Intercontinental Toronto Centre
The Intercontinental Toronto Centre's wall-sized view out over Toronto's lakeside skyline makes you want to ponder your life, in semi-transparent pink underwear (regardless of gender).
The art is modern and clean and unchallenging. The toiletries look like they were packed by astronauts (I fully expected to find freeze-dried ice cream). The room is pleasantly, inoffensively contemporary. With excellent drawer space. More pillows than God (there were 7, does God have more than 7?), and solid hospital-corners, but some pieces were a bit tatty-looking. Like (what I hope was) a bleach stain down the chair back, and a fairly
extensively-cracked sink. It's a hotel room that's supposed to make you feel modern and unthreatened, and is ultimately designed to recede into the background.
Okay, even if you never, ever work out, the workout area is worth a special trip. It's a mirrored greco faux-finished tiny wonderland. Incongruous with the rest of the hotel, as well as anything post-1983. Don't worry, even if you don't stay at the hotel, you can still pay money to be a member. And the pool? Saline. Did I mean "serene"? No. I meant saline. As in salted. Everyone in brine. The swimming pool is salted, and the hot
tub Himalayan salted. If laps is your thing, this is not actually a plus. Though it is, perhaps, unique.
20% super chatty
60% well-coiffed service industry professionals.
Attentive, with just enough small-talk to fill the space. Plus an umbrella is provided in your room for your use while there, which is a Mary Poppins sort of endearing.
Who Stays Here? German businessmen who inquire at the front desk about Canadian sauna etiquette ("Do you go naked?"). Snowed-in commuters. MTCC attendees. Vacationing European and Aussie families.
Dining? Room service "proudly brew" Starbucks Coffee. Though that's not what's provided with your in-room coffee maker - that'd be Nabob. A coffee maker which was conveniently located in the bathroom. (Do people really brew coffee in the bathroom? Is this the extension of brushing your teeth in the shower? Or was ICC just trying to utilize the weird hovering storage cabinets flanking the sink...)
Fees on room service are exorbitant: 15% service charge THEN $3.50 delivery charge (per person no less) and THEN sales taxes. There's indulgence, and then there's indic-u-lous. We embraced the indiculous and indulged anyways, and received a breakfast that tasted like it had known heat-lamps intimately. Accompanied by a dirty knife and a moldy raspberry (see photo below). For a hotel with an in-hotel restaurant which bills itself as top class, they should really know better.