Inside Look at the Shangri-La Toronto, One of Only Two Shangri-La Hotels in North America

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The One-Bedroom Deluxe Suite at the Shangri-La Toronto. // Photo courtesy of the Shangri-La Toronto

Luxury Travel Advisor recently had the privilege of staying at the Shangri-La Toronto, one of only two Shangri-La hotels in North America along with the Shangri-La Vancouver, and knew we were in good hands the second we entered the lobby.

We were greeted by what seemed like the entire hotel staff, each offering a different tip or piece of advice to make our trip go smoother, but it was not done in an intrusive way by any means. 

Although fully occupied during our stay, we never had to wait too long to check in or check out, never had to pile into a stuffed elevator and were never put on hold when calling the front desk. 

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To put it simply, the service and the attention to detail, which have made the Shanrgi-La brand a success for years, are why you pay a lot of money to stay here.

The Rooms

View from Luxury Travel Advisor's room at the Shangri-La Toronto // Photo by Joe Pike

The most requested rooms here are the Shangri-La Suite, room no. 1700; the Owner’s Suite, room no. 1701; the Garden Suite, room no. 614 and the Architect’s Suite, room no. 1518. We also highly recommend the room we stayed in, a One-Bedroom Deluxe Suite overlooking Toronto's famous University Avenue. 

The views of the city are what made our room, but there wasn’t really a single part of this room that wasn’t given attention. Note: The mini-fridge is stocked with premier alcohol and includes a coffee machine. 

It’s also possible to enjoy city views of Toronto while soaking in the room’s Italian marble bath tub. Another cool feature here are the iPads in each room that control everything from the lighting to the curtains. Note: Private butler service can be provided upon request. 

For all room requests, reach out to Daniela Clarino, sales manager ([email protected]).

Transportation

Pearson International Airport is Toronto’s main airport, a 30-minute drive from the hotel. There is also Billy Bishop Airport or Island Airport, which is a 10-minute drive from the hotel. Porter Airlines and select Air Canada flights operate from Billy Bishop.

Tip: The hotel car, a Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, is available for hotel guests, based on availability. The fee depends on the destination. Hint: The hotel can also arrange a Mercedes S-Class sedan with a contracted limousine company. Nice Touch: During Luxury Travel Advisor’s ride to the airport, we were greeted in our Porsche Panamera with a warm towel and light refreshments. Helicopters may land at Billy Bishop Airport or at Polson Pier, a 10-minute drive from the hotel. Private jets are serviced at Pearson by either Sky Service or Sky Charter. They are a 30-minute drive to the hotel.

The Spa and Fitness Center

The swimming pool at the Shangri-La Toronto's health club // Photo courtesy of the Shangri-La Toronto 

The Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris has nine treatments rooms with two private Hammam steam chambers. Hint: We were told guests should book treatments about two weeks in advance for weekend appointments and a week in advance for weekday appointments. The “Hammam & Gommag” is the hotel’s signature treatment and most popular treatment. It's done in a private high and low intensity steam chamber. 

All of the treadmills in the fitness center offer city views. Also, be sure to check out the pool in the gym as it is adorned with some swanky cabanas that can be rented for free for two hours, or longer if they are not all occupied. Nice Touch: Each cabana comes with a robe and a flatscreen LG television. Attendants frequently check in to see if cabana guests need any refreshments or a warm towel. 

Hint: The spa offers its “Caudalie Grand Facial” for teens and young adults as well as its Miraj Manicures and Miraj Pedicures. The hotel also offers bridal group bookings, spa buy-outs, corporate bookings, as well as in-suite spa treatments.

For all spa inquiries, reach out to Andrea Dunham, spa manager ([email protected]).

Dining

Our lunch in the lobby // Photo by Joe Pike

The lobby is also perhaps one of the most interactive parts of the hotel. The 90-seat “Lobby Lounge” is where the bulk of the hotel’s entertainment can be found, and where guests can enjoy lunch or some afternoon cocktails. Tip: We recommend sitting anywhere close to the lobby’s chic fireplace. Hint: Get the Caesar Salad with Chicken and Albacore Tuna Sashimi and pair it with any white wine. VIPs are also invited to savour an Asian-inspired menu and select their favorite teas from a tea library with 68 kinds of tea. A five-volume compendium of wines, cocktails and spirits is also available.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, "Bosk," is popular with hotel guests and locals alike. Momofuku, adjacent to the hotel, is also open to locals and guests. Hint: Award-winning chef Damon Campbell’s Lobster Gnocchi is highly recommended when dining at Bosk. Tip: Restaurant reservations are recommended about two weeks before arrivals.

Events and Entertainment

The Shangri-La Toronto can also host engagement parties, bridal showers, ceremonies, traditional plated dinner/dances as well more contemporary cocktail mixers. Nice Touch: The hotel can also arrange for traditional Asian tea service; a dedicated events concierge; kosher and Chinese catering upon request; a private dining space within Bosk for up to 30 VIPs (great venue for smaller rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunches) and a Garden Terrace for outdoor receptions. Hint: The Shangri-La Honeymoon package offered can be coupled at another Shangri-La hotel in such city destinations as London, Paris, Dubai, Maldives and Singapore.

To help plan any big events at the hotel, reach out to David Robitaille, director of events ([email protected]). 

The hotel is conveniently located adjacent Queen Street West, which is just five minutes walking distance from the hotel and home to many interesting independent boutiques. The Eaton Centre is a shopping mall with 230 shops, located 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel including the soon-to-open Saks Fifth Avenue. The Yorkville area comprises many fine boutiques and is accessible by taxi or chauffeur, roughly 10 – 15 minutes from the hotel.

For all additional requests, including booking transportation and making dinner reservations, we suggest contacting Robin Elliott, chief concierge ([email protected]).

Be sure to follow Luxury Travel Advisor’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.

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