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Luxurious, mod-Asian hotel with a prime downtown address, exotic spa and exceptional restaurant
B & H CHIL Design created a dramatic, modern-Asian sanctuary inside the Shangri-La Toronto, providing a little bit of Zen in Canada’s busiest city. A massive sculpture, called Rising, by Shanghai-based Zhang Huan, dominates the outdoor space. The lobby’s chic atmosphere begins at check-in and resonates throughout the decor. Creamy marble floors are dotted with champagne-colored leather sofas and the walls with impressive Asian paintings and tall bay windows. Dramatically lit hallways, walls covered in slubby silk and glass boxes showcasing Asian antiques all add to the Shangri-La's gallery-like vibe.
Bed and Bath
Guestrooms are spacious, averaging 490 to 540 square feet, and the contemporary Asian influences carry through subtly amid a neutral color palette, with shades of cream, beige and chocolate brown. Upon arrival, expect a classic Chinese teapot steeping green tea, and at turndown a tasseled bookmark with an inspiring quote from Lost Horizon will be left on your pillow. Mod cons include motorized window coverings that are controlled by a light switch, Zenius Nespresso machines and in-room iPads. Marble restrooms have traditional Chinese vanities that have been modernized with L'Occitane bath products and a TV screen in the mirror.
Chef Damon Campbell oversees the hotel's main restaurant, Bosk, which is open from breakfast (with excellent coffee from JJ Bean) through dinner. A champagne cart is wheeled to your table to start your evening meal off in style; try the ricotta and leek agnolotti with English peas, truffle pecorino and sweet corn, or the tasting menu with exceptional wine pairings. The Bar, right next to the restaurant, is where you’ll find the suits after 5 p.m. The Lobby Lounge is relaxing for high tea in the afternoon — it offers an impressive 68 varieties — and morphs into a hot spot for live music and 1930s libations come dark. Sip a French Connection (Grey Goose vodka, elderflower liqueur, and muddled white grapes, served on a proper linen cocktail napkin) while your head bounces to the Blue Band on Friday nights.
In the Area
The hotel is located on University Avenue, making it an ideal location for business travelers, looking to stay close to the Financial District, as well as theater buffs, who will find some of the country’s best stages within walking distance. Have a few laughs at Toronto's outpost of Chicago's cult comedy club Second City, just down the street on Mercer. Yorkville is an ideal neighborhood for shopping (it's got Canada’s first Kate Spade boutique, for instance) and restaurants, including Trattoria Nervosa, with a patio perfect for people watching.