Right beside Second City Comedy Club and TIFF, this hotel is smack in the middle of the pulsating Entertainment District, where it offers great views of Lake Ontario, the downtown skyline, or the Rogers Centre and more. Guest rooms are decorated in a chocolate, modern palate with modular, contemporary furniture, bright red accents, built-in TVs, and iPod docks. An outdoor swimming pool with seasonal sundeck provides excellent views from its rooftop, 17th-floor perch, as does the 24-hour fitness center, which is open to all guests.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Try not to judge the hotel based on its rather ugly and annoying website--a mauve design with text boxes that obscures the photos. Sigh. Free Wi-Fi at the hotel makes up for it.
Upgrade to the Business Plan rooms and get a shirt or blouse pressed daily, free newspaper, free breakfast, one bottle of water, free long-distance calls and a natural stone bathroom. Ask for a room above 10th floor to avoid street noise.
Like a Piet Mondrian painting (think "Broadway Boogie Woogie", without the yellow), the bathrooms have fun black, white and red decor. The walk-in shower is particularly jazzy, with the red accent tiles. The vanity mirror is nice and big, while the sink below is a modern, crisp bowel.
Want an extra towel? They're under the sink. You're welcome.
The Hyatt Regency is a landmark, known for it's blocky step-back exterior and abundance of blue-green windows. Once inside the lobby, it also had distinctive features--namely, super long bucket leather couches with no arms and a modern pond and waterfall installation. There's a Starbucks on hand.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The modular white reception desk is a tad too cold and modern for some guests.
The large rooftop pool opens every May. Items from the room service menu is delivered, pool side. View of the Hilton Garden Inn's sign are unfortunate.
Does the sauna count as a spa? Probably not, but we'll take it.
Branded as the StayFit Gym, this 24-hour workout on the 17th floor drab drab beige decor with little visual inspiration, but the it's fully stocked with "no pain, no gain" equipment. Buckle down and focus. There's a sauna as a reward.
King Street Social Kitchen and Bar is a lively breakfast and dinner spot, featuring an omelette bar and popular pub grub, respectively. Locals love the sweet potato fries and staff rave about the grilled chicken sandwich.
YOU SHOULD KNOW It's in the basement--called the concourse level--so this is not a bright, breakfast eatery. But kids under 12 eat for free.
King Street Social Kitchen has an inviting bar, lined with light panels that look like shell. However, Mix Bistro Bar in a corner of the loby is a hotel hot spot for film industry people to schmooze during the festival. It doesn't attract celebrities, exactly, but the suits behind the scene. The half-circle bar is none too sexy, but it's practical for making eye contact. Too bad the pot lighting is so unkind.
Get the lobster poutine for an authentic Toronto experience. It's known to minimize hang overs!
Do yourself a favour and spring for the $32 per night valet parking, underground. It's a decent price and you don't want to get stuck a Toronto gridlock while trying to find a public lot. Once parked, your close to shopping, the subway station, streetcars, and all entertainment destinations. Bring comfy shoes.
Cibo Wine Bar (9-minute walk) is the kind of upscale Italian eatery where you stay for hours sipping hearty red vino, while N'awlins (2-minute walk) can't be beaten for Southern cocktails. Both are within stumbling distance.
WHY WE LIKE IT
We like people watching on King Street from the lobby bistro bar. You never know who's going to walk into Second City next door. Hotel guests are genuinely delighted by the Hyatt's sleek room decor. Built-in TVs and contemporary headboards boost the hotel's sex appeal. We applaud the accessible rooms (wider doors, roll-in showers, lower counters and hangers, to name just a few adaptations) and the free breakfast policy for kids under 12. The Hyatt also welcomes dogs--even fatter pooches who tip the scales at 50 lbs--for $100 per stay.