The Hotel Drake, Toronto, a 7 Hotels In 7 Days Review

Entrance to The Drake Hotel in Toronto Ontario Canada

The Drake Hotel in Toronto is more than a hotel for travelers it is a cornerstone of local neighborhood activity.  This fun, lively and contemporary property lets you know right up front that it is something different.  While doing this review The Drake made me feel right at home...??? Sort of...kinda...the cute stuffed teddy bear like figure I found waiting for me on my bed was dressed in black leather & silver chains!

Exterior of The Drake Hotel

Found in the Toronto's Queen Street West district The Drake is surrounded by a variety of shops galleries, eateries and nightlife.  For more info on area arts events click here.  This is in addition to the excellent cafe, lively lounge and other public spaces located on the hotel's first floor & basement.

Lobby of Drake Hotel

The funky lobby is located just steps from the sidewalk.  Reservations were quickly accessed and my room was ready and waiting.  The lobby is pretty busy with a steady stream of traffic moving between the cafe, lounge and downstairs. 

2nd Floor Crash Pad security entrance.

With all this public activity it was nice to see the guest rooms were separated from public spaces with a security door. The second floor houses "Crash Pad" rooms, upstairs you can find dens, salons and a suite.

2nd Floor Hallway

Even with its rough, classic hotel feel, comfortable and likable features are found around every corner.  My room was "Two-Oh-Four" AKA room 204.

Room Two-Oh-Four, at The Drake Hotel, Toronto.

This room was as advertised: a small efficient room.  Each is decorated with their own unique furnishings.  But with so little furniture I suspect they are all very similar.  The bed was comfortable and the linens nice.  No mini-bar but plenty of drinks and snacks are available..

Additional shot of Room 204 at The Drake Hotel.

A small but comfortable desk area is provided.  It didn't have much street noise, at least after I noticed the window wasn't full closed.  Handles were in locked position, but it was open just enough to let the street noise below sneak in.

Entrance to Bathroom

A sheer curtain separates the spacious step up shower/sink area with a toilet room behind a door to the right.  Sufficient towels were provided as were plenty of amenities.   Click for more Toronto hotels covered in this 7 Hotels In 7 Days feature.

Bath / Sink

I would prefer a bathroom with a little more separation from the bed, but since this is advertised as a "cozy" and "smallish" Crash Pad it is understandable.  More can be found regarding the various room sizes on The Drake Hotel's website.

Photo booth in the lobby of The Drake Hotel, Toronto.

The hotel doesn't have much of a lobby for guests except for the area above.  A comfortable spot at the rear of the lobby that is shared with a funky old photo booth machine.

The Drake Hotel bar/lounge.

On one side of the lobby is a Drake Cafe where I had a delicious meal. On the other side was a bar that was filling up fast.  Front desk mentioned that it was trivia night in the bar and that regulars take their trivia very seriously. 

Evening exterior of The Drake Hotel, Toronto
This is an artsy and lively neighborhood and The Drake Hotel is a big part of that neighborhood vibe.  The rooms are unique and full of character.  It may not be centrally located in Downtown Toronto but it almost a destination in itself.


Hotel Le Germain, Maple Leaf Square, Toronto, a 7 Hotels In 7 Days Review

Entrance of the Hotel Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

The entrance of the Hotel Le Germain is a just a hint of the modern interiors of this Toronto boutique property.  I personally reviewed this 167-room hotel which is just across the street from the Air Canada Centre, home to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors.  The Hotel Le Germain also is the "goto" location when big concerts and shows take over the Centre.  It is also a short walk to several other sports and entertainment venues.

Lobby of the Hotel Le Germain.
The entrance has a small lobby area with just the front desk.  The staff was plentiful and helpful.  They quickly found my reservation and took care of me.  They quickly explained the basics of the hotel and gave me my key.  I asked about restaurant options and they suggested a few nearby spots.

Apples are part of the art of this hotel. Help yourself.
The front desk also explaining that the key cards are of the RFID type and are not inserted into the door lock just placed against it.  The key also activates the elevator access to your floor. This added level of security is a welcomed feature.  In the hallway apples were available for snacking.  By the end of the day the "art" installation on my floor had only two apples remaining.

Glass shower walls.
When you enter the room the first thing you may notice is the shower.  This is just the first clue that this isn't a standard layout for a hotel room. Glass showers are common, but they are usually in a bathroom area not open to the main room.  As with much of the Hotel Le Germain, this is a sexy twist on the standard Toronto hotel.

Guest room bed and large "hunk" photo at Hotel Le Germain.
In another sexy twist the scenic painting or the high impact graphic art piece is replaced by a powerful image of a strong muscle-bound hunk of a man.  I didn't have a chance to ask if all the rooms share this same image... Wonder if any female figures grace the walls of other rooms? 

Bed at the Hotel Le Germain
The bed was very comfortable with nice linens and goose-down pillows.  I found a small box with ear plugs beside the bed which makes me wonder if this place gets loud on nights when a major event is taking place.  Soundproofing may be an issue.  On the night of my stay I heard nothing that kept me awake.  But just a few nights after my stay the Rolling Stones were visiting the nearby Air Canada Centre and I suspect The Germain was one big rockin' party.

HDTV built into the wall

A nice big 40-inch flat-screen HDTV with a good channel lineup is on the wall opposite the bed.  Over at the desk is a series of inputs for the TV so that you can easily connect it to your laptop. I should also note that this was the first boutique hotel review for a project called "7 Hotels In 7 Days: Toronto".  The other reviews can be found here.  

Coffee maker
Along the windows is a long shelf.  One section is setup as a desk area. The rest is home to a safe, mini-bar and snacks.  The hotel offers free and fast WiFi.

Large rain style shower head.
So here we are back at the in-room glass shower.  The window style louvered shades may not be enough for someone who is sharing this room with a not-so-close partner.  But if your partner wanted a "show" while you "shower" this could be the best ticket in town!

bathroom

The hotel boasts a modern bath with plenty of towels and Molton Brown toiletries. Nearby closets offer storage with a suitcase shelf and two drawers.  The hotel supplies robes and an umbrella but no iron or board.  (Update: The Hotel Le Germain website says the rooms have a "Built-in adjustable ironing board".  I guess I missed it.)

Hotels interior light shaft.

This large space illuminated with slowly changing LED lights fills the Hotel Le Germain with an new hue every few minutes.

Hotel Le Germain, Maple Leaf Square, Lobby Bar
Just off the lobby is "P L A Y" a comfortable lounge for guests.  The Le Germain does not have a restaurant.  An interior passage leads to the nearby restaurant e11even.  It should be noted that the restaurant has no WiFi and the Hotel WiFi is out of range.

Hotel Le Germain 2nd floor lounge for guests.
On the second floor guests can enjoy what the Hotel Le Germain calls its "Relaxation Lounge".  It is a comfortable space away from the lobby/lounge area. Coffee service is available.  NOTE: $30 pet fee.  24hr valet and heated underground parking is available. Computers for guests are also located on this floor.

Breakfast service at Hotel Le Germain
My stay included breakfast.  A lovely dining area is located on the second floor with a delicious selection meats, cereals, pastries, etc.  

Exterior of the Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square in Toronto
This was just an overnight stay at the Le Germain.  I didn't have a chance to visit many areas of the property.  They offer a state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness facility.  A variety of meeting and special events rooms for up to 130 persons.  NOTE: Two "Germain" hotels are located in Toronto, this is the Maple Leaf Square location.  

Sign of the Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square.
The Hotel Le Germain is a modern upscale boutique hotel in the heart of the action in downtown Toronto.  A big plus is that it is located just minutes from several sporting facilities and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The rooms have a cool, hip, young vibe and are very comfortable. This review is based on a visit in May of 2013.