by Jackie Perrin
Conveniently situated just over the U.S. border in the historic Thousand Islands town of Gananoque, Ontario, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gananoque offers a comfortable, budget-friendly setting for families seeking a home base for a two-nation vacation.
Opened in 2005, the 61-room, 16-suite property recently underwent a complete room renovation and is located just past the gates to Gananoque, minutes from waterfront and downtown attractions including the Gananoque Boat Line cruise dock, Joel Stone Heritage Park Beach & Splash Pad and historic 1000 Islands Village.
Popular with families as a stopover on a vacation to Montreal and Ottawa, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Gananoque 1000 Islands features plenty of family-friendly perks, like an indoor heated pool, free hot breakfast, a central location and proximity to a visitor’s center and entertainment hub where you can rent bikes, play mini-golf and get assistance with planning the perfect Thousand Islands family vacation itinerary.
Our Editor Loves
- Convenient location for two-nation vacation
- Budget-friendly, pet-friendly accommodations with family-friendly amenities
- Indoor pool
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Gananoque offers 61 recently renovated guestrooms and 16 suites, all with family-friendly amenities. All rooms feature flat-panel televisions, an arm chair, a desk with a chair, a microwave, a mini-refrigerator, a coffeemaker and complimentary Wi-Fi. Port-a-cribs are complimentary upon request. Cots are available for a $15 nightly fee.
Standard rooms (41 total) sleep up to four, with two queen-sized beds. A full bathroom contains a tub/shower combination and features some luxurious amenities you might not expect from a budget-oriented chain, like 100 percent cotton terry towels, upscale showerheads and Bath & Body Works products.
Designed for business guests, these rooms (four total) feature an expanded work area and a king-sized bed, and sleep two. This room category also features a full bathroom as well as a 42-inch flat panel TV.
Deluxe Suites (16 total) also sleep up to four and feature a king-size bed (with triple bedding!) in a private master bedroom, and a sleeper sofa in a living room. The spacious living room also features fireplace, a double Jacuzzi tub, a 42-inch flat panel T.V and a kitchenette with a sink, refrigerator and a microwave.
Needed a place to crash overnight driving from Toronto to Ottawa and this was it. Got upgraded to a suite (with jacuzzi and gas fireplace), it was a very nice (and large) room. Breakfast was quiet. Easy access from the freeway. Overall this was a great stay and good value.
great hotel. large and convenient rooms.
very clean and pleasant.
service and stuff are most helpful and great.
great location near the islands around.
breakfast is OK and tasty.
defiantly will return.
The hotel features an indoor heated pool. The pool depth ranges from 3 feet at the shallow end to about 5 feet at the deepest end. Pool hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. No lifeguard is on duty -- children under 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Solo swimming is prohibited. A generous number of chairs surround the pool. Towels are provided on the pool deck and restrooms are nearby. Adjacent to the pool, there is a sauna for adult guests.
Bike Rentals & Mini-golf
At Putt 'n Play Mini Golf (613-382-7888) adjacent to the property, you can play mini-golf, buy ice cream or rent adult bikes for a two-wheeled area exploration. Bike rental rates are $25 for a half-day or $40 for a full day. Kids' bikes are not available.
1000 Islands Kayaking (http://www.1000islandskayaking.com/) offers shuttle service ($50 one-way fee) to its Kate Street site, where you can learn the ropes on a guided day tour, then, if you wish, launch on an overnight camping adventure to 1000 Islands national parks.
Adjacent to the property, a visitor kiosk distributes local travel information. Ask the friendly guide to snap a photo of your family in the giant Adirondack chairs with the Gananoque sign in the background.
An extensive complimentary breakfast buffet, with hot and cold choices, is available to guests from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. weekdays and until 10 a.m. on weekends in the Great Room. In addition to cereal, oatmeal, fresh whole fruit, yogurt, bagels, toast and pastries, guests will find hot biscuits, turkey sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs. Kids will love the pancake machine. Beverage choices include coffee, tea, water, milk, orange juice and apple juice (tip: pick up a coffee cup with a lid for kids drinks.) Many tables are available in the Great Room, and high chairs are available. During peak times in season, additional seating is offered on an outdoor patio, which features peaceful views of a green marsh.
Complimentary 24-hour beverage service is provided in the Great Room. Options include coffee, hot cocoa and a selection of teas.
Local Food Delivery
If you're too weary from touring to venture out for dinner, Quick Call Delivery (613-530-5698) will deliver food from local restaurants (and even a grocer) for a small fee. The charge is $5 for delivery to locations in Gananoque. Alternatively, within walking distance, there are several dine-in and take-out options.
Ice, beverage and snack vending machines are located on the first floor. The snack vending machine features some sundries, as well exclusively Canadian snacks like ketchup-flavored potato chips and Nestle Smarties -- a candy which is similar to M&M's.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Electric Car Charging Station
The hotel has an electric car charging station which is free to registered guests.
Check-in time is 3 p.m. and check-out time is 11 a.m. Late check-out is available.
The hotel fitness center features a variety of aerobic equipment, including treadmills, a stair stepper and a recumbent cycle, as well as a multi-station gym. Access is by guest key card and children must be supervised at all times.
Wi-Fi service is complimentary throughout the hotel for overnight guests. A scheduled Great Room redesign will feature plentiful charging stations for mobile devices.
Dogs are welcome for a $15 nightly fee. Pets may not be left alone in a guest room.
Guests enjoy free parking in the hotel lot.
The Art of Smart Timing
Summer is prime time for a family vacation to the hotel and the Thousand Islands region. During this time, attractions and restaurants, many of which operate seasonally, are in full swing, and families can enjoy take in the major sights and experiences. To enjoy reduced rates, consider a winter getaway.
For travelers planning to arrive by air, Syracuse Hancock International Airport and Ottawa/MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) are both a 1.5-hour drive. A bit closer is Watertown International Airport (ART), which is a 50-minute drive and offers daily flights to Philadelphia International Airport via American Airlines, with connections beyond. In order to cross the border from the U.S. via the 1000 Islands International Bridge, drivers and passengers ages 16 and up must have a valid passport, passport card, enhanced driver's license or NEXUS frequent-traveler card. In lieu of these, children under 16 traveling with parents with valid identification may present a birth certificate.
From the east: travel westbound on Hwy 401. Take exit 648 toward Gananoque. Turn left at off ramp (Hwy 2/King Street East). The hotel will be on your left. From the south (US): Travel north on I-81 to 1000 Islands Bridge. Pass through Canadian customs, where I-81 becomes Hwy. 137 N. Continue north taking the Kings Hwy 401 W exit toward Kingston/Toronto. Take exit #648 Gananoque. Turn left at the off ramp. The hotel will be on your left. From the west: Take Hwy 401 Eastbound. Take the 1000 Is. Pkwy. exit #647, toward Ivy Lea/Rockport. Stay right. Take the Hwy-2 exit, #648. Turn right at the light. The hotel will be on your left.
VIA Rail Canada offers service to the Gananoque station from Ottawa and Toronto.
Most visitors arrive by car, and this is the most expedThient way to get around if you're planning to venture further than Gananoque. Dixons's Car and Truck Rental (613-463-9111) offers airport shuttle service as well as free pick-up and drop off within city limits.
During high tourist season, from late June to early September, the town of Gananoque operates a free parking shuttle to minimize congestion downtown. Shuttle hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday to Sunday.
If your kids are big enough to ride an adult-size bike, next to the hotel, you can rent bikes and explore the Gananoque section of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. The 870-mile scenic byway connects travelers with attractions, parks and downtowns in 68 communities from the eastern border of Ontario to Lake St. Clair.
For Mom and Dad
Splurge on a fireplace Jacuzzi suite. After a family movie night in, put the kids to bed and enjoy some peaceful alone time.