By Melanie Hennessey
Along the Toronto waterfront, x now marks the spot for the latest in luxury accommodations.
Hotel X opened its doors along Lakeshore Road earlier this year, offering a unique array of amenities ranging from a tri-level rooftop bar and pool to numerous indoor tennis and squash courts and a cinema.
Part of the Library Hotel Collection, Toronto’s Hotel X joins the ranks of uniquely designed hotels in New York, Budapest and Prague, each featuring their own distinctive personality and charm.
“It’s all about you. It’s all about the view,” boasts the hotel website, setting the stage for our recent stay there.
With its prime location on the Exhibition Place grounds facing Lake Ontario, the vistas of the beautiful waterfront are undeniably awesome — something we were sure to savour upon arrival during our complimentary wine and cheese reception in the Library Club Lounge.
As we settled into a comfy sofa on the deck, we took in the lovely views and soaked up the sun while enjoying an assortment of cheeses, breads, grilled and pickled veggies, crackers, salads and dessert squares.
Touring through the hotel you’ll find yourself stopping to take in the sights as well, such as in the lobby, with its impressive living garden wall that spans upwards almost to the top of the cathedral-like ceiling.
The hotel offers 404 guest rooms and 39 suites, which are luxuriously appointed with unparalleled city or lake views.
Upon entering our spacious one-bedroom suite, we were greeted by a plate of fresh fruit and dip, along with sparkling water and greetings from the hotel on the television screens in the sitting area and bedroom.
Our corner unit also didn’t disappoint in the views department, with the city skyline, CN Tower and water front all clearly visible from our floor to ceiling windows.
The room featured a comfortable sitting area outfitted with a sofa, chairs, desk, lovely nature photos, Nespresso coffee machine and powder room. A separate bedroom with a king size bed and adjacent bathroom with a shower and tub rounded out the suite’s amenities.
After freshening up, we made our way to the ‘The Pond’ rooftop pool — a tranquil oasis that’s partially indoors and partially outdoors, and features plenty of comfortable lounge chairs to relax. With Lake Ontario spanning for as far as the eye can see, you’d almost forget that you’re in the heart of Toronto!
Come dinnertime, we decided to try out Maxx’s Kitchen, one of the on-site restaurants that features a selection of healthy options, comfort foods and a twist on everyday classic favourites.
The smoked goat cheese gnocchi, which included mixed wild mushrooms, asparagus tips and pesto Genovese, was full of flavour, as was the dark Belgian chocolate mousse for dessert.
Other restaurants on the premises include Pétros 82, which is opening soon with offerings of Mediterranean cuisine, and the Nespresso Café with its healthy options on the go. The lobby bar and rooftop bar also have appetizer offerings.
We finished our evening with specialty cocktails at the tri-level rooftop bar. We were lucky enough to secure a coveted patio seat to once again take in the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps, which included an impromptu acoustic show by some musically inclined customers sitting nearby.
After a great night’s sleep in our comfortable suite, we were ready to take in more sights the next day. But first, we stopped for complimentary breakfast in the Library Club Lounge — an amenity offered to guests staying in rooms on the 24th, 25th and 26th floors, along with all hotel suites.
The continental spread included hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, bagels, pastries and more.
There’s no shortage of things to do nearby, from shopping to theatre, sports to concerts, not to mention the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
But with the wide variety of services and amenities offered inside Hotel X, one doesn’t even have to leave the urban resort complex to stay entertained.
You can take in a show on the big screen in Hotel X’s two-storey cinema with 250 stadium-style seats or have a more intimate gathering in the 60-seat screening room.
The work of Canadian photographer Neil Dankoff is showcased in the new on-site Kandy Gallery. Admire a display that represents nearly three years of photography trips to destinations such as Italy, Israel, Namibia, South Africa, Bora Bora, China, Japan, Iceland, Bolivia, and France.
If Pilates and hot yoga are more your speed, head on over to the on-site Ten X Toronto luxury sports club that offers 90,000 square feet of unbelievable fitness facilities. The massive space features nine glass back squash courts, four indoor tennis courts, over 50 Technogym machines, studio space for Pilates, group cycle, hot yoga and other group fitness classes.
A spa will be added to the line up of features next year with 10 treatment rooms, including a spacious couple’s suite and lounges overlooking Lake Ontario.
Our weekend away in the city drew to a close all too soon, leaving us wanting more of Toronto’s newest luxury getaway on the lake. Those looking for a unique experience close to home will not be disappointed.