A dazzling newcomer, Bisha is a luxury hotel that delivers design-forward style and opulence in the Entertainment District. The building rises from behind a heritage frontage to reach 44 stories, capped off by a rooftop restaurant and lap pool. It's known for excellent service, people watching, decadent furnishings and a glamorous clientele.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Not everyone will appreciate the dramatic decor, nightclub atmosphere and dim lighting. Some find it vulgar, while others are delighted to find themselves in a sexy vampire bordello.
Lenny Kravitz's design studio made the rooms on the 7th floor extra fabulous, but the other five floors are equally impressive. All rooms are spacious and unique, with bold art, lacquered wood, crushed velvet, 1970s-style patterned carpets, king beds, Nespresso machines, custom swivel flat screens and floor-to-ceiling windows. Shunning the trend to provide empty mini fridges, Bisha offers guests a well-stocked mini bar. Some rooms have huge terraces.
YOU SHOULD KNOW No work desk and ergonomic chair? Guests at Bisha don't prioritize work over play, so lighting is dim and a desk is non-existent in some rooms. Instead, there's a bar cart. Guests can have a hard time figuring out the light and shower fixtures. Faster Wi-Fi costs $14.99 plus tax per day.
Glad to see the designers knew where to put the money--into heated bathroom floors. The black marble is edgy and hip, making Bisha bathrooms a nice break from more corporate powder rooms. Guests love the walk-in showers, Byredo products and all the elbow rooms.
Bisha's lobby looks ready for a Vogue photo shoot. Quirky and dripping with style--imagine crushed velvet walls and hanging sculpture--there is no shortage of visual drama. Beautiful people wear slinky cocktail dresses and heels to sip martinis as Mr. C., the lobby bar. There is a faint signature scent vented into the lobby area, along with robust club music.
The rooftop infinity pool is long and skinny--shaped for one or two people doing laps. It also sports a sensational view of the CN Tower and the city skyline from the sun deck. Grab one of the circular sun beds with extra pillows.
While there is no full-service spa, there is a clean and functioning steam room as part of the gym facility on the third floor.
Wow, the weights have Bisha stamped on the side! Natural light floods the spacious third-floor gym, where there are cardio machines, free weights, balls, mats and more.
SoulCycle is right next door.
KOST, pronounced "coast", is Bisha’s Baja-Mexican rooftop restaurant. Breakfast ranges from Mediterranean-style açaí bowls, breakfast burritos and eggs to avocado toast. At night, the restaurant pulses with up-beat music and excited diners sharing plates of seafood. Throughout the day, guests can get a Parisian café experience at French Maid, the lobby eatery, with delicious pastries baked in house daily, as well as hearty seasonal salads and hand-pressed gourmet sandwiches.
Mr. C Bar Room is sexy as hell, with moss green velvet fabric, a fireplace, black marble walls and quirky decor accents. This is where to pose in your Rodarte dress and celebrate your promotion. Some patrons complain that the music is too loud at Mr. C, but this kind of tableau requires an assertive soundtrack. Drinks are creative, kooky and high priced.
Cocktails and apps are half price every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. That's right, every day.
Meditation apps were created for people trying to parking in downtown Toronto. Don't overthink it--just use the expensive valet ($40) and ditch the car. That frees you to use taxis, Uber, the streetcar and the subway.
For something more laid back, you'll have to leave the hotel. Fred's Not Here (2-minute walk) is an upbeat, casual place for steak and seafood, while the nearby Kit Kat Italian Bar and Grill (3-minute walk) is where to go for Southern Italian home cooking in a family-run setting.
Order a pint at the Fox and Fiddle (5-minute walk) or learn why everyone raves about Canoe Restaurant and Bar (13-minute walk). We'll give you a hint--the view from the 54th floor is spectacular while sipping a martini. Note the bundled wood chandeliers and moss-covered art.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Thank you, Bisha, for bringing glamour back. It starts at the entryway, where the door is flanked by two cast bronze sculptures from noted Japanese artist Jun Kaneko. We love the over-the-top decor--think black marble, dramatic art, low lighting--and the thumping lobby music. The entire venue is an aphrodisiac. We appreciate that Bisha is a place to see and be seen--especially on Wednesdays, for funk night. People who live in the residence portion of the hotel mingle with ease, providing talking points and local colour.