Class and style coalesce at Le Germain. Located inside the Maple Leaf Square complex, it's perfectly poised to receive traffic from the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre. This boutique hotel boasts dramatic decor--including showstopper art--as well as a five-story inner atrium, eco-friendly awareness, a Lexus courtesy car, and free continental breakfast in the mezzanine.
The service is top notch, as friendly staff go out of their way to make guests feel welcome and cared for.
We know what you're thinking--a hotel in Maple Leaf Square isn't for light sleepers. Wrong. Between the black-out blinds and the excellent soundproofing, everyone gets a good night's sleep. Rooms feature arty photo murals by Matthew Plexman of professional NBA and NHL athletes. The comfy beds are made up with deluxe sheets by Maison Simons. Rooms have an abundance of charging plugs and connectivity portals, as well as bed-side controls for the lights, privacy and blinds. We loved the hide-away ironing board, built into the chic wall panels around the big-screen TV. For a special sexy night, request a room with a nine-foot diameter round bed!
Want a keepsake? Buy a drinking glass with your room number etched on the side. Kids get to cuddle an Angry Birds pillow during their stay, while parents appreciate the use of a Diaper Genie, an infant bath and the Nespresso machines. We love the "hockey puck" chairs, in keeping with the sports theme.
Roomy and sleek, the bathrooms are well lit, with a separate water closet for the toilet. The glassed-in shower stall is huge, featuring a rain shower and designer body products by Molton Brown. Their refillable bottles look good on the hotel's "green" score card.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Be sure to request a bath tub, if you want one. It isn't a given. Showers have privacy blinds that need to be closed to keep out prying eyes. This might not be the hotel to share with a work colleague or an active toddler.
Le Germain knows how to dress an entryway. Guests immediately look up to see The Knot--a clever light sculpture by Australian firm, Yellow Goat Design. Off to the left, the reception desk and concierge are are models of efficiency. Meanwhile, the lobby bar on the right-hand side is a thriving hub for sports fans and tourists enjoying the downtown area. This isn't a wide-open lobby for throngs of conventioneers to gather; it's more of an intimate place to meet your business partner or wait for your travelling companion.
Granted, the gym wouldn't satisfy the elite jocks in Matthew Plexman's photographs, but it's more than good enough for you and me. Open 24-hours a day, the fitness room has two treadmills, two eliptical machines, a cycle, yoga balls, yoga mats and some free weights.
A deluxe free breakfast is served on the mezzanine level, where there are couches, newspapers, a work station and a proper eating area. The morning spread is generous, with hard-boiled eggs, cheese, yogurts, fresh fruit, bagels, breads, baked goods (try the croissants!) and excellent coffee. For dinner, the lobby bar has tapas-style dishes and bistro classics. Think steak frites.
Order the bison meatballs and the unexpected house-spiced popcorn chicken. IT's a delight.
Packed with sports fans on game nights--some wearing matching Leafs blazers--the lobby bar is alive with excitement. There are about 20 types of beer--imported and domestic--available, along with several champagne options. Try a lychee mojito or the popular Germain Spritzer made with Gray Goose Cherry Noir.
Right in the heart of Maple Leaf Square, Le Germain is connected to the PATH and Union Station, via Air Canada Centre. If you must bring the car, there's valet service for $49 per night, with in and out privileges. Or, self park in the underground lot. We recommend the valet, especially on game nights.
For upscale Japanese dining, walk to Miku Toronto (7-minute walk) for their signature flame-seared sushi. Or, head to the CN Tower to experience their revolving eatery in the sky, 360 The Restaurant (10-minute walk).
The Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery (14-minute walk) has team spirit, as well as excellent fried, burgers, and a staggering variety of beer on tap. The spacious patio at the Duke of Devon (9-minute walk) makes this alehouse a hit all summer. Their designer pizzas go well with the Ontario craft beer and the imported labels.
WHY WE LIKE IT
As well as the excellent location, we love the sexy ambiance, unspecified check-out time and the lively lobby bar on game nights. Le Germain has bedding accessories (cool throw pillows, robes) from Montreal designer Marie Saint Pierre, plus as "hockey puck" chairs, in keeping with the location's proximity to sporting venues. While Le Germain doesn't appear well situated for serenity, the guest room experience is calm and restful. There are enough dramatic decor flourishes to remind you of its "boutique" designation.