The Thompson Hotel, Toronto, opened in 2010 as a modern, translucent glass building soaring above its low-rise, red-brick neighbors and staking a claim as a symbol of glitz and glam in the King West neighborhood. Thanks to its fashionable in-house bars and restaurants, the hotel is a popular fixture both with locals and with the Hollywood set who visit each September for the TIFF film festival. The acclaimed Studio Gaia team designed the rooms, which have bold, dark-wood flooring and hot accents of orange playing off cool white walls. Heated marble floors in the bathrooms, spacious tubs, and sheets with high thread counts all contribute to the sense of luxury, and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that rooms are flooded with natural light. After check-in, guests can use their room key to access the private elevator up to the rooftop bar, with its 360-degree views of the city. The cocktail list changes seasonally, and the barrel-aged offerings are especially delicious.
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The brick factory buildings and warehouses of Toronto’s King West neighborhood have gradually become a hub of tech startups, ad agencies, and independent galleries and boutiques. The Thompson, Toronto, has neatly carved out a place for itself with the locals thanks to its popular on-site restaurants and its one-of-a-kind roof terrace bar. A little farther afield, the city’s historic Distillery District is well worth exploring—a hip, pedestrian-only "village" of shopping, dining, and entertainment, including the famous chocolatier SOMA.
Need to Know
Rooms: 84 rooms, 18 suites; from $200. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The Thompson Diner is open 24 hours and serves modern interpretations of diner classics in a funky room with sleek banquettes; the "Fat American," with sausage-and-bacon-stuffed pancakes, should not be missed. Wabora Sushi has a Japanese-Korean fusion menu that includes robata-grilled lobster and steak as well as the usual sushi favorites. The Colette Grand Café is a pitch-perfect Paris-style café open for lunch and dinner and with a bakery attached. The Lobby Lounge, with its dramatic pink and blue lighting, is an ideal spot for early-evening drinks. The exclusive Rooftop Terrace boasts one of the best views in the city and has an innovative cocktail list. Spa and gym details: There is no spa, but the rooftop infinity pool is open year-round and the fitness room is available 24 hours a day.
Who's it for: Couples keen to explore an eclectic neighborhood; stylish business travelers; hip wedding groups and bachelor/bachelorette parties. Our favorite rooms: The glamorous Thompson Suite has an infinity soaker tub, separate rain shower, bright floor-to-ceiling windows, and spacious living and dining room areas. The King Deluxe rooms on the east and southeast sides of the hotel look out on the CN Tower, which lights up at night with a dazzling illumination display. Roll up, roll up: Sign up for a sushi-making class with Wabora Sushi chef Minsoo Kim and learn how to roll like a pro.