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The 18 Essential Toronto Hotels, March '14

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Welcome to the second edition of Curbed's guide to Toronto's need-to-know hotels. Its intention? Provide the ultimate answer to the question that burns in the breast of every visitor: "Where should I stay in downtown Toronto?" We've combined reader and expert recommendations to compile the following list of the city's most essential hotels right now. From the trendy Shangri-La on University Avenue to The Thompson on Bathurst Street with its rooftop pool to a night at the Ritz-Carlton. We've had to boot a couple notable hotels off the original list including the classic Fairmont Royal York only because construction at Union Station and inside the hotel itself puts a damper on its normally amazing overnight accommodations. We've noted your suggested from last time (Sorry Curbed reader, the Holiday Inn Express still didn't make our list) and added some Toronto fave's like the Gladstone Hotel for its 37 artist-designed rooms and Hotel Ocho, the uber-modern boutique accommodations at the edge of Chinatown. We only have 18 spots so each pick is pretty pricey. As always, we love to hear your suggestions, praise and/or complaints. If you have a favourite stay that wasn't included, just tell us in the comments or send it to toronto@curbed.com.


· Hotels Week 2014 [Curbed Toronto]
· Toronto's Most Expensive Hotel Rooms [Curbed Toronto]
· Staying in the City for Under $100 per Night [Curbed Toronto]
· The Best and Worst of Airbnb [Curbed Toronto]

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1. Four Seasons Hotel

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60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto
ON M5R, Canada

The Four Seasons chain was founded by Isadore "Issy" Sharp in Toronto. Four Seasons is now known as one of the premier luxury hotel brands in the world with chef Daniel Boulud's flagship restaurant, Café Boulud. Like the hotel decor? Parts of the hotel were decorated by Issy's wife, Rosalie.

2. The Hazelton Hotel

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118 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto
ON M5R 1C4, Canada

This five-star Yorkville boutique hotel features just 62 rooms and 15 suites with personalized service. Opened in 2008, the Hazelton kicked off Toronto's luxury hotel boom with a blast. The presidential suite with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, is 4,200 square feet with its own private elevator, wine cellar, and eight flat panel HDTVs.

3. Park Hyatt Hotel

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4 Avenue Road, Toronto
ON M5T 1G1, Canada

Featuring one of Toronto's best rooftop bars, the Park Hyatt is also known for its luxurious Stillwater Spa and its walkable to the shops and restaurants on Bloor Street.

4. Windsor Arms Hotel

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18 Saint Thomas Street, Toronto
ON M5S, Canada

The Windsor Arms Hotel was known as Toronto's celebrity hot spot for almost three decades. The hotel continues to provide discreet luxury for those looking to stay out of the spotlight. Many of Toronto's most prominent chefs like Jamie Kennedy and Keith Froggett of Scaramouche, started their careers in the hotel's restaurant.

5. Gladstone Hotel

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1214 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON M6J 1J6, Canada

The Gladstone is one of Toronto's most popular boutique and art accommodations. With 37 art-designed rooms, you can stay overnight in the sexy Red Room, the Bike Room or a room made of felt. Recently, the hotel commissioned Food Network Canada host, Bob Blumer, to design a food-inspired room. Now you can stay in the "Surreal Gourmet Room" that includes marshmallow pillows, a swiss cheese canopy, and a selection of Blumer’s personally curated foodie films on DVD.

6. PANTAGES HOTEL

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200 Victoria Street, Toronto
ON M5B 1T8, Canada

The Pantages Hotel is the place to go if you're heading to the Ed Mirvish Theatre and want to be close to the restaurants. Fran's Restaurant attached to the hotel serves comfort food like their famous rice pudding. If you do feel like cooking, many of the suites come with a full kitchenette.

7. The Drake Hotel

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1150 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON M6J 1J3, Canada

Designed by 3rd Uncle, the Drake features an eclectic and modern interior, highlights including the chandelier in the restaurant made from bicycles frames. While the hotel has only a few rooms, there's always something to do with nightly entertainment in the Drake Underground.

8. Shangri-La Hotel

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188 University Avenue, Toronto
ON M5H, Canada

Opened in September 2012, the hotel has become a celebrity hot spot and popular food destination with Momofuku's Noodle Bar and Milk Bar. Chinese artist Zhang Huan designed the stainless steel sculpture, "Rising," showcased outside the building. Shangri-La's most expensive room rents for $10K per night.

9. The Templar Hotel

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348 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
ON M5V 1P8, Canada

The Templar Hotel might be Toronto's coolest and best kept secret in the city. The hotel features cutting edge design and offers its guests airport pickup in a porsche.

10. Trump International Hotel & Tower

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325 Bay Street, Toronto
ON M5H 3C2, Canada

The Trump is Toronto's most over-the-top hotel with gold and marble finishes. While the hotel is well-liked by tourists, many suites owned by investors have had difficulty selling their units. Falling glass and owner problems aside, the name Trump is all about luxury. The Trump's most expensive hotel suite is $20,000 per night!

11. Omni King Edward

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37 King Street East, Toronto
ON M5C, Canada

Toronto's classic hotel on King East recently changed ownership from Le Meridien to the Omni brand. The hotel was built in 1903 by the Gooderham family who also owned what's now known as the Distillery District.

12. One King West

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1 King Street West, Toronto
ON M5J, Canada

Completed in 2006, the condo/hotel is located in Toronto's Financial District and one of the narrowest high-rises in Canada. The hotel was built by Harry Stinson and David Mirvish.

13. Thompson Hotel

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550 Wellington Street West, Toronto
ON M5V, Canada

The Thompson is Toronto's happening hotel on Bathurst Street. The hotel offers a rooftop lounge and pool; a new Italian restaurant is replacing the hotel's Scarpetta Restaurant. For more relaxed dining and comfort food, you can also check out the mac & cheese at the 24-hour Thompson Diner.

14. Ritz-Carlton Hotel

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181 Wellington Street West, Toronto
ON M5J 2H5, Canada

Opened in 2011, the Ritz-Carlton is one of the tallest hotels in Toronto with 53 floors. The most expensive room at the Ritz-Carlton is $6K per night.

15. SoHo Metropolitan Hotel

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318 Wellington Street West, Toronto
ON M5V, Canada

The SoHo Metropolitan is one of the first hotel condo developments in the city. There's a new kid on the block coming to the hotel next year with the addition of Wahlburgers' Restaurant owned by Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg.

16. Hotel Ocho

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195 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
ON M5T 2C3, Canada

Hotel Ocho is one of Toronto's best kept secrets. On the cusp of the Fashion District and Chinatown, the boutique hotel is a combination of wood, brick and art by the locals. The 12,000 square-foot space is a former textile factory with a Queen Street vibe, laid back brunch and cocktails into the evening.

17. Le Germain Maple Leaf Square

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75 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto
ON M5J, Canada

Le Germain is Toronto's new boutique hotel near the Air Canada Centre. The hotel suites feature funky artwork and if your dog is traveling with you, there's a pet fee of $30.

18. WESTIN HARBOUR CASTLE

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Queens Quay West, Toronto
ON M5J, Canada

The Westin Harbour Castle is a classic favourite in Toronto because of its great waterfront view. It's a fun summer hotel with daily outdoor activities at Harbourfront Centre but bundle up if you're staying there in the winter

1. Four Seasons Hotel

60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R, Canada

The Four Seasons chain was founded by Isadore "Issy" Sharp in Toronto. Four Seasons is now known as one of the premier luxury hotel brands in the world with chef Daniel Boulud's flagship restaurant, Café Boulud. Like the hotel decor? Parts of the hotel were decorated by Issy's wife, Rosalie.

60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto
ON M5R, Canada

2. The Hazelton Hotel

118 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R 1C4, Canada

This five-star Yorkville boutique hotel features just 62 rooms and 15 suites with personalized service. Opened in 2008, the Hazelton kicked off Toronto's luxury hotel boom with a blast. The presidential suite with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, is 4,200 square feet with its own private elevator, wine cellar, and eight flat panel HDTVs.

118 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto
ON M5R 1C4, Canada

3. Park Hyatt Hotel

4 Avenue Road, Toronto, ON M5T 1G1, Canada

Featuring one of Toronto's best rooftop bars, the Park Hyatt is also known for its luxurious Stillwater Spa and its walkable to the shops and restaurants on Bloor Street.

4 Avenue Road, Toronto
ON M5T 1G1, Canada

4. Windsor Arms Hotel

18 Saint Thomas Street, Toronto, ON M5S, Canada

The Windsor Arms Hotel was known as Toronto's celebrity hot spot for almost three decades. The hotel continues to provide discreet luxury for those looking to stay out of the spotlight. Many of Toronto's most prominent chefs like Jamie Kennedy and Keith Froggett of Scaramouche, started their careers in the hotel's restaurant.

18 Saint Thomas Street, Toronto
ON M5S, Canada

5. Gladstone Hotel

1214 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1J6, Canada

The Gladstone is one of Toronto's most popular boutique and art accommodations. With 37 art-designed rooms, you can stay overnight in the sexy Red Room, the Bike Room or a room made of felt. Recently, the hotel commissioned Food Network Canada host, Bob Blumer, to design a food-inspired room. Now you can stay in the "Surreal Gourmet Room" that includes marshmallow pillows, a swiss cheese canopy, and a selection of Blumer’s personally curated foodie films on DVD.

1214 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON M6J 1J6, Canada

6. PANTAGES HOTEL

200 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 1T8, Canada

The Pantages Hotel is the place to go if you're heading to the Ed Mirvish Theatre and want to be close to the restaurants. Fran's Restaurant attached to the hotel serves comfort food like their famous rice pudding. If you do feel like cooking, many of the suites come with a full kitchenette.

200 Victoria Street, Toronto
ON M5B 1T8, Canada

7. The Drake Hotel

1150 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1J3, Canada

Designed by 3rd Uncle, the Drake features an eclectic and modern interior, highlights including the chandelier in the restaurant made from bicycles frames. While the hotel has only a few rooms, there's always something to do with nightly entertainment in the Drake Underground.

1150 Queen Street West, Toronto
ON M6J 1J3, Canada

8. Shangri-La Hotel

188 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5H, Canada

Opened in September 2012, the hotel has become a celebrity hot spot and popular food destination with Momofuku's Noodle Bar and Milk Bar. Chinese artist Zhang Huan designed the stainless steel sculpture, "Rising," showcased outside the building. Shangri-La's most expensive room rents for $10K per night.

188 University Avenue, Toronto
ON M5H, Canada

9. The Templar Hotel

348 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1P8, Canada

The Templar Hotel might be Toronto's coolest and best kept secret in the city. The hotel features cutting edge design and offers its guests airport pickup in a porsche.

348 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
ON M5V 1P8, Canada

10. Trump International Hotel & Tower

325 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5H 3C2, Canada

The Trump is Toronto's most over-the-top hotel with gold and marble finishes. While the hotel is well-liked by tourists, many suites owned by investors have had difficulty selling their units. Falling glass and owner problems aside, the name Trump is all about luxury. The Trump's most expensive hotel suite is $20,000 per night!

325 Bay Street, Toronto
ON M5H 3C2, Canada

11. Omni King Edward

37 King Street East, Toronto, ON M5C, Canada

Toronto's classic hotel on King East recently changed ownership from Le Meridien to the Omni brand. The hotel was built in 1903 by the Gooderham family who also owned what's now known as the Distillery District.

37 King Street East, Toronto
ON M5C, Canada

12. One King West

1 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5J, Canada

Completed in 2006, the condo/hotel is located in Toronto's Financial District and one of the narrowest high-rises in Canada. The hotel was built by Harry Stinson and David Mirvish.

1 King Street West, Toronto
ON M5J, Canada

13. Thompson Hotel

550 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V, Canada

The Thompson is Toronto's happening hotel on Bathurst Street. The hotel offers a rooftop lounge and pool; a new Italian restaurant is replacing the hotel's Scarpetta Restaurant. For more relaxed dining and comfort food, you can also check out the mac & cheese at the 24-hour Thompson Diner.

550 Wellington Street West, Toronto
ON M5V, Canada

14. Ritz-Carlton Hotel

181 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5J 2H5, Canada

Opened in 2011, the Ritz-Carlton is one of the tallest hotels in Toronto with 53 floors. The most expensive room at the Ritz-Carlton is $6K per night.

181 Wellington Street West, Toronto
ON M5J 2H5, Canada

15. SoHo Metropolitan Hotel

318 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V, Canada

The SoHo Metropolitan is one of the first hotel condo developments in the city. There's a new kid on the block coming to the hotel next year with the addition of Wahlburgers' Restaurant owned by Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg.

318 Wellington Street West, Toronto
ON M5V, Canada

16. Hotel Ocho

195 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON M5T 2C3, Canada

Hotel Ocho is one of Toronto's best kept secrets. On the cusp of the Fashion District and Chinatown, the boutique hotel is a combination of wood, brick and art by the locals. The 12,000 square-foot space is a former textile factory with a Queen Street vibe, laid back brunch and cocktails into the evening.

195 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
ON M5T 2C3, Canada

17. Le Germain Maple Leaf Square

75 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto, ON M5J, Canada

Le Germain is Toronto's new boutique hotel near the Air Canada Centre. The hotel suites feature funky artwork and if your dog is traveling with you, there's a pet fee of $30.

75 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto
ON M5J, Canada

18. WESTIN HARBOUR CASTLE

Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON M5J, Canada

The Westin Harbour Castle is a classic favourite in Toronto because of its great waterfront view. It's a fun summer hotel with daily outdoor activities at Harbourfront Centre but bundle up if you're staying there in the winter

Queens Quay West, Toronto
ON M5J, Canada