Ding dong! The guest rooms have door bells. It's a charming throwback to the days before cell phones announced everyone's arrival. Once inside, the rooms are contemporary and sleek, with 42″ Plasma TVs, a movie library, Soundfreaq Bluetooth speakers, Keurig machine with premium Marley Coffee or Nespresso machines, gourmet mini-bars, floor-to-ceiling windows, Lutron lighting and multimedia work stations. The amenities are built in, keeping surfaces uncluttered.
Part of a small chain of luxury hotels in North America, this upscale gem lives up to its brand name, known for artistic wall treatments, stunning views and sexy lobby bars. The rooftop infinity pool and lounge draws classy hipsters from across town, as does the Thompson Diner. Guest rooms have multimedia work stations, Soundfreaq Bluetooth speakers, coffee machines and heated bathroom floors.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Wi-Fi fast enough to stream content costs extra, $15 per day.
Fifty Cent rented the luxury penthouse. then raved about the billiards table and cool furnishings.
Sweeping through the glass doors, guests are instantly impressed. Chic and warm, the lobby has an upscale elegance well suited to the Hollywood crowd who like to mingle before film screenings. The lobby bar and reception are really one open-concept space, with huge decor installations, centre pieces, slanted oversized mirrors and dimmed lighting.
Take a few laps on the rooftop infinity pool. It opens at 7 a.m. from May until it gets too cold in September. The 360-degree view is breathtaking. After 7 p.m., cabanas appear and the pool turns into a flirty lounge.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The pool closes at 7 pm. during the week, and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Plan accordingly.
You can stick to your workout schedule, thanks to the hotel's fitness equipment. It includes free weights, strength training equipment, three bikes, four treadmills, and three Elliptical machines. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day. It's isn't particularly stylish, but there are big windows and mirrors bouncing light around.
Thompson Diner is a trendy refresh of a classic 1950s diner. It has curvy banquettes and a sleek, full-service bar serving artisan beers and signature cocktails. It opens at 6 a.m. to offer hotel guests their breakfast and weekend brunch, including fresh-pressed juices from Greenhouse Juicery. Later in the day, the menu features classic diner favourites like burgers, milkshakes, omelettes, and fries. Get the mac and cheese.
The diner is open until 3 a.m., so it's the perfect place to dish gossip after a party.
The enormous Lobby Bar showcases a 110-foot Toronto skyline mural created by Spanish artist Javier Mariscal. Surprisingly, the black and white mural doesn't upstage the yellow accent chairs, dark hardwood floors, and deep-pile carpeting. Lively and fun, the bar is a hot spot all week. The daily drink specials are enticing. In nice weather, consider having a drink at the rooftop lounge, where the view is sensational.
There is a second, lesser-known lounge under the lobby called Wildflower. It has cutting-edge design incorporating leather, steel, theatrical lighting and some warm wood. It's open only on weekends, when it's frequented by the city's most in-the-know clubbers.
The hotel offers valet parking for $45 per day, plus tax. There is also self-parking in the garage for $40 per day, tax included. Leave the car there and walk. You're within a 10 to 15-minute stroll from many popular destinations. Taxis are plentiful, too.
Patria (7-minute walk) is loved by locals for its Classic Spanish cuisine, from tapas to paella, while Lee Lounge (4-minute walk) does high-end Asian cuisine. Think small-plates, French influences, low-lit hipster lounge.
Across the street, Chill Ice House (1-minute walk) is something unique--an ice lounge with frozen DJ booth, furniture and sculpture. The list of vodka cocktails is impressive and tasty. Coats and gloves are provided. To warm up, head to Goldie (3-minute walk), a wood-paneled place to have classic cocktails while sitting in a velvet tub chair.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Thompson Toronto has sure-footed service that keeps pace with the hotel's luxurious decor and design. We marvel at the panoramic views from the rooftop pool and lounge. Another selling feature is the late-night diner--not pretentious, but casual and smart. Conversation in the lobby bar is lively, fuelled by the eclectic guest list of culture gurus, tech heads and entrepreneurs.