Fodor's Expert Review Hazelton Hotel

118 Yorkville Ave., at Avenue Rd., Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2C1, Canada

Stepping through a discrete check-in area, guests are personally ushered through plush hallways to palatial guest rooms with sumptuous furnishings, floor-to-ceiling windows, individual doorbells, and electronic housekeeping controls. All the style comes via internationally renowned design firm of Yabu Pushelberg. Rooms are set apart from the main hallways to ensure absolute silence. Open your soundproof French doors and step out onto your balcony to experience the bustle of Yorkville. The hotel is only four stories tall, so don't expect panoramic views. In-room dining is 24 hours, or guests can opt to dine at the popular lobby restaurant, One, by Top Chef judge Mark McEwan.

If you want to screen a film--your directorial debut, perhaps--the hotel has a private 24-seat movie theatre with a 16-foot wide screen, leather seats with pillows, tables and table lamps.

room

A private dressing room made of zebrawood--just for me? Yes please. The spacious hotel guest rooms average over 600 square feet with nine-foot ceilings. Custom-designed furnishings and exterior French doors that open to a private balcony provide a feeling of intimate luxury. Rooms boast LG 47-inch HDTVs that swing out on an arm. Lutron-controlled lighting and wireless connections are bedside. Handy, that.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Request a room that doesn't face the loading dock or the service alley, unless you don't mind hearing trucks back up at 6:30 a.m.

Luxury King Room
Photo: Luxury King Room
Luxury Twin Room
Photo: Luxury Twin Room
Bellair Signature Suite
Photo: Bellair Signature Suite
Granite Bathroom
Photo: Granite Bathroom

bathroom

Swan into the bathroom and you'll instantly feel like a movie star. Let it envelope you. The full-size, ensuite bathrooms have dark green galaxy granite walls and floors--heated, of course. Bathrooms also feature deep soaker tubs, separate glassed-in rainfall showers, under-counter lighting, mirrors, built-in TVs, custom light sconces and Dornbracht fixtures.

Granite Bathroom
Photo: Granite Bathroom

lobby

Is it a private night club? Is it a hotel? Hazelton Hotel is hip. The discrete reception and lobby area is small, to keep out gawkers, but there's enough room to be comfortable. The internationally renowned design firm of Yabu Pushelberg pulled out all the stops, harmoniously mixing organic granite, polished chrome, gold textured walls and oversized photos.

Lobby
Photo: Lobby
Hallway
Photo: Hallway
ONE Restaurant
Photo: ONE Restaurant
Salt Water Pool
Photo: Salt Water Pool

pool

The sexy lap pool is elegant and skinny, with wall tile--or is it marble?--arranged in a horizontal pattern? Either way, it's stunning. Located one floor above the spa, the pool is a place of quiet contemplation.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Probably not the place to let your kids blow off steam. This pool is more of a sanctuary than a splash zone. No windows may freak some people out. Only two or three people can swim laps comfortably at the same time.

Salt Water Pool
Photo: Salt Water Pool
Spa by Valmont
Photo: Spa by Valmont

spa

You had me at eucalyptus steam room. The Spa at Hazelton by Valmont is Yorkville's most exclusive spa. The reception is calm and minimal, while the change rooms are loaded with amenity.

Guests rave about the couples massage.

Spa by Valmont
Photo: Spa by Valmont

gym

Cavernous and free of windows, the gym isn't a highlight of the hotel. Yet, it has the basics, plus huge mirrors and abundant artificial light.

dining

ONE Restaurant is homebase for "Top Chef" TV judge Mark McEwan. Locals pop in for the lobster and vermouth butter appetizer and truffle fries, among other things. The decor, also designed by Yabu Pushelberg, has low light, textured walls and photos of famous performers. The tree-lined candle lit patio is one of the best places in town to spot celebrities.

Restaurant patio
Photo: Restaurant patio
Neil Young Private Room
Photo: Neil Young Private Room
Hallway
Photo: salmon tartar

drinking

The bar at One is not a nightclub; it's more of a quiet place to meet someone for a martini or a glass of scotch. The selection of beer isn't huge, but that's what pubs are for. This is where to try new gins and fake comfort in a traditional cocktail.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The Hazelton Hotel is located on Yorkville Avenue with its cobblestone tree-lined streets and exclusive residences. You will feel compelled to walk because it feels like a little village. Parking is $49 per night, with privileges. At least two Bloor line subway stops are close, and taxis cruise around all day.

Restaurants

Opus Restaurant (5-minute walk) has a wine list with over 2,500 labels, and creative European cuisine of every nationality and style. Signatures (10-minute walk), inside the Intercontinental Hotel, is a posh spot to try Canadian dishes, served in a cheery, elegant setting.

Bars

Guests at Hazelton Hotel expect the best cocktails in town and that means one place, Bar Chef (20-minute drive). Imagine drinks that look like a theatrical forest tableau with morning mist and dew. Fun fact: they have 5,000 oz of jarred, homemade bitters. Or enjoy the classic mixed drinks and live music at Blue Restaurant (1-minute walk), right across the street. The pianist has local followers.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Finally, a hotel on par with your Valexra Avietta luggage. The Hazelton has a high-end design pedigree, and a whiff of mystery, courtesy of the dark lighting and decor. We love the location, with Yorkville Commons next door. Within 200 yards, there's a Whole Foods, art galleries, boutiques and a Soul Cycle. Amen. But the big selling point is the pet program. Cats can stay, as well as small dogs. The "Pet-culars" brochure has information on local pet service providers and a dog-walking map. If you're pressed for time, the hotel can arrange to have your dog walked, too.

QUICK FACTS

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HOTEL INFO

Phones: 866-473–6301;416-963–6300

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