The Shangri-La Toronto is in a class of it’s own. Even in it’s central downtown location, you feel a million miles away from Toronto. The second you step through their doors you’re welcomed into an oasis – the world of Shangri-La. The lobby feels more like an oversized living room than a hotel lobby. For a high-end hotel it doesn’t feel snobby or pretentious, but instead friendly and inviting. As soon as I arrived I knew this was going to be a special experience!
Ps: If you’re headed to Canada be sure to check out my Quick Guide to Toronto!
After a smooth and quick check-in process I was escorted to the elevator and directed to my room. Despite having a full hotel that night I never waited for an elevator. That’s just one small example of how well this hotel is run. Within my first ten minutes of being on the property I encountered about a dozen different staff members – all of which greeted me with a smile and sincerity.
My room was unbelievable, and not a single detail was missed. From the decor to the cleaning, this room was perfect. I entered my room into a foyer with a large closet and bench, and my eyes were immediately drawn to the large living room. As practical as it was beautiful, this room felt like home complete with a large couch and a flatscreen TV. I set down my bags and immediately sunk into a chaise lounge. This was the exact moment I knew I wasn’t going to be leaving my room much between now and tomorrow’s check-out!
The bar was fully-stocked with top shelf liquor and a Nespresso machine was just begging me to make one of the Shangri-La’s signature teas. The desk was equipped with an in-room iPad which could be used to order room service, open the drapes, control the lighting or adjust the temperature. Off the living room was the first bathroom, complete with a stunning marble shower.
Down the hall was the bedroom, with a heavenly king-sized bed and a walk-in closet. The closet had plenty of storage, and came with both bathrobes and kimonos. Beside the bed were controls for the lighting and the drapes. There was a second flatscreen TV in this room as well.
The master bathroom might have been my favourite part of the suite! You enter through asian-inspired doors and you’re greeted to huge windows and a giant marble bathtub. With the drapes open you can have a soak in the tub while taking in great views of the city. There was a second shower in this bathroom as well, and as with the first, it came stocked with my favourite L’Occitane products! The double-sink vanity had plenty of counter space for my make-up bag, and there was a TV in the mirror to keep me entertained while I blowed dry my hair the next morning.
Even though I was really looking forward to my dinner that night I almost considered ordering room service instead because I really did not want to leave this serene room… but I knew I was in for a real treat at dinner so I showered and got ready. My dinner reservation was at the hotel’s restaurant, Bosk. Just past the beautiful bar with the stunning ceiling decor was a modern and bright dining room. Again, every staff member I passed on my way from the hostess stand to my table welcomed me with a warm smile.
I was greeted by my attentive waitress, Rachel, with a champagne cart and helpful advice on selecting wine. After meeting with chef Damon Campbell, and hearing about the most popular dishes, I order the beef tartare and the arctic char. To my surprise, I was also treated to one of Damon’s famous caviar donuts! This was the highlight of my meal – it was both creamy and light with just the right amount of creme fraiche and caviar. If I could order these by the dozen, I would! My beef tartare arrived in beautiful presentation and full of flavour. Immediately following, the arctic char was presented to my table. It was perfectly cooked and accompanied by the most delicious ricotta dumplings and green vegetables.
After dinner I returned to my room to another beautiful surprise. Housekeeping had come for turndown service while I was at dinner and they had left a bottle of water on the bedside table, and a pair of slippers beside the bed. After a long day in Toronto I was ready to put on my most luxurious pajamas and lounge in my incredible suite.
Another highlight of the Shangri-La Toronto is the incredible pool. Located just past the gym (where they have spinning classes and yoga!) lies a huge pool, hot tub and sauna. Surrounding the hot tub are private cabanas that can be reserved for you by the concierge. I spent the next morning in my own cabana, which came stocked with a water bottle, fashion magazines and a bathrobe. The cabana also had a TV, which I used to quickly check the news and the weather between a dip in the pool and drying off in the sauna. Somewhere between being offered a hot towel and relaxing my sore muscles in the hot tub I completely forgot that it was a Friday morning in the middle of Toronto. This is the magic of Shangri-La Toronto!
After a few hours by the pool, handing over my room key and checking out of my room might have been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I felt my heart break as I came to terms with the fact that this fairy-tale night was coming to an end. My time at this Toronto hotel was not a regular stay – it was a retreat into the world of Shangri-La! A retreat that will not be forgotten.
To book your own experience, head to the Shangri-La website for reservations: www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila
For an even closer look at my stay, check out my YouTube video here!
The team at Kelly Ella Maz were welcomed to Shangri-La Toronto as guests, however our opinions remain our own.