Toronto: The Shangri-La
Brimming with an elegant, international flavour, the welcoming Shangri-La Toronto embodies total luxury. Its renowned lobby, luring both locals and travellers, is really an urban living room in the heart of the city, featuring live music every day of the week.
Vibe: The Shangri-La Toronto is a magnet for the wealthy and the interesting – especially so if you happen to be both. Guests are an eclectic blend of people from the worlds of fashion, arts and culture, business and finance. Although the Shangri-La brand has a worldwide décor blueprint – Asian elegance, rich wood, silk walls, bold patterns, museum-worthy artefacts – each property is unique. Unlike other downtown Toronto hotels, the leisure crowd isn’t relegated to the weekend.
Rooms: The 202 rooms spread over 17 floors are dripping with Sapele veneer, Asian-inspired geometric patterns and muted earth tones. The look is conservative, but glamorized with refined touches, from the patterned glassware to the soft nightlights under the bedside tables. Both the drapes and the sheers are motorized. iPads put you in touch with room service, housekeeping, bell service and the 24-hour concierge. Minibars are filled with 200 mL bottles, so you can pour a proper drink, and closets come equipped with yoga mats. Oversized bathrooms clad in floor-to-ceiling white Italian marble feature a jet tub, and LCD TVs embedded in the mirror.
F&B: Hand-blown green and amber Bocci glass and pale oak lattices welcome guests from the lobby into the 30-seat lounge that fronts Bosk, the hotel’s forest-themed 80-seat restaurant. With private dining space and a seasonal terrace, Bosk is busy breakfast, lunch and dinner, proffering seasonal cuisine, regional and genuinely Canadian: Dinner mains include Nova Scotia scallops, Atlantic halibut, and Beverly Creek lamb with crispy sweetbreads. Signature breakfast items include a wide selection of egg dishes plus Chinese Dim Sum. Sixty-eight different kinds of tea are served every day during traditional Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Lounge.
Extras: A sumptuous 42-seat screening room can be booked for films, junkets and events. A dedicated business coordinator is available during the weekdays. On the fifth floor, the 24-hour fitness centre is better than most brand-name gyms, with an adjacent yoga studio. Spin classes and personal trainers are also at your disposal. Luxurious changing rooms are equipped with large steam rooms. The pool area is a little world all its own, with cascading water columns, a huge whirlpool, private terry-lined cabanas with built-in TVs, and an infrared sauna. Miraj Hammam by Caudalie, Paris, also on the fifth floor, offers an intriguing mix of Middle Eastern hammam and French vinotherapy, spread over 12 treatment rooms and two hammam rooms.
Off-Site: Bookended by the Soho House Toronto and the upscale Momofuku Noodle Bar and Milk Bar Toronto, the Shangri-La is a hub for the hip. It’s a 10-minute walk to Saks Fifth Avenue, the Eaton Centre, the shops of Queen Street West and the financial district, and a three-minute walk to the subway. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (home of the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company) and Roy Thomson Hall (home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra) are both four minutes away.