and avoided the Denny's since other reviewers on this site said Denny's was overpriced. We had dinner at Coco's (in the near-by Holiday Inn), pizza on Clifton Hill, and at the top-floor restaurant of the Hilton. The Hilton restaurant service was excellent. Dessert was almost better than the steaks we had. We had to try the pool and it was not crowded at all. The waterslide looked fun - and there's a cool/unusual side pool with a glass wall to the lobby!
It's warm in the pool area and it's weird to see people in the lobby, all bundled-up in their heavy coats! We bought drinks and snacks in the hotel shop each night to take to our room and it is a well-stocked store. At the falls, on the Canadian side, the Journey Beneath the Falls is well worth doing. The Maid of the Mist boat ride is closed for the season at this time, but most everything else is open. We drove to the rapids and rode an elevator down to walk and take pictures there.
We drove to the Aero car (open) but did not ride. After that, we saw the Butterfly Conservatory and flower clock (still beautiful at this time of year) and the Sir Adam Beck Power plant. The power plant tour was a fun, 45 minute-long, interior tour on hydroelectric power. We rode to the top of the Skylon tower - so windy! It is very close to the Hilton. We took some great photos from that high vantage point. We checked-out the casino in town once (not the new one, which is still under construction), briefly, but did not stay. There were busloads of people entering the casino on Friday and Saturday nights. We had a great lunch at The Secret Garden restaurant which is right by the Rainbow bridge. We highly recommend it. Each night, from our hotel room, we could see the lights displayed on the falls. Apparently, on Nov 22, they start their holiday light display. This is in town, around town, around the falls, etc. On the last day we were there, we visited the Amercian Falls side and their park. It was not crowded at all and the walkways were slippery with ice from the cold morning and mist from the falls. Three Sisters island is a great way to see the Niagara River a little higher-up from the falls and there are lots of walking paths.
We finished our trip with a visit to the small aquarium in Niagara Falls, NY. It's $6 or so for admission and is a neat place. We would visit the area again - maybe in deep winter to see the ice on the river and we would certainly stay at the Hilton again.