The ultimate downtown location: Yonge subway station is feet away, the Queen Street tram is a short walk, it’s a quick 30-foot dash to the entry to the underground PATH shopping network — just about all I can cope with on winter days when the mercury has plummeted to 20-something below. In summer, though, you can walk everywhere from here, including the ten minutes south to the Lake Ontario and the island ferries.
It’s an all-suite hotel and every option has separated sleeping/living spaces. I prefer the ones with dining tables (some of them have more of an emphasis on work with roomy work desks). The rooms have microwaves, fridges, coffee makers and a minibar. There is WiFi, but it’s only free with certain levels of room. If money was no object, I’d opt for one of the two two-level, 1200-square-foot penthouses.
The lobby is small, but comfortable — more somewhere I’d perch while waiting for a taxi or while waiting for the rest of my party to scamper downstairs. If I was waiting longer than ten minutes, though, I’d nip into the lively restaurant-bar.
Eating and drinking
The restaurant-bar is much more elegant than I was expecting — it’s not just a nondescript hotel restaurant. Called Portico, the décor is hip, but still manages to be businesslike, by day. It’s a good stop for a leisurely lunch and for an evening off — if you’re a cocktail fan like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the creative cocktails the friendly bar staff rustle up. Personally, I’d skip the continental breakfast here most mornings (it’s pricey enough) and pop across Yonge Street to the cheap and cheerful Sunset Grill for a plate of eggs and bacon.
The gym is roomy, but not over-stuffed with equipment. I’m more of a lazy whirlpool and sauna enthusiast, so I was perfectly happy with having them to myself.
The reason I called this a “feel-good hotel” up top is because I didn’t meet a single staff member who wasn’t cheerful and smiling. It’s really noticeable — people seem to like working here. It makes for a much more enjoyable stay. They also go out of their way to do wee extras and send up wine if it’s someone’s birthday or anniversary. Management here is doing a lot right.
Who stays there
It’s a mixture; families doing weekend getaways from other parts of the province, hockey fans in town for a game, theatre enthusiasts in for a show, businesspeople taking advantage of the suites for a longer stay.
You’ll have to pay a bit extra if you want two double beds instead of one in a room. Continental breakfast (usually about $12) and WiFi are only free at certain levels of suite. It’s $22 for indoor parking — a bit cheaper than many nearby hotels.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
- Families with younger children
- First-time travellers
- Mature travellers
- No fuss
- Chilling out
Pros & Cons
- Happy staff