Ideal if arriving by rail or rail: right beside Union Station and on the route for both the Porter shuttle from the Toronto City Airport and the YYZ Airport Express. Streetcars link the hotel to destinations west and north. The Islands ferry dock is minutes’ walk away.
This stately old dame shows her age slightly in the regular guest rooms — they’re charming, but on the smaller size. I think it’s worth considering upgrading to a King room or a suite — there’s a big size jump.
My favourite bit of the Royal York is the ornate grandiose lobby with its murals and slew of expsensive stores. You can spend an entire afternoon just people-watching from one of the deep couches with a coffee from the Starbucks counter.
Eating and drinking
With five restaurants and four lounges, pretty much everything is covered. Benihana, the Japanese restaurant, is one of the city’s most prestigious dining options. There’s a kosher kitchen, too.
The gym and pool area are both straightforward and modern. The hammam, jacuzzi and sauna are nice extras.
Excellent: Fairmont trains its staff impeccably.
Who stays there
Japanese tourists, an older crowd of North American tourists and businesspeople.
Check out the loyalty club — you can join online at no cost and it brings perks such as free Internet access and speedy check-in.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Travellers with pets
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons