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Hotel The Fairmont Royal York Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
100 Front Street West Toronto ON M5J 1E3 Toronto, Canada -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

One of the top luxury hotels in Toronto, The Fairmont Royal York is second to none. Host to three generations of the British Royal Family, it's not hard to see why this landmark hotel would be the Queen's first choice. A historical hotel that first opened in 1929, it is still very much still the centre of Downtown Toronto, despite its traditional interiors and rooms. The perfect place to stay if you're looking to be treated like royalty right in the centre of Toronto. The only downside for us, was the lack of intimacy in the hotel lobby and its restaurants - the hotel, despite its sophisticated decor and facilities, is buzzing with activity, which makes it feel more like the train station it was made to look like rather than an exclusive haven.

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    • Hotel The Fairmont Royal York

      The Fairmont Royal York   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel The Fairmont Royal York

      The Fairmont Royal York   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 8.19 /10

    The hotel is occupies almost the entire block just opposite the Sony Performing Arts Centre in Downtown Toronto. It's right in the centre of the action close to the city's main theatres. Union Street train station is just across the street.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    Needless to go into the numerous room categories at the Royal York - there are more than we can remember to be honest! The rooms are all pretty similar in terms of style, but vary greatly in size and facilities. The rooms have a classic style that may not be everyone's cup of tea. Although quality materials and fabrics have been used to give the rooms a cosy elegant feel, the style is dated but in-keeping with the rest of the hotel. Complete with lavish carpets, throws, velvet upholstery and drapes, you will feel like royalty staying in even the starting category. Despite its classic atmosphere however, guests will be happy to know that all rooms are equipped with large flat-screen televisions, complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities, a safe and mini-bar.

    If you don't quite have the budget to go for the Queen-s suite, aptly named the Royal Suite, you can still opt for something extra special by booking a room on the Gold floor on the 12th. The rooms are a little more spacious and there is more of a personalised service. This floor is the equivalent to any other hotel's business floor, with a lounge where canapés and cocktails are served daily. Rooms on this floor also have DVD/CD players. In our opinion however, you are probably better off booking one of the less fancy rooms, which provide better overall value, leaving you to splurge on the rest.

    Guests stay here knowing what to expect, but if you are after something contemporary with all the latest in terms of mod-cons and gadgets, then it is better to opt for a different hotel.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    The monumental hotel, with its 1 365 rooms, is one of the largest hotels in the city and it shows through its atmosphere as you walk through the door. The hotel was modelled on a train station when it was built back in the 1920s, but it is far from the intimate haven of peace and quiet to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, which most guests tend to look for during a stay in the city. However, the prestige of this hotel due to its history and the fact that it hosts the British Royal Family along with a long line of celebrities and politicians makes the Royal York somehow the place to be if you have the budget.

    The overall layout of the hotel is a little confusing, so make sure you remember where your room is upon arrival or you may not be able to find it again! The hotel is built on top of a shopping centre with, it has to be said, an average selection of shops, which pulls down the hotel's standards.

    On a positive note, the hotel interiors have an authentic charm that is reminiscent of old Toronto before skyscrapers started shooting up all around the city centre. A landmark hotel, the atmosphere on the upper floors resembles that old British charm that draws tourists to the hotel. We especially liked the York Station bar, Toronto's smallest bar. Stepping inside its hushed interior is like walking into the past. Complete with mahogany interiors, its warmth instantly envelops you and almost subconsciously you sit down on one of the banquettes to have a drink or two. An unknown little gem, you'll have a hard time finding someone who has been here. You'll find the bar on the second floor of the Royal York Hotel, but remember that it keeps odd opening hours: 7:00am to 12:00pm.

    Otherwise, the hotel has all the facilities you could imagine, including a better-known bar, the Library bar, where you'll usually come across a celebrity or two sitting in the shadows of this British inspired cosy haven.

    For pampering, there is a beautiful Elizabeth Milan Spa in the basement and a full fitness centre.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    In terms of restaurants at the hotel, there is enough choice to keep any guest happy for at least a week without having to step outside once. The main restaurant, EPIC, is open for breakfast and lunch in the week, as well as dinner including at the weekends. You will find a modern, traditional cuisine here, all made with as much local produce as possible. The Binihana Japanese steakhouse is one that should be on your list of restaurants to try if you are a big fan of Japanese food, as it doesn't just do sushi (open only for dinner and is closed on Mondays). Piper's Gastropub is all about hearty meals using Canadian produce and is fantastic for a cosy meal especially in the winter. However, if what you're after is a quick bite and a coffee at any time of the day, there is the trusty deli that serves all kinds of pastries, cakes, and sandwiches.

    Otherwise, in terms of bars, the hotel has two: the York Station Bar (open only until midday) and the popular Library Bar, which you'll find adjacent to the famous Imperial Ballroom on the second floor. Even if you'e not staying at the hotel, it's definitely worth dropping in for pre or post dinner drinks.

    To know

    There is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel (extra charge) and there is also a business centre for guest use.

    A shuttle bus takes guests to and from the airport, but tickets must be purchased in advance.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      sauna, spa, massage, beauty salon, keep fit, Turkish bath, wellness, hammam

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, sports, fitness, water-polo, mountain bike

    • Animals allowed
    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The sophisticated classic interiors.
    • Its historical landmark status.
    • The high-end choise of restaurants.
    • The chef's roof-top herb garden and apiary.

    disadvantages

    • The hubbub in the lobby takes away the exclusive atmosphere the hotel should have.
    • Its large size is intimidating and means the hotel lacks intimacy.
    • The classic interiors may be a turn-off for younger guests.
    • The very average shopping gallery.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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