The cream and taupe-hued monolith sits just a few feet north of the intersection of shopping street Bloor and busy University — home to two of the city’s prime must-see museums, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum. The quirky Bata Shoe Museum is just a few hundred feet west. There’s a subway station on University, right at the side door to the ROM, which links to downtown’s Union Station (about a 10-minute ride south) and connects to the Bloor line which stripes across the city from east to west.
Bedrooms vary in size dramatically, ranging from roomy to vast. The first time I stayed here, I was given one of their gargantuan suites and only discovered on my last day that there was another entire bathroom through a door I had thought led to a closet. There are 151 suites and the corner ones have lovely balconies with views of the city and, if you can snag a south-facing one higher up the tower, amazing views of Lake Ontario. The rooms are understatedly luxurious with cushy armchairs and incredibly comfortable beds.
There are public areas throughout the hotel, but the most noticeable, of course, is the grand lobby with its bank of reception desks and flower arrangements so enormous that George Clooney, Brad Pitt and their combined entourages could (and do) hide behind them during film festival weeks. There’s free WiFi for guests.
Eating and drinking
The tasteful Studio Cafe upstairs (very popular for Sunday brunch) serves American-Mediterranean food with a Canadian twist (maple adorns a lot of dishes) and is particularly popular with the well-heeled Jewish community from the neighbourhood on account of its separate kosher kitchen. There's also a casual lobby bar and more upscale lounge.
There's an excellent spa and health club on the third floor with up-to-the-minute equipment, plus heated pool, whirlpool and sauna.
There's five-star service, polite, efficient but personable. A gaggle of about half a dozen liveried doormen dive for the doors every time you leave or arrive.
Who stays there
Although most of the hotel's guests are businesspeople (as you'll see in the Health Club in the mornings), it's the older leisure crowd that's most obvious in the restaurant and lobby. The hotel is a popular place for Ontario families to celebrate special occasions.
There are usually good deals for weekend stays.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Mature travellers
- Travellers with pets
- People watching
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Excellent dining
- Great location
- Some rooms feel a tiny bit tired