Arrival/Check-in: Personal and welcoming, as if being embraced by well-honed staff at my own private manse, aptly describes my reception at the Hazelton Hotel, which opened in the heart of Toronto’s elegant Yorkville just in time for the invasion of movie moguls and celebrities for the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. Immediately upon my arrival in the lobby — a contemporary, residentialstyle enclave that speaks volumes of artistic taste — an attendant toted my overnighter and computer to my room while noting a host of amenities along the way. En route I was asked if anything could be arranged, from restaurant and spa reservations to a map of shops, art galleries and cultural sites within walking distance, or if the hotel’s chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz could drop me anywhere. My room was stocked with complimentary cold beverages, Wolfgang Puck coffee and a variety of teas. (28/30)
Guest Quarters: French doors opened to views of Yorkville from the spacious living area, where a velvety sofa and chairs faced a 42-inch plasma television. With an ample dressing room for formal duds and safe with electric charger to fit my Apple, my 640-square-foot room offered all the comforts an executive or fashionista could need for an extended stay. The marble-clad bathroom begged lingering, with a deep soaking tub sized for two, a glass-enclosed shower, a television screen set into the wall-to-wall mirror (convenient while shaving or primping) and a generous selection of Bulgari toiletries. The desk was fitted for computer geeks, but I emailed correspondence (complimentary) at a private business office (found on every floor). Two distinctive suites — the Belair, with its zebra-wood walls, and the bigger Hazelton, with its indigo woods and huge, semi-circular living room — have décor that combines personal indulgence with space for sumptuous gatherings or events. (29/30)
Services/Amenities: The city’s social who’s-who were finishing lunch in One, the hotel’s restaurant run by celebrated Chef Mark MecEwan, when I stopped in for a fragrant cup of Japanese Kombucha lime tea. After checking out the Screening Room —– a plush, 25-seat theatre used for VIP screenings during TIFF —– I investigated the Spa at the Hazelton, known for pampering moviedom’s and Toronto’s jet set with the “Eclat Contour for Jet Lag,” among other therapies. That inspired me to start the next morning with a workout in the gym and a swim in the lap pool. This exhilarating experience —– followed by in-room breakfasts of smoked salmon scrambled eggs and eggs Benedict –— gave the day an excellent start. (38/40)
The Experience: The residential style of this luxurious establishment, designed by Yabu Pushelburg, coddles international savants with impeccable service and style around the clock. Come sunshine and warm weather, the One restaurant’s patio flanking the corner of Yorkville and Hazelton is THE hottest place to see and be seen, at all hours. The hotel’s affiliation with Leading Small Hotels of the World appropriately sets it apart from trendy boutique hotels.
Total Score: (95/100)
The Hazelton Hotel
118 Yorkville Ave.
Toronto, ON M5H1G2 Canada
tel 416 963 6300
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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