I had a night to spend in Toronto while I was in the area for a friend's wedding, so I went online searching for a place to stay. I didn't want to board up in a cookie cutter hotel, I wanted a bit of an experience.. and I got one. When I went to the site and found that each of the rooms is uniquely decorated by various artists, I knew I had to give it a go. I loved the fact that you got to "tour" each of the rooms online, and then pick the one you wanted (well.. of the rooms that were still available, that is. This old hotel was beautiful on the inside and out (I'm a sucker for older architecture and I got what I wanted in a city full of gleaming glass skyscrapers). I was a bit worried about having to haul my suitcase up 4 flights of stairs, but not to worry! They had a 100+ year old, gorgeous elevator to bring me up. On the way up/down I peered into the art gallery on the 2nd floor, which is just a great use of space. The floor with the rooms was open.. not a maze of hallways, but more of a gallery feeling again, with pieces hung on all of the walls. When I stepped into my room, I was taken aback a little... I had the "Red Room" and it was... red! You don't get the full feel of just how all encompassing the red-ness was until you were in it. The lampshades were even red-ish, so the light in the room itself was dim. I loved the velvety bedspread and the felted butterflies in shadowboxes hanging on the walls. Now, for the more negative parts:
The bathroom was tiny.. and that's putting it mildly. Just a stand-up shower stall that I wasn't sure I was going to make it in or out of.. but it served it's purpose.
Then there was the noise. I got into my room at around 3:30PM on a Friday afternoon and all I could hear was the road noise from the street outside. Luckily, it was on a corner, so there weren't a TON of people walking by, but when they did, you could hear everything. There are train tracks near by as well, so you heard plenty of clanging. But, I was tired enough from the travel that day that I was able to nap through it. When I got back to the room around 11PM, the noise was much less.. but there was still the consistent train sounds, which, in the end, can be kind of soothing.
Lastly, the parking. There was no good place to pull up to register, so I circled the block a million times before finding a parking spot. When I registered, I got my parking slip for one of the few spots they have available across the street in a cafe's lot. So, if you're bringing a car, make SURE you reserve your spot when you reserve your room. But, what do you get when your "reserved" spots are just mingled in with general parking of a cafe's lot? You get people taking your space. And when I told the front desk at the hotel, they seemed not to care much and that they "couldn't do anything" about it. (Umm.. isn't towing an option?) Luckily I stole someone else's hotel spot, which they said would be ok, but I wasn't too jazzed about that experience.
So.. all in all.. the Gladstone is a beautiful hotel that has the market of uniqueness cornered for Toronto, which outweighed some of the minor downsides.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Gladstone Hotel is not only the oldest continuously operating hotel in Toronto, it's also one of Canada's favourite Art Boutique Hotels. Blending historical Victorian architecture with contemporary elegance, downtown culture and whole lot of art, the Gladstone Hotel has a very diverse client base and is a hub for locals and international travellers alike. 37 Hotel rooms each individually designed by different Canadian artists, 2 restaurants, 4 event spaces including a ballroom with a full size bar, 3 Art exhibition spaces and a meeting room. We organize private events, staff parties, corporate events, press/book launches, weddings and more. Find out what people are saying about the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, or leave a review of your own. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Gladstone Hotel Toronto