There is a new,virtually undiscovered location for weddings in the Niagara region – the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center on Ontario Ave in St. Catharines, Ontario.  This newly renovated hotel, which we toured this past week, has everything you need for your wedding day. From your stay in one of the upgraded rooms or newly added luxury suites, to the ceremony and the reception, the Holiday Inn and Suites has something for everyone! And, I was so excited to see the 40 lane bowling facility that is open to guests and the public!

The front entrance at the Holiday Inn.

Why is this hotel virtually ‘undiscovered’? Only recently did this hotel become a Holiday Inn and last year the hotel underwent an 8 million dollar renovation. The renovations are extensive and cover every square inch from upgraded regular rooms to an additional four floors of luxury suites to an increased conference/banquet area that can provide weddings and receptions from 10 to over 1,000 people.

Foyer for the reception room area.

The conference/banquet area is beautifully decorated, surrounded by a large foyer and atrium complete with a baby grand piano and equipped with state of the art A/V system.

Here is a room ready to go for a reception. These lovely chairs are available for use or you can also order through the hotel or your own supplier different coloured table cloths, napkins and chair covers (see below).

What’s very exciting about this hotel are the number of locations within the building for your ceremony. For example, your ceremony could take place in one of the banquet rooms pictured here.

Photo source ~ holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/st.catharines/ycmsa/hoteldetail/events-facilities

Below is a picture of the atrium in the conference/banquet area. This sun filled area is great for guests to gather and can be used during the reception with space for things like a gift or candy table or cocktail bar. Imagine having your ceremony at the end of this foyer with rows of chairs filled with your guests while you walk down the aisle to your beloved to say your I do’s. Afterwards the staff will have the chairs cleared away in a snap for your use of this area during the reception/dinner.

Foyer and atrium with marble inlay

And, there is plenty for your guests to do and enjoy at the hotel in between the ceremony and the reception. In the restaurant (below) your guests can relax with a beverage while you and the wedding party go to some of the fabulous Niagara photo locations in a shuttle bus available through the hotel.

On our tour of the Holiday Inn we discovered that the restaurant space is also available for wedding ceremonies and receptions. There is a private room off the restaurant (below) which opens onto its own terrace. This space would be lovely for a summer evening wedding or even a winter wedding with the fire place/wood stove burning.

The private room has a wonderful semi-casual feel to it. The creamy walls and open ceiling have a charm of their own. Beyond the french doors is an additional seating area with flagstone walls and a wood stove. This room could also be used for just the ceremony with the tables removed and an aisle created with the ceremony taking place on the dais at the front of the room.

And, for those bowling fans or for fun for the kids at the reception, there is a 40 lane bowling alley (Parkway Lanes). Consider – for those who just LOVE bowling – having your ceremony at the lanes! There is a room suitable for a small reception and a bar on site!

The rooms and suites at the Holiday Inn are offered at a great price for bridal couples and their guests. The suites are spacious and come equipped with fridges and microwaves and even environmentally friendly windows that allow you to access fresh air as well as the heating/cooling system.

We also toured the Holiday Inn’s sister hotel, the Best Western at the North Service Road and Lake Street. They too offer great rooms and space for you and your wedding guests.

Although the Best Western is not as large as the Holiday Inn, this location is perfect for a 50-100 person wedding with rooms for both the ceremony and reception.  You could have your ceremony indoors in the room below . . .

Or, outside at the gazebo/pool area . . .

best western

The large trees, miniputt course and giant chess set offer great photo opportunities!

I would love to do a photoshoot with the wedding party and a good chess game! Don’t play chess? Pretend it checkers!!

The gorgeous birch and pine trees would also make excellent backdrops for photos (I always like to take photos with trees). And miniputt, well now that’s just plain fun! This location would be great if you are having a wedding with a lot of children.  They can play miniputt and even go swimming in either the indoor or outdoor pools while the adults bask in the comfort of the hotel.  There is also “pull up to the room” parking available for many rooms, and courtyard access with others.

The rooms are comfortable, with a lovely detailed head board.

And there is a sports bar for your guests while they wait for the reception.

So consider having your wedding and reception at the Holiday Inn or Best Western in St. Catharines, Ontario  It is only a short drive to Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, local wineries and the border, but far enough away to keep prices low on rooms for your guests.

If you would like to discuss these two terrific hotels please call me at (1-800-463-0884/905-357-0266) or email me (lwc@cogeco.net) or if you contact either hotel directly please mention that you heard about the Holiday Inn or the Best Western, St. Catharines, from The Wedding World Blogger, Jordin!

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