Luxe travel in Toronto is not just for the rich and famous, although when you walk into many of the luxe hotels in the city, you may think that is the case. Over the past two years the city has seen a luxury boom of sorts as hotels like Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, Trump International Hotel & Tower, and Shangri-La, have all built hotels within the GTA.
When asked the question, ‘Which one is better than the rest’, it is hard to answer. Yes, each of these hotels are competing for the same demographics, but each one is unique and spectacular in its own right.
From the neighbourhood, to the design, to the amenities offered to guests, each of Toronto’s new luxe hotels are unique and spectacular. And while you may not enjoy doing luxe hotel crawls the way I do (where I stay at each one for a night), perhaps knowing a little more about what makes each one unique will help you decide what you need for your next visit to Toronto.
Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts
As the new corporate flagship hotel, the Four Seasons Toronto (a Canadian brand) was built to impress guests the moment they arrive. Located in one of Toronto’s hottest shopping districts, Yorkville, the Four Seasons Hotel was designed by the fabulous Yabu Pushelberg and features vaulted lobby ceilings, and the book-matched wood paneling that give the hotel a warm exotic feel, and instantly transport guests into a place of calm serenity.
Café Boulud, the hotel’s signature restaurant features a French inspired menu by Chef Daniel Boulud, and artwork by Mr. Barinwash. With dishes like Ouefs Meuret (braised short rib, red wine poached eggs), Crispy Duck Egg, and Charcuterie prepared by a fourth generation Charcutier, dining at Café Boulud is like having a constant food orgasm. If you’re looking for a lighter menu, delicious cocktails, and a more intimate setting, d|bar (located on the lobby level) is the place to be.
At 30,000 sq ft, The Four Seasons’ spa is one of the largest hotel spas in the city and offers guests yoga classes, a top-of-the-line fitness room, and a wide variety of spa treatments including an Asian Fusion Massage which is a mixture of Thai, Balinese and Malaysian techniques.
Stay with Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts in Toronto60 Yorkville Ave Toronto, ON M4W 0A4 416.964.0411
The first Ritz-Carlton hotel built in Canada, the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto is a sparkling addition to the city’s Entertainment District. Situated on Wellington Street the hotel offers stellar views of the CN Tower and Lake Ontario, as unique dining and lounge experiences.
TOCA (stands for Toronto Canada) features a Canadian inspired menu using fresh local ingredients, an impressive wine selection, an in-kitchen Chef’s table, and the only cheese cave within the city; making TOCA a premier wine and cheese destination within the city. The Ritz-Carlton also features Ritz Bar, and DEQ. Located on the lobby level as you walk into the hotel, the Ritz Bar serves tapas, and has a sushi chef on site. DEQ Lounge features create your own cocktails with their Mixology by You menu, delicious snacks like Truffle Fries, and cheese boards.
The Urban Sanctuary at Ritz-Carlton features a pool, fitness center with personal trainers, yoga studio, salon, and spa which features My Blend. A line by Clarins, My Blend is a personalized skincare line by Dr. Oliver Courtin that is created on-site based on a clients age, skin type, and lifestyle; which takes getting a facial to a whole new level.
Stay with Ritz-Carlton, Toronto181 Wellington Street West Toronto, ON M5V 3G7 416.585.2500
Trump International Hotel & Tower
The name ‘Trump’ conjures up images of untouchable opulence, but upon arrival it is evident that the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto is anything but untouchable. Located in the city’s Financial District, the Trump was designed by IV Design Associates with a Champagne and Caviar theme (black and white). The lobby at Trump International Hotel & Tower features a Czech crystal ‘Cherry Blossom’ above the front desk.
STOCK, the hotel’s signature restaurant is located on the 31st floor and offers breathtaking views of the city and Lake Ontario. Featuring a contemporary menu with Mediterranean and Portuguese influences. While dining at STOCK is always a pleasure, their Brunch menu is unsurpassed within the city of Toronto and a must try whether you are stay with the hotel or not.
Quartz Spa, also located on the 31st floor, features some of the most luxurious treatments in the city, including bamboo massage and facials using exfoliants that contain crushed quartz and diamonds.
Stay at Trump International Hotel & Tower, Toronto325 Bay Street Toronto, ON M5H 4G3 416.306.5800
There was doubt that an Asian hotel brand could become a hotspot in Toronto, but Shangri-La has proved that that doubt was misplaced. A true Asian getaway withint the city of Toronto, the Shangri-La features Asian artwork, design details, and a polished stainless steel sculpture by Zhang Huan, a contemporary artist from China. The sculpture, Rising, is an external sculpture, with metal ‘peace pigeons’ flying up the building, and inside through the Lobby Lounge.
A hotspot within the Entertainment District, the Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-La features a Fazioli piano; which was created specifically for the hotel and has the first verse and Joni Mitchell’s ‘My Old Man’ inscribed on the piano (as well as her signature). One of highlights in the Lobby Lounge is Afternoon High Teas whic offers a collection of 70 different teas and delectable eats. An open concept lounge, the Lobby Lounge is often packed with people in the evening enjoying a drink, listening to live music, and meeting both travelers and business people alike. Bosk, the hotel’s signature restaurant is led by talented Executive Chef, Damon Campbell, and features a globally-inspired menu which changes with the season. Lets hope her never takes the Lobster Gnocchi off the menu, otherwise there could be a revolt in the city.
The Miraj Hamman Spa by Caudalie Paris is another highlight at the hotel, and the best Moroccan-inspired spa within Toronto. Their signature treatments, Hamman & Gormage, combine intense sauna treatment followed by a full body scrub down with black Moroccan soap. Once your treatments are complete, enjoy their spa’s co-ed Sultana Lounge for Moroccan tea, and light snacks.
Stay at Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto188 University Ave Toronto, ON M5H 0A3 647.788.8888
Experiencing Luxury in Toronto is becoming the thing to do in Toronto, and why not?! Toronto has amazing luxury hotels that are offering experiences which are unparalleled in the city. Gone are the days when Torontonians shied away from hanging out at 5-star hotels. It’s time to venture out of our backyards, and add a little luxury to our lives, whether it’s a delicious brunch, obsessing over a cheese cave, enjoying afternoon tea, or taking in an Asian Fusion massage.