Four Seasons Hotel Toronto literally towers over the city’s chic Yorkville area – see the photo, above. The 55-floor building is not, admittedly, all hotel: the 259 luxury rooms and suites go up to the 21st floor and above that are 210 owned residences, presumably homes to the great and good of Toronto. Since this city is a melting pot of nationalities, including masses of Iranians and Russians, it is fascinating to think about the myriad of languages used. Even the hotel’s ground floor, however, seems to soar – it is a good thing, says the gal, that GM Konrad Gstrein could have been a basketball player in another life. Local designers Yabu Pushelberg did the interiors, and they are lovely. I adore suite 1120’s soft grey-green colouring, accented with soft orange throw cushions.
The whole effect, with pale wood, and some soft carpeting that feels deliciously sensuous in bare feet, is so right for today’s Light, Bright and Elevating mode. Everything, including light switches, is simple, uncomplicated (the espresso machine is one of the most basic, just as most guests have at home. Gstrein has added such personal touches as full bathroom toiletries that thoughtfully include Freshstarts make-up remover pads. Interestingly, the current owner, the car bumper magnate Shahid Khan, apparently loved the hotel but he could never get a room when he came to visit his Ontario factories (the answer, my friend, was blowing in the wind – BUY the hotel).
Konrad Gstrein has promised to provide instructions for the highly-advanced Matrix jogging machines before my next visit – dashboards exhibit the futuristic technical knowhow of Matrix’s Taiwanese owners, the Lo family. One answer, of course, is to use other items in the spacious and airy 24/7 gym, which comes with a full array of waters and, thoughtfully, coffees in the morning breakfast hour. Toronto is also seriously into outdoor cycling during the summer, and there are lots of shared-bike docks (dock-less systems do not seem to have arrived yet). I actually like walking when I am here, especially around the Yorkville area – a one-time hospital is now, as of late 2017, Chanel store, the only such freestanding Chanel house in Canada, has Peter Marino interiors, and one floor entirely devoted to Karl Lagerfeld designs.
Four Seasons Toronto is truly right up there on the style front. Daniel Boulud oversees its all-day brasserie, now with a Martin Brudnizki look that includes softest tan-leather chairs that make you want to stay – forever. You get a feeling of brasserie authenticity with the menu, and you quickly understand the value of the offering, served with Rosenthal china and Robert Welch cutlery. Breakfast is à la carte only, and it was tempting to go Canadian, with lemon ricotta hotcakes or buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, whipped cream and sour cherry compote. I can, however, report that the Greek yoghurt, a perfect avocado and wholegrain sourdough toast, and bottomless coffee, all warranted 10/10 – as did the fact that my New York Times had arrived before 6 a.m. But, as always in any luxury environment, it is people who make a stay unforgettable, and a concierge I had never seen before came to say goodbye, with such genuine warmth it made me want to return, soon. NOW SEE CORNER SUITE 1120