What: Ritz Carlton, Toronto, Canada
Where: Based on Wellington Street – quite in the centre of Downtown Toronto and very close to the CN tower.
The Rooms: Mine was a city view – with floor to ceiling windows. The rooms are spacious, clean cut and classic with a view of Downtown Chicago
The Bed: A Ritz bed is always a winner.
The Toilets: Clean, simple and white. The bathroom includes a toilet, 2 sinks, a bathtub and shower.
Toiletteries are by Asprey -includes shampoo, conditioner, body gel, body lotion and mouthwash.
The Breakfast: I had my breakfast at the club lounge, which is open to some floors. The breakfast included a buffet of fruits, eggs and pancakes – as well as cereals, coffee and juices.
The Food (restaurants & bars):
-TOCA (Cheese cave):
This was the only restaurant I managed to check out during my stay. Headed by 2 Michelin-Star Chef, Oliver Glowig (who visits the restaurants regularly and brings homegrown and fresh ingredients for all his dishes). We were lucky to have dinner inside the kitchen on the chef’s table. Not only was I incredibly impressed with the fresh and delicious food, they have their own cheese cave, a wine cellar with Canadian wines and customised plates by a resident artist (check her out on social media @thecrazyplatelady)
A Lobby level bar in the hotel for cocktails and to relax.
A Terrace overlooking the iconic CN Tower.
Pool, Spa & Gym:
The hotel has an indoor pool, a fitness centre and a Clarins spa, which I had the chance to check out during my time in Toronto. The spa at the hotel is North America’s only Spa My Blend by Clarins. A range of treatment rooms with customised treatments for your skin, green tea infused vitality pools, Champagne nail bar as well as a hair/make up beauty bar.
Price: $500-$6,000 CDN per night
-Whilst the team don’t confirm it due to privacy reasons – Suits has been shot at the Ritz Carlton in Toronto (I am a huge Suits fan.)
-If you’re staying on a club level floor, you get access to the Club level lounge – facing Lake Ontario and getting access to a personal concierge and complimentary food & beverages throughout the day.
-A Ritz speciality, they cater to Middle Eastern clients with Arabic TV channels, Qiblah arrow, prayer carpet & the Koran, as well as prayer beads available.
Insider Guide recommendations:
-St. Lawrence Market: One of the largest markets in the city, you can find local fresh buys (from honey, jam to meat). If you’re a foodie, this is one to check out and make sure to stop at the Carousel Bakery (they serve food at most of the large film sets in Toronto – Catherine Zeta Jones is a fan!) – and order the vegetable ciabatta sandwich.
-Distillery District: If you’re looking for some history, the Distillery District is worth walking around and checking out – whether it’s a segway tour, checking out the shops and restaurants. Don’t leave without visiting Soma, the chocolate making store. My favourite is the dark chocolate with seville orange peel and the milk chocolate with lemon peel.
-CN Tower: This used to be the tallest building in the world, and is now in the top 5. If you’ve never been, be a tourist and take a tour, and possibly end with dinner at their revolving restaurant.
One of the highlights in Toronto, in terms of food would have to be Terroni’s – an Italian restaurant on Queen Street West. Traditional Italian, Rustic interiors, and the most impressive food. The pizza, the pasta, every starter we ordered, all the way to the Nutella Fritters for dessert (that is, Fried donuts with nutella inside)
Compared to other provinces in Canada, Toronto definitely has the most active scene. During my trip, I headed for a class at Barre3, a well known Barre studio in North America. I struggle to find Barre studios outside of NYC so this was a pleasant surprise. Gorgeous space, with a small retail area as well as changing rooms, toilets and one class. Based on King Street West, the class is barre based (Ballet inspired pilates) with a little bit of yoga and pilates movements. I took a class with the Toronto owner, Jennifer – her class was full on a Sunday early morning (when the streets were empty), she was incredibly sweet and kind – as well as made sure there were variations for everyone in the class including the male that was confident to take a class with a full house of women!