Park Hyatt Toronto
My wife wanted to go somewhere during the winter holiday season and she gave me a few options. Not one to normally like traveling during hectic holidays, I voted for Toronto anyway. Having never been to Toronto, I was actually looking forward to heading up and trying out all of the great Toronto restaurants I've been hearing about. Not to mention, I've been wanting to fly Porter Airlines since many people consider it one of the few great short-haul carriers left in North America and it's only a short plane ride to Billy Bishop airport (tip: if you're heading to Toronto, this is the most convenient way to go).
It was a last minute decision for us to make this trip so that meant that we were bringing our dog along (who luckily is small enough to ride in the plane cabin). Since we also needed a pet friendly hotel, the Park Hyatt Toronto was our hotel of choice for this particular trip and it did not disappoint.
The Park Hyatt Toronto was originally the Park Plaza Hotel and had long been the Yorkville area's most prestigious hotel. It's located across from the University of Toronto and had long been a popular haunt for opera singers, authors, and local government officials. When Hyatt bought the hotel in 1999, it had been the highest cost per room ever paid in Canada at the time.
The lobby was small yet upscale while the friendly staff helped us check in and get us into our room quickly.
We booked a suite for this particular visit admittedly because my dog had never been in a hotel before, let alone traveled internationally, so I wanted to at least give him a lot of room to run around in while we explored the city. It was certainly an impressive room though (as one friend who visited us put it, it was "baller") with a spacious living room, a comfortable bedroom, and an impressive bathroom. We had a decent view of the street below although I think my dog enjoyed it more when I constructed makeshift stairs out of pillows and chairs for him to clamber up to the window and watch the traffic go by. It was a very nice room although I could tell it was a designated pet suite since I could discern that the carpeting and furnishings looked ever so slightly more used up compared to most Hyatt rooms I've stayed in but I'm not picky and am completely fine with that.
The Park Hyatt Toronto also features the Roof Lounge, which if the name hadn't given it away already, is this hotel's rooftop lounge up on the 18th floor. My wife and I visited the lounge on the first day of our stay thinking we'd only ever stop by once here for a drink during our trip but we found ourselves coming back here on a daily basis. Not only was their food surprisingly good, but we also enjoyed the company of our bartender and the view from their balcony. My wife and I can't comment on their cocktails since we only sampled their Scotch, but the bartenders at this Park Hyatt are well-known and have been the subjects of interviews on foodie publications themselves.
We never did get to try the hotel's other restaurants (Annona and Morton's) opting instead for sampling what the city had to offer although we did manage to find the time to use their fitness facilities. I was actually rather surprised at the sparse offering of equipment at this hotel considering it is an international Park Hyatt. They had a smattering of cardio equipment consisting of a few stationary bikes and treadmills while they had one bench to use with their rack of dumbells that didn't go past 30 kg or so. They also had two or three assisted back and chest machines but other than that, that was it. On the other hand, their Stillwater Spa is considered one of the best spas in Toronto although unfortunately, we didn't have time to try that out (I'm not one for relaxation anyway). If you do plan on using their spa services though, I highly recommend that you make reservations for them well in advance since they get filled fairly quickly.
All in all, the Park Hyatt Toronto made for an excellent stay in a vibrant and diverse city. I personally don't think we had enough time to fully explore what the city had to offer so if we do come back and need a place to stay, the Park Hyatt Toronto is on the top of a very short list.