April 2, 2015
Toronto‘s hotel scene is enjoying a happy renaissance. A boost of interest in its landmark hotels as well as an infusion of cash, high design and hip factor means there’s never been a better time to book a trip. To help you decide where to stay in Toronto, we’ve selected eight of the best hotels, where design and comfort meet.
A destination in its own right, this Queen Street West boutique hotel packs a lot of culture, cuisine and charisma into one small package. Guests can hang out at the Sky Yard rooftop patio, listen to folk rock tunes in the Underground bar or enjoy free happenings like retro movies in Room 222. Between chowing down on locally sourced cuisine, browsing avant-garde art exhibits or sampling Hard Cider in The Lounge, you might find yourself spending more time out of your room than in. Not that the 19 loft-style rooms, filled with modern art and tongue-in-cheek furnishings, aren’t equally enthralling. And for those looking to get out of Toronto for a few days? The Drake recently opened their second hotel, The Devonshire, a stylish outpost in wine-centric Prince Edward County, two and a half hours east of Toronto.
The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West, Toronto.
Toronto’s first luxury property, King Edward Hotel‘s 102-year history includes celebrity guests such as Ernest Hemingway, Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. A $40 million renovation has added many luxe features to its 301 rooms, public areas and opulent Edwardian architecture, making this hotel one of the most popular places to stay in Toronto. Opt for a Royal Club Guestroom and you’ll score welcome amenities and access to the Royal Club Lounge, with daily continental buffet, afternoon libations and evening hors d’oeuvres. Royal Club guests also have access to a dedicated business centre, and can even get whisked to work in the King Edward’s morning limousine service, if they so wish.
Omni King Edward Hotel, 37 King Street East, Toronto.
Wondering where to stay in Toronto for incredible skyline views? The towering Shangri-La commands an enviable position at the heart of the city, mere minutes from Toronto’s financial district. The gleaming exterior and Zhang Huan’s Rising, a polished stainless steel sculpture that graces the front of the hotel, add a welcome punch of exotic allure, while the interiors showcase more art and design with over 480 works by artist Wang Xu Yuan spread throughout the hotel’s 202 rooms. If you’re not already swooning from the magnificent artwork, the Shangri-La’s airy pool will seal the seduction. Soak up the serenity at Miraj Hammam Spa, where Middle Eastern décor and ancient spa rituals fuse relaxation and luxury to blissful effect.
Shangri-La Hotel, 188 University Ave, Toronto.
The just-opened Delta Toronto is located in the hip new SouthCore (SOCO) district, Toronto’s hub for sports and entertainment. The in-room view varies throughout the hotel, but the best rooms overlook Lake Ontario. This sleek urban tower is also home to Char No. 5, Toronto’s only all-Canadian Whisky Bar, which showcases Canadian artwork and modern design, including a glass installation representing Lake Superior created by award-winning artist Douglas Coupland. This spirit of Canada adds a sense of intimacy to the 567-room property, Toronto’s tallest hotel tower and the city’s first standalone hotel in 25 years.
Delta Toronto, 75 Lower Simcoe Street, Toronto.
The elegant Windsor Arms was first dreamt up by hotelier William Arthur Price in the 1930s, but, after falling into disrepair, shuttered in the early 1990s. Happily, after a complete renovation, the hotel has regained its status as a lofty Toronto landmark, frequented by jetsetting members of the culturati. Home to just 28 lavishly done-up suites – which are equipped with deep soaker tubs, modern entertainment systems, 320 thread-count linens and individual musical instruments – the Windsor Arms has hosted celebrities ranging from Elizabeth Taylor to Edward Norton. A fun bonus fact: the Toronto Film Festival was founded in its lobby.
The Windsor Arms, 18 Thomas Street, Toronto.
Stylish but relaxed, swanky but also hip, the perfectly pitched HÃ´tel Le Germain has served as a warmly inviting presence on the Toronto hotel scene for the past decade. The boutique hotel’s mission is clear from the moment you enter its lobby, which is done up in blonde wood and glass, and offers plenty of space to lounge in (as well as bilingual reading materials). Behind closed doors, that same easy elegance permeates individual rooms and suites: glassed-in showers, goose down pillows and duvets, and Molton Brown toiletries seek to spoil.
HÃ´tel Le Germain Toronto, 30 Mercer Street, Toronto.
As the oldest continually operated hotel in the city, The Gladstone is already a landmark address. But venture indoors and you’ll discover that it’s more than just reputation that sustains this arts-oriented spot. The Gladstone’s dedication to fostering creative voices is clear once you put your key in the door: each of the 37 rooms has been designed by a different artist, complemented by the Victorian architecture of the original building. For that reason, a single visit won’t feel like quite enough – but if it’s more art you’re after in choosing where to stay in Toronto, note that the hotel also hosts an impressive gallery.
The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, Toronto.
One of the newer additions to Toronto’s boutique hotel scene, The Hazelton Hotel has quickly become a modern classic. It helps that the interior of the five-star spot, with its palette of warm neutrals, feels timeless, even if its busy bar and well-rated restaurant, ONE, have become the centre of a local scene. Take our advice: even if your stay is short, be sure to keep half a day for yourself to spend in the Hazelton Health Club & Spa which, with its lengthy treatment menu and stunning lap pool, is adept at pampering.
The Hazelton Hotel, 118 Yorkville Ave, Toronto.
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Wondering where to stay in Toronto? Which of these luxurious hotels appeals to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Michele Peterson