Toronto is booming. We can see this cultural renaissance throughout the city via the cranes in the sky building a record number of condos as buyers invest in prime property. And with money comes spending power, and Torontonians are keen to eat out at the always evolving dining scene, where it seems like every other day a new eatery is opening its doors.
Lovers of the arts are also rejoicing, as notable architects have erected stunning spaces at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, TIFF Bell Lightbox and Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. But perhaps the most obvious evidence of T.O’s razzle-dazzle is the quick growth of offerings in the luxury hotel space.
And just in time for TIFF, here they are: the crème de la crème of hotel rooms, offering unique luxury and boutique experiences fit for a king, rock star or rapper.
The Shangri-La at University Avenue and Adelaide is an urban oasis. The hotel's premier "room with a view" is the Fazioli Suite, which measures 630 square feet and is filled with a piano-centric décor that pays tribute to its name. The stunning room features two bathrooms covered in white marble with heated floors, Bvlgari pampering products, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking University Avenue, a spacious lounge, a deep soaking tub with comfort jets, and two LCD flat-screen televisions.
Guestrooms are outfitted with iPads, which makes ordering in-room-dining a breeze. The hotel's Bosk kitchen offers plump ricotta and leek agnoletti, which pairs nicely with a glass of Blue Mountain bubbly from British Columbia. At the Shang T.O., guests have an opportunity to experience classic Asian-inspired hospitality while sipping and nibbling their way through a locally sourced food and drink program.
The Hotel Le Germain on Mercer Street is a much adored luxury boutique property in the heart of the city. The apartment suite certainly wows with its 1,350-square-foot, two-storey layout and spacious patio with views of the CN Tower above and Second City below. The Germain apartment suite is the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion or host a party as guests have ample room on the main floor to sit by the fire, nibble at the dining table or tan on the terrace. A fully equipped kitchen makes catering a breeze. The bathroom is outfitted with Aveda pampering products and a double vanity, with separate bathtub and shower.
In-room dining is offered up by the culinary team at the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Victor. The Toronto tasting menu offers a playful, edible adventure through the city’s ethnic neighbourhoods. During my visit, I sampled Little India butter chicken pâté with yellow chutney and naan and a Kensington Market Moroccan lamb with chickpeas and chermoula.
The Trump Hotel is located in the heart of Toronto's Financial District on Bay Street at Adelaide. The Trump deluxe suite features nine-foot ceilings, a king-sized bed, a European-style wet bar, a spacious living area (featuring a coffee table book starring Ivanka), oversized windows overlooking the city, a 40-inch LCD flatscreen TV (as well as an LCD TV built into the bathroom mirror) and Italian Bellino linens.
Guests who wish to eat dinner by their beds can order off the exceptional menu from the hotel's Stock Restaurant and Bar. Highlights include a mammoth margarita and tender steak paired perfectly with roasted wild mushrooms. Be sure to order a bottle of the hotel's signature label vino produced by local winemaker Vineland Estates—a perfect gift or keepsake to enjoy once you get back home.
The Ritz Carlton is located in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District, a hop, skip and jump from Roy Thompson Hall, TIFF Bell Lightbox and the iconic CN Tower. A tour of the Ritz Carlton Suite most certainly forces one’s jaw to drop. This 2,415-square-foot room with a view features a king-sized bed, wood flooring with area rugs, rich African anigre wood millwork, floor-to-ceiling windows, a dining room with adjacent pantry and full-service kitchen, a study, a fitness area, handcrafted 400-thread-count Frette bed linens, a Bose entertainment system, and an expansive luxury bathroom with stand-alone soaker tub, Portuguese Estremoz marble and, of course, heated stone floors.
Guests keen to sip and nibble from the comfort of their suites can easily adventure through the culinary creations from the hotel's Toca kitchen. The in-room-dining menu offers a thoughtful offering to please every palate. Children (or grownups looking for a comfort fix) can snack on lux mac and cheese, while the health conscious can rejoice and savour a fresh salad selection and mezze platter, while still those looking to indulge can cozy up to a beastly burger and the Ritz’s signature chocolate cake.
The Intercontinental Toronto Centre is located smack-dab in the centre of town, close to Union Station. The Intercon is known for offering affordable luxury and jaw-dropping views of the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Lake Ontario. The boutique design team at Chapi Chapo have been hard at work developing a new signature style for the hotel’s suites. These new urban "rooms with a view" offer plush luxury bedding, pampering products by Agraria San Francisco, Herringbone-patterned fabrics and a glamorous velour-backed chaise that offers guests the perfect spot to sit back and relax while watching the Toronto skyline take on a new life.
Guests keen to sleep in while they sip and nibble their way through breakfast can order from Azure's top-notch early bird offerings. There really is nothing better than pulling back the curtains to watch the sun rise over the Toronto Islands while sitting in a comfy white bathrobe and sipping on a foamy latte and freshly squeezed mimosa. Highlights from Azure's breakfast offerings include classic eggs benedict and maple syrup-drenched cinnamon bun French toast.