Sunday, May 4, 2014

Checking In: Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

By: Lisa Ng

The Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto easily has one of the best locations in the city - at the crossroads of the financial and entertainment district and just a quick walk from the Toronto Eaton Centre. The restaurants on Queen and King Street are a streetcar ride away. It's also next to a subway station, making it easy to get to the shopping and museums in Yorkville. It's an excellent home base if you're not planning on renting a car in Toronto for your getaway. You definitely don't need it if everything on your agenda is happening around the downtown core.

Shangri-La is an Asian luxury hotel brand with lots of influences from the Far East. The lobby features large-scale Chinese calligraphy paintings, subtle Asian decor touches and a long glowing fireplace. Don’t miss Zhang Huan’s stainless steel sculpture, Rising – climbing up the side of the building on University Avenue.

The hotel consists of 153 stylishly appointed guestrooms and 49 suites, all featuring oversized bathrooms with heated floors. I was blown away by the floor-to-ceiling marble and the modern soaking tub with super powerful jets. L'Occitane toiletries, bathrobes and slippers made it pretty easy to get relaxed.

WiFi is complimentary and a personal iPad was made available in my suite for the duration of my stay. I also love not having to fiddle around with the light switches and curtains. All the lighting fixtures are labelled and turn on at the push of a button. The same goes for the sheers and curatains - both are automated.

My one bedroom suite featured clean lines, plush furniture and dark mahogony wood. There were lots of thoughtful coffee table books to browse through and a cashmere throw to curl up into while catching a movie on the huge TV in the living room. This would be a perfect suite for a girls night out, a fancy bachelorette party or if you plan on entertaining guests during your visit. Especially when you consider the location in the heart of the Entertainment District. A second powder room with a full shower could easily accomodate additional guests.

One really unique feature was being able to order room service from my personal iPad. All the menus and ordering software are pre-loaded in. The process is incredibly smooth and even gives you a pretty accurate estimate of when your food would be ready.

After a long week of running around Toronto and catching up with friends and family, room service was most definitely the answer. I was also thrilled to finally be able to sample the food from Bosk, the on-site restaurant at Shangri-La Toronto who fulfills the room service orders.

The Grilled Beef Tenderloin ($44) is served with olive oil roasted potatoes, heirloom Carrots and green beans. It's definitely hearty, so make sure you're hungry! Even though it was room service, the meat was cooked perfectly. The Tomato Penne Pasta ($22) with meaty chunks of roasted eggplant and a fresh and flavourful tomato sauce was definitely satisfying and comforting. The handmade pasta is cooked to al dente and the eggplant will not make you miss the meat at all in this vegetarian dish.

For breakfast the next morning, I ordered the The Classic Eggs Benedict ($21) from the in-room dining menu with perfectly roasted potatoes and a side of sauteed spinach. You can order coffee, but each room is equipped with a fancy Nespresso machine.

The health and fitness club are open 24-hours and are located on the hotel's fifth floor. A 64-foot lap pool, private cabanas and teak chaise loungers make it the perfect place to relax. To learn more visit:

Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto
188 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5H 0A3, Canada
Tel: (647) 788 8888

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women and where this article first appeared.

Disclaimer: My stay was graciously hosted by the hotel, however the opinions expressed in this post remain my own.

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