The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto *****
North America, Toronto
Indoor swimming pool
Free installation of an urban safari (tent in the room, cuddly toy, treasure hunt, etc.) within the hotel per family
Jerome, father of Achille, 7, from Brussels
Last July, we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto as a family. Here are our impressions.
As soon as we arrived, we were warmly welcomed. As we were checking in, a charming young man came up and accosted our son Achille, calling him by his first name. It was Guillaume, the dynamic hotel manager from France, who had come to welcome us. Our stay was off to a good start.
The hotel was completely renovated in 2020. The style blends classical and contemporary influences. Many of the details are reminiscent of the famous Toronto Film Festival, which is held nearby every year. For example, the walls of the rooms and corridors are adorned with artistic photos taken during the Festival by Caitlin Cronenberg, daughter of the famous director David Cronenberg.
We chose to stay in a One Bedroom Corner Suite. I recommend this very spacious room, which is perfect for a family with one or two children. Ours, on the 15th floor, had an incredible view of the bay and the famous CN Tower. A teepee full of presents had been set up in the lounge to entertain our son. He was so delighted that he spent his first night in his teepee, instead of sleeping on the sofa bed. So cute. Our son also received slippers and a bathrobe, all personalised with his first name. In the evening, a glass of milk and homemade cookies were waiting for him on the bedside table.
The hotel’s service is impeccable and the staff are attentive and responsive. The bedding is very comfortable and little details like the Diptyque Paris welcome products make all the difference.
The indoor pool is the place to be for the kids, who have the time of their lives. Achille made friends with children from Montreal and also with American children. Perfect for practising your English. After visiting Toronto during the day, the indoor swimming pool is a real added value for relaxing.
For parents who want more peace and quiet, there’s the Clarins spa right next door. This spa gives you free access to a sauna, a hammam, a whirlpool bath and a cosy relaxation room. The price of the treatments, however, is quite high. My wife took advantage of the well-equipped gym on several occasions.
The hotel is particularly child-friendly. A programme has been drawn up especially for them. Every day, there are fun activities dedicated to them: an ice cream-making workshop, a movie night with a ton of popcorn, a flower bouquet-making workshop, and so on.
We tried out the hotel’s Italian restaurant (I recommend the signature dish: spaghetti carbonara prepared in a wheel of parmesan) and also the modern restaurant, which opens onto a pleasant terrace. We really enjoyed the cuisine at these two restaurants.
The location is perfect for families. Major attractions such as the train museum, the baseball stadium, the aquarium, the CN Tower and the lakeside promenade are all less than 10 minutes’ walk away. Several outdoor playgrounds are also located close to the hotel.
One evening, we even attended a baseball match by the local team, the Toronto Blue Jays, at Roger Stadium, located right next to the hotel. It was a real spectacle, American-style, and we loved the immersion.
To discover the city, we took a 2-hour double-decker bus tour on the first day. I recommend this option, which gives you an overview of the city and enables you to spot the places you want to explore. The ticket is valid for 24 hours and entitles you to a return boat trip to visit the island opposite Toronto.
I particularly recommend visiting the chic district of York, Chinatown, the bohemian district of Kensington, as well as the island opposite the bay. We also really enjoyed Saint Lawrence Market and its huge food halls. The old industrial district of Distillery is ideal for a drink or a bite to eat.
We also took the opportunity to discover the famous Niagara Falls, located 1:20 from the hotel. We had hired a car for the day, but the concierge had suggested that we go by bus with a guide or with a private driver. On the way to the falls, you’ll pass through the vineyards of the Niagara Valley. Wine lovers will love it! You can also stop off along Lake Ontario, where there are some lovely restaurants offering breathtaking views.
Finally, I’d like to share with you a few tried and tested places to eat:
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