Toronto is more modern than historic, with only a few standing buildings that have survived a century. The converted One King West Hotel Hotel is one of them. Formally a 1879 bank building, it has retained some of its historic touches (including the original chandeliers!). Its slender profile has been deemed "The Sliver" with the top floors having a more exterior modern look. All rooms have been outfitted with sleek modern furniture and decorated in muted earth tones. Each of the suites has been set-up with an equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. Do ask for a room on the 25th floor and upwards (there are 51 storeys) for incredible views of the city landscape or overlooking Lake Ontario. The small fitness centre also has a wonderful view of the city. If the weather isn't favourable, you can use the underground PATH system to get around.
The Park Hyatt hotel is located in Toronto's Yorkville district, which boasts great attractions such as the Royal Ontario Museum and some of the city's best shopping (and people watching, for that matter). This hotel opened in 1936 with rates starting at $3 a night. Prices have inflated somewhat, but this classy stop is a winning favourite with business travellers, who appreciate not only the location but also the first-class service. The 336 guestrooms are spacious, starting at around 400 square feet and offering top of the line Italian bedding, marble bathrooms and complimentary Internet access. Those who choose to stay in the hotel can enjoy the health club, spa and two restaurants: Morton's Steakhouse and Annona, which serves a menu of international dishes as well as afternoon tea.
The Delta Toronto is a hotel that is sandwiched between Toronto's Harbourfront and the hustle and bustle of downtown. Even though it is large (567 rooms), it feels like a little escape where you can take a breath and watch Lake Ontario from an unparalleled view. Directly connected to Toronto Convention Station, Union Station and the underground PATH, it is a downtown dweller's dream location. A 24-hour gym, indoor pool and on-site dining options make it more than easy for a visitor to Toronto to stay happy without having to travel far. The deluxe bedding doesn't hurt, either. Stop at Char No 5 Whiskey Bar for a drink after you wear your feet out.
The Windsor Arms has mix of historic charm and modern luxury. The hotel opened in 1927 in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood and immediately became a favourite with high-end travellers seeking high-end accommodations. There was a short period of time where it closed in the 1990s, but it reopened better than ever. The hotel's all-suite 28 rooms have incredible touches, such as a butler's pantry, which allows for uninterrupted room service. Rooms include Italian linens and handmade furnishings, as well as creature comforts including an IPod dock, sound systems and spa-like bathrooms. Each of the hotel's 28 guestrooms also includes a musical instrument. You could find a guitar, a harp or even a baby grand piano waiting for you. Downstairs, make time for tea, with a choice of hats that would make the Kentucky Derby attendees blush. Whether you go in the afternoon or at twilight, the scones are worth the stop.
The historic Fairmont Royal York hotel dates back to 1929 and was the place to stay during the golden age of railway travel. Conveniently located across the street from Toronto's Union Station, times may have changed, but the deluxe accommodations of the Royal York remain in tact, with classic charm expressed in everything from rooms to a sprawling lobby. You half expect to see top hats and cigars, but things have been modernized with details like a state-of-the-art business centre and meeting rooms, to a fitness facility and indoor pool. Spend some time checking out the photo exhibit on the mezzanine level, which reveals the hotel's fascinating history. Have afternoon tea in the Library Bar, a Toronto tradition since 1929. And make sure to visit the rooftop herb and vegetable gardens and apiary, which houses 350,000 bees and produces honey used in the hotel's dining facilities.
The King Eddy has been a landmark hotel in Toronto since it opened in 1903. For many years, it was the hotel where the rich and famous stayed when they came to the city. Sadly, the glitz and glamor faded...until local investors poured millions of dollars into restoring the property to its former glory. It once again became the hotel to come and stay for special occasions. The carved marble columns and the glass-domed ceiling in the lobby harken back to more genteel days. Rooms are on the small side but seem larger because of high ceilings and large windows. All have been decorated with an Old European flair and many personal touches. The large, marble bathtubs are truly decadent. The on-site spa is also a great place to be pampered. You'll be within walking distance of Toronto's best restaurants, theatre district and many other attractions.
The first Toronto location from this luxury global chain has secured a prime Toronto location, ideal for exploring the downtown core and theatres. With 53-stories, The Ritz-Carlton has the space for 267 hotel rooms on its first 20 floors and 159 condo residences on the top floors. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, heated floors and spa bathrooms. The fifth-floor spa and fitness centre has relaxing body treatments, invigorating training sessions and even yoga classes. There is also a lap pool that is surrounded by spectacular city views and a hair and makeup team to get you looking your best. The menu at TOCA restaurant perfects local and seasonal delicacies, from Quebec foie gras to Alberta bison. The dining room is rich with dark wood accents. The DEQ Terrace and Lounge are where the downtown elite come to play, with a sophisticated outdoor atmosphere.
There is a whimsical look to the Shangri-La that warrants a second glance, even amidst the commotion of the busy location (Suits is often filmed around here). University and King is one of the hubs of activity in Toronto and the Shangri-La keeps up, making their attention to detail appear effortless. Expect luxurious classiness at every corner, with everything from high tea to a Turkish fitness centre available onsite. The Shangri-La is excellent at providing top-notch service, such as nightly live music in the lobby to decadent chocolates in your room. If you think that you can get used to opulence (and you have the wallet to provide it), the Shangri-La is the Toronto hotel for you.
The Four Seasons brand was started by a Canadian businessman (in 1960!). This Yorkville location has only been open since 2012. 55 stories high and in the heart of the glamorous, there are 259 guest rooms including 42 suites. This Toronto location of the luxury brand is frequently held as a wedding venue and it also becomes filled to the brim with celebrities during the Toronto International Film Festival. With Michelin starred chef Daniel Boulud blending French flavours with the cosmopolitan flair of Canadian cuisine, there is ample opportunity to wine and dine, whether it is for business or pleasure. The plush rooms include down duvets and light-as-a-feather pillows. Order room service from the in-room iPad. The spa is an impressive 300,000 square feet and the ultimate place to indulge in a massage. (You're already there, right?)
The Hazelton Hotel is an exclusive five-star hotel that made its home in Toronto's posh Yorkville neighbourhood. It opened just before the annual Toronto International Film Festival in 2007, and every year during the festival it is filled with stars and elite clientele. Rooms are as elegant as a black-and-white movie, with 62 detailed rooms and 15 extraordinary suites. Each of the 77 guest rooms is at least 620 square feet in size and feature nine-foot ceilings and custom-designed furnishings. Other exquisite details include French doors that open onto Juliet balconies and modern touches such as heated bathroom floors. The effect is both classic Parisian elegance and 21st century convenience. Lobby restaurant One is run by top Toronto chef Mark McEwan. Their health club includes a lap pool and personal trainers. For the best seat in town, book their 25-seat state-of-the art theatre for a private movie screening.