Top 10 Hotels in Toronto

Photo: Thompson Hotels

Ritz Carlton – 181 Wellington Street West

Photo: Ritz-Carlton

Like any other Ritz, guests at the Toronto version can expect a high measure of class. The hotel opened in 2011, so its architecture and interior design are more modern than its New York counterpart, but that doesn’t make it any less timeless. The 55-storey tower offers brilliant views of the city and Lake Ontario. For food connoisseurs, it also features a glass-enclosed cheese cave — one of two in the country — inside TOCA, the Ritz’s swanky Italian restaurant.

Main attraction: The bar. The Ritz’s ground-floor bar is open until midnight, and features world-class bartenders, a heated patio, and a crowd that’s less pretentious than you might think.

Shangri-La – 188 University Avenue

Photo: Shangri-La Hotel

The Shangri-La boasts unique art and architecture amid corporate surroundings. Wedged between Toronto’s financial district and entertainment district, the Asian-inspired five-star hotel features a lobby lounge with live entertainment and an award-winning restaurant. It’s also directly adjacent to Momofuku, chef David Chang’s three-level restaurant space. The New York import has consistently drawn crowds ranging from teenagers to corporate elite since it opened in 2012.

Main attraction: High tea. The Shangri-La has reinvigorated the afternoon tradition by taking it seriously. The atmosphere is perfect, and the tea specialists offer 68 varieties.

Four Seasons – 60 Yorkville Avenue

Photo: This Beautiful Day

Toronto’s Four Seasons caters to those willing to pay to get pampered. The Yorkville hotel features a 30,000-square-foot spa, with yoga and pilates classes. There’s also an art collection full of sculptures and paintings by both established and emerging Canadian artists, with a curator who can show you around.

Main attraction: The spa. It really is world-class, with 17 treatment rooms, steams rooms, a salon, a relaxation pool, and a terrace overlooking the city. You might recognize a few faces from TIFF movies.

One King West – 1 King Street West


One King West combines modern architecture with early 20th-century opulence. The building that houses the lobby area was built for the Dominion Bank in 1914, and still contains the original two-storey steel vault. The bottom line is it’s nice to look at, especially if you appreciate Renaissance Revival architecture and banking history. It also stands right above a subway station, and is a 10-minute walk from Dundas Square, the Financial District, the waterfront, Union Station, the Entertainment District, and several TIFF venues.

Main attraction: The vault. The subterranean vault is more impressive than it sounds. Its found at the bottom of a marble staircase that descends from the centre of the lobby, guarded by a 4-foot thick, 40-tonne door. The hotel now uses it as an event space. An honourable mention is the 17th-floor fitness centre, which looks out onto the city.

Windsor Arms – 18 Saint Thomas Street

Photo: Ana Travels

Around the corner from the bustling Bay-and-Bloor intersection, you’ll find the relatively nondescript facade of the Windsor Arms. The elegant boutique hotel was the home of the first Toronto International Film Festival (it still contains a private screening room), and continues to be the favourite hideout for many of the festival’s visiting celebrities. The 28-suite hotel is fancy and expensive (one room includes a baby grand piano in the bedroom), but might be the best place to find yourself during TIFF. They also boast a 5:1 staff to guest ratio.

Main attraction: The celebrities. Between the Living Room, Lounge 22, and the Courtyard Cafe, the Windsor Arms’ eating/drinking options, you’re bound to see some notable people, regardless of whether TIFF is on. Regulars include Clint Eastwood, Colin Ferrell, Richard Gere, and Tina Turner. The hotel also hosts the InStyle and Hollywood Press Association’s annual TIFF party, attended last year by Ben Stiller, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Naomi Watts, and Salma Hayek, among others.

Thompson Hotel – 550 Wellington Street West

Photo: Thompson Hotels

The Thompson hotel is known in Toronto mainly for its spectacular rooftop patio and lounge, but the boutique hotel garners positive reviews based off its suites alone. Contemporary interior design courtesy of New York’s Studio Gaia shows relentless attention to detail.

Main attraction: The view. The Thompson is another place for celebrity-spotting, but the 16th-floor Rooftop Lounge’s value is in the 360-degree view of the city and Lake Ontario, complemented by cabanas for lounging and a 40-foot infinity pool. Finish your night out with an early-morning meal at the Thompson Diner, open 24 hours.

Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square – 75 Bremner Boulevard


Maple Leaf Square’s Le Germain is the ideal spot for athletes and sports fans with money to blow. The hotel is steps away from the Air Canada Centre (home of the Raptors and Maple Leafs) and Real Sports Bar, and a short walk from the Rogers Centre (home of the Blue Jays). On weeknights with no games, Maple Leaf Square is surprisingly quiet, but do your best to stay in during the NBA playoffs, as the area turns into “Jurassic Park.” The hotel doesn’t have the same artistic ambitions as many of the others on this list, but the blend of fashion and function is impressive, particularly in the apartment suite ($1,500/night). They also emphasize being pet-friendly.

Main attraction: The sports. Again, this spot is ideal for sports lovers. The atmosphere during playoffs in any sport is electric, and if you can’t get tickets to the game, watching it on Real Sports Bar’s 39-foot HD screen might be the next best thing.

SoHo Metropolitan Hotel – 318 Wellington Street West

Photo: Metropolitan Hotels

The SoHo Met offers luxury and seclusion at the edge of the city’s crowded entertainment district. Bordering on Clarence Square, a small but lush park that stretches to Spadina Street, the hotel offers the same impressive modern architecture and technology as the bigger hotels on this list, but with the personal attention of a smaller boutique hotel, including free limousine service on weekday mornings.

Main attraction: The food. The menu at world-famous chef Susur Lee’s “Nouvelle Chinoise” Luckee Restaurant and Bar is incredible, of course, but whether you’re going for dim sum or drinks, the atmosphere alone makes it worthwhile.

Omni King Edward – 37 King Street East

Photo: Eccentric Rich

The King Eddy is a history lesson on Toronto’s early elite. This hotel is even more opulent than One King West, its competitor across the street, and its guests have included Mark Twain, Margaret Thatcher, Liz Taylor, and the Beatles. Since its opening in 1903, the hotel’s management and operation have changed hands several times, with the most recent company to take over being Omni Hotels and Resorts, which has modernized the building while preserving its history.

Main attraction: The luxury. Granted, unlike the Beatles or members of the British aristocracy, you probably won’t stay in the Royal Suite, but that doesn’t mean one can’t appreciate these things. The 1,800-square-foot suite has a sunken living room, two fireplaces, a kitchen, and a formal dining area.

Gladstone Hotel – 1214 Queen Street West

Photo: Wikimedia

Away from the city’s downtown core, the Gladstone’s location, ambience, and regular events are ideal if you’re really looking to immerse yourself in Toronto’s art scene. Every room is designed by a different artist, and themes include the Biker Room, Teen Queen, Canadian Room, and Surreal Gourmet. Guests are provided hypo-allergenic bedding, tablets for concierge services and free internet surfing, and complimentary access to bikes (if you really want to blend in with the Parkdale community).

Main attraction: The vibe. The Gladstone is embedded in Toronto’s indie music and art scene. There are live music venues and interesting nightlife spots down Queen Street in either direction, and the Gladstone’s Melody Bar often features its own live entertainment. The bar and cafe are also great spaces for having a quiet coffee or tea during the day.