It was a bit intimidating at first. My first 5 star hotel. I usually try and steer clear of anything less than 4 stars, and my graduation towards the superior level was equally exciting and terrifying. Would I be sophisticated enough? Would it be too much?
And as it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried. The only thing that got me out of my room was my impending train ride back to Montreal, not the need to leave — because if it was up to me I would never have left.
Shangri-La Toronto – The Location
What’s obvious from the map is that the hotel is located in the very heart of the action, which is always the most important feature for me. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is wasting time in transit and luckily, not one minute was lost during my stay at Shangri-La. I was within walking distance from the conference centre, the chic bars and restaurants of Yonge and Bloor Street sas well as a short streetcar ride from the artsy West Queen West neighborhood. The best of both worlds.
Shangri-La Toronto – The Hotel
One of the main selling points of the hotel, outside the obvious, is its wellness area. The Morocco-inspired spa, the blow-dry bar (we need one of these in Montreal), the infrared sauna, the private yoga and sports studio and the pool form an area where troubles and stress are not welcome, and where guests can simply relax — something that is always easier said than done but that Shangri-La seems to have succeeded at.
And of course, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised to learn that the hotel’s pool was named best pool in the world by Condé Nast Traveler last year – with TV-equipped cabanas, incredible views of Toronto, a whirlpool as well as a swimming pool, and more, I can definitely see why.
A nice touch when coming back at the hotel after a long day of meetings — enjoying the relaxing and magical atmosphere of the live intimate piano concert. Few places in the world can boast offering this feature to visitors and guests.
And of course, a visit to Shangri-La Toronto wouldn’t be complete without a proper meal at the legendary Bosk restaurant, Toronto’s best high-end restaurant, as well as a local and celebrities favorite. I squeezed in a lunch in my busy schedule because I knew my taste buds would not forgive me if I overlooked this opportunity — and I’m glad I didn’t, because it was a delicious, inventive and highly satisfactory meal that I’m not about to forget.
Shangri-La Toronto – The
Immediately upon entering my room I was greeted with this personalized note, which I thought was quite thoughtful — that was until I saw the macarons box underneath, and then I knew I had found my perfect hotel match.
The views I was greeted with every time I opened up my eyes in the bedroom. Quite a fantastic scenery to fall asleep / wake up to.
My room suite was surprisingly large and in all honesty, this amount of space was quite welcome after spending long, exhausting days running from one conference room to another. The room comprised of a 5-piece washroom, a walk-in closet, a spacious bedroom (complete with ginormous TV-screen) as well as a work area and living room. One of my only regrets is that I didn’t get enough time to properly enjoy each of those spaces!
What I liked about the Shangri-La Toronto, and I suspect it is the case with all other Shangri-La’s around the world, is the importance of understated details. Yes, there is obvious luxury everywhere around you (crystal, marble and artwork, for instance) but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is much more than meets the eye, more than the simply blatant, obnoxious use of expensive items that some places have. It’s the handwritten notes, the fresh flowers, the quality tea, the sincere smiles and the profound desire employees have to ensure that each guest has not only an agreeable stay but an unforgettable one.
And that made all the difference.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Shangri-La Toronto, but as always, all opinions are my own.