The most unique places to stay in Toronto

by Parisima Baha

As Canada’s number one tourism destination, Toronto has plenty of hotels. We’ve narrowed it down to the top places to stay for a magical, artsy or scenic experience of the city – because you might as well go big or you’d be home, right? [Image credit: iStock.com/PaulMcKinnon]

The most unique places to stay in Toronto

1. Thompson Toronto Hotel

Toronto’s Thompson Hotel has epic 360 views of the 6, and perhaps the best view of the CN Tower, atop the Rooftop Lounge. Plus, there’s a 40-foot infinity pool to help you soak up the city’s skyline – or re-enact the James Bond pool scene from Skyfall, TO-style. The scenic sights continue indoors with floor-to-ceiling windows in the modern, cool-toned rooms. With room service to complement your Netflix and chill, a sophisticated lobby bar to relax with a cocktail, a nightlife lounge to let loose, a 24-hour diner to enjoy late-night snacks, and Colette Grand Café in the building to enjoy luxurious French cuisine, you may never want to leave the premises. It’s no wonder Torontonians choose this as their staycation destination.

2. Gladstone Hotel

If you have a fine appreciation for visual arts, then Gladstone Hotel is where you’ll want to stay during your visit to Toronto. With 37 artist-designed rooms to choose from, you’ll literally be sleeping in works of art. Have a sleepover in what looks like Jenna Rink’s bedroom from 13 Going on 30 – complete with pink bedding, purple walls and Teen Beat celeb posters (think: young heartthrobs like Tom Cruz, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon and Matt Damon staring at you while you sleep). Perhaps you’re more into food nostalgia, in which case you’ll love the Surreal Gourmet room, decorated with a Fruit Loops armoire, marshmallow pillows, wineglass chandelier, and complete with your own kitchenette where you can make paninis. The hotel also hosts several art exhibitions and events to keep you busy, including live music, karaoke night and adult colouring happy hour.

3. The Hazelton Hotel

Looking for a place to stay for celeb-spotting during September’s Toronto International Film Festival? Not only have many stars like Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber and Drake stayed at The Hazelton Hotel, but Yorkville’s posh neighbourhood is known to attract A-listers. It’s also worth booking a room here any other month of the year, especially if you’re looking to save – prices jump up during TIFF. Dine at the hotel’s restaurant, One, whose chef, Marc McEwan is a judge on the Food Network show Chopped Canada. Feel like a VIP with in-house spa treatments, including nails and facials. Take that high profile mentality with you to shop for designer wear and enjoy the elegant nightlife in the area. And with the subway station nearby, you can easily commute to other parts of the 6.

4. The Ivy at Verity

For a charming historic experience, away from the city noise, stay at The Ivy at Verity. Located in Corktown (one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods) and a few blocks away from The Distillery District, there’s plenty of history and beautiful architecture to discover. In fact, the hotel’s building was once home to a chocolate factory in the 1850s. Today, it’s a quaint European boutique-style hotel with only four rooms. But don’t let that number fool you, the rooms are quite spacious and very luxurious. Each has king-sized beds, Italian linen bedding and you get to choose your own pillow preference. Plus, the floors are heated and each room has an outdoor terrace. Daily breakfast is also on the house and delivered to your room! There’s also a lounge area with 24-hour serve-yourself bar and an in-house restaurant with a gorgeous summer patio. With the spa, fitness centre and indoor pool available to women only, The Ivy makes for a great girls or Mother’s Day getaway destination.

5. The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel is the place for an entertaining stay. Just as vibrant as its Queen West neighbourhood, this place attracts creative junkies who appreciate indie arts. Though their digs are small compared to other hotels in Toronto, the design more than makes up for it and has more the feeling of a rad apartment than a hotel room. Locals come here for the summer rooftop patio, weekend brunch and nightlife. With lively events going on every night and day, like live music, art exhibits, trivia games, and cook-offs – and guest appearance like comedian Russell Peters DJing – you might not actually get much sleep during your stay here ;)

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