the moment proper but friendly door staff welcome guests to the
Hazelton Hotel in Toronto, there's no doubt they have arrived at a
state of posh elegance.
For starters, the
understated lobby is devoid of the maddening, overpopulated crush
often encountered at other ritzy properties or the somnolent
ambience that can pass for refinement at cloistered boutique
Quickly relieved of
luggage, guests are escorted to registration, located off the
Hazelton's lobby in a separate outpost free from prying eyes or
inquisitive ears. Service is discreet and effective, as it should
be where luxury is the keynote.
Opened last June amid
much fanfare as the first of five new top-tier hotels on tap for
Toronto, the Hazelton has established a high bar for luxury,
against which both prospective and well-established competitors
will likely be judged.
The hotel is a
nine-story, terraced structure with a layered red
brick-and-limestone podium. It sits squarely in the tony and trendy
neighborhood of Yorkville, home to garden cafes; exclusive
retailers, including Prada, Gucci and Cartier; and attractions such
as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art and
the quirky Bata Shoe Museum.
Down-low on the digs
Clothed in soothing
earth tones, accommodations (65 guest rooms and 12 suites) average
an expansive 620 square feet, with nine-foot ceilings. Done up in
zebrawood lacquered veneer finish, rooms feature floor-to-ceiling
windows and mirrors; French doors, which in many units open to a
balcony; electronically controlled interior lighting; motorized
curtains operated from a bedside console; and a private dressing
area. Entertainment centers feature a 42-inch, flat-screen plasma
TV; a DVD player; and a state-of-the-art sound system.
Another nice touch:
The Hazelton dispenses with tacky "do not disturb" doorknob tags.
With the push of a button, an electronic notification system sends
the instructions directly to housekeeping.
Then there are the
bathrooms. Clad in dark-green marble slabs -- not tiles -- each has a heated floor, a deep soaking tub, a
separate "rain" shower, heated towel racks and an LCD TV that, when
turned on, appears like an apparition on the surface of the mirror.
It is quite a spectacular, if not spooky, experience.
Wired and wireless
high-speed Internet is available in rooms, as are two-line speaker
telephones with computer/fax data ports, iPod docking stations,
300-thread-count linens, Bulgari amenities and laptop-recharging
safes. Use of a 25-seat screening room is available to guests, as
is free limousine service to downtown locations.
The hotel's spa and
fitness center offers four treatment rooms, two steam rooms, a
manicure/pedicure room, a private elevator to a mosaic-tiled lap
pool, Technogym fitness equipment and personal trainers and message
One is run by Mark McEwan, formerly the executive chef at the
Sutton Place Hotel and chef/proprietor of two other notable Toronto
restaurants, North 44 and Bymark. Serving breakfast, lunch and
dinner, One also offers outdoor patio service in season.
Rates run from $405
to $5,000 per night. A 600-square-foot deluxe room goes for $475; a
620-square-foot luxury room, $525; and an 810-square-foot executive
suite, $850. For more information, visit www.thehazeltonhotel.com.
contact reporter Joe Rosen, send e-mail to [email protected].