Review: Park Hyatt Toronto – Understated Elegance

On my two (separate) most recent trips up to Toronto, I got to stay at a night at the newly renovated Park Hyatt Toronto as well as a night at the classy St. Regis Toronto. I will start of with my review of the Park Hyatt Toronto because I was literally there last month whereas the stay at the St. Regis was exactly a year ago.

Location:

The Park Hyatt Toronto is located in the upscale Yorkville neighborhood of Toronto, about a 12 minute subway ride away from the central business district around Union Station. The area is the ideal place to stay in Toronto if you are looking to explore the local museums and food scene. We decided to rent a car on this occasion since we were arriving late and had plans to go out to the suburbs to meet some relatives. Turns out the Union Express stops running at midnight anyway so this was a good decision.

Hotel Driveway

The driveway and valet area itself is a mesmorizingly beautiful space, especially at night. I couldn’t help but admire the minimalist but elegant nature of the art and lights in the area. Yes I spent a good amount of time photographing the area 🙂

And of course in true Park Hyatt style, there were a few supercars parked out front including a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. My rental car, a Ford Escape, was laughable in the mix of cars out front.

 

Entryway:

As soon as you enter the hotel, you look straight upon a beautiful canvas art piece.

I was taking photos of it when a few dozen bar crawlers shoved their phone into my hand to take pictures with their partners. I am normally ok with this, but none of them gave me a please or a thank you. The line for the photo actually started to build before I ran away to check in.

Lobby

The lobby itself is a rather small yet cozy room located to the right of the entryway.

Anyway with the fireplace and all it certainly looked cozy, though I don’t see why anyone would hang out there given that the front desk is only feet away.

Check In: 

Check in was a simple process and we were handed our keys within a manner of seconds. My dad who is the Globalist member was upgraded to the “One bedroom Deluxe Corner Suite” and both rooms (we booked two rooms) were offered free breakfast. The great thing about Hyatt is that they allow a full breakfast to be ordered as room service or eaten at the restaurant. No other chain is as consistent or as generous with this benefit. Furthermore, since we had used points for this particular stay, valet parking was free of charge. Hyatt in for the win on elite benefits!

The elevators were located adjacent to the lobby behind a wall. I again appreciated the understated elegance of the place.

Our rooms were located on the 14th floor and were fairly close together. 1435 was the two queen room, while 1438 was the corner suite.

One Bedroom Deluxe Corner Suite (1438):

The corner suite (Room 1438) was extremely spacious with a massive living area and large desk near the window.

On the desk was the signature Park Hyatt stationary kit featuring post cards, letterheads, and a neat note pad with the Park Hyatt Toronto printed on it.  I tend to keep these as souvenirs whenever I stay at a Park Hyatt.

There was a small powder room located to the right of the entrance to the room. Anytime there are two restrooms in a suite, I kind of appreciate it because well, there’s less waiting 🙂

On the coffee table in the living area were a few macaroons and a note for my dad thanking him for his stay. It’s hard not to appreciate a handwritten note with such neat handwriting 🙂 And oh yeah the macaroons were pretty good too.

Located down a small corridor was a make up area with a mirror with doors on each side leading to the bathroom and bedroom.

There was a massive white marble bathroom which featured a double vanity, soaking tub, and a massive shower. I rather appreciated the odd bit of abstract art behind the tub. Toiletries were by Le Labo, which generally smell great, but there was only one bar of soap next to the sink, and one bottle each of shampoo and conditioner. I guess they just forgot to stock body wash and bath soap in the shower?

Right across from the door to the bathroom was the bedroom with a king size bed and a lone lounge chair in the corner. On each side of the bed was a bottle of water and a nifty electric outlet.

Two Queen Beds Room (1435):

The room featuring two queen beds was your stereotypical hotel room with some upscale finishes.

There was a stand-in shower and a large marble bathroom to the right of the entryway.

Toiletries were by Le Labo 22, which had a great scent, but were again sparsely provided.

The usual amenities were available including bath robes, a coffee machine, two bottles of water, and a few chairs next to the bed. I did appreciate that the hotel offered a shaving kit and dental kit in the closet without my having to ask for it.

It was overall a very nice hotel room, but nothing that really screamed Park Hyatt other than maybe the stationary kit and bag in the closet.

 

Nothing to complain about, but it didn’t feel that much better than some Hyatt Regency properties we have been to recently. In room Wi-Fi was expectedly fast and the view out the window was fairly average compared to the view I had at the St. Regis Toronto. It was so average that I didn’t bother taking a picture it seems 🙂

Morning at Polson Pier:

I didn’t really spend that much time in bed that night because we got to the hotel at 1 AM and I was up at 5 AM to go try to photograph the Toronto skyline.  Unfortunately, Yorkville isn’t exactly that close to the lake shore so I had to get an Uber to get to my location. This is perhaps the only setback with staying at this property. I was anticipating some photography fun since the weather forecast said there would be a bunch of high clouds.

Well a cold hour or two later, the sunrise ended up being a bust. There was no real explosion of color like I had hoped for, but I still ended up with a decent shot of the skyline:

 

Breakfast:

Back at the hotel, my sister and I ordered breakfast to the room while our parents decided to go to the restaurant downstairs. When ordering breakfast, the service charge was still assessed but the food was actually free. I think this is a quite sensible way of doing things since staffing is quite the expensive challenge these days.

The menu read as follows:

Both my sister and I had the buttermilk pancakes with a side of crispy breakfast potatoes. Mine was with banana and caramel sauce while hers was the more traditional wild berry pancakes. The food arrived very quickly.

I did end up ordering “freshly squeezed” orange juice, but what I got was for sure juice out of a bottle or can of some sort. I also ordered the tonka bean caramel quick bread, which was warm and delicious. Overall breakfast and the service was definitely on point.

Check Out:

Check out was a breeze and I did it via the Hyatt Mobile App. There were no charges for our one night stay other than the $6 room service charge for ordering breakfast to the room.

An Odd Incident?

Something odd happened with our rental car overnight where someone presumably tried to break in to the car or the car itself was defective to start with when we picked it up. When we got the car back from the valet, the rear passenger’s side door wouldn’t close bc the child lock anchor had been jammed somehow.

The valet tried to show us that the overnight valet had recorded something wrong with the car, but I wasn’t quite convinced because he just read off some random sheet of paper. Of course this was likely not his fault, but I found it funny the way he presumably wanted to dodge liability.

This was an annoying turn of events. We were already running late to lunch with our family and had to make a detour to Pearson to swap out the car. Luckily the National Rental Car people were extremely kind and took care of us right away.

Bottom Line:

We only stayed at the hotel one night so I didn’t get a chance to hit the gym or other facilities at this hotel. At the top of the list of places I missed out on was the Writers Room Bar, which is supposed to have one of the best views of the Toronto skyline. I’m not sure they would allow me to take pictures using my camera (based on my past experience with such places), but it’s worth a shot I suppose.

The best way to summarize this property is understated elegance. Elite recognition was exceptional, service was quick but attentive, and the location was ideal for exploring the best part of Toronto. I wouldn’t say it is the best Park Hyatt there is based on the rooms, but I would certainly count it as among the best. I wouldn’t hesistate to spend another night here if I could. I still may prefer the St. Regis over the Park Hyatt as a hotel though and I will explain why very soon…..

Stay tuned for the review of the St. Regis Toronto………

 

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