On September 15, 2021, the Park Hyatt Toronto celebrated its long-awaited reopening after closing for renovations in 2018.
Since I happened to be in Toronto during the week, I was very excited to check out the refurbished property as a Hyatt Globalist member and review the latest addition to Toronto’s burgeoning luxury hotel scene.
I booked a two-night stay for the evening after opening night, and I had the opportunity to sample one of the hotel’s high-end suites, along with the spectacular Writers Room bar and the dining experience in the new signature restaurant.
In This Post
- One-Bedroom Deluxe Corner Suite
- Other Facilities
Park Hyatt Toronto – Booking
Rates at the refreshed Park Hyatt Toronto certainly aren’t cheap. With a new coat of paint and the same prime Yorkville location, a standard room at the hotel starts at $550 plus taxes and fees.
If you participate in the World of Hyatt loyalty program, this would be a good spot to use your points. The Park Hyatt Toronto is now Category 6 property following its reopening – a big jump from its previous Category 4 designation – but the pricing of 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night still represents decent value against the cash rates based on our current valuations.
That was exactly my intention with this booking, but with the view of conserving my modest World of Hyatt points balance (after some other recent Park Hyatt stays and with more planned in the future), I decided to go halfway and book the Points & Cash rate of 12,500 World of Hyatt points + $289 per night.
This way, I’d still be redeeming some Hyatt points for good value, while not having to pay the very expensive full cash price for two nights.
To ease the burden on my wallet further, I had a few discounted Oxford Properties gift cards from Amex Offers in the past that I could use towards the room charges here at the Park Hyatt Toronto, which is under Oxford Properties’ management.
Park Hyatt Toronto – Location
The Park Hyatt Toronto occupies the northwestern corner of Bloor St and Avenue Road in the upscale Yorkville district, overlooking the shops and boutiques of Yorkville, the Annex neighbourhood nearby, and the University of Toronto campus. It’s a short two-minute walk from Museum station on the TTC’s Line 1 or a five-minute walk from Bay Station on Line 2.
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For tourists, Bloor & Avenue may not be your prime choice of location. Instead, properties like the St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, or Fairmont Royal York may be better situated for Toronto’s prime tourist attractions like the CN Tower, Kensington & St. Lawrence Markets, or the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Still, the Park Hyatt’s location lends itself well to other neighbouring attractions like the Royal Ontario Museum (directly across the street), Toronto’s very own Bata Shoe Museum, and the historic Casa Loma a leisurely 30-minute walk up the hill.
If you’re visiting Toronto and open to splitting your time across accommodations, consider spending most of your time in the city centre and allocating a night or two up here at the Park Hyatt.
For me personally, as someone who had lived in Toronto for six years, there’s something more homely about this northern edge of the Downtown Core, being close to my old university campus, and gazing upon the stunning CN Tower views from a distance rather than up close.
And having moved to Vancouver earlier this year from just down the street near Bloor & Yonge, I was looking forward to recapturing some of those neighbourly vibes here at the Park Hyatt.
Park Hyatt Toronto – Check-in
I arrived early in the morning of my check-in date, hoping that the hotel would be able to provide an early check-in, although also happy to wait until later on if a better upgrade could be arranged.
The property’s exterior is carries a look of understated luxury, marked by a new public art installation entitled “Rendezvous” by Canadian artist An Te Liu, as well as a gorgeous starry-night design illuminating the driveway.
The entryway was similarly artistic, featuring a large-scale tapestry by fellow Canadian artist Shannon Bool. From here, the Joni lobby restaurant and lounge is situated to your left, with the check-in space to your right.
Ordinarily, Hyatt Globalist members are entitled to a “standard suite” upgrade upon availability at check-in. Here at the Park Hyatt Toronto, a standard suite goes up to the 785 sq ft One-Bedroom Corner Suite. I had reached out to the hotel in advance asking whether they’d be willing to grant an upgrade to a “premium suite” – the 850 sq ft One-Bedroom Deluxe Corner Suite – and was informed that it’d be subject to availability only.
(For transparency, I did mention in my communications that I planned to review the newly-reopened hotel here at Prince of Travel, and that I’d love to experience one of their better suites if possible.)
Indeed, I was informed that I’d need to wait until later in the day for any shot at the One-Bedroom Deluxe Corner Suite, and I was happy to do so. When the suite became available after the previous guest checked out, the hotel gave me a call and invited me to collect my keys at the front desk.
Park Hyatt Toronto – One-Bedroom Deluxe Corner Suite
Most hotel rooms are situated in the North Tower, whereas the South Tower plays host to the 17th-floor Writers Room bar, the fitness centre, and the adjacent Two Avenue Road luxury residences (which share many facilities with the hotel).
The hallways still had that “new hotel smell”, and the decor was finely balanced between Park Hyatt’s signature minimalism and Canadian-inspired natural elements.
I was assigned Room 1324, around the corner at the end of the hallway on the 13th floor. The One-Bedroom Deluxe Corner Suite begins with a small foyer featuring the powder room and pantry, giving way to the living room.
The pantry was full of thoughtful little touches, from the eye-catching marble countertop and backsplash featuring a sink, Nespresso machine, and individual glass capsules of premium teas…
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…to the free-standing cabinet with the minibar selection and pull-out fridge drawer.
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Heading inside, the living room made for an awesome spot to host guests on both nights of my stay. A lavish elongated couch was large enough to seat three, along with a comfortable armchair and additional seats that could be repositioned from other parts of the suite.
The space was brought together by a trio of monochromatic prints languidly lazing against the back wall, facing a very impressive widescreen television on the opposite side.
The deep-blue colour palette in the room reminded me a little of the refurbished quarters of the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, though with less of a cinematic feel and more of a balance against warm wooden nature-inspired tones. I quite liked the interior design, and Jessy also mentioned that she preferred this style to our previous stays at the Ritz and St. Regis.
At the far end of the room was the office space, an extremely stately desk accompanied by two simple but sturdy chairs. As far as hotel room workspaces go, this was one of my favourites so far, allowing me to either work comfortably while taking in views of the Annex outside or facing the rest of the residence inside.
Indeed, that residential feel was exactly what impressed me most about the suite. From the living room, a walk-through hallway branches off with a vanity desk at the far end and two closets encased in frosted glass along the side.
Between those closet, you’re able to step into the master bedroom, which wasn’t the largest in terms of square footage (especially for a premium suite), but felt very cozy as a result. To make up for this, there’s an extra “hidden” closet for additional storage space.
The king bed was exceptionally comfortable. Though I didn’t get too much sleep across both nights between late-night drinks and daytime commitments, I was at least able to rest comfortably during those limited hours.
On the opposite side of the walk-through hallway, a set of double doors leads to the master bathroom.
The modern minimalist theme carried through well in the form of an oversized marble-clad shower – although the weak water pressure left a lot to be desired.
A soaking tub and a set of simple double sinks completed the rest of the bathroom, along with a toilet that wasn’t the automatic Japanese-style kind – a missed opportunity during the recent restorations, if you ask me, considering that many other Toronto luxury hotels do offer this.
In terms of the views from the suite, ours on the northwestern side of the building overlooked Prince Arthur Avenue branching off from Avenue Road, along with a few other quaint buildings in the Annex.
It wasn’t the most exciting view, but as someone who counts Toronto among one of the places I call home, it was nice to wake up to views of a familiar neighbourhood – and I could always head up to the Writers Room bar for a more stunning skyline.
On the whole, I was most impressed by our suite’s intuitive, residential-style layout. I thought it made for a much more comfortable arrangement than, say, the Ritz-Carlton Toronto’s long, snaking One-Bedroom Suite that we had tried earlier this year.
I’d certainly recommend shooting for an upgrade to either this suite, or the similarly laid-out standard One-Bedroom Corner Suite, if you have Globalist status.
Park Hyatt Toronto – Breakfast
The Park Hyatt Toronto offers a fairly generous breakfast benefit for Globalist members. You’re entitled to an entrée, coffee, and juice for up to two adults and two children per room, and breakfast can be taken in either the Joni restaurant downstairs or via in-room dining.
The breakfast menu reads as follows:
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On the first morning, I enjoyed breakfast downstairs, and I invited my assistant Rachel who lives nearby to join me. We each ordered the Lobster Benedict along with black coffee.
Our Benedicts came with fairly generous portions of lobster, and tasted great, though the dish was fairly strong in its tomato-based flavour.
On the second morning, Jessy had arrived to join me at the hotel, and we ordered a late breakfast via in-room dining.
Jessy wanted to try the Lobster Benedict, while I opted for the Canadian Breakfast (served with Canadian peameal bacon); she ended up finding the flavour too strong, so we swapped dishes.
Across all my Hyatt stays as a Globalist member so far, I’ve found the breakfast benefit to be very comprehensive, above and beyond what I’d usually expect as a comparable Titanium Elite member with Marriott Bonvoy.
Things were no different here at the Park Hyatt Toronto, and I thoroughly having lobster for breakfast both in the restaurant and in my room on my two mornings here.
Park Hyatt Toronto – Dining
In addition to sampling the breakfast, I also decided to host a team dinner for our Toronto-based Prince of Travel team members at the Park Hyatt’s lobby restaurant, Joni.
With the hotel’s reopening, Joni was billed as one of the city’s hot new dining establishments, so we were excited to see what was on the menu.
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Initially, we were a little disappointed at the limited items on offer. I’d later learn from Executive Chef Antonio Soriano (more on that below) that the philosophy behind the menu is very much to rotate items on a monthly basis, allowing the culinary team to focus their attention on pulling off a smaller range of dishes to perfection.
We tried three appetizers among our party: the kanpachi crudo, the beef tartare, and the beeswax poached lobster. The first two items were widely praised; however, I didn’t quite feel that my solitary bite of lobster was interesting enough to justify the price point.
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Then, in a bizarre twist of fate, a former sommelier in our group managed to talk his counterpart into honouring a $500 bottle of red wine for $180 – and so all six of us ordered the Ontario lamb loin & leg to go along with it.
For me, this was the highlight of the meal, with the roasted sunchoke in particular earning top marks as a counterpoint against the lamb’s hearty flavour.
For dessert, we indulged in the apple, citrus, and chocolate creations. The chocolate dessert hit every note for me, with the exception of the bites of fermented pear sprinkled throughout, which I thought detracted from the dish rather than adding to it.
Chef Soriano later mentioned that he was very proud of that particular flourish, so perhaps it’s me who has yet to develop my palate enough to appreciate his work.
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Park Hyatt Toronto – Bar
In addition to Joni in the lobby, the Park Hyatt Toronto also boasts the Writers Room bar on the 17th floor of the South Tower, with views overlooking the Downtown Core and the Toronto skyline.
As you can imagine, the Writers Room is the hotel’s beating heart as soon as it opens at 5pm every evening, and indeed, I spent lots of time up here on both evenings catching up with old friends and new.
(Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, there’s often a waiting list for entering the space, and you’ll have to wait downstairs before you get a text message informing you that the Writers Room is ready for your arrival.)
Named after the many Canadian literary legends that have used its panorama as inspiration, the Writers Room is a classic cocktail bar dressed up in a gorgeous modern style befitting of the hotel’s refreshed look as a whole.
The indoor space is decked out in a dramatic shade of purple, while the outdoor space – should you snag a seat out here – affords some of the best views in town by both day and night.
I didn’t grab any pictures of the drinks in the midst of downing them, although I can wholeheartedly recommend the “Missing Piece”, a smooth and satisfying concoction made of Japanese Toki whiskey.
Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, whether you’re local in Toronto or happen to be visiting, I’d eagerly recommend popping up to the Writers Room for some drinks with a view at your earliest convenience.
Park Hyatt Toronto – Other Facilities
The hotel’s fitness facilities are located on the fifth floor of the South Tower.
While the overall size was limited, the lofted ceilings, outdoor aerobics space, and premium equipment in the form of Peloton bikes added to the overall fitness experience. (And yes, on this stay, I actually did carve out some time to pop down for a workout.)
The hotel doesn’t offer a swimming pool, though there is a Stillwater Spa on the lower level if you’re in the mood for a treatment.
There’s one final very impressive amenity that you’ll find at the Park Hyatt Toronto: complimentary use of the hotel’s house car for drop-offs within a 3km radius during designated hours:
- Monday to Friday, 7am to 9:30am
- Friday to Sunday, 6pm to 8:30pm
The house car can be booked with the concierge 24 hours in advance on a first-come first-served basis. A 3km drop-off radius is fairly generous, as it gets you as far south as King West, as far north as St. Clair West, as far west as Ossington St, and as far east as the Danforth.
I’ve only ever seen a complimentary house car being offered at the St. Regis New York before, and only up to a much smaller radius of 10 Manhattan city blocks.
Kudos to the Park Hyatt Toronto for offering this service, and Rachel and I indeed took advantage of it on a quick joyride down the street to Bloor & Yonge after breakfast.
Service at the Park Hyatt Toronto was very good, with the exception of some reopening-week jitters.
For example, there are outdoor and indoor bellhops to open the two sets of front doors for you, but they didn’t seem to be on top of their door-opening game at all times – perhaps still sharpening their skills as the hotel welcomes new guests.
One final word for the Park Hyatt’s Executive Chef, Antonio Soriano, whom I ran into in the elevators by chance.
After exchanging some words about the dinner I enjoyed at Joni the previous night, Chef Soriano was kind enough to invite me on a tour through the hotel’s kitchen facilities, even offering me some of Joni’s fresh ingredients to taste while sharing some of the philosophy behind his cooking.
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It was a kind gesture on Chef Soriano’s part that I totally wasn’t expecting, and a very nice memory that just might bring me back to Joni to revisit its rotating menu in the future.
The restoration of the Park Hyatt Toronto took three long years to complete, and based on my opening-week stay as a Globalist member, I’d say it was worth the wait.
The rooms and suites are laden with Park Hyatt’s signature balance of comfort and minimalism and finished with a healthy dose of Canadian flair, while the property’s food and beverage venues also left me very impressed.
Staying here doesn’t come cheap, and your best bet may be to redeem World of Hyatt points or perhaps hope for the hotel to lower their rates after the current post-reopening rush. Alternatively, a visit to the Writers Room’s outdoor patio lets you get a taste of the hotel’s history and heritage – not to mention some incredible city views – for a fraction of the price.
I’d put down the Park Hyatt as my favourite among the Toronto luxury hotels I’ve stayed at so far, and I’d love to return in the future if there’s an occasion worthy of celebration.