Fairmont Royal York Toronto, Canada

Location:

The Hockey Hall of Fame, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Meridian Hall are two short blocks away.

In the heart of downtown, St Regis is close to many of the city’s central attractions: Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Harbour, Canada Place, the funky Gastown neighborhood and shopping – that’s boutiques as well as the huge Pacific Centre complex. The nearby Vancouver City Centre Station is handy for getting from and to the airport.

Scotiabank Arena (home of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey and Toronto Raptors basketball) and Rogers Centre (home of Blue Jays baseball) are a 10-minute walk away, as are the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. The hotel is part of PATH, the underground pedestrian network, which is linked to Union Station across the street, connecting guests to the subway and all above-ground trains, including the express train to the airport.

Style & character:

The hotel was originally one of the Canadian Pacific Railway hotels, built across Canada around the same time as the railway, which linked the country from coast to coast. They are all indeed Canada’s ‘castles’. With 1,329 rooms and suites over 18 floors, the Royal York is a busy, busy place, yet still maintains an air of relative calm. The original hand-painted wood coffered ceilings and lavish ballrooms have witnessed thousands of milestone events and business conventions, and the famous Imperial Room has played host to countless entertainers, from jazz legend Duke Ellington to Jim Carrey. A large and comfortable lobby lounge with an Art Deco and railway-inspired décor theme suits both locals and guests. And the clock tower has been an iconic meeting spot since the hotel opened.

Service & facilities:

Elegant, skilled service is impeccable, scripted without seeming fawning. A fitness center, complete with sauna and steam room, sits opposite a sizeable swimming pool and whirlpool. The lower level of the hotel is a little high street in itself, home to a variety of small shops.

The front desk is staffed by a highly competent and friendly team. Whether you are a Canadian businessman or a British tourist, they are ready with tips on what to do. Best of all, everything needed by guests is included in the room rate, from Wi-Fi, bottled water, free international phone calls and newspapers to a hearty breakfast, gym and a business center.

Mezzanine and 19th-floor meeting and event space can handle almost 3,000 people across 32 function rooms.

  •  Bar
  •  Fitness center
  •  Laundry
  •  Parking
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room service
  •  Sauna
  •  Steam room/hammam
  •  Wi-Fi

Rooms:

Traditional yet not overly so, the design incorporates the old with the new, sporting modern colors, maple furnishings, lots of pattern and texture, plus striped floor-length curtains. Small but sensible bathrooms feature marble floors, spacious showers, make-up/shaving mirrors and luxurious Le Labo amenities. There is an automated minibar. Turndown service is also offered. Spacious new Fairmont Gold rooms feel like sumptuous little apartments, with cool tones, rich textures, and Art Deco accents. Gold guests get access to the 18th-floor reception and lounge.

Food & drink:

REIGN Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offering classic Canadian fare with a slight French perspective. A meat-forward dinner menu features beef, bison, boar, duck, and lamb, while also offering oysters, poached shrimp and butter-roasted sablefish. At breakfast, try the smoked steelhead trout and wood-fired bagel. The adjacent bar is inviting and comfortable, with low seating, nooks for intimate or business chats, and space for live music. A pop-up bakery appears in the morning in one corner, offering freshly baked pastries and specialty coffees. The lobby is taken over almost entirely by the CLOCKWORK lounge, it’s swish bar anchored to a stunning clock tower. The classic Library Bar in the hotel’s west corner has been shaking martinis and mixing Manhattans for decades. Canada’s only Benihana Japanese Steakhouse offers Teppanyaki, sushi, and sake on the lower level, where guests will also find Piper’s Pub, which serves casual pub fare.

For casual meals, the tavern-like St Regis Bar and Grill serves burgers (try the salmon variation) as well as imaginative salads. After an evening out, the abbreviated late-night menu runs till midnight. When home sports teams are in action, expect lots of games on TV; happy hours are from 2 pm to 6 pm, and again from 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm.

Value for money:

Standard rooms from C$379 (£235), year-round. Fairmont Gold suites start at C$600 (£370). Breakfast not included, from C$20 (£12). Free Wi-Fi.

Family-friendly:

Small refrigerators, microwaves, cribs, and rollaway beds are available on request, as are children’s robes, slippers, and coloring packages.

 100 Front St W, Toronto, Ontario M5J 1E3, Canada.

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