Story by Adrian Brijbassi
Vacay.ca Managing Editor
TORONTO, ONTARIO — In the past few years a great deal of effort has gone into giving Torontonians alternative ways to escape their city. From expanding the island airport located in Lake Ontario to providing short but pricey airplane and helicopter flights to Niagara Falls and Muskoka’s cottage country to offering more and faster train service, businesses have focused on helping Toronto’s residents efficiently flee the city and the headaches of its traffic.
But what if you could escape Toronto without ever leaving the Big Smoke?
That’s one of the many selling points of Hotel X, a gargantuan new complex just west of downtown Toronto. Much like a Las Vegas property, Hotel X feels like a resort in the city. It can keep you entertained for several days with the myriad attractions on its site.
The hotel’s rooftop swimming pool is stunning — a gem of an amenity that provides the whimsical feelings indicative of any fun escape. The pool is heated and provides views of the lake and the western shoreline leading to the Niagara Region. With a retractable roof and portable heaters, the pool will be open year-round. It’s also adjacent to a cosy lounge, called the Falcon Skybar, and above a larger dining space that features balconies and banks of windows that keep Toronto’s breathtaking skyline within view. You can sip a cocktail while watching the planes departing Billy Bishop airport.
As attractive as the upper-floor amenities are, the most impressive footprint of the resort belongs to its fitness centre. Hotel X spent $60 million to give Toronto a top-of-the-line facility that features four immaculate tennis courts, a cutting-edge TechnoGym, and a studio for yoga, pilates and spin classes. Memberships are available so area residents can have access to the fitness facility as they would any gym.
For entertainment, there’s a 56-seat screening room that shows classic movies. An art gallery, play centre for kids, and multiple bars and lounges add to the feeling of being on vacation.
If you do desire to venture outside, there are a number of activities within walking distance of Hotel X.
Ontario Place has relaunched with outstanding programming choices — including a concert series featuring local musicians, a beer garden, an all-season synthetic ice rink made of polymer, and Cinesphere, home to an iconic IMAX theatre. With 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles) of walking and cycling trails along the lake, Ontario Place provides a park-like excursion, making it an ideal neighbour for Hotel X.
Nearby BMO Field is home to Toronto FC, a Major League Soccer franchise, and Liberty Village, the trendy neighbourhood with lots of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops, is about a 15-minute walk away. Historic Fort York is just to the east of Hotel X while the property offers to shuttle guests in a BMW sedan to destinations within a five-kilometre (three-mile) radius.
Despite those options, it’s likely guests visiting from the Greater Toronto Area won’t depart Hotel X until check-out time arrives. And the property, owned by the family-run, New York-based Library Hotel Group, isn’t yet complete. A fine-dining restaurant and spa are in the works for the coming months.
MORE ABOUT VISITING HOTEL X
Location: 111 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto, ON (see map below)
Nightly Room Rates: A recent search of the hotel’s booking engine returned rates of approximately $363 for a weekend night in October.
Other Toronto Hotel News
Four Seasons Hotel Rejuvenates Its Spa: One of Toronto’s wonderful five-star hotels has recently improved its spa facilities, renovating the space in Yorkville and also refocusing its treatment services. The result is a delightful experience that achieves what Four Seasons Toronto spa manager Carene Coulter aimed to create: An environment focused completely on relaxation. “There are lots of medical spas in the area, we didn’t need to be that. We wanted to focus on the luxury aspect of what we do. So there’s lots of hands-on treatment. Guests come to the Four Seasons to relax and be pampered, and that’s what we’re doing more of now.” Organic products and earthy elements complement the first-rate treatments.
Once you’re done reinvigorating in the spa, find more satisfaction in the hotel’s superb dining rooms, including Cafe Boulud and the always fun, always lively dBar on the lobby level.
Kimpton Saint George Shines in Annex: A Holiday Inn on Bloor Street has been transformed into Canada’s first Kimpton property. The boutique brand, which started in San Francisco in the 1980s, is recognized for its pioneering efforts in environmental practices in the hotel industry. The Kimpton Saint George opened in June 2018 with an emphasis on celebrating Canadian art and design. Nearly all of its furniture is made in Canada. Its common areas and 188 guest rooms all feature Canadian artwork. The hotel’s exterior facade has an eye-catching mural by Toronto graffiti artist Birdo. The hotel provides comfortable and inviting accommodations in the Annex, Toronto’s venerable neighbourhood that is amid the University of Toronto’s buildings. The Kimpton Saint George is an easy walk to the shops in Yorkville and attractions such as the Royal Ontario Museum.