A Night at the Fairmont Royal York (Or “I’m a Rock Star. In Canada. And, yes, that totally counts.”)

March 3, 2013


If you read other blogs regularly, maybe you’ve noticed that there are a lot of bloggers out there who always seem to be going on cool press trips and getting elaborate, comped, restaurant meals and staying in fancy hotel rooms for free.

If you read my blog regularly, maybe you’ve noticed I am not one of those bloggers.

Because, seriously, you guys, if I were one of those bloggers, do you think I’d opt to sit on a bus for twelve hours?

This is how I roll. Unfortunately.

This is how I roll. Unfortunately.

This is clearly the action of a woman who foots her own travel bill.

And the action of a woman who very accurately matches the Albert Einstein definition of insanity.

Also, if you read my blog regularly or irregularly or not-really-at-all-but-you’re-doing-it-today, may I remind you to go vote for my blog for a Bloggie for the Best Travel Weblog. YES, I AM STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS. AND I WILL CONTINUE TO TALK ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU ALL GO VOTE FOR ME AND MAKE ME THE HAPPIEST GIRL EVER, AND I BUY YOU ALL UNICORNS, AND WE DANCE AROUND RAINBOWS TOGETHER!!!

Or until you all hate me, and I end up drinking in my shower.

Not like that would be a first.


Shower gel? Check. Shampoo? Check. Beer? Check. Let’s get this shower started.


Where was I, again?

Oh, yes, about The Free Stuff.

Mind you, I do not feel that accepting The Free Stuff would affect my journalistic integrity.

I mean, you’ve read my blog, right?

Whatever “journalistic integrity” is, I assure you, I don’t have it.

The thing is to get The Free Stuff, you have to actually ask The People Who Give The Free Stuff to give it to you.

This is the funny thing about The People.

They usually won’t just email you and say, “Hey, want some Free Stuff?”

Okay, so, sometimes, they do.

I did get this super adorable pair of Tieks shoes.


Which are perfect for traveling. But not so perfect for Buffalo, as it’s been snowing since October, so I’ve only been able to wear them once. But I promise to wear them and tell you all about them. You know, once I no longer have to risk frostbite to do so.

And I’ve gotten more than one offer for a free travel iron. Because, apparently, The People think I look like a hot mess while I travel.

The People may have a point.

Oh. Dear. Lord.

Oh. Dear. Lord.

Usually, in order to get The Free Stuff, you have to do a lot of researching and emailing and networking and talking to The People and going to conferences with The People and then talking to more of The People.

And, well, I’ve been busy.

You know, working and moving home and watching screaming goat videos.

So it wasn’t until last weekend that I got my very first taste of what it feels like to be a travel blogger who wields her travel blogger powers for good.

Or at least for free hotel rooms.

And, let’s just say, you guys, I could totally get used to this.

You see, last Saturday I went up to Toronto to meet up with some other fine lady travel bloggers.

And, in case you’re wondering, I did totally take the bus there.

The bus to Toronto. Luckily it didn't take 12 hours. And there was some interesting hair to watch along the way.

The bus to Toronto. Luckily it didn’t take 12 hours. And there was some interesting hair to watch along the way.

After our afternoon spent shoving kimchi and booze into our faces, we spent the evening in a suite at the Fairmount Royal York, which was finagled for us by the lovely Pam.

As the name suggests the Fairmont Royal York is very regal.

The lobby was full of ornate chandeliers and huge flower arrangements and the type of people who look like they might actually iron their clothing while they are on vacation.


There was even a big book in the lobby with autographs from some of the “Guests of the Distinction,” which included royalty and various other celebrities.


Or as I referred to it “Guests Who Probably Didn’t Have to Take the Bus Here. And If They Did It Was Probably Some Kind of Crazy Gold-Plated, Hovercraft Bus.”

The fanciness didn’t stop at the lobby, of course. Our suite was one big room full of super swanky.
Our suite. Or half of it.

Our super swanky suite. Or half of it.

Our window had a view of CN Tower.


The television took up half of the wall.

The wall is somewhere behind the TV. I think.

The wall is somewhere behind the TV. I think.

And the bathroom was stocked with cushy bathrobes and slippers and mini-bottles of fancy French-named toiletries.


There was even a shoe mitten! I mean, you know a place is fancy when there is a mitten for your shoes!

Shoe mitten!

French toiletries! Mouth wash! Shoe mitten!

But more impressive than the view and the massive TV and the shoe mitten, was the customer service.

Yes, I said more impressive than the shoe mitten.

And I bet you didn’t think stuff could get much more impressive than a shoe mitten!

Because I know I certainly didn’t!

Seconds after we stepped into our room, someone from the front desk called us to ask us if we were satisfied with our suite.

Like, what were we going to say to that?

“Oh, no, can you give us a different free suite. This one is way too free. And we want a TV that takes up the whole wall, not just half of it. Sheez.”

Then not five minutes later, room service arrived bearing a cart full of cheese plates and fresh fruit and wine.


Cheese! Fruit! Wine! Gimme!

There was even a handwritten note wishing us all a happy stay.


You guys, I’m pretty sure this is what it’s like when you travel with a rock band.

Except my rock band was a bunch of lady bloggers.

So, you know, instead of setting the carpet on fire and throwing the couch out the window, we spent the evening devouring cheese plates and having heated discussions over how we should hashtag our tweets.

I am not even kidding you.



When’s the last time a hotel made you feel like a rock star?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On March 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm Priya said:

    I’m jealous! I want a free hotel night stay in Toronto! When I went last year, I had to stay in a hostel with a girl who drove me through the woods, and there was a guy somewhere in this trip who I wanted to punch in the face. I want to be a part of the bloggy lady awesome club. I really do!

    • On March 4, 2013 at 7:16 am Sally said:

      The Bloggy Lady Awesome Club does have pretty strict membership guidelines. Basically you need a blog. You need to know what a hashtag is. And you have to like your booze and cheese. As long as you can check all those guidelines, you are welcome to join us!

      • On March 4, 2013 at 11:05 am Priya said:

        I think I fit within those guidelines. Especially, the booze and cheese part. And,I’m totally serious about this. don’t be surprised if you see a weird Indian girl with uncontrollable hair at your next outing.

  2. On March 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm Ross said:

    Traveling for work is sometimes like being a rock star. Last fall I stayed in a great hotel in Suzhou, China that made me feel like a rock star. It was all free for me since work was paying for it. But then there are the trips to Fargo in February. Don’t think it possible to feel like a rock star in Fargo at least not if February
    Ross recently posted..Western Australian Plants

  3. On March 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm Brett Domue said:

    This is why when we travel, we try to stick to the same brands. Sometimes, we get the whole wine and fruit tray (even once a whole tray full of desserts in Bangkok) or even room upgrades (like a full suite when we only reserved a normal room in Luxembourg).

    But I do agree…I HATE asking for anything, so if it doesn’t come on a silver platter (or aluminum), then we just go with the normal self-funded flow.
    Brett Domue recently posted..Photo of the Week: Lobster Sliders at Casa Picasso on Ambergris Caye, Belize

  4. On March 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm Camels & Chocolate said:

    I have Fairmont’d my way around the globe but not to Toronto! I love everything about the Fairmont brand, so I’m glad you got to enjoy it, too. And this post totally cracked my sh*t up, as do all your rambling musings.
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Win a Stay at any Club Carlson Hotel Worldwide!

    • On March 4, 2013 at 7:13 am Sally said:

      This was my first time in a Fairmont hotel, and I have to say I could see how their hotels could get addictive. Now I just have to find my in to get myself free rooms there or find someone who’s willing to pay for my rooms there… possibly both.

  5. On March 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm Aisha from Expatlogue said:

    Great post! Wish I’d known you were in town – I could have stopped by and raided your mini-bar, and called reception to ask, “Don’t all mittens come in pairs? My shoes are asking where the other one is!”
    Sounds like you guys totally rocked the joint with that hashtag jive 😉

  6. On March 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm Jeanie said:

    I have yet to experience the rock star experience during my travels (although I love the 7$ hotels in SE Asia, even if they’re not fancy!). And, I live in Northern Alberta where I haven’t found anything swanky… like… nothing!
    Jeanie recently posted..The Weird and Wonderful (industrialization)

  7. On March 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm Caroline Eubanks said:

    I will be taking the bus from Atlanta to Toronto for TBEX. Clearly great/cheap ass minds think alike.
    Caroline Eubanks recently posted..Travel Writing Round Up [March 2013]

  8. On March 4, 2013 at 3:49 am Charli l Wanderlusters said:

    Sally you crack me up. I’m a noob unbravegirl reader and I’m here to stay.

    P.S I’m still ‘not one of those bloggers’ and am super jealous of your very cute and very FREE shoes!

    Note to the makers of said shoes, I am currently in the very warm climate of New Zealand and would be happy to test out said shoes should they like to send me a pair(preferably in blue).
    Charli l Wanderlusters recently posted..Wanderlust Guide: House Sitting Abroad

    • On March 4, 2013 at 7:08 am Sally said:

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying my blog! And, yes, I think we can all agree that free shoes are definitely the cutest kind of shoes there are. I just wish my cute, free shoes could do something about melting all this snow so I could actually wear them!

  9. On March 4, 2013 at 10:21 am Carmel said:

    The only time I’ve really stayed in nice hotels was for my wedding. We stayed at The Nines in downtown Portland and since it was our wedding night, they upgraded us to a junior suite on the top floor of the hotel portion. We also had a hand written note congratulating us on our nuptials. We stayed at the Allison in wine country for our honeymoon, but I think they’re used to ritzier guests because we got squat for that visit, even though it was our honeymoon. I call shenanigans.

  10. On March 4, 2013 at 9:59 pm cosmoHallitan said:

    Nice! We stayed at the Fairmont in Singapore and definitely felt like rock stars during our stay. Sadly we had to pay for it ourselves, though we did get a free upgrade. It was hard to go back to regular hotel rooms after that!
    cosmoHallitan recently posted..The Best Meals We Ate in Cambodia

  11. On March 6, 2013 at 12:21 am Ceri said:

    Okay I’ve never had that experience before. In fact, I don’t think I ever will because if I tried to ask a hotel to give me a free room in exchange for writing about them on my blog, they’d probably run away with the amount of filth I write.

    I like the idea of a shoe mitten though! 😀
    Ceri recently posted..Scenes from the Museo de Arte Moderno

  12. On March 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said:

    WAIT – you are HERE and have not contacted us???!! WOMAN what is WRONG with you??!!!!
    Montecristo Travels (Sonja) recently posted..How to Be the Perfect Guest – A Page out of Brad’s Book!


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