The Four Seasons Toronto offered Ciao Bambino a media package to experience the hotel. As always, our opinions are our own.
When it comes to luxury hotel stays – with or without kids – few brands consistently execute an extraordinary guest experience better than the Four Seasons. I’ve stayed at 17 of their hotels on three continents — you could say I’m a fan.
So when I had the opportunity to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, the brand’s new flagship property (opened in October 2012) located in the city of their corporate headquarters, I was very excited … and curious to experience Four Seasons where it all started over 50 years ago.
Prior to arrival, I wondered if the hotel would feel more formal than other properties given the prestigious location. I learned that this couldn’t be further from the truth. I felt completely and utterly at home here. I discovered that the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto offers a quintessential Four Seasons experience through and through from the ‘wow’ public areas, to the inviting and convivial ambiance, to rooms set up for function and comfort, to the exceptional – yet unpretentious – service. I was in Toronto working without my family, but love it equally as a business and leisure hotel. Let me explain:
Located in Yorkville in the midst of extensive upscale shopping and dining venues, the hotel is walk-out-your-door to wonderful excursions. I didn’t do much sightseeing, but the location is very central and I never spent more than 15 minutes in a taxi getting around the city.
Housed in a 55-floor modern skyscraper with 259 rooms, the Four Seasons Toronto feels amazingly intimate. This is due to public spaces that are geared for lounging and socializing with multiple cozy corners for conversation, in addition to buzzy restaurant and bar area.
The interior design is bold and exciting. The reception spaces are dramatic with soaring ceilings. Over 1,700 works of art from Canadian artists are showcased throughout the hotel creating a one-of-a-kind atmosphere and sense of place.
Celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud is behind Café Boulud and dbar. During my four-night stay at the Four Seasons Toronto, I was lucky enough to experience breakfast, lunch, and dinner in both the restaurant and bar. The ambiance in both venues is both casual and approachable — there’s nothing stuffy about these venues, which means they are appealing throughout the day in practically any attire.
Café Boulud offers a mix of contemporary and classic French fare. The house-made charcuterie is most definitely a highlight; it’s beautifully presented and as fresh as can be. From creative salads to Asian-inspired salmon to Steak au Poivre, the menu is appealing for all palettes with enough flair to keep options interesting but not overly complicated. The menus are diverse enough to be appealing for multiple meals over a single stay.
There’s no whispering required in the social bar and restaurant areas, plus there is a terrace open for the summer. I’d have no hesitation whatsoever bringing kids here for meals.
The rooms at the Four Seasons Toronto are made for living, not looking. Floor-to-ceiling windows create an exciting backdrop, but more than that, the rooms are thoughtfully appointed and configured for function with a large desk area including plenty of outlets, and a spacious sleeping and lounging zone, even in the double rooms, not just the suites. There’s a Nespresso coffee machine, an iPad provided for browsing, and a large flat-screen TV. Wonderful bathrooms feature a deep soaking tub, separate shower, and granite countertops.
Families can choose to sleep in rooms with two double beds, connecting rooms, or in suites with separate living and sleeping areas. Two to three-bedrooms suites are available as well.
The spa and fitness center at the Four Seasons Toronto takes up an entire floor of the hotel if that tells you something. There’s an expansive lap pool with panoramic city views paired with an outdoor deck and lounge chairs. The pool is big enough for kids to splash around without getting in the way of other swimmers.
I had a divine deluxe pedicure that included a massage with warm stones, an orange peel exfoliator, and a warm hydrating wrap. Normally, I don’t think hotel pedicures are worth the premium — I’d opt into this pedicure every time I visited Toronto. I also gave a massage treatment a whirl. Spa suites are spacious and relaxing. Guests choose the music they want to experience during their session on an iPad and choose the scent for their treatment. The entire experience is 100% customized.
Rarely have I felt as at home in a big city hotel as I did here. Often I find city hotels as exhausting inside as the city is outside. Not so at the Four Seasons Toronto.
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All photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy unless otherwise noted
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