Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto opened this month on Canada's grand ceremonial boulevard, University Avenue, in the heart of its largest city, Toronto, Ontario.
"Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is proud to welcome guests to the newest member of the group's growing global portfolio and second hotel in North America. Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto brings our signature hospitality from the heart to the fast developing downtown core of this cosmopolitan city, welcoming both Toronto residents and travellers from around the world," said Greg Dogan, president and CEO of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd.
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto resides within the first 17 floors of a new 66-storey landmark tower. Guests will appreciate its downtown location – where the city's business and entertainment districts meet. The 202-room hotel is within a five-block radius of the performance centre for Canada's opera and ballet companies, the headquarters for the country's five major banks, consulates, leading research hospitals, sports venues, the city’s live theatre district and the Toronto International Film Festival headquarters.
At the University entrance, a hand-hewn stainless steel sculpture, 'Rising,' by one of China's most influential contemporary artists Zhang Huan, reaches from the street up the glass tower and into the hotel's two-storey lobby.
Like the exterior, the hotel's interior is a destination where art and architecture are emphasized. Entering the street-level lobby, guests find themselves in the 90-seat Lobby Lounge where natural light streams through two-storey windows highlighting birds from 'Rising.' The lounge features four large-scale Chinese calligraphy paintings that depict women from the famed Peking Opera, an Italian handcrafted, light-oak Fazioli piano with the words to My Old Man by Canadian artist Joni Mitchell carved into its lid, and contemporary furniture in dove-grey leather.
In the Lobby Lounge, guests can choose from an all-day menu inspired by Southeast Asian food vendors, a tea selection of 68 hand-picked teas from around the world, and a five-volume menu of apéritifs and cocktails, wines and beers, scotch, spirits, and fortified wines.
By design, guests move easily through the lobby to The Bar, an intimate 30-seat destination that fronts Bosk, the hotel's signature restaurant which brings to life a globally-inspired menu with distinct Asian-influences. Hanging above The Bar are 180 hand-blown glass fixtures in varying shades of green. To the right, an oak wall carves out the name, Bosk and its definition, a small wooded area. Inside, an 80-seat restaurant includes a private dining enclave for up to 30, plus a seasonal outdoor terrace which wraps around the corner of the building.
Beyond the hotel lobby are 202 guestrooms and suites, ranging in size from 45 to 205 square metres (490 to 2,200 square feet). Stepping off the elevator, guests encounter a wall covered in raw-silk, an Asian credenza and replicas of Chinese Emperor chairs. Under foot, carpeting in rich aubergine, chocolate and taupe with touches of burnt orange, offers up subtle imagery of mountain ranges and bamboo motifs. In the hallways, glass cases house Asian figurines, vases and pottery.
Guestrooms are subtle in design but rich in textures and decor touches. Sapele veneer, a dark wood from the mahogany family, covers the walls and provides a contrasting background for the muted earth-tone furniture and accessories, while floor-to-ceiling windows fill the room with natural light. Furniture, finishings and amenities are residential in feel and functional in design, including desk-top plugs that put the IT world within easy reach. The bedroom has been designed with a custom, pillow-top mattress, black-out curtains, and fabrics in soft, soothing champagne tones. Oversized bathrooms in a black-veined white marble, average 14 square metres (150 square feet). The walk-in shower, with rain shower head, stands apart from a jet tub. Bathroom mirrors, embedded with LCD televisions, are framed above a marble-topped vanity reminiscent of an Asian table.
Each room features an entertainment centre with a 47-inch flat-screen LED television and iPad for in-room use, featuring ICE technology that puts the hotel, literally, in the guest's hands to access in-room dining, housekeeping, bell service and 24-hour concierge.
Nine guest rooms feature private, appointed outdoor terraces and one quarter of the guest accommodation is devoted to generous suites, among the largest available in Toronto's downtown core.
Included in the 49 suites are five specialty suites ranging from 59 square metres (630 square feet) to the premier Owner's Suite at 102 square metres (1,100 square feet) and Shangri-La Suite at 205 square metres (2,200 square feet). The Owner's Suite is dark and dramatic with a wood paneled, library-like entrance while the Shangri-La Suite is open and airy, making use of Japanese lattice screens, oak wood molding and pewter marble. The Shangri-La Suite also offers a pantry with private butler's entrance.
For meetings, weddings and social events, the third floor with its nine meeting rooms, presents one of the city's most unique hosting opportunities. The floor is a rich mix of colours, textures and materials – red-veined black marble is juxtaposed with white oak millwork and leather sofas sit under crystal chandeliers. Encompassing 1,359 square metres (14,626 square feet) in four distinct areas, the spaces are easily connected via two central corridors to create a floor that flows. The event rooms, named after prominent Toronto destinations, include a 42-seat screening room with over-sized merlot leather chairs and a two-storey glass room set with 13 crystal chandeliers, hanging at varying heights. The largest space, Queen's Park, offers 341-square-metres (3,670 square feet) of open space, which can be divided by an air-wall that descends from the ceiling. Over-head are 39 crystal chandeliers. Centre pivot doors open to reveal a glass wall and an outdoor garden terrace overlooking University Avenue,
enhancing and extending the ballroom capabilities.
Located on level five is the 828 square metre (9,000 square feet) health club. It has a private enclosed studio and an open concept room, framed with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer natural light and city views, including a glimpse of Toronto's famed CN Tower. Covering the north end of the facility, a separate room with a candlelit wall, cascading water columns and chandeliers, contains the 20 metre (64-foot) salt-water lap pool.
An independently operated spa, Miraj Hamman Spa by Caudalie, Paris, also located on the fifth floor, offers nine treatment suites including two couple suites and two Hammam rooms. The hotel is part of a development that also incorporates residential living, the revitalized historic red-brick Bishop's Block, one of the oldest remaining buildings in Toronto, and a restaurant and bar by acclaimed New York chef David Chang.
The hotel joins Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver, which opened in January of 2009 on Canada's West Coast and brought with it the gracious Asian hospitality and service excellence for which the company is renowned.
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto is located at 188 University Avenue in Toronto, Ontario. Reservations can be made by calling the toll-free number at 1-888-980-8850 or direct through the hotel at +1 (647) 788-8888. Alternatively e-mails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.shangri-la.com/toronto, to access all 202 rooms, including 49 suites. Guests can also use Shangri-La's newly launched free, mobile application (app) for iPhone, available through the App Store in English or Simplified Chinese, to search and book real-time reservations at all Shangri-La locations, including Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto. Reservations can also be made through all major Global Distribution Systems.
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, one of the world's premier hotel companies, currently owns and/or manages 95 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 39,000. Over four decades the group has established its brand hallmark of 'hospitality from the heart'. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Mainland China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Myanmar, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www.shangri-la.com