The need for a short-term respite amid a pandemic storm becomes even more of a priority as the cold weather months set in. Yes, indoor dining is temporarily shut down to help stem the tide of rising COVID-19 numbers. But God-willing that will end in a month. And a lot of us won’t be jetting anywhere anytime, soon. Yet we need to get out of here, right now. But what if we could sell you on using that unused vacation time, or even a weekend, to stay right in the heart of the city at a Toronto luxury hotel?
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The Big Smoke has a growing stable of luxury boutique hotel offerings, “lifestyle hotels”, all possessing an intense independent spirit. They are all accessible in minutes through the downtown core via an uber car. So grab your overnight leather bag and go. Diversity applies to Toronto’s restaurant scene, but in the case of “stay-cation” hotels like the ones below, the idea is not to leave the hotel. The idea is to rarely leave your room. You shouldn’t have to.
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Bisha melds together art, fashion, music, culture, with an amazing, true quality food experience that reflects who we are, and coffee at the grab-and-go Parisian cafe at street level. It’s an urban, cool, edgy mood that’s so anti-chain hotel, so unscripted, with one of the truly great downtown views anywhere.
Beautiful, dark, rich decor in the lobby – black velvet walls (touch them!), distinct scent, visual aura. There are Alexander McQueen fashion pieces, covers of past Interview magazines on the walls, and Andy Warhol art. Plus there is pop diva imagery, staff dressed like rock stars in black leather Mackage jackets, and the Lenny Kravitz-designed seventh floor.
This boutique hotel reminds us the most of luxury boutique hotels you’d find in Manhattan.
A personal favourite is a winter-time lunch in KŌST restaurant on the 44th floor. Luxury rooms range from 450 SF to larger suites with balconies. Those are 700 SF through to just under 1,000 SF (there is also a two-level suite, at 2,000 SF, plus patio space).
Bisha, in the Entertainment District, often offers special staycation packages for guests. Log on to their site to check that out, as well as any updated pandemic restrictions.
One King West
One King West is located in an Ontario Heritage designated building. It’s a mix of the posh and grandeur of Canada’s banking past with modern day comforts and luxury amenities. The location was the former head office of The Dominion Bank. Amenities at the hotel include full concierge service, valet parking, and rooftop fitness centre.
Teller’s Bar and Lounge, located in the lobby, includes a late day menu, evening beverage and light snacks. It has a great breakfast buffet. Like any weekend getaway, the idea at this Toronto luxury hotel is to re-charge the batteries with little or no effort on the part of the guest.
Chain hotels have to maintain the same standards across all their properties, so they tend to be cookie-cutter. Independent, smaller properties can bob and weave, and create unique experiences.
Check out their staycation packages for more information.
Hotel Le Germain
Hotel Le Germain on Mercer St. in Toronto is an urban oasis not just because of its luxurious and inspiring architecture, but also because of a culture of service the hotel is renowned for.
A question we ask ourselves, when we walk into the room in one of the boutique luxury hotels on our list – could we live there for a month? The answer in the case of Le Germain was “yes”.
Walk in, toss down your leather bag, hop on to the comfy King bed, turn the computer on and check your emails. Good coffee in the room is another one of those smaller details we always look for. Check that one off the list. The rooms at Le Germain are elegant, warm, cozy, with a modern twist. All the amenities you need plus state-of-the-art technology are there.
The Victor Restaurant Bar features a chic design and has signature dishes like lobster bisque, steak, fresh seafood or fish. Buffet breakfast isn’t over the top at all – it’s smaller, a quaint atmosphere. And the food quality is top notch. All the little details make a difference, and Hotel Le Germain nails it on all counts.
Check out their site for weekend specials.
The Broadview Hotel
We remember the Broadview at the corner of Queen St. E. and Broadview Ave. as the home of Jilly’s Strip Club during our college years. And let’s just say the property has undergone a rather substantial renovation since those days. The Broadview makes our Toronto luxury hotel list in large part because of its indoor/outdoor rooftop patio – on the 7th floor, with unobstructed views of Toronto’s skyline.
A look at their rates over a weekend in November features a range. For example, a King Traditional room features 275 square feet of space, a Eurotop king bed, luxury linens, custom, locally crafted bathroom amenities and blackout blinds, as well as a custom made desk, and a 40” TV. It is going for $169-$189 per night.
The Broadview Hotel is offering a Room and Breakfast promotion in November that includes a choice of tea or coffee, choice of muesli/chia/sandwich and a refreshing Mimosa, and overnight accommodation for $279 per night.
IMAGE UP TOP: BISHA