By LINDA LUONG
1. Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto
The Donald’s sole Canadian property is worth $500 million, and exudes opulence extravagance from the penthouse straight down to the lobby, where guests are surrounded by black marble cladding and can admire the Swarovski crystal sculpture behind the front desk. At 65 storeys, the building holds the title for tallest Canadian residential building. There are 261 guest rooms and suites at this luxurious Toronto hotel, plus 118 condo units for residents. The luxury isn’t just for guests, though. Anyone with the funds can broker a deal at the aptly named Stock Restaurant Bar and Lounge, have a nightcap at Suits Lobby Lounge (where a stock market ticker can be found behind the bar) or get pampered at Quartz Crystal Spa, which is located on the 31st and 32nd floors and offers expansive views of the Toronto skyline. Guests are also invited to swim laps in the heated 65-foot-long infinity pool designed with Calacatta marble and to rest their heads on Italian Bellino linen. Looking for a place to host a luxurious event in Toronto hotel? There’s a 12,000 square-foot grand ballroom with ornate black chandeliers that will be sure to impress your invitees.
Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, 325 Bay St., 416-306-5800, trumphotelcollection.com/toronto, map and reviews
2. Ritz-Carlton Hotel Toronto
Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines have placed this luxurious Toronto hotel among the best of 2012. And for good reason: it’s a 267-room getaway that’s centrally located in the Entertainment District and a favourite of celebrities visiting for the annual Toronto International Film Festival. The Ritz is located across from Roy Thomson Hall, the site of gala premiers and the year-round home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and just blocks away from the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra theatres. The earth-toned Toca dining room dishes a Canadian menu of homegrown fare, and offers a chef’s table, a glass cheese cave, a wine cellar with many Canadian vintages, and a private space for more discreet gatherings. There’s also Toca Bar for tapas and cocktails, which can be enjoyed inside or on the outdoor patio. A 24-hour fitness centre, a yoga studio, salt water pool, jacuzzi and the Spa My Blend By Clarins—only the second in the world—round out the hotel’s luxurious amenities.
Ritz-Carlton Hotel Toronto, 181 Wellington St. W., 416-585-2500, website
3. Hazelton Hotel
The Yorkville location would grant instant upscale status to this hotel, but its many amenities and services elevate The Hazelton to the stratosphere of luxury. Designed by Yabu Pushelberg, the décor at this 62-room, 15-suite establishment is a nod to the heyday of 1940s Hollywood glamour. Among the highlights: nine-foot ceilings, French doors that open out onto private balconies, leather-panelled walls and zebrawood dressing rooms with floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Dogs get the luxury hotel treatment just like their masters. The pet-friendly place provides treats, dog beds, food and water bowls for your four-legged friends. The Hazelton Health Club & Bar offers a full range of spa services including facials and massages. A state-of-the-art screening room with a 35mm projector is available for movies, meetings and presentations. Private catering is provided by on-site restaurant, One, which is headed by celebrated Canadian celebrity chef Mark McEwan, and features a menu of classic French and Italian cuisine that is prepared with fresh Ontario produce.
Hazelton Hotel, 118 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6300, thehazeltonhotel.com
4. Park Hyatt Toronto
This venerable Yorkville institution is a favourite of visiting celebrities and Canada’s power brokers. Bearing the hallmarks of Park Hyatt facilities around the world, the Toronto outpost lives up to the company’s high standards with over 300 rooms and 45 suites. The Stillwater Spa has 17 treatment rooms, a couples massage room, an aqua therapy room, a rejuvinating salon and even a relaxing tea lounge. The Roof Lounge, located on the luxury hotel’s 18th floor, provides panoramic views of Toronto and is one of the swankiest spots in town for imbibing champagne, wine and cocktails. And for your dining pleasure, there is the award–winning Annona where seasonal ingredients and classic comfort food are served in a sophisticated setting. Visitors looking for a more laid-back experience can tuck into a perfectly prepared cut of American Angus beef at Morton’s The Steakhouse.
Park Hyatt Toronto, 4 Avenue Rd., 416-925-1234, parktoronto.hyatt.com
5. Shangri-La Hotel Toronto
The newest luxury hotel in Toronto is an Asian-influenced paradise. A $5 million sculpture by Chinese artist Zhang Huan welcomes visitors to the 66-storey tower, which also features a Japanese garden, two tea libraries and silk-covered walls. An exclusive health and fitness facility includes a juice bar, infrared sauna and jacuzzi, steam rooms for men and women, and a private studio for yoga and spin class. Relax at the Old World-inspired Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie, where unique Hammam and Gommage treatments are on offer. They are performed in two parts: a steam followed by a full body exfoliating scrub on a marble slab. Bosk is the hotel’s official dining venue, headed by chef Jean Paul Lourdes, who has earned a well-respected reputation at two- and three-star Michelin-rated restaurants in France and Japan. Adjacent to the luxury hotel are Toronto’s first David Chang restaurants—Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Shoto, Momofuku Daisho and Momofuku Nikai.
Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, 188 University Ave., 647-788 8888, shangri-la.com/toronto
6. The Fairmont Royal York
Rounding out our list of luxurious Toronto accommodations is the one of the city’s oldest hotels—the AAA Diamond-rated Fairmont Royal York. When it was built in 1843, it was the tallest building in the British Empire. It has since been rebuilt (in 1927), and completely renovated (in 1988). The home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and members of the royal family when they’re in Toronto, this downtown luxury hotel has over 1,300 rooms, a royal suite, a prime minister’s suite and a governor general’s suite. In-hotel dining options abound, including Epic, a certified Ocean Wise restaurant, Benihana Japanese Steakhouse, Piper’s Gastropub and the cozy Library Bar for romantic dinners. Afternoon tea with finger sandwiches and pastries served on fine china has been a staple of this Toronto institution since 1929. The luxury hotel also proudly grows its own herbs, vegetables and flowers on its rooftop terrace; three beehives on the 14th floor also provide fresh honey. You can see the in-house garden for yourself on a tour. If you’re looking for a little indulgence, book some time at the Elizabeth Milan Day Spa, a full-service facility offering hair, skin and body treatments, as well as services for men and brides.
Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front St. W., 416-368-2511, fairmont.com/royal-york-toronto, map and reviews
7. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Re-opened in October 2012, the Yabu Pushelberg-designed 55-storey establishment is among the newest Luxury hotels in Toronto. And it doesn’t disappoint: 259 stunning guest rooms, 42 suites and an impressive 30,000 square-foot spa. Book yourself into the Royal Suite, which is located on the 21st floor and takes up 3,820 square feet over three bedrooms. An oasis of tranquility, the Spa at the Four Seasons features a skylit indoor pool that opens onto a terrace, two steam rooms, a co-ed whirlpool, 17 treatment rooms and a salon. Revered chef Daniel Boulud brings classic French flavours to Café Boulud, which features a menu inspired by the Mediterranean, and includes a prix-fixe menu for business lunches as well as a 350-label wine list with many offerings from France, Italy, Australia and California. Head to dBar for one of mixologist Albert Kirby’s cocktails complimented by small plates like crispy artichokes, charcuterie, cheeses and desserts.
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, 60 Yorkville Ave., 416-964-0411, fourseasons.com/toronto