The Ultimate Guide to Hotels in Toronto

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As Canada’s largest city establishes itself as a movie and tech hub, new hotels are popping up at a steady pace and old ones are upping their game.

A classic view of the Toronto skyline.

Posted 5 October 2022, 06:15 BST

Canada’s largest city has long had something to delight visitors: world-class museums, international restaurants and golden beaches. Its accommodations, on the other hand, have not always managed to keep up, but things are changing. As Toronto establishes itself as a film and technology hub, new hotels are popping up at a steady pace and old ones are upping their game. Hotels generally reflect their local surroundings, from the historic Annex District to the bustling entertainment district and trendy Trinity-Bellwoods. For luxury brands, the Financial District and chic Yorkville are your go-tos, while cool bohemian stays abound in the trendy Queen West neighborhood. Many of Toronto’s best hotels are downtown, but if you’re staying further out, make sure you’re on a subway or streetcar line. cheap stays can quickly become different if you have to deal with high taxi fares.

Ideal for aesthetes

1 Hotel Toronto
When American brand 1 Hotels launched its first Canadian outpost near King Street West in 2021, it did so with a Canadian twist. Furniture was crafted from local fallen trees; the restaurant’s plates were garnished with herbs from the on-site garden; and glacier-carved Ontario stone was transported to create a spectacular lobby. Native plants have also been installed in bedrooms and public areas, all by a dedicated in-house gardening team. The sustainable angle extends to light and bright rooms, with reusable chalkboards replacing traditional notepads and carafes of filtered tap water replacing plastic bottles. The other big selling point, next to ethics? The rooftop suntrap pool, one of the few outdoor pools in the city. From CA$529 (£334).

Ideal for the jet set

Fairmont Royal York: Locations don’t get more convenient than the Fairmont Royal York, a hotel inspired by a 1929 castle just steps from Central Union Station. Not that you’re here to escape Toronto, of course; this glamorous old stack has it all with its sultry martini bar, indoor pool topped with a skylight, and decadent weekend afternoon teas. Book one of the newly renovated rooms — it costs a few dollars more, but is worth it for its cool steel-blue aesthetic — and request a view of the CN Tower, so you can wake up to the world’s most famous landmark. Canada. Keep your eyes peeled for A-list clientele; the hotel has hosted many notable guests in the past, including the Queen.

Rooms: from CA$559 (£353).

Private dining room at the Fairmont Royal York.

Photographed by Brandon Barre Photography

Ideal for glamorous pussies

Park HyattToronto: After four years of renovations, one of Toronto’s most famous hotels has quietly reopened in fall 2021 – and it’s a real eye-catcher. Expanses of marble, sleek dark woods, and a soothing color palette create an upscale space that is both luxurious and crowd-pleasing. The location in upscale Yorkville makes it a top choice for culture vultures visiting the adjacent Royal Ontario Museum, or shoppers — Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Dior are a minute away. Don’t miss the Joni lobby restaurant for a clementine and black lime prawn crudo, while the intimate, bright Writers Room Bar, frequented before the renovation by authors like Margaret Atwood, is a destination in its own right. .

Rooms: from CA$675 (£427).

Ideal for socialites

Bisha: Partly styled by Lenny Kravitz’s design firm, this Entertainment District hotel brims with the cool of the music industry. The bedroom decor is bold and feels made for after-hours partying, with dark, lacquered surfaces,
velvet sofas and bar carts full of booze — not to mention love-or-hate art, including a print that asks you to “leave your clothes at home.” By contrast, the 44th-floor Kost restaurant, overlooking the pool, channels the LA vibe with its sunny tables and tropical foliage. Join the cool crowd for a smoky prime rib with guajillo glaze, washed down with frosted margaritas.

Rooms: from CA$560 (£434).

Photographed by Bisha Hotel

Ideal for design gurus

The Drake Hotel: This pad on Queen Street West quickly became a hub of the area’s cultural, arts and music scene when it opened in 2004. A shiny new extension, opening in 2021, has more than doubled its number of rooms to 51 , while maintaining the brand image of the brand. the iconic aesthetic of mid-century modern furniture, bold contemporary prints and quirky Canadiana. (If you like what you see, check out their lifestyle kit and home accessories from The Drake General Store.) over fried chicken and waffles.

Rooms: from CA$360 (£228).

Ideal for bargain hunters

The Rex: Stays in central Toronto are generally not cheap, unless you are staying at the Rex. A loyal music venue on the edge of the entertainment district, its worn bar fills up nightly with some of Canada’s finest brass, strings and vocal talent performing jazz and blues. There are hotel rooms on the top floor, where a bed for the night costs less than £100. Decor is no-frills, space is tight, and there’s no elevator, but in return you get built-in nightlife and a prime location near hits like the Art Gallery of Ontario and CN Tower. There’s no shortage of local dining options either, but if you’re staying onsite, the restaurant serves classic Canadian poutine.

Rooms: from CA$115 (£73).

Ideal for independent spirits

The annex hotel: Named after the leafy residential neighborhood it calls home, the Annex is about two things: style and simplicity. They have removed the usual hotel administrator, allowing you to check in online and see you in a whitewashed room – just text if anything is needed. Larger rooms, with natural woods and minimalist decor, have an almost Japanese aesthetic. Downstairs, the bar serves orange wine, local beers, and mezcal cocktails. Aunty Lucy’s restaurant, inspired by owner Chieff Bosompra’s Ghanaian roots, offers smashing burgers with fried plantain, gooey jalapeno havarti cheese and a tangy secret sauce.

Rooms: from CA$260 (£164), B&B.

Two-level suite at the Park Hyatt Toronto.

Photographed by Park HyattToronto

Ideal for cool cats

Gladstone House: Toronto’s oldest operating hotel, perched majestically on the corner of Queen Street West since 1889, remains one of its most attractive. It’s not just the renovated Melody Bar, with its historic murals and rowdy brunches, that make it such a destination, nor the rooms, combining the original brick with unique, buyable pieces by Toronto artists. This hotel also has plenty to keep guests occupied, with its on-site artist studio, yoga room, and open-plan lounges. Reserve one of the spacious and coveted corner suites before heading out to explore the artisan bakeries and CBD shops of nearby Ossington Avenue.

Rooms: from CA$265 (£168).

Ideal for peace seekers

The Anndore House: The rambling north-south thoroughfare of Yonge Street, with its fast-food chains and condos, isn’t exactly known for its serenity. But step into The Anndore, a high-rise hotel perched above the rush, and you’ll find a peaceful escape. Industrial rooms with exposed brickwork and subway-tiled bathrooms give the hotel a decidedly urban feel, and little touches like vinyl players and button-down chairs lend a lived-in, away-from-home vibe. Download the hotel’s dedicated app to act as a keycard and control your room’s lights and TV, then explore nearby Bloor Street, home to Canadian stores such as Roots and Holt Renfrew.

Rooms: from CA$250 (£158).

Indoor swimming pool at the Westin Harbor Castle.

Photographed by Gillian Jackson

Ideal for families

Westin Harbor Castle: Besides its enviable waterfront location — the ferry’s departure point for the parks and beaches of the Toronto Islands — families love The Westin for the perks it offers young travelers. There are also outdoor tennis courts, hearty breakfast buffets, an indoor pool, and a kids’ club. And yet, despite all the attention given to children, the hotel does not compromise on style. Leather headboards, cappuccino hues, and crisp white bedding give the rooms a grown-up feel. Consider booking two interconnecting rooms — these are a good option for large families or those with teenagers after their own space.
Rooms: from CA$213 (£135).

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