Luxury Hotels in Toronto Offer a Taste of the Extravagant



Likely the majority of your life is spent on a budget. It is the rare few who can walk into a store free of pricetags without worry. Even so, from time to time, we all want to splash out without regard for our future RRSP contributions. We want to live more like rap stars than conservative adults. It is at those times when luxury hotels can bait us, showing us that there is a version of life that is all too easy.

Whether money is no issue or you are turning a blind eye to your savings account, luxury hotels in Toronto are filled with grandeur and splendour. (Frankly, you just don't use those same words in day-to-day life.) From the champagne and caviar theme at Trump's hotel and residence to The Four Seasons, which (perhaps unfortunately) is even better than you would expect. Put aside the responsibilities and allow someone else to fluff your pillows.

A luxury is by no means a necessity, but there are times in life when we all wish to put down the reigns and relinquish control. These Toronto hotels are perfectly equipped to treat you like royalty. You can always return to reality tomorrow.



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One King West Hotel & Residence
Photo courtesy of Photo Courtesy of One King West Hotel


 

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, One King West 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.


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The Westin Harbour Castle is in a prime location for an tourist curious about what Toronto has to offer. Located near the lovely Harbourfront neighbourhood, this twin-tower Lakeside hotel has exquisite touches. One could get used to marble bathrooms and decadently comfortable beds, flat screen TVs and windows overlooking sparkling Lake Ontario. On a clear day the views are especially spectacular and you may not want to leave your room. The Westin boasts amenities for the most dedicated gym rat, going beyond the standard hotel gym and offering an outdoor tennis court, indoor heated pool and whirlpool. Walking to the CN Tower, Harbourfront and downtown Toronto also counts as exercise (although not much, as this hotel is in the heart of the city).


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The Windsor Arms is a mix of historic charm and modern luxury. The hotel opened in 1927 in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood and immediately became a favorite with travelers seeking high-end accommodations. Years of neglect caught up with the Windsor Arms in 1991, when it closed. But a new owner breathed new life into the designated historic property, and since its 1999 opening, the hotel's 28 rooms have played host to visiting celebrities and dignitaries. With amenities including 24-hour butler service, a full-service spa and elegant afternoon tea served daily in the original tea room, it's not hard to see what draws them here. Rooms include Italian linens and handmade furnishings, as well as creature comforts including DVD players, sound systems and spa-like bathrooms. Each of the hotel's 28 suites also includes a musical instrument. You could find a guitar, a harp or even a baby grand piano waiting for you.


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SoHo Metropolitan Hotel & Residences
Photo courtesy of Soho Metropolitan Ottawa

 

While Toronto is in the midst of a luxury hotel building boom, this 72-room boutique hotel has been offering guests many upscale touches since 2003. The contemporary-designed rooms feature spacious and inviting marble bathrooms with large tubs and heated floors and remote-controlled curtains and lighting for those comfortably curled up in bed. An onsite spa is available for those who need a bit of pampering after a day of sightseeing, as well as an indoor pool and whirlpool. If you're visiting Toronto to check out the city's Broadway-quality theatre productions, art galleries, or to catch a baseball game, The SoHo Metropolitan is perfectly positioned in the heart of it all. While the hotel is just a hop, skip and jump away from some of Toronto's best dining options, the innovative Asian-influenced menu at Senses Restaurant has been a consistent favourite for years with Torontonians.


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The King Eddy has been a landmark hotel in Toronto since it opened in 1903. For many years, it was the hotel for the rich and famous. Over the years, its gleam faded until local investors poured millions into restoring the property to its former glory. It remains the hotel to come and stay for special occasions (and the hotel for Prince William). 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 the 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 will be within walking distance of all the best restaurants, as well as Toronto's theatre district and many other attractions.


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Shangri-la hotel Toronto
Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Toronto Facebook page


 

There is a whimsical look to the Shangri-La that warrants a second glance, even amidst the commotion of the busy location. 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 each room. Rooms efficiently use space, appearing minimalist yet having more than what you require for an opulent stay. Adjacent to the hotel is David Chang's three-story Momofuku complex.


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Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto
Photo courtesy of Trump Hotel Facebook page


 

This 65-storey hotel and condo residence opened in early 2012. Befitting a project bearing The Donald's famous name, Trump Toronto is designed around a "champagne and caviar" theme. It's as opulent as you'd expect, with wall tiles and flooring in onyx and granite, an eye-popping crystal sculpture in the shape of a cherry blossom hanging behind reception and marble-topped wet bars in the guest rooms. Rooms are designed so guests can't see the bed from the door, to offer a more residential feel. Each features comfortable luxury furnishings and modern touches including HDTVs, iPod docks and touch-screen controls for lighting and drapes. The 31st floor spa provides pampering as well as a heated saltwater pool. You'll find Stock Restaurant on the same floor, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the city while dining on steaks, seafood, fresh pasta dishes and sweet indulgences prepared at the in-house Chocolate Lab.


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The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton Toronto Facebook page


 

The first Toronto entry from this luxury global hotel chain opened in February 2011 on the western edge of the financial district, offering guests an ideal base to explore both the city's downtown core and theatres. The 53-storey tower includes 267 hotel rooms on its first 20 floors, with 159 condo residences occupying the top floors. Both residents and hotel guests at the Ritz have access to a wealth of luxurious amenities. The fifth-floor spa and fitness centre offer body treatments and training sessions, yoga, as well as professional hair and makeup services and a lap pool surrounded by views of the city.The menu at TOCA draws from Canada's bounty, from Quebec foie gras to Alberta bison, served in a dining room rich with dark wood accents. Guests can retreat to spacious rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, heated floors and spa bathrooms.


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The Hazelton Hotel Toronto
Photo courtesy of Hazelton Hotel Facebook page

 

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 it is filled with stars and elite clientele. Rooms are as elegant as an old 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.


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Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Photo courtesy of Christian Horan

 

The Four Seasons was started by a Canadian businessman and 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. All rooms are incredibly spacious with wraparound couches, sleek desks and plush beds with down duvets and light-as-a-feather pillows. With Michelin starred chef Daniel Boulud blending French flavours with the cosmopolitan flair of Canadian cuisine, there is ample opportunity to wine and dine, or you can 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 or take a private yoga class.


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Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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