From the front of The Hazelton Hotel in Toronto’s Yorkville area, it’s small wonder that guests can be a bit confused which door leads to the hotel. Firstly, there’s the door to the costly condos on the 4th and 5th floor, then to the exclusive retail store and then for one of the city’s most popular restaurants, called One. Finally,in the lobby there’s a small greeting staff, waiting and ready to assist.
Once inside the lobby, it quickly becomes clear that Yabu Pushelberg, one of the most sought after interior designers world -wide, who just happen to be Torontonians, have set up a singularly stunning, subtle venue. And also added is a secret scent that is so encompassing, one can’t help being aware of the freshness of the delicate presence of lavender and jasmine in the air. After all, there is only one first impression and it may as well be the best there is to offer if you want to be considered in the highest rung of global luxury ‘digs’.
Here bronze colour velour (don’t shrug. This fabric is luscious) and seating groupings are separated from each other in quiet sections of this airy but not large area. Small gold-leaf coffee tables separate the chairs with dark grey velour. It may sound staid but to break up the traditional, there are unique designer tan leather chairs, silver mesh window coverings that take on the impression of chain mail, huge and important bronze sculptures which have a major presence. It’s in the style of a1940s Hollywood Gentlemen’s club, with a touch of black and a lot of class.
And the important art work, I soon discover, continues throughout the hotel and the rooms.
Off the lobby there is a dimly lit niche for the reception area.
One doesn’t expect Madonna and Elton John to have to register here but those lesser known, or regular clients, don’t have to be concerned about who sees them in this pricey hotel.
And yes, the celebs love The Hazelton so there’s no mistaking that this 62 room, 15 suite boutique hotel is up there on the list of where to stay in this booming city where the world’s second most important film festival- TIFF- takes place annually and yes, the stars do come and rooms are reserved months ahead of time.
The palette of ecru, cream and grey are shot throughout the entire premises. And what great suites, enough to take photos and want some of the aspects and ideas duplicated in own their home.
It was during the Toronto International Film Festival that I met with the General Manager David Mounteer and his assistance Katerina . Most rooms were occupied and Madonna and her very large entourage were about descend. But that said, I was taken to a few of the suites to see a few layouts. Stunning, large, and but with the modernistic, lucite/stainless steel edge that many of the new hotels have. It’s a softer rendition and the flow of each room, each different, all have similar textures walls, counters and floors
The larger suites like #220, have a dressing area that leads to the bedroom and the bathroom. Here the doors, looking like part of the wood paneled walls when pulled closed for privacy. The sinks and counter space is separated by the bathroom’s entrance. No cost was spared with the Galaxy marble counters, a top- end espresso machine, the finest linens, European imported modern faucets in all the bathroom, frosted glass areas where needed.
Of course, what always is such a surprise, are new, innovative and creative installations. The built -in TV in the mirror when turned off, it’s an innocuous,black square
Also, important in this lively part of the city, most rooms have balconies that overlook the fashion or the residential streets.
But perhaps the most innovative is that each floor has a business centre where in this smallish area, there’s a, computer, a printer, fax, copy machine..no charge.
And there are various categories from Superior rooms which are their standard ones, but are larger than most that exist in other hotels. Deluxe, Luxury, Junior suites, an Executive suite, and The Hazelton, The Avenue, The Bellair, all one of a kind. The last three suites are named after bordering or nearby streets. Rates are expectedly high. starting in the $500 range up to a few thousand dollars a night.
What is the big surprise for this small stately building is that there is a spa. Four treatment rooms using the Swiss made creams and lotions, Valmont, have top estheticians. While waiting for my facial, in a small, candle lit niche, I was served herbal tea. Katherine only available during the TIFF week, was so very knowledgeable and also mentioned throughout the1 1/2 hour facial, which product she was about to apply and why. It’s complimentary to the VIPs at this time. I did come away looking a glossier with my now baby soft skin.
The floor below has a salt water filled lap pool. Although narrow, it’s long enough for a good swimming work-out and the gym, again not huge, is filled with the best equipment to be had.
As a New Yorker told me in the black-etched, mirrored elevators. “It may be my first time here and in Canada, but it certainly it won’t be my last. It’s a great city and the hotel is one of the most stunning, well serviced I’ve ever stayed at,” he said, his cap just perfectly placed as though a stylist may have given him some hints. And this recommendation from a jaded movie mogul, here to see the film offerings and from a man who has probably stayed at the best around the world. Toronto’s The Hazelton Hotel, is now fair competition for the world’s top rated boutique Hotels.