Personal butlers, turn down service and the best mac and cheese in the city — the boutique hotels of Toronto are not your typical Holiday Inns. Even the chain boutique hotels offer a unique experience a step above (in some cases, way above) free WiFi and fluffy bathrobes. Looking for an alternative to the massive generic hotel? Here are the 10 best boutique hotels in Toronto.
Rooftop Pool at the Thompson Toronto | Courtesy of Thompson Toronto
The Thompson Toronto is part of a small international chain of boutique hotels that focus on local luxury: if you want to mingle with movie stars, this is the place to stay. The iconic rooftop patio is the perfect place for a cocktail and swim with a magnificent view. Plus, the mac and cheese at the Thompson Diner is noted as some of the best in the city, and you can order it from room service.
The second floor lounge at Hotel Ocho | Courtesy of Hotel Ocho
This Chinatown hotel’s unassuming front has tourists and locals walking by it on the daily, but don’t let the simple brick exterior fool you. Hotel Ocho‘s impressive lobby has lofty ceilings and exposed beams where trendy guests enjoy cappuccinos and admire the ever-changing local artwork. The rooms in this former 1900’s textile factory are adorned with marble and granite bathrooms and flatscreen TVs and are a stone’s throw from Kensington Market.
Room with a view at the Ritz | Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Toronto
The Ritz-Carlton has a luxury ballroom, a 400-piece Canadian art collection and Frette linens adorn the pillow top mattresses. This is one of only five-Diamond hotels in the country. This hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows have sweeping views of Lake Ontario and the CN Tower and there’s a cheese cave in their restaurant, TOCA.
The Drake Hotel‘s chic, simply designed rooms come in all shapes and sizes, featuring exposed brick with quirky artwork and handmade dolls. Spend the weekend in the Crash Pad, a simple space with turndown service, or go all out and stay in the one-and-only Suite with a mid-century-styled living room. Guests can enjoy two on-site restaurants, and the Sky Yard is consistently full of the young and hipster.
Faux Naturelle Room by artist Allyson Mitchell at The Gladstone Hotel | Courtesy of The Gladstone Hotel, Photographer Tom Arban
The art nouveau inspired Gladstone Hotel has 37 rooms that have each been created by a local artist or designer. The Canadiana Room by The Big Stuff and Jenny Francis features floor-to-ceiling forest scenes and high-end wood furnishings, while Simone Moir and Corwyn Lund’s Parlour of Twilight room is decorated with neon lights and 1940’s furniture. Offering amenities like local organic toiletries, the popular Melody Bar and local art exhibitions, this hotel sits close to everything cool, and fits right into the neighborhood.
Silver Screening Room | Courtesy of The Hazelton Hotel
The 1940’s glamour of this Yorkville hotel will impress even the most diva of divas: think huge suites, heated marble bathroom floors and a free minibar stocked daily. The Hazelton Hotel has a Swiss spa, a private screening room and celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s ONE Restaurant.
The Single Room at The Beverley | Courtesy of The Beverley Hotel
The Beverley Hotel, complete with a South Beach-like patio and skyscraper views in the summer months, is nestled into the busiest shopping area along Queen West. The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with airy white linens and accents, and glass walls in the bathrooms.
The Living Room restaurant at the Windsor Arms | Courtesy of Windsor Arms Hotel
With a butler’s pantry (and actual butler service) The Windsor Arms has musical instruments like pianos and violins for guests to play on a whim and has hosted everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Britney Spears. Enjoy gourmet cucumber sandwiches at afternoon tea, one of the best in the city since 1927, at this Yorkville hotel, tucked away on a side street off Bloor.
Located in Old Toronto, The Ivy at Verity is a tiny intimate hotel residing in an old chocolate factory built in the 1850s. The decor and amenities are outwardly dedicated to women with its private women’s club (but men are welcome to stay too). There are high-end Hästens beds in all the rooms, and the on-site restaurant George, is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the city.
The exterior of The Templar hotel in the Entertainment District is as discreet as its high-end clientele. The ultra-modern decor is magazine cover-worthy, and with amenities like deep soaker bathtubs, Japanese-inspired platform beds and private terraces, the city’s ‘secret hotel’ is an intimate experience for the discerning traveler.