Toronto is the undisputed capital of Canada’s media and retail industries. That might sound boring, but all that money fluttering around means the country’s largest city is home to a five-star hospitality scene. Whether you’re looking for a swanky suite at a flagship international chain or a glamorous boutique property, we’ve rounded up the best places to stay.
Located in the well-heeled Yorkville neighborhood, enjoy many hours navigating some of the city’s most expensive shopping and restaurant options. This luxurious property offers elegant rooms with muted tones and stunning views, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. The expansive, fully-equipped fitness center features a yoga studio, as well as a pool and a spa. The hotel’s restaurant, Café Boulud, serves up some of the best French cuisine in the country.
The centrally-located St Regis Toronto is a quick stroll from some of the city’s most popular landmarks, such as the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and Saks Fifth Avenue. Luxurious rooms come with all the amenities, including Nespresso machines, iHome sound systems, soaker tubs and walk-in showers. There’s a heated indoor saltwater pool with a deck area, with lovely city views. The modern fitness center offers private personal trainers and the full-service spa features a sauna and whirlpool.
This elegant, historic hotel offers easy access to the city’s downtown attractions. When it opened in 1929, the hotel was considered the tallest building in the country. Despite now being dwarfed by surrounding skyscrapers, this landmark hotel still stands out with its castle-like appearance. Indulge in numerous treatments at the onsite spa and take a dip in the indoor lap pool. There’s also a large fitness room, whirlpool, children’s wading pool, sauna and steam rooms. The restaurant Reign highlights regional fare and has an interesting selection of cocktails.
A huge rooftop swimming pool, a 250-seat cinema, Neil Dankoff’s photo gallery, four indoor tennis courts, dedicated studios for Pilates and yoga – it’s exhausting just talking about Hotel X’s uber-long list of amenities, let alone using them all. This 30-story tower houses more than 400 rooms, all of them gazing across the Lake Ontario waterfront. But the vistas are nothing compared to the triple-decker SkyBar, the only three-level penthouse watering hole in the city. Pet lovers, check out the VIP (Very Important Pet) program where your furry friend will be welcomed with a bed, food bowl, special treats, plus you can even book a pet photo shoot.
The Kimpton Saint George is another artistic addition to Toronto’s bohemian Annex neighborhood. You can’t miss the giant owl painted on the west-facing wall of this 14-story tower, a masterpiece by local street artist Jerry Rugg. The colorful streak runs into the lobby, with alpine murals by local painter Tisha Myles. Bespoke decor from Mason Studio provides a more homey feel than most luxury hotels, and the price is a bargain, too.
Once a hat factory, this Mercer Street property became a Le Germain hotel in 2002, exuding a sense of calm from the double-height lobby to the rooftop putting green. The Zen vibe also pervades every one of the 123 rooms, with rich wooden fittings on the walls, textured carpets on the floor and a Bose stereo to complete the mood of low-key luxury in the heart of downtown.
This glam boutique hotel is all about over-the-top opulence, with etched gold, crushed velvet and black marble everywhere you turn. Also, more than 3,000 pieces of art, including dozens of original Andy Warhol prints, adorn every spare wall. With 96 rooms a couple of blocks north of the Rogers Centre, Bisha has Iron Chef contestant Akira Back as a chef in its Asian fusion restaurant. There is also 44th-floor cafe KŌST, which serves nibbles and drinks and has its own infinity pool.
Toronto’s Shangri-La enjoys all the elegance of the Singapore original, with Asian accents sprinkled throughout its 202 rooms. Surrounded by the eateries and nightspots of the upscale Entertainment District – including Momofuku Noodle Bar next door – the Shangri-La shimmers with dark polished wood, Japanese ink prints and crystal chandeliers. Indulge in a luxury hammam spa treatment or finish the day with laps of the 20 metre indoor heated pool.
With gold framing in the lobby, green granite in the bathrooms and priceless masterpieces by artists Bruno Billio and Sorel Etrog in the common spaces, The Hazelton oozes old-school Hollywood cool. With 77 rooms, this Yorkville landmark sits on the doorstep of Toronto’s high-end shopping strip, the Mink Mile. But you might not be able to drag yourself away from the hotel, if you’re feasting at ONE Restaurant, the brainchild of acclaimed local chef Mark McEwan, or indulging in a facial with products from Swiss skincare line Valmont in The Hazelton’s intimate spa.
If you spot a celebrity or two at the SoHo Met, it might not be because they’re staying there. This luxury boutique hotel contains the sports bar Wahlburgers, owned by the Wahlberg brothers – chef Paul and actors Mark and Donnie. Besides the burgers, this lavish downtown property dishes up 89 relaxing rooms, offering custom-made maple woodwork, artisanal Molton Brown skincare products and a striking Dale Chihuly glass sculpture hovering over the entrance.
Sandra MacGregor contributed additional reporting to this article.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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