My husband and I had decided when we were married that some day, once our mortgage was paid and children raised, we would love to visit Niagara Falls. Over time we saved our pennies and eventually excitedly made our booking to include 4 days in Toronto prior to our magical trip!
We arrived at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto after a long (7.5 hour) flight from the UK and didn't know what to expect. Things were fantastic from the off! We were warmly approached by Kevin, an immaculately dressed porter, he took us through to reception where we were immediately greeted at reception in luxurious, gleaming surroundings, and checked in with a free upgrade to a suite with a great view (11th floor) of the CN tower and Lake Ontario. We were also given (which we knew about as it was in the brochure when booking-depends on travel dates) a $100 voucher to spend in the hotel as we pleased. John, porter, then escorted us and our luggage up to our room. It was beautiful, everything we wanted. There was a lounge, with coffee table, writing desk, mini bar, fridge, all well stocked if required, beautiful furnishings etc. A separate toilet and basin. A walk down the corridor led to a large seat with long window to the side and opposite this a most gorgeous bathroom, walk in shower, toilet, marble tops with double sinks, deep bath. In this bathroom was a large wall to wall mirror with a tv screen incorporated! The main area was the very roomy bedroom with fantastic view of the CN tower, and a view of Lake Ontario. The bed was huge and as I suffer with some back problems I'm really pleased to say the bed was absolute luxury and so comfy! There was a large flat screen tv in the room and ample storage including a wardrobe (lights came on when doors were opened) which had plenty of hanging space, a safe (digital) lots of shoe storage etc. There were 2 comfy chairs in the large almost floor to ceiling window with great views of Toronto. There were lots of little extra's: toiletries (shower gel, soap, shampoo, conditioner, replenished daily), nail files, sewing kit, pen/paper/envelopes, toothbrushes (all those things we didn't need to pack! Complimentary slippers, bath robes (to be left for laundering but available to purchase if required). Our room had a 'corner' window; basically another window, albeit about a foot wide this also ran from almost floor to ceiling and enabled us another view of Toronto with it's fantastic buildings of which we were in awe!
Air conditioning was great and easy to use and could be adjusted throughout the suite of rooms.
I felt a little emotional being almost 4,000 miles away from home and a little insecure and found at that point my travel adapter was not going to fit the bill! It may seem a small thing but naturally the phone is contact to home! I went to reception where I met concierge, Hannah, she was brilliant, told me not to worry, she had a travel adapter for me! She proved to be a a brilliant concierge over the next few days, as did others I may add when Hannah was off shift). She recommended places to eat and even booked our theatre tickets to see The Lion King, which I had been nervous about booking before leaving the UK.
We ate in the evening in their 'DEQ' restaurant and the food was lovely; sea bass, green beans, warm salad and 'fries' (not chips-they are crisps over there!). meal for two was around $70 but very good for such a fine place to eat in beautiful surroundings! Laura was our server and we chatted and being 'foreign' to things over there we were anxious to know about tipping correctly etc (had an idea from the internet but felt we needed to get it right!). Laura thanked us for asking and explained how servers earned their wage and that they also had to pay kitchen staff a small amount and tips could mean the difference to a good/bad wage. 10% is expected, 15% if you feel everything good and 20% for exceptional seemed to be the guide which confirmed our research! Laura was a great server and made us feel very at ease.
When we arrived back to our room in the evening we had a beautiful typed note and a place of chocolate dipped strawberries and a plate with napkins left for us! What a lovely surprise. (I had been conversing with the Rizt-Carlton on their Facebook page,just little queries like amenities etc and they had left this treat to say thank you for my interest in the Facebook page!
All in all I would highly recommend the Ritz-Carlton, Room service had also been and turned down the bed, put on the lamps and turned on the radio with soft music! Lovely. (Room service twice daily).
It was a fantastic hotel with warm friendly staff, beautiful surroundings and great views. If I had to offer any small (and it would be minor) criticism at all it would be that I felt the windows should have been cleaner, but as we know Toronto had just come through a harsh winter and it is a phenomenal task cleaning those windows so I am not complaining about that-I just noticed it!However the thing I was surprised about is there was no free wifi (some hotels offer free wifi in the lobby). Wifi was around (and I think i remember correctly-apologies if not) $9 per day. I really think that some limited, free wifi should be included! The other thing which was hard to find was ordinary black decaf tea, there were plenty of fruit flavoured decaf teas but unfortunately they could not give us decaf, I think this would be a good item to add to your list of 'must haves'. We did eventually find some in a local health food shop so I kept a box in the room!
If visiting Toronto I would highly recommend the Ritz-Carlton if you want plush, comfy, friendly and attentive surroundings with easy (on foot) access to all attractions. We visited the CN Tower, China Town, St Lawrence Market (Saturday is best), Lake Ontario, Centre Island (Ferry ride across). All brilliant. Toronto is set out like a 'grid' and all streets are in easy to follow blocks. Take your walking shoes! Good places to eat for snack are Tim Hortons (a kind of McDonalds/Subway mix-try their warm kettle chips-lovely! They are everywhere!), Second Cup was great for coffee/cake, snacks. Most cafes, restaurants have free wifi which was a great bonus for that odd Whatsap (free messages including sending pictures/videos) back home!
We used our $100 voucher toward the meal $70 and decided to treat ourselves on the last morning of our stay to breakfast in the room, which was $61 in total for us both, this included, fresh juice, ice water, cereal, selection pastries and preserves, tea and coffee, immaculately presented and served in our room but I unfortunately the actual breakfast items were not value for money. Breakfast was quite meagre in content, pastries are filling but that was about all!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Toronto’s most centrally located AAA Five Diamond award winning hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto welcomes guests to the heart of Canada’s most culturally diverse city. Just steps from the city’s financial district and cultural attractions, the luxury hotel offers views of the CN Tower, Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto. Featuring Canada’s only cheese cave at TOCA Restaurant, an outdoor terrace at DEQ, and the #1 Hotel Spa in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto offers an oasis in the heart of the city. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ritz-Carlton Toronto Hotel Toronto