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“Trendy Boutique Hotel”

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Drake Hotel Toronto
Ranked #11 of 137 Hotels in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 June 2011

We stayed here for a birthday celebration for my partner and I. The hotel itself is very hip and trendy however, parking was a bit annoying as there are only 2 reserved spots that are across the street for another store property. The hotel also has several lounges/bars/club downstairs making it a bit noisy if you are looking for a quiet place to stay. Everything about the hotel was in one word "hipster". The hotel staff was very accommodating and even put in a nice birthday balloon for my partner. We were in the crashpad room, small but nicely laid out. The only caution I would provide is that the washroom and shower is literally right in front of your bed so if you are staying with friends/family it might not be the best idea as there is no door and the shower is just a glass wall that you can be seen at all times.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TorontoQwerty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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464 - 470 of 634 reviews

Reviewed 4 June 2011

It takes a certain pride in one's hotel to place a 'most interesting hotel rooms' book in your hotel rooms, and by all rights the staff of the Drake ought to be proud of providing a very unique experience. Unfortunately, it simply isn't worth the tremendous premium they ask.

I was unfamiliar with Toronto when I made my reservation and chose the Drake on the strength of its many positive reviews. For a first-time visitor, I found the location a bit awkward -- it's a 20+ minute streetcar ride to get downtown -- and the Drake's neighborhood a little sketchy, though it definitely had some gems (like a fantastic wine/cheese bar not too far down Queen Street) - it's definitely an 'up and coming' area with a lot to offer, but I don't know that I'd recommend it for a first impression of Toronto.

Our room was tiny and decorated with Ikea stuff (not a criticism - it was actually Ikea) which matches the 'crash pad' moniker for most of the Drake's limited number of rooms. The bed, a good-sized and comfortable Queen, took up the entire room. The bathroom is frosted glass but not fully walled off and the shower is clear glass, so definitely not a place to take someone with whom you aren't very comfortable!

Before we found a menu for room service, we found a menu for adult 'pleasure packages' including everything from a variety of toys you'd find at an adult store to adult videos. The Drake seems to pride itself on its edginess and encourages you to enjoy your crash pad, but the rooms themselves are poorly insulated from the noise of the hotel and the club below and so you'd also need to be comfortable advertising your evening activities with your neighbors. This also leads me to my biggest problem with the Drake, which was sleeping there -- the nightlife on Queen Street and even at the hotel itself continues well into the early hours of the morning, and we didn't get a good night's sleep either of the two nights we stayed.

These same features that turned me off from the Drake may very well be exactly what others are looking for, so if you're into the celebrity-sighting nightlife scene and like to party, the Drake may be a perfect match -- though oddly enough, everybody I know who would like it probably wouldn't want to spend the money. The Drake ain't cheap, and they'll ding you for most anything you need, as other reviews can attest. It's not so much that they charge for extras -- every hotel does -- but how much. The BLT on their lunch menu is $26. Their 'breakfast in bed' options range from $30-$46 a person.

The service, however, was extremely friendly and helpful, so while I'd say that the Drake is a poor value and not a particularly restful part of our Canadian trip, the waking hours were by no means unpleasant. It's also tough for me to list some of the above items as criticisms when it's clear that others enjoy them, but I chose the Drake on the strength of its Tripadvisor rankings (which included a no-doubt automatically calculated '#3 for business in Toronto!') and didn't investigate the Drake's web site. This is my fault, but nonetheless I think that the Drake belongs squarely in the 'remarkable and unique boutique party hotel' category and not the 'top hotels in Toronto' category. YMMV.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank AdDextra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jonathan_LeClaire, Manager at Drake Hotel Toronto, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2011

Dear AdDextra

I’m glad you enjoyed your stay, and thrilled you got to experience all that the Queen West neighborhood has to offer! The European inspired furnishings are actually designed by 3rd Uncle Design, and crafted by a locale woodworker and artisan. Each piece, custom tailored to each room, is intended to offer the most functionality and eye-catching style as possible.

With regard to the various menus (including the first ever Pleasure Menu), we may have miscommunicated some information to you. Drake’s interpretation of the “BLT” takes elements from a regular sandwich, and refines it in true Drake style. This dinner entrée, is an open-faced sandwich, piled on top of toasted miche and uses our own house smoked maple bacon with heirloom tomatoes and is served with made-to-order onion rings.

The Room service menu - starting at $13 per person - features fresh baked scones, croissants, coffee or tea, juice and vitamins to energize our early morning risers. For those looking for other options, guests are welcome to order room service from the café’s a-la-carte breakfast menu.

I’m so glad we were a part of your Canadian excursion, and we certainly did enjoy spending the Toronto leg of your trip with you. I hope we get to see you again soon!

X[OH]!

Jonathan + Drake

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Reviewed 28 May 2011

I stayed at the drake hotel with my wife for only one night. We were sleeping in the crash pad. We were expecting a small room, thats what we got. It was small but ive had worst, and everything was designed in a way that it didnt really pose any problem. We liked the attention given to small details, the drake certainly isnt like other hotels. Some people complained that it was noisy, well there is a lounge, a cafe, a rooftop bar and a concert hall in the basement, all 4 of those were packed full on the night when we stayed, and still when we closed the door to our room, we didnt hear a thing. We noticed when people in the other rooms around would shut their doors but tat was about it. We loved to watch some of the interesting magazines that were in the room. We also loved the assortment on Malin + Goetz products that were available for us to use: hand soap, moisturizing cream, shower soap, shampoo and conditioner, each one a different aroma, very nice. It was our wedding anniversary, I didnt fail to mention this when I booked, so we had a nice little card by the hotel management and a few choco and fruits waiting for us in the room, nice. We chuckled when we got our hands on their sex toy menu, but it was so expensive that we didnt get to try it. They also had a selection of porn flicks, not for rent tho, only for sale, 60$ per, we passed. There was also a big basket full of goodies, foods and night mask and stuff like that, it all seemed yummy, but as in every hotel, was too expensive to buy without feeling guilty.

Location isnt the best, but your a short tram ride away from anywhere you would want to go, so who cares.

Overall Drake was good, I dont regret staying there. But it was for a special occasion and if it had been for more then one night, it would have been too expensive for us. Next time we are in Toronto we will stay somewhere else, but we're still glad we tried it, it was a good experience. Im sure some other people would enjoy it more then we did, especially those with bigger budgets.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mathieuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2011

We stayed two nights in the XL.

The positive... There was some cool quirky artwork and photo books in the room... a menu for sex toys. Malin + Goetz shower products. The shower room was nice.

Now on to the negative... I don't know if it was just the decorating, but our room (supposed to be the biggest in the place) seemed tiny. We appreciate art and culture, but are not hipsters by any stretch of the imagination so maybe it just wasn't for us. As someone stated previously, a lot the staff seemed "too cool for school"; they behaved as though we were troubling them whenever we asked for anything (advice on where to go, cabs etc.). Charged us a ridiculous price for a toothbrush/small toothpaste combo (NOT a fan of hotels who try to get away with things like this, and the hand cream example cited earlier... very unethical). Also, not conveniently located for sightseeing or shopping in the core (our fault for not doing enough research, not theirs, but just so you are aware).

Overall, disappointing.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank picklebunny1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2011

I use TripAdvisor almost all the time before booking hotels. and I think every time I find the ratings giving to a hotel are pretty accurate. Although I have to wonder whether those who give poor or bad reviews are those who experienced it only once and those who actually don't bother to write a review are the ones who have to say all the good things about certain hotel, but never make it to the pool of reviews for whatever reason.
Anyhow, the hotel at first when we called (we drove there) as we were approaching the hotel from the 401; seemed quite welcoming...the person who answered the phone at the front desk was respectful, she pointed that the hotel had only a few spots for parking and offered us one of them as it was available for the night we were staying.

When we arrive to the hotel, there was no spots available in the parking lot (small lot across the street) my spouse waited outside while I went inside and find out if it there was an actual spot reserved for us. The person parked in our spot was a manager or perhaps a supervisor, not sure, but she was pregnant and she ran out to the street to move her car! I was so worry she was going to fall in the middle of the road or something..... anyways we checked-in and were treated with respect... The lobby is small and it shares the entrance with a funky bar/restaurant. There are all kinds of artifacts, that looked tasteful all around. As went up stairs we noticed some interesting photographs on the walls, and beautiful chandelier... very chic. The hotel was being a host for the CONTACT photography festival that was happening.. and the reason we visited TO.
Before we entered the rooms area (there is a locked door where you need to use your room key to go through) we wondered through the hallway, a dark long hallway that it is illuminated by hanging mini-red-lampshades, with a chain with the room number. We were curious to see the interior. We didn't see any photos of the hotels before we booked it. so We were really curious to see what they look like, we entered the room and it was a surprise!! It was decorated very tasteful and colorful and modern and classy at the same time. we loved it!. It was a nice atmosphere to be in, we usually stay at the Sheraton downtown or at the Sheraton airport location and we were tired of all the 'fancy' drapery that these kind of hotels have. The rooms were awesome, the set up for the shower, toilet, sink, all were positioned in a very organized way. At the end, we ended up staying an extra night because we loved it so much. The people was great to deal with, love this place! I think if there was a negative thing, and isn't negative at all is just a small detail... was the restaurant service was a little bit slow..... but we didn’t care.
Love this place, and now we are looking forward to stay in another boutique hotel somewhere else!!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank arteisfoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2011

Small but stylish rooms.
Noisy, both from inside and outside.
Far from downtown, in an arty farty neighbourhood. Count all the pros and cons and you end up average, doubt if thats worth the 200 can dollars I paid.

  • Stayed: May 2011
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Thank wilhornis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2011

If you asked someone where all the hipsters go to party, drink and eat in Toronto, he/ she would probably respond "The Drake Hotel." The hotel is advertised as "a hot bed for culture" with its fascinating pieces of modern-meets-historic art pieces, varied entertainment, furnishings and decor.
The crash pad rooms are very cute and uniquely decorated. The voyeur-pleasing shower stall and toilet with its frosted glass were a bit of an adjustment along with the limited storage space. Overall, the crash pads are a fun, unique experience... Just don't expect privacy if you're sharing the room, nor a comfy pillow-top mattress. Also, the cleaning staff did an average job of cleaning our room; bottles were not cleared from our room, wet towels were left on the floor and the bed partially made. Plus, due to limited space, there were tons of orange laundry bags littering the hallways during cleaning hours which made it impossible to use the "computer pad" business station.

Where the Drake dramatically falls short is its "too cool" service. Upon checking in, our greeting wasn't warm or welcoming; I felt like I was bothering the concierge. There were 1-2 staff members that were friendly, some were almost unapproachable. During our stay, we were asked once if we needed any help as we toured the city (I was expecting staff to ask if we were looking to shop/eat/ watch a show as per previous reviews raved about the staff's expertise on local hot spots and friendliness). During day and night hours, whenever we ascended the stairs to our room we were asked, "Where are you going?" which I assume is a safety measure as many people wander into the hotel.
As a guest, this recurrent question made us feel like intruders being pleasantly interrogated.

The Drake lounge had some delicious dishes (the ribs really stood out) and awesome drinks... Sadly, the food isn't worth the poor, slow service. We had 3-4 different servers throughout the evening; the first 3 were decent however, the last server rudely asked us if we were "planning to eat or should I just take the cutlery away?" while we were enjoying happy hour. She also messed up our dinner order (my boyfriend ended up with cornbread instead of a burger) and took 20 minutes to bring our final round of beers. If she said "sorry" once or gave us a reason, we would have been happy customers.

Overall, stay at the Drake for an artsy, kitschy crash pad room experience just to say you did it. Hang out in the lounge and sky bar to experience the hip Toronto party/ bar scene. Beware of inconsistent service in the lounge and the hotel. To live up to all its hype, the Drake service needs to be more consistent.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MarieGrace17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jonathan_LeClaire, Manager at Drake Hotel Toronto, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2011

Dear MarieGrace17

Thank you for the compliments, we love our singularly designed Crash Pads too, 3rd Uncle Design are a marvel with esthetics, and unique ways to find extra space.

Clearly, however, I would like to apologize for some of the elements that tarnished your stay with us. The laundry bags you reference are a challenge given the heritage nature of the building, as you say, we have limited space available to us, but we always try to minimize this impact on guests’ experience. The head of housekeeping has made a few changes that will ensure guests can always access the computer pad in the future, so thank you for bringing this to our attention.

As for your service experience, please forgive us - You as a valued guest could never be a bother. While we are all well acquainted with city attractions and secret spots to look out for, we attempt – whenever possible – to not intrude on our guests while they stay with us. We stand ready 24/7 to answer any questions or to give directions to local hangouts or Toronto destinations. We even offer curated bicycle tours of the city on our very own cruiser bikes!

We hope you give us the opportunity to serve you again, I know we won’t fail to impress!

X[OH]!

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Additional Information about Drake Hotel Toronto

Address: 1150 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1J3, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Ontario > Toronto > Queen Street and West Queen West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Toronto
#10 Business Hotel in Toronto
#13 Family Hotel in Toronto
Price Range: £148 - £250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Drake Hotel Toronto 3*
Number of rooms: 19
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Also Known As:
Toronto Drake Hotel
Drake Toronto

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