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“4 Toronto luxury hotels, current state”

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Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Ranked #2 of 137 Hotels in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 December 2013

4 luxury hotels, an update


Last month we spent a long weekend in Toronto, something we do at least 3 times a year, staying at Trump, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, or the Shangri La.

For reservations I first checked Trump, as on our one previous stay we found it flawless. They offered a B&B package that indicated a Full American Breakfast. Yet when progressing to actually make the on-line booking the breakfast had somehow changed to Continental. Ok, maybe a computer glitch, but in previous months when checking rates and offers for other trips, NYC for example, I had noticed Trump’s B&B packages were restricted to a Continental breakfast, regardless of location, which seemed somewhat odd in an industry that almost always includes Full American in B&B packages. In any case, glitch of not, it shouldn’t happen so I moved on.

The Ritz Carlton, as usual, had “Offers” that were now-you-see-them-now-you- don’t. Although booking several weeks ahead, the B&B package was mysteriously not available on the dates we wanted (a weekend, when hotels are usually begging for business), nor, as far as I could determine, either prior to our dates or after. I had encountered this previously with Ritz Carlton and so was not terribly surprised. This sort of thing isn’t so much an inexcusable fault of the hotel itself, as it is execs at the highest level of Ritz Carlton, whom the importance of social media in damaging a brand seems to have entirely escaped these folks. Hide and seek Offers, add on charges such as “Resort Fees”, ”Administration Fees”, etc, etc, only serve to infuriate guests and drive them away. Since Bill Marriott retired from day to day operations of Marriott Corp, the Ritz Carlton division had become sadly mismanaged.

Four Seasons used to be one of our favorites but for Toronto we have ruled it out due to management’s uncharacteristic abstinence in not making wholesale changes at its Cafe Boulud, which has been little short of a disaster from day one. Very much unlike the Four Seasons chain we have known for so long. This too seems to be a case of a brand slipping significantly since its founder, Issy Sharp, stepped down.

That left Shangri La, where we had stayed this past summer, and liked it. The rooms are beautiful, staff friendly and eager, well located. We had a corner suite, with two bathrooms. The master bathroom was in the corner, glass on both sides, and we noticed almost at once it was unusually cool. Downright cold, actually (November in Toronto can be cold, and this time was). There was a wall control for the heated tile floor, but it was inoperative. Moreover, there was no other heat source for the corner bathroom. Ah well, not such a hardship. But upon returning from dinner on our first evening, the turn down service had not been done. We recalled that in the 3 days we stayed during the summer all 3 had been absent turn downs. Truthfully, we regard turndowns as a bit of a silly and largely unnecessary fetish, yet one that has long been standard in luxury hotels. On the other hand, the one thing my wife does anticipate in the turndown is a bottle or two of water being left, as she finds the highly chlorinated tap water bothers her stomach. So upon going out the next morning, we inquired at the desk whether they in fact did turndowns and were assured in no uncertain terms that they most certainly did, and would ensure it was done our following two nights. It was not. Three nights, no turndowns. We also asked about the control for the heated floor. That too we were assured should be working, maintenance would look into it immediately and ensure it was operating properly. Again, no change whatever. The control remained blank and inoperative, the floor decidedly cold. Puzzling indeed. In addition, valet parking is a $48 daily charge, clearly excessive and unwarranted. This is Toronto, not NYC or Rome. Will we stay at the Shangri La again? Management needs to tighten up, obviously. So we will simply have to wait and see.

Room Tip: Avoid Café Boulud except for breakfast
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank worldwidewanderer93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dimitrios Z, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2014

Thank you for your comprehensive comparison of the luxury hotels in Toronto. Kindly note that Mr. Isadore Sharp has remained the Founder & Chairman of the company and is still involved in some areas of the business. In addition, I am confident you will be pleased with the adjustments we have made to the menus of both Cafe Boulud and dbar and look forward to welcoming you back for a more positive experience.

Many thanks,
Dimitrios Zarikos
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

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Reviewed 10 December 2013

We decided to have a night away for my husbands birthday in early November and opted for the Four Seasons since we had heard great reviews from friends. We were first time Four Seasons stayers but have been to many high end hotels around the world. We were pleasantly surprised by the amazing service we received. For his birthday we received special treatment at the spa and were greated after our services with a chocolate fudge cake. It was DIVINE! In every instance the Four Seasons met and even surpassed our expectations. It was such an amazing stay that we have decided to do this every year. I am definitely a Four Seasons convert!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank CanTraveller381
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dimitrios Z, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2013

Many thanks for your outstanding review! It's so nice to hear that we surpassed your expectations, and were able to create a memorable experience for your husbands birthday. We look forward to welcoming you back for many celebrations to come!

Regards,
Dimitrios Zarikos
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

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Reviewed 9 December 2013

This brand new hotel is really really nice with a very impressive entry, lobby and room decor ( which is more Asian than the traditional four seasons ). The guestrooms and bathrooms we're very large and well laid out. My only critical perspective was that the staff seemed a bit inflexible and too "on script". When I wanted to bring a glass of wine up to my room from the bar ( which I do at most hotels at which I stays) I was told I could not but should call room service. I did so but was only offered a very limited selection . I am not a wine snob or anything, but I know what I like and what I don't. There was no flexibility around getting this resolved so I just turned in. Years ago the four seasons staff would have bent over backwards to figure this out. Anyway, it was an enjoyable stay only tainted that my standards for the hotel were very high.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank tally11111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

Yes, it's a tad pricey, but ..... if you treat yourself to a stay here you will not have to worry about anything. Everything leaves you feeling truly special and good. The location could not be more central. Our room in this new year-old Four Seasons Hotel could not have been better designed nor more beautiful. How much thought went into the design is demonstrated in every detail. Nothing has been left without attention. The beds are extremely comfortable. The Tablet for each room was great and so practical. The incredible beautiful and spacious bathtub was a delight.
Our suite has been designed in a way that one walks a bit through a corridor in the room before getting to the actually bed chamber, if you will. This guarantees tranquility. During our 3 nights there, we did not hear other guests. We had a connecting door and thanks to the unique design (different than what one sees in other hotels) there was nothing to worry about for it was completely soundproof. The main bathroom with a spectacular bathtub and toilet as well as shower are all separate. Very European. The bathroom is a room within a room made of glass. One wall was completely made of glass and well-covered with beautiful modern block-out curtains. Did I mention there is a TV system embedded in the mirror, which made it possible to watch an old black-and-white movie from the bathtub on a rather cold and windy December night. Fabulous. Toiletries are by Etro of Italy. Not only do they smell heavenly, but the shampoo and condition worked great for my difficult hair. Small ESKA glass water bottles are complimentary and provided daily. We were also more than ecstatic to see a Nespresso machine and capsules to perfect our stay.
We had a cocktails a few times in the Four Seasons Toronto bar. Not only is it glamorous and sexy, but our cocktails were mixed to perfection. Staff here as well as throughout the hotel are as professional and courteous as they come - good-looking, too, if I may add.
Our booking this time did not include breakfast. However, from frequent stays at the Four Seasons Amman we cannot imagine they'd leave anything to be desired for here. It's probably as fantastic as I remember those breakfasts during our stays in Amman.
A wonderful personalized experience - needless to add that we are looking forward to our next mini-vacation to Toronto .....

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lebonheur72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dimitrios Z, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2013

What a fantastic review! It sounds like you had a wonderful Four Seasons experience with us and we truly appreciate your positive feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to Toronto for another outstanding mini vacation.

All the best,
Dimitrios Zarikos
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

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Reviewed 3 December 2013

Spent a wonderful "stay-cation" at the Four Seasons in late November. From the wonderful welcome from the front staff at the valet-parking, to check-in, to arrival at our higher-floor room, we were awed. The rooms are large with drop-dead designed bathrooms, a mirror-concealed mini-bar, great closet space and a beautifully subdued color scheme. As we set off to shop in Yorkville, I could not help remarking to the in-house florist how beautiful his designs were. Easily compares with The George Cinq in Paris for floral design. We did not eat at the Café Boulud on this night as we were meeting friends, but have eaten and enjoyed this restaurant several times. We later had cocktails at Bar D which was lively and lots of fun. To our surprise, when we arrived back to our room, there was a lovely note from our daughters with chocolate torte and a special message for my husband's birthday. Breakfast and room service were what I might expect from The Four Seasons, with Daniel Boulud at the helm. So, couples, take my advice and book yourself and your loved one for a night or two at the Four Seasons. Location is perfect, service is excellent and you will go away with a refreshing joie de vivre!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Maria P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dimitrios Z, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your "stay-cation" and husbands birthday celebration with us! Your feedback is truly valued and I would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us. I look forward to welcoming you back soon!

All the best,
Dimitrios Zarikos
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

We had a large group (23 ppl) staying for an overnight and breakfast. The large group assistance was good, the rates were comparable to other venues in Toronto. The staff were very helpful and courteous. Breakfast in Café Boulud was amazing! The rooms were modern and décor understated Fixtures are modern and state of the art.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Andrade H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dimitrios Z, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Thank you for your review of our hotel. I am so happy to hear that your group had a great experience with us and enjoyed all of the amenities we have to offer. We look forward to your return!

Kind regards,
Dimitrios Zarikos
Regional Vice President and General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

First off, the hotel is in a perfect location but impossible to find because there is no signage. When my taxi pulled into the courtyard, I had to ask the driver where the hotel was. The service is top notch and I know because I had a series of personnel in and out of my room resolving issues. The decor is ultra modern, featuring such interesting "perks" as a TV in the bathroom mirror and an iPad with an onscreen message that $1000 would be added to the bill should anyone wish to take the device home.

I had unpacked and settled in before I noticed the stains on the carpet, the wear in some spots, the fraying of a poorly laid section along one side of the room, and part of a Nuts and Bolts confection on the floor. When I mentioned these problems to a staff member making a delivery to me, he promised to notify the household department. The household manager was up in a flash. He offered to change my room, but I declined. He dispatched a staff member to vacuum. When I had problems figuring out how to use the safe, security responded to my call immediately. Hence my high rating of the service.

I also noticed other signs of wear and tear that would be unacceptable in a cheaper hotel, much less a high-end and brand new hotel like this Four Seasons. Either the chain decided to cut corners or they did not get value for money. I suspect the latter. For example, I had noticed what looked like water marks on the bathroom counter. I hadn't mention this, but one staff member did and said that all the counters would have to be replaced because of this problem.

My Toronto friends all had the same reaction when I mentioned the problems: "But, it's a brand new hotel!" Indeed it is and I hope it can iron out the glitches so that it becomes worthy of a first class rating.

To end on a positive note, I was in Toronto to attend a wedding at the hotel and would like to commend the staff on pulling off a very smoothly run event. From my viewpoint as a guest, the evening, including food, service, and attention to detail, does deserve a first class rating.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank BR613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Address: 60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4W 0A4, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Ontario > Toronto > Midtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Toronto
#2 Romantic Hotel in Toronto
#2 Spa Hotel in Toronto
#2 Luxury Hotel in Toronto
#4 Family Hotel in Toronto
Price Range: £363 - £580 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Hotel Toronto 5*
Number of rooms: 259
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Four Seasons continues to soar high above the Toronto skyline at the company's hometown city as the first and only hotel in Canada to receive both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star recognition. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto rises above its prime Yorkville Avenue address at the corner of Bay Street, right in the heart of the city's shopping district. Indulge in an immaculately designed two-storey "spa in the sky", the largest in the city, Cafe Boulud and dbar by international restaurateur and Chef Daniel Boulud, glass-enclosed event spaces, and, of course, the signature guest room: 259 personalised accommodations including 42 suites that feature floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable seating areas, interactive tablets and luxurious bathrooms with discreetly hidden televisions inside mirrors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Hotel Toronto
Four Seasons Toronto
Toronto Four Seasons

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