Toronto is like any other major city: it's a-moving and a-shaking and a-bustling.
Chelsea Hotel is a microcosm of this energy, yet the staff deals with the check-in and concierge lines with smooth ease. On a hot day, people waited less than five minutes to check in, yet were provided with glasses of lemonade and salty popcorn (to warrant even more lemonade drinking) even so.
The exquisite Bay Street lobby — Photo courtesy of Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
Chelsea Hotel is Toronto’s biggest hotel, with 1,590 contemporary guest rooms and suites. They also have 24,000 square feet of meeting and function space, comprised of two ballrooms, boardrooms and business suites. Meaning that, very likely, there's room for you, even if you're booking your city stay at the last minute.
Not only are the views of the city quite lovely but also the prime location means that you're mere steps away from Toronto’s major attractions.
Many of the rooms have thin balconies that challenge your fear of heights and allow you to pause as you gaze at the twinkling lights of millions of people’s Smartphones. (Or on a clear night, the stars are nice, too.).
A lush, queen-sized bed awaits you — Photo courtesy of Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
We skimmed through those details to move on to what everyone really likes talking about: the food. Once upon a time, it was the norm that hotel restaurants dazzled their patrons with enticing menus. However, as of late, hotels seem to be more about the linens than the club sandwiches.
The Chelsea challenges that lackadaisical attitude towards food, making their restaurants and bars worth a visit, even if you aren’t staying directly in the hotel. The staff are unapologetically inclined to the epicurious side of life and will be more than happy to give you suggestions.
They even have their own taco food truck in the summer in a stunning courtyard complete with fountain!
An amazing, hotel-specific food truck — Photo courtesy of Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
If you gain anything from this article, we hope it is this sage piece of advice: drink the Caesars at the Chelsea.
A Caesar is a drink that was invented by Canadians. It's a popular drink for any time of day. (There's no judgment if you order one at brunch.)
Typically, it involves Clamato juice, vodka, hot sauce and the sauce that we all love to pronounce: Worcestershire. It is similar to a Bloody Mary, but has even more spice.
They are meals in themselves — Photo courtesy of Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
T Bar in the Eaton Chelsea took the construct and made it modern and fresh, nixing the bottled tomato juice in favor of local tomatoes and a homemade mix. There are the regular Northern flavors in The Classic, but creative deviations include The Checkout, with bacon-infused vodka and a garnish that could be an appetizer in itself, with an overloaded spear of hardboiled egg, cherry tomato, bacon and pickle. This makes the martini’s olive look lonely.
For those who like a little spice in their life, The Whassssabi gives a hearty kick, with wasabi and ginger standing in for the hot sauce, while the Latin Dancer brings in the hot sauce but replaces the vodka with tequila. All of them will ruin Caesars for you if you're accustomed to them, or they will set a pretty high bar if you're new to the Caesar-drinking world.
You can bring them home, too — Photo courtesy of Chelsea Hotel, Toronto
After you get through the obligation of sleeping, the right thing to do is to go back to the T Bar. The breakfast is all you can eat meets a la carte, meaning that if you're lucky enough to be ravenous, you can try everything from brioche French toast with apple compote to their take on eggs Benedict using rosti instead of English muffins.
With bottomless coffee and warm croissants and muffins, they may have to roll you out of the hotel.
It will have been worth it.
The bartender at Monarch's Pub — Photo courtesy of Chelsea Hotel, Toronto