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.