Banking on a "less is more" theme, the first ALT Hotel outside Quebec has landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The basic mantra: offer fewer services and focus on the essentials. As after that third flight delay, all we want is deep, unencumbered sleep. If I had a dollar for every time I've checked into a hotel room late at night only to wade through decorative pillow litter and sugary confections (I need a bedtime blood sugar spike like I need a VCR player), I'd have enough cash for a carefree night at ALT. When the real basics are at stake – a substantial meal, reliable climate control and seven solid hours of sleep – ALT has you covered.
ALT is geared toward an environmentally conscious generation, who consume with a social attitude. With its contemporary styling, every detail in the 153-room hotel has been designed to satisfy the needs of the savvy traveller. Think intelligent room design meets strategic touches of luxury, like a snug bed draped with Egyptian cotton linens and a goose-down duvet. Or the spa-style rain shower, with considerable oomph to get you going in the morning. For those in-transit passengers who need to crash out at high noon, the custom blackout blinds take you to midnight in a flash.
Like many an airport hotel, guests arrive irritated and miserable, as the lack of palatable food on Delta has left you ravenous. In this area, ALT scores major points. Enter ALTcetera, a grab-and-go fresh food concept to be enjoyed in the lobby or in your room. Free WiFi blankets the hotel, encouraging guests to mingle in the lobby – essentially a big living room with a bar and a pool table. Fitness buffs who never miss a workout will find a gym with all the basics available day and night on the 14th floor.
ALT has also dispelled the idiosyncrasies of high and low season. "Travellers are tired of hotels manipulating rates, at times very dramatically from one day to the next," Christiane Germain, CEO of Groupe Germain Hospitalité. "Whether it's TIFF or the Pan Am Games, you'll never experience a bad peak period surprise here. The price is the same, all year round."
ALT Hotel Toronto Pearson, 6080 Viscount Road, Mississauga, Ont.; 905-362-4337; rooms from $149 a night; pearson.althotels.ca.