Expectations always elevate a little when staying in a flagship luxury hotel, but I knew there was zero chance mine wouldn’t be met or exceeded at the now year-old Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. Located in the heart of the glam Yorkville neighborhood, chic stores and hip restaurants are so close that you won’t dust up designer shoes walking to them from the hotel.
Though I arrived at almost midnight, bleary-eyed from a long flight, my brain relaxed the second the valet opened my taxi door. As I was ushered through the elegant art-filled lobby to the check-in desk, I caught a glimpse of the stunning flower arrangements along the way.
I honestly believe you can sometimes gauge what your experience is going to be at a luxury hotel based on the flowers, which was very true in this case.
For posh jetsetters and the fashionably-inclined, I’m not sure if there’s a better home base in Toronto. The second I stepped into Yorkville’s shopping zone–about a 5 minute or so walk away from the hotel–I was in love. The streets here are lined with boutiques and cute cafés. The flowers in Four Seasons Hotel Toronto are from an amazing home and garden store there called Teatro Verde. I would love for this store to have at it with my house. And, I could have purchased the entire Pink Tartan women’s clothing store if allowed. By car, the hotel is about 35 minutes or so from Toronto Pearson airport and taxis are easy to come by, if needed.
Fine Art Throughout
The hotel is home to an extensive fine art collection of over 1700 pieces by Canadian artists. The collection’s theme is Canadiana, featuring influences from nature though in a minimal way. I’m partial to the dandelions. The display above the reception desk (top photo) represents dandelions against the sky with a few petals floating in the wind. Love it.
I loved the color palette of neutrals and dark wood paired with muted blues and greens. The rounded corner sofa makes it actually possible to sit and chat if a friend stopped by, which often happens when we travel. The look is fresh and modern but the bathroom was really extraordinary with the free-standing tub and Etro bath amenities.
The WiFi worked well–no complaints about technology here. I (per usual) forgot my hairbrush and a couple of other small amenities which were delivered by housekeeping quickly after I rang them. And, as you all know, I snap photos of luxury hotel coffee set-ups (if available), because in-room coffee is critical to my well-being. Behold, a Nepresso…
Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
At over 30,000 square feet, it’s the largest luxury hotel day spa in Toronto. I was treated to a facial here and am not sure there’s a better place in the city to face jet lag head-on. My skin did a complete 180 after being dried out in-flight and I nearly fell asleep as my therapist massaged my face, head and shoulders. Plan extra time for chilling at the pool, in a steam room or in the swanky lounge area. I highly recommend making this a part of your itinerary as the sleek, contemporary decor and fine art are also woven into the spa.
I didn’t make it to the fitness center but heard it’s state-of-the-art. Both group and private yoga classes are on offer there, too.
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Dining
With the signature restaurant under the direction of Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud, it’s probably no surprise that the food was exquisite.
Café Boulud: I ate breakfast there a few times. I wish I could have taken credit for ordering the duck confit below (a friend did) but my birchermuesli was delish.
Natural light floods Café Boulud, especially in the morning, as its second floor location gives diners a great view of Yorkville buzz while they enjoy modern French cuisine inspired by Chef Daniel Boulud’s four culinary muses – la tradition, classic French cuisine; la saison, seasonal delicacies; le potager, the vegetable garden; and le voyage, exploring the flavors of international cuisines. The vibe is casual-upscale. (Café Boulud Chef de Cuisine Tyler Shedden also recently shared recipes for a full Thanksgiving dinner over on Taste.)
dbar: It’s a fabulous place to come for a drink (my friend spotted a TV celebrity that I didn’t recognize), but don’t miss the housemade charcuterie and sausages. I sampled mouthwatering pâté, cured meats, mustards, artisan breads and more–paired with excellent wine, of course.
Boulud Terrace: On street level during warm weather months, Torontonians can dine al fresco at Boulud Terrace where the menu combines both Cafe Boulud and dBar favorites.
In-room dining: I’m kicking myself for not ordering the poutine. Because I was sitting in meetings all day, I opted for light and healthy several times. Gluten-free bread is available, too. I did notice that all orders were delivered a bit quicker than promised.
Though I didn’t have my 6-year-old with me, I kept thinking to myself that this is exactly the sort of hotel she likes. I’ll bring her back one of these days. I’m struggling to think of something I can criticize about the experience, but I can’t. At the time of my stay, the hotel gift shop did not stock amenities like Advil (which I sorely needed after a late evening at dbar) so I had to walk 5 minutes to a drugstore a block or so away. Does that count? Minor.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and filled with a variety of things to do. More on attractions and shopping to come. One thing is for sure, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto does an excellent job of representing the brand overall. Having stayed in 9 different Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in 2013 to date, I do know what I’m talking about.
One more flower shot…
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
60 Yorkville Ave
*Top photo, bathroom and charcuterie photos are courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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