A Toronto Get-A-Way
It’s hard to believe that a year ago, I was in Toronto, by myself, heading to a Rise Conference by Rachel Hollis. I was so nervous to go since I was going alone, it was over my birthday and it was something I had never done before. It was amazing. As you most likely have read from a previous blog – Birthday in Toronto – the conference, my birthday, the whole few days was fabulous.
Looking back, I now want to reflect on the impeccable hotel I stayed at during my Toronto visit – The Fairmont Royal York. I have stayed in Toronto many times and there are some hotels that do stand out. For instance – The Westin Harbourfront Castle Hotel and The Sheridan Centre. These two hotels are in complete different locations yet their amenities are top notch.
The Westin Harbourfront Castle hotel is directly on the waterfront of Lake Ontario and the views are outstanding. The ferry to Toronto Island is steps away, bike/walking/running paths are at your doorstep and only three blocks away is Union Station for the convenience of buses, subways, Go Trains and the PATH underground system.
The Sheriden Centre Hotel is ste back blocks away from Lake Ontario on Queen Street (and York Street). It is a bit of a walk from Union Station, but a main feature I love about this hotel is that it is attached to The Bay and the Eaton Centre. You do not have to go outside to shop at these two establishments. You are also close to City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square where you can skate in the winter, walking distance to University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and you are right in the core of all the action on Yonge Street.
Now, back to the Fairmont Royal York. Out of all the places I have stayed in Toronto, this hotel is a 10 out of 10. Years ago – I am talking about 30 years ago – I stayed here. I had won my hometown’s Fair Queen competition and all Fair Queens from Ontario were required to attend a conference for a weekend at the Fairmont Royal York. I was amazed then and I was just as amazed now.
Last March when I was in Toronto, I arrived by Via train into Union Station which is conveniently located across the street from the Fairmont Royal York. My conference was also being held two blocks away at the Meridian Hall (formally known as The Sony Centre) so everything was central for me.
The structure of the Fairmont Royal York is impeccable. Clean, crisp, and classy. Stepping inside, the greeters, the valet workers and the front desk clerks are all ready and eager to help you with check-in or any other requests.
Check-in was efficient and I was headed up to the 8th floor to my room. I had a beautiful view of the CN Tower and the City lights. The room offers a safe (which I love) to keep anything of value in. I was unpacking and noticed the safe was not working so I called the concierge. Within moments, help was on its way and my safe was back up and running.
After unpacking, I decided to tour the hotel and to see what it had to offer. Each floor was beautiful. The paintings and the décor were magnificent. Each area had an old vibe yet modern quality.
FYI: The Fairmont Royal York was constructed in 1929 and was briefly the tallest building in Toronto and Canada (until the Canadian Bank of Commerce was constructed as well as the CN Tower).
I was on the hunt for Beni Hana. A Japanese restaurant within the hotel’s footprint. My family was going to arrive for my birthday, so we had reservations booked for the celebration. Our dinner that evening was to die for. Entertaining, superb food, and great company of other guests. I would highly recommend this fantastic restaurant for a special occasion or a date night. Although on the pricier side, you will not be disappointed.
The Fairmont Royal York has plenty of amenities for any type of traveler. If you are visiting Toronto for business – its location is in the Financial District, across the street from Union Station and walking distance to many conference theatres.
If you are visiting Toronto for pleasure, you will be in the heart of all the action. A shuttle service from Porter Airlines is available within the hotel, Union Station steps away, and the Toronto Streetcar lines are at your feet. There are plenty of boutiques and shopping centres within walking distance as well – The Eaton Centre and The Bay. High End shopping can be found around the Bloor-Yorkville area – The Mink Mile, or if you are looking for more hip or artsy items – Queen Street would be ideal.
If shopping is not your thing, within walking distance from the Fairmont Royal York is the historical CN Tower, the Ripley’s Aquarium, the Steam Whistel Brewery museum, The Rec Room Arcade, Hockey Hall of Fame, Kensington Market, the Distillery, Toronto Island, Royal Ontario Museum, or the Rogers Centre – just to name a few.
Are you interested in theatre? Toronto has plenty of theatre options to choice from: The Prince of Wales Theatre, Ed Mirvish Theatre, or the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Yuk Yuk’s comedy and The Second City Improv are also a short distance away if you need a good laugh.
As you can see, there are plenty of entertaining options all throughout Toronto to make your stay fabulous. After you are done exploring and having the luxury to come back to your plush suite at the fantastic Fairmont Royal York – well… that just tops off your day.
With in-house amenities like a health club and pool, massage therapy, a jazz bar, fitness centre, plenty of dining options, guest room and suite options, meeting facilities, wedding or event facilities, shuttle services to Porter Airlines as well as Pearson Airport, and world class service, you will not be disappointed in your choice to stay here.
Side Note: Since I was waking up by myself on my birthday (my family were arriving later that night), my husband had previous arranged with a concierge for some sweet ‘surprises’. I was out all morning at my Rachel Hollis Rise Conference and when I returned at lunch, I found the room decorated with balloons and a birthday sign. I was in tears. It was beautiful. When I returned in the evening after an exciting day of learning – I opened the door to spot some delicious chocolate covered strawberries with a note from the Royal Service Representative – Carolyn. I was so touched. Not only with my husband who went out of his way to make my day special without him or my family right by my side, but how the team at the Fairmont Royal York went above and beyond anyone’s expectations.
If you are planning any type of ‘staycation’ holiday, business weekend, or family get-away, you will not be disappointed in choosing the Fairmont Royal York as your choice of stay. It’s impeccable décor, luxury accommodations, world class amenities and delicious food choices will all be at your finger tips. A perfect Toronto get-a-way.
Now go and spoil yourself. You will not only enjoy some moments of laughter at a nearby comedy club, but you will be packing your luggage in exchange for some meaningful memories to share.