In its newest incarnation, opened in 2012 and soaring 55 stories at the corner of Bay and Yorkville, the Four Seasons Toronto embodies founder Isadore Sharp’s vision to focus on the guest, which has positioned the brand as a leader in the luxury hotel market. This is the flagship property, arguably Toronto’s most elegant hotel and a blueprint for the brand’s subsequent hotels globally. It’s the only hotel in Canada ever to be awarded both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ratings. The contemporary design aesthetic from Yabu Pushelberg brings sophisticated neutral tones throughout the spacious rooms. The sunlit, ninth-floor spa is a favorite among both visitors and locals.
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Stroll the tony Yorkville neighborhood, an exclusive area known for its upscale restaurants, designer boutiques, and hair salons (and perhaps a celebrity sighting or two). Though there’s currently construction on Yorkville Avenue (as of summer 2015), we sidestep it for our design needs at Teatro Verde, our clothing needs at Over the Rainbow or Augustine, a healthy bite at Rawlicious, and a drink at the Oxley. On Bloor between Bay and Avenue, you can shop the Mink Mile, Toronto’s version of Fifth Avenue, or check out cultural offerings such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum of ceramic arts, and Koerner Hall, home to the Royal Conservatory of Music. Next to the ROM, University of Toronto’s lovely Philosopher's Walk is one of the city’s best pathways. Elevated snacks and cocktails can be had at Museum Tavern across from the ROM, ideally in the early evening.
Need to Know
Rooms: 217 rooms, 42 suites. From $340. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel’s signature restaurant, Café Boulud, will be reimagined into a modern French brasserie by acclaimed interior designer Martin Brudnizki (of the Ivy, and J Sheekey), and ready in time for TIFF in September 2015. The menu, under the helm of chef de cuisine Sylvain Assié, will feature comfortable, soulful French food. Guests can receive customized in-room dining every day or relax in Dbar with snacks and cocktails. We like the Yorkville Affair, featuring rose gin, rose petals, elderflower, and cranberry. Spa and gym details: The 24-hour fitness facility offers a variety of cardio and weight machines, as well as complimentary use of shorts, T-shirts, socks, and running shoes during spa hours. Swim in the ninth-floor pool, with views of downtown Toronto. Niche yoga boutique 889 Yoga offers some of the best instructors in the city. An urban oasis, the 30,000-square-foot spa features 17 treatment rooms, plus relaxation lounges, steam rooms, and a nail and hair salon.
Who it's for: Well-heeled business travelers with an affinity for luxury. Locals looking to splurge on their staycation. Families on vacation. Girlfriends wanting to be pampered. Our favorite rooms: Sun-filled 2011 is a premier room with floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls—the ultimate space, with a view overlooking leafy Queens Park to downtown Toronto. If you can’t snag a deluxe corner suite, rooms on the 12th to 17th floors offer a northeast aerial perspective of the hotel’s urban courtyard. Overlooking the hotel’s heated driveway, you’ll see the shape of a blooming rose. At your fingertips: The hotel’s new mobile app enables guests to manage reservations and check in/out as well as make any request (from housekeeping to concierge services) at the touch of a button. The “Four Seasons Recommends” feature helps guests to discover local travel recommendations.