Fodor's Expert Review Hilton Toronto

145 Richmond St. W, at University Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2L2, Canada See on Map

A standard business hotel near the entertainment and financial districts, The Hilton is full service--with a gift shop, a Starbucks, a steakhouse and advanced consideration for accessibility needs. Guest rooms don't "pop", but the pleasant bathrooms offer Peter Thomas Roth toiletries. The indoor-outdoor pool is surrounded by towering skyscrapers, which lends a certain eeriness to your swimming experience. An executive-floor lounge has a full-time concierge and complimentary breakfast and cocktails. Tundra restaurant in the hotel's lobby has stellar Canadian cuisine. Get the bison burger.

room

With a dormant design sensibility, the Hilton won't offend anyone with the decor. A splash of colour would improve the rooms' all-tan colour scheme. That said, the guest rooms are big and bright, featuring a generous work desk that doesn't double as a TV stand. Some rooms have horizontally striped wallpaper. Elevated design is found in the themed suites: the Hudson's Bay Company suite, the glamorous Margery Steele suite, the rugged Heritage suite, and the Panorama suite, a one-bedroom hospitality suite with a small kitchen for on-site catering.

Budget permitting, upgrade to an executive room for robes, slippers, 47-inch plasma TVs, free WiFi and access to the private Executive Lounge for a deluxe continental breakfast, all-day coffee service and evening hors d’oeuvres. Yo'u'll also get that splash of colour.

King Executive Room
Photo: King Executive Room
Standard Double Room
Photo: Standard Double Room
Leaside
Photo: Leaside

bathroom

Shaving mirrors on an articulated arm? Peter Thomas Roth bath products? Well played, Hilton. The counter space is decent, too, as is the lighting. No need to recoil in horror each morning.

lobby

The Hilton's lobby is full of flowing panels and soaring concrete pillars. It doesn't quite work as a unified design statement. However, the wide-open space has plenty of seating clusters near charging stations, a gift shop, an ATM machine and a lobby bistro bar.

Just down the hall from reception, you'll find a thriving Starbucks, with all the comforts of, well, a Starbucks.

Indoor/Outdoor Pool
Photo: Indoor/Outdoor Pool

pool

Score--it's an indoor-outdoor pool! Big and clean, the pool at the Hilton is a four-season attraction. It's oddly shaped, so not ideal for doing your daily laps. It's on the second floor, surrounded by glass skyscrapers, lounge chairs with thick cushions and greenery.

There's a summer pool bar with a festive menu of frilly drinks and light snacks.

Indoor/Outdoor Pool
Photo: Indoor/Outdoor Pool
Health Club
Photo: Health Club

gym

Get your game face on. The gym is a bit dark, with no exterior windows, but it has everything you need to be your best self. It's on the second floor, across from the pool.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The treadmills look like they're in prison. Facing the wall, they don't offer any views. At least there are small monitors to watch the news and track your progress.

Health Club
Photo: Health Club

dining

The gold standard for small-chain steakhouses, Ruth's Chris offers custom-aged Midwestern beef, broiled to order at 1800 degrees. It's hopping, with happy chatter between guests and servers. Their drink menu has is well edited. For breakfast and lunch, head to Tundra, the lobby bistro bar. Get the bison burger, every time.

Tundra Bar
Photo: Tundra Bar
Tundra
Photo: Tundra
Executive Lounge
Photo: Executive Lounge
Executive Lounge
Photo: Executive Lounge

drinking

The lobby bar at the Hilton is a well-known institution for flirting and networking. Inside Tundra restaurant, the bar is square-shaped, with high-back stools and hanging drum lights. Bring your talking points, because the decor offers no conversation starters.

Executive Lounge
Photo: Executive Lounge

LOCATION

Getting Around

There is a self-serve lot on site, but valet parking at the Hilton is surprisingly reasonable ($45 per night with in and out privileges) for downtown Toronto. Car clearance is 6-foot four inches. After you're parked, enjoy easy access to the PATH system of underground walkways, as well as the subway and streetcars. You can walk to most downtown attractions from the Hilton.

Restaurants

Part art gallery, part hip eatery, Drake 150 (5-minute walk) is a place to people watch. For your second night in town, you can't go wrong with Estiatorio Volos (1-minute walk) across the street, where they serve authentic Greek seafood and grilled meats. Make a reservation.

Bars

Wear your skinny jeans to mingle at Bar Hop (7-minute walk) on King Street West, or enjoy the reclaimed wood and incandescent light fixtures while sipping a craft beer at Earls (10-minute walk).

WHY WE LIKE IT

We love how the Hilton goes out of its way to accommodate guests needing more accessibility--rooms with furniture, doorways, and electrical outlets specially configured for accessibility, and bathrooms containing safety bars, raised vanities and toilets, and roll-in showers or tubs with handheld sprays. It also gets points for their indoor-outdoor pool and summer terrace. While the rooms and lobby need refreshing, the Hilton is still a solid choice for no-nonsense lodging with the amenities of a big brand hotel.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Sophisticated
Central
$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 800-267–2281;416-869–3456

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