Fairmont Royal York
The Royal York in Toronto has a modern, historic dichotomy which means rooms with really comfy pillows, but furniture that has seen better days, and no fans in the bathroom. At the moment the ratio between old and new seems to be about 6% new to 94% tassels and slightly wonky showerheads. You are paying for consistency (the Fairmont brand) and a sentiment of historic Canadiana. Reading lamps are straight off of grandma's sidetable, though there is a pretty new rooftop garden (with bee hives and grapevines) and a charming young chef.
On our most recent stay, we were in a deluxe suite, but we've also sampled their more run-of-the-mill room. The Royal York roughly adheres to the steamer system: steerage and luxury.
Luxury rooms are high-up, face the lake, have multiple bathrooms, multiple TVs, dressing tables, and space to spread out. Possibly even a china cabinet. (No, really.) If you get the more standard room though expect it to fit a body (yours) and a bed. Almost exactly. You may be resting your suitcase on top of the TV.
High sound transfer between the room and the hall makes the Royal York the sort of hotel where a "romantic evening" is more likely to consist of a neutered talking-about-feelings over sparkling wine and rosepetals than a rambunctious shag.
While the decor's a bit hit-and-miss (even for ex-history majors), the service is top-notch. Everyone we dealt with was helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, pleasant and on-the-ball.
Who stays here? It's a hotel for stodgy politicos who feel more powerful when surrounded by damask; middle-management types wearing their convention badges; and tourists on package deals, who plan to explore Toronto by going to Niagara Falls.
Highly-coiffed white-haired couples dine at EPIC beside families wearing cut-offs and t-shirts. You don't envy the managers and PR trying to pick a tone. The bar makes a lip-smacking Cilantro Lemon Smooth, and after a couple EPIC might feel like it has atmosphere. But when you're sober, it more closely resembles a posh airport restaurant, from the 80s.
Granted, despite my protests, the 80s are back in fashion.But even hipsters in white-rimmed sunglasses are incorporating 80s elements into a new style, while EPIC just seems to have kept the same carpeting. Located off a hallway beside check-in and on the way to the shops makes it feel a little like dining in a mall.
EPIC tries to show off Ontario ingredients, though it is again hit-and-miss. Making use of the rooftop garden, the edible flowers and herbs sneak into the menu. A delicious scallop amuse-bouche was followed by a bland seared tuna and a creme brulee that seemed to have come to the table fairly directly from the fridge. A tour of the rooftop garden (see pictures below) is packaged in with tea time, and even if you don't enjoy tea and/or crumpets, it's worth going for the city view and the too rare chance to go see some rooftop greenery.
Event: 5th Annual Canadian FinTech & AI Awards 2019
Date: November 18, 2019
Location: The Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front St W, Toronto, Canada
The 5th Annual Canadian FinTech & AI Awards (http://www.fintechawards.org/ ), hosted by the Digital Finance Institute (http://digitalfinanceinstitute.org/) , is to recognize and celebrate Canadian innovation in financial technology and in artifi...
For 90 years, Fairmont Royal York has been the city’s choice to celebrate the holidays. Join in the tradition of our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Animated Window Display, in support of Children's Wish Foundation. The event is sure to get you in the holiday spirit with a visit from Santa, a special musical performance, a new "gingery" Lobby installation and, of course, the reveal of our new...
On Saturday November 30, 2019, New Beginnings Support Program will be hosting our 11th Annual Prosperity Ball fundraiser. This celebration brings community and business leader in support of women and children in need. Our mission at New Beginnings is to assist women to transition out of poverty into independence, helping them to create better lives for themselves and their children.
The WIPP Drag Queen Ball promises to bring joy and cheer to all who participate (and all are welcome!) We’ll shop, we’ll laugh and we’ll dance the night away in the most beautiful room at the Fairmont. This event will feature a live Christmas Show performed by Toronto's very own Spice Queens, delicious food stations, an open wine bar, plus our carefully curated holiday vendors. And if you ask n...
The Conn Smythe Sports Celebrities Dinner and Auction, coming up on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, is Canada's most successful and prestigious sports dinner. Join your favourite sports celebrities as we honour an individual who has made a significant contribution to Canadian sport throughout their career with The Conn Smythe Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit ConnS...