Why so secret, Templar Hotel?
The Templar Hotel is Toronto's secret boutique hotel. Have you heard? It's been around for a year and a half yet still isn't "officially" open. The owners have generally shied away from any media and haven't responded to any of our inquiries other to say they're not ready to talk about it.
Anyone who has spent some time in the Club District will likely have seen the building. It's a modern, 8-story structure on Adelaide, just west of Peter St. But good luck trying to spot anyone going in or out of the building - unless, that is, you happened to be nearby during one of their many private parties.
The parties, which may have started around January of last year have ranged from cocktails to seven course dinners. There were parties during TIFF and others during last year's holiday season.
So why the secrecy? It's hard to say because the owners aren't talking. Despite numerous requests from us, they've chosen to remain tight lipped. Their website loads a blank page and top search results bring up a short discussion on Urban Toronto and a photo of Douglas Coupland who claims to have eaten ribs in Templar's kitchen.
And then there are the hotel sites. The best source of information - including lots of photos such as the one at the top of this post - is undoubtedly the Templar Hotel page on Designhotels.com. Here we learn that room rates start at $395 and they're accepting reservations as of May 15th.
The site also tells us that the hotel has 27 rooms, bespoke high-end furnishings, glowing modern art installations, a rooftop bar, a bar they're calling the Monk Lounge, and a Japanese-style spa complete with a deep, sand-blasted pool. They'll even pick up guests in an airport shuttle (a Porsche Panamera). Don't bring too much luggage!
Despite not being open yet, the hotel was somehow named by Wallpaper Magazine in 2011 as one of the best business hotels in the world. Go figure.
The owners of the hotel are designer Del Terrelonge and John Wee Tom who posed for a photo during an IDS party at the hotel earlier this year. They purchased the land where the hotel now stands back in 1998.
Buzz that's been floating around is that the hotel will become something of a dining destination. The executive chef is Roberto Fracchioni (it says so right here on his LinkedIn) who previously ran the kitchen at The Millcroft Inn & Spa. Coupland has already raved about the ribs and apparently food dished up at the private parties has been stellar as well.
Stay tuned for more details. If the opening does end up happening later this month, here's hoping the owners will start talking.