Vacay.ca has teamed with Hotels.com to create a series of articles highlighting the best hotel travel experiences in Canada. In the first installment of the series, columnist Adrian Brijbassi spotlights Toronto’s hotel scene.
Story by Adrian Brijbassi
TORONTO, ONTARIO — At Valentine’s Day, our desire to give spikes. We commit to giving time, presents that are often extravagant, and public and private displays of affection. In everything we do, we want it to be the best for our partner.
The definition of “best” is often subjective and deeply personal. Our individual tastes, interests and finances all play a role on what the best gift is for this Valentine’s Day. But the nature of the holiday is about escape. It’s about spending time together in an environment that limits distractions and allows you to focus on indulging in each other.
For that reason, hotel stays are always popular Valentine’s gift ideas. No matter who you are, there is a hotel for you in Toronto — Canada’s largest and most diverse city. Vacay.ca has determined a list of the 5 Best Toronto Hotels for Valentine’s Day, based on different categories. Find the ideal hotel for you and your partner below.
THE RITZ-CARLTON, TORONTO — Best Hotel for Sophisticated Travellers
For those who want to splurge, the best hotel experience in Toronto, and quite likely the country, is at the Ritz-Carlton. Why? The level of graciousness and comfort you feel from the staff is superior to the other notable elite brand name hotels in the city. The Ritz is welcoming and it has all the elegant touches you expect in a property that charges hundreds for a room night. What I find attests to the quality of the Ritz is you leave not only wanting to come back but believing your money was well spent. Romantics will enjoy the spacious rooms, the tasteful decor and the luxurious amenities, including a spa that’s been named the best in the world. The location in the heart of Toronto’s theatre district is ideal for a night out at one of the local productions or for a dinner at a restaurant such as Canoe, ranked among the Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants each of the past three years.
Vacay.ca Tip: Book a room on the Club Level. For an extra $200 per weekend night, a couple can enjoy continuous food service in the lounge from early morning til 10 pm, including wine, beer and spirits at no additional charge. Other advantages include daily garment services and a dedicated concierge for Club Level guests.
Hotels.Com Genuine Guest Review: 4.8/5
Location: 181 Wellington Street West
Hotels.com Valentine’s Weekend Room Rates: As low as $455 per night. Click here, or call 866-539-0036.
THE HAZELTON — Best Hotel for the Star Treatment
If you’re aiming to treat your lover like a star, the Hazelton is where you want to book. Built in 2007 to cater to the Hollywood A-listers who attend the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Hazelton is a special place because of the names who have visited, including Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney and many, many other superstars. The boutique hotel is also in Yorkville, the upscale neighbourhood that’s ideal if you want to spoil someone with a shopping spree at stores such as Louis XIII Boutique, or for picking out a ring (at RADS Jewellery) or — if she says, yes — a dress for the big day (Sarah Houston Bridal Couture or White Toronto).
Vacay.ca Tip: One unique feature guests will want to take advantage of at the Hazelton is the Silver Screening Room, where private screenings of several notable movies have been shown over the years. The room includes a 16-by-9-foot projection screen and comfortable leather seats for up to 25 people. When you visit, ask about visiting the screening room for a movie or show.
Hotels.Com Genuine Guest Review: 4.4/5
Location: 118 Yorkville Avenue
Hotels.com Valentine’s Weekend Room Rates: As low as $435 per night. Click here, or call 866-539-0036
THE GLADSTONE — Best Hotel for Art Lovers
Housed in a converted 19th-century Victorian mansion, the Gladstone is a cultural hub that celebrates the West Queen West district, recently named by Vogue as the No. 2 “coolest neighbourhood” in the world (trailing only Shimokitazawa in Tokyo). Its rooms are also ideal for romance. They’re individually styled with exceptional art pieces that feature a range of disciplines. Each room is dedicated to the work of a notable artist. For example, Room 415, named “Snapshot,” contains the art of Christina Zeidler, named as one of the city’s 10 best filmmakers by Cameron Bailey, artistic director of TIFF.
Vacay.ca Tip: Romantics will want to snag Room 402. It’s 155 square feet of sexiness. Designed by Rayne Baron, the Spanish-inspired room features handprinted wallpaper, chandeliers and antiques that date more than a century. The room’s nickname is “Echame Flores,” a Spanish expression that means “throw flowers at me.”
Hotels.Com Genuine Guest Review: 4.2/5
Location: 1214 Queen Street West
Hotels.com Valentine’s Weekend Room Rates: As low as $199 per night. Click here, or call 866-539-0036
TRUMP INTERNATIONAL — Best Hotel for Chocolates
Chocolates, roses and Champagne are synonymous with Valentine’s Day, and the Trump can help serve you all three. The chocolates are a highlight. They’re made in-house at the hotel’s large pastry kitchen called the Chocolate Lab. Selections are made with Valrhona Grand Cru chocolate — and will win over anyone’s heart. You’re likely to find some greeting you in your room.
Vacay.ca Tip: The 31st floor at this hotel is fun. It includes a lounge that is open from 10:30 pm to 2 am on Thursday-Saturday nights. There’s music, laughter, one of the best wine lists in Canada, and lots of those chocolates to taste.
Hotels.Com Genuine Guest Reviews: 4.9/5
Location: 325 Bay Street
Hotels.com Valentine’s Weekend Room Rates: As low as $395 per night. Click here, or call 866-539-0036
INTERCONTINENTAL TORONTO CENTRE — Best Hotel for Practical Travellers
The InterContinental’s downtown property is less pricey than the Ritz, Trump and Four Seasons, but still has two hallmark features that helps it in the marketplace: The staff are terrifically accommodating and its location is perhaps the best in the city. The InterContinental is across the street from Union Station, the city’s primary public transit hub, the lake views from its south-facing rooms are spectacular, and convenient access to attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium or CN Tower. In a city that can be bitterly cold, having a hotel that limits the amount of outside exposure can be a luxury in itself.
Vacay.ca Tip: The spa experience at the InterContinental includes the opportunity to enjoy a meal prepared by the hotel’s Azure restaurant. Entrees range from $21-$28 and include healthy options such as grilled shrimp with a California-style spa salad. A spa treatment and lunch near the pool is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
Hotels.Com Genuine Guest Reviews: 4.3/5
Location: 225 Front Street
Hotels.com Valentine’s Weekend Room Rates: As low as $289 per night. Click here, or call 866-539-0036
[box_info]You can also give the gift of travel this year with a Hotels.Com gift card.[/box_info]