If you enter the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto by the main entrance you will be greeted by the hotel's friendly staff and whisked off to reception. If you think the beautiful lobby is the only intriguing item here you would be wrong. Keep reading this review....
On the street outside the hotel is a massive steel sculpture by the artist Zhang Huan. It stands along the sidewalk in a shallow pool for thousands of Toronto drivers to see each day. Don't miss this - you may find it very interesting, but let's get back inside.
The massive lobby area is divided into several conversation areas. This area is quiet as business is done and people relax. Come in the afternoon and the pace begins to quicken as afternoon tea is served. Hotel staff will help you make a selection from the 68 varieties of tea. The vibe continues to move forward as local musicians gather around the lobby's beautiful Italian handcrafted piano. The music extends well into the evening. See the hotel's website for an entertainment calendar.
Room 1515 at the Shangri-La Hotel is a One-Bedroom Suite with a lovely view of Toronto's University Avenue. At first this suite may not seem very large but you soon realize the attention to detail in the fabrics, finishes and design are what set this room and hotel apart.
The bedroom has a simple yet elegant feel. It includes all of the luxury touches you would expect in a suite, along with a few unexpected surprises. The small battery operated alarm clock becomes a small LED flashlight when lifted for late night wanderings around the suite. It's a small item, but I'm a sucker for a clever gadget. The bed, pillows and linens were first class.
In addition to the large HDTV in the living room another is in the bedroom. A handy HDMI connection for the TV has been strategically placed on the bedside table. One of dozens of well considered touches at the Shangri-la was the butler rack. I hadn't seen one of these for years. It is so very handy.
The walk-in closet had plenty of space. As in the rest of the suite, everything here was first rate: from the wooden hangers to the shoe trees in both men's & women's sizes. For more boutique properties in Toronto read my 7 Hotels In 7 Days feature.
The room includes both bathrobes and ukatas. An ukata is a summer weight kimono for men or women. In the closet you will also find a safe, umbrella and slippers. Again there is an added touch. You will find a velvet-lined jewelry tray placed in the safe to help you keep your valuables nice and neat.
Marble and more marble marks one of the most memorable bathrooms I've visited. At every turn from the fixtures to the bath amenities that the Shangri-La hotel provides you can tell that great care was taken in the selection process.
Why would any hotel guest ever want a TV in the bathroom mirror? Somebody must, because they provide it here. For me I see it as more "cool" than practical. But if your morning routine takes some time this may be just the added touch you appreciate.
A comfortable desk is located in the living room. An iPad provides hotel info. The desk contains a patch-bay that offers a hard wired Internet connection, AC and USB charging outlets and a variety of connections to the room's TV.
A fancy Nespresso machine is provided as are coffee & tea located in a lovely lacquered box decorated with birds in flight. A subtle reference to the street side sculpture mentioned earlier. Just below is are snacks, liquor and a stocked refrigerator.
A rainy night in Toronto makes University Avenue shimmer and shine. Performances can be found nearbyat The Four Seasons Centre seen above.
The Shangri-La offers a variety of meeting rooms and event spaces. A large ballroom for major gatherings and a comfortable 42-seat screening room with a state-of-the-art sound system.
The attention to detail and design continues into this unique pool area. A gym is nearby as is one of Toronto's most unique spa experiences. The Miraj Hamman Spa offers a traditional old-world Hamman experience in a modern facility. My one night stay didn't allow the time for a visit but this just might be a reason for a return visit.
I had dinner at a nearby dive bar jazz club (there's lots of good jazz in Toronto), but lunch was in the Shangri-La's Bosk restaurant. What a delight: lobster gnocchi followed by a delicious short rib dish.
If you see a trip to Toronto in your future then the Shangri-La Hotel should be on your short list. I did have a chance to visit a standard room. It is important to mention that almost all of the features, amenities and luxuries found in my suite shown above are also offered in the standard rooms, just in a smaller space. I received one complimentary night's accommodations. This review is my own and not influenced by hotel management.