Earlier this year, I enjoyed my first-ever stay with Four Seasons, and what better place to get acquainted with the brand than at its original location in Toronto?
Four Seasons has one of the loftiest reputations among the world’s major hotel chains, and I had heard many amazing accounts about the brand over the years, including its unparalleled level of service.
As a result, I certainly had very high expectations as I arrived at the Four Seasons Toronto to discover what the hype was all about.
In This Post
- Yorkville Premier King Room
- Premier Room
- Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite
- Corner One-Bedroom Suite
- Presidential Suite
- Other Facilities
Four Seasons Toronto – Booking
Given the Four Seasons Toronto’s location in one of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods and its lavish reputation as a whole, prices here definitely don’t come cheap. Expect to pay $700–1,200 (CAD) for a regular room, depending on the time of year.
For full disclosure, I was able to book this stay at a favourable industry rate.
Note that unlike many of the popular chains, such as Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt, Four Seasons doesn’t offer a loyalty program in the traditional sense with points and elite status. Instead, Four Seasons only offers a more exclusive, invitation-only guest recognition status to select few clientele who spend significant amounts with the brand.
Fortunately, there’s still a way to get extra value out of a Four Seasons stay. By booking your stay through the Four Seasons Preferred Partner program, you can enjoy exclusive additional benefits and perks at no extra cost, including complimentary breakfast for two, a $100 (USD) property credit, and more.
Moreover, Four Seasons Preferred Partner differs from other comparable programs, like Virtuoso or Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, as its own bookings take priority in terms of upgrades, early check-in, and late check-out requests.
What’s more, you’re able to combine all promotional rates with Preferred Partner benefits, including on prepaid and promotional rates in addition to flexible or fully refundable rates.
Four Seasons Toronto – Location
The Four Seasons Toronto is situated at the intersection of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue, smack dab in the middle of Toronto’s ritziest neighbourhood of Yorkville.
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Between luxury boutiques and fine-dining venues, the area is also somewhat of a museum hub, with the Royal Ontario Museum, Gardiner Museum, and the Bata Shoe Museum all within 15 minutes of the hotel by foot.
The hotel offers easy access to most of Toronto’s most attractive sights and neighbourhoods, though you’ll likely have to take transit to get to some of the landmarks on the other side of Downtown Toronto.
Just west of the hotel is The Annex, a historic neighbourhood with trendy restaurants and shops. Kensington Market and the Entertainment District are a reasonable distance from the hotel, and can be reached in around 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by transit.
Furthermore, Bay Street TTC Station is a one-minute walk away, while Bloor–Yonge TTC Station is an eight-minute walk away. Many of Toronto’s key attractions, such as the Eaton Centre, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre, or the CN Tower, are an easy 20-minute ride on the TTC from there.
If you’re travelling from Toronto Pearson International Airport, it typically takes about 40–50 minutes to reach the Four Seasons by vehicle, depending on traffic. Alternatively, you can take the UP Express train to Union Station, then transfer to the TTC and head northbound to Bloor–Yonge Station.
From Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, it’s approximately a 30-minute drive by car, or you can hop on the airport’s free shuttle bus to Union Station and make your way to the hotel by TTC.
Four Seasons Toronto – Check-in
As I approached the 55-storey high-rise building crafted from glass and steel, I noted its sleek and modern façade that nicely complemented the trendy Yorkville locale.
The main entrance of the hotel is situated directly on Yorkville Avenue, and commands attention with a striking porte-cochère. A glass canopy adorned in leafy embellishments jets out over the driveway among an idyllic garden and a calming water feature.
There’s also a separate entrance to the hotel on Bay Street, leading towards the hotel’s signature restaurant, Café Boulud.
Stepping inside, I found myself immediately immersed in the luxury of the Four Seasons brand.
The lobby is separated into its own distinct spaces via elegant metal pattern partitions, allowing guests to move through the lobby with a greater sense of privacy.
The space progresses from the reception to the lobby, a lounge area, and then finally arriving at the hotel’s bar.
At the time of my stay during the winter period, a pop-up après-ski area was set up in the lobby area, inspired by the hotel’s sister property in Whistler.
The front desk associate assisted me with check-in, and informed me that I had been proactively offered an “upgraded” Yorkville Premier King Room.
However, I’d note that all the guest rooms at this property are similar in their size and arrangements, and the various room categories simply correspond to higher floors.
I was assigned Room 2015 on the 20th floor, and attentively escorted to the elevator lobby.
Four Seasons Toronto – Yorkville Premier King Room
Upon entering the Yorkville Premier King Room, I was greeted by a foyer that led to a spacious and beautifully appointed room.
The room features a rather understated elegance, with soft light-wood walls that provide a calming backdrop for the plush furnishings.
A king bed sits on the left-hand wall, complemented by an accentuated headboard and a cozy bench at its foot.
Positioned on the opposite wall was a flat-screen TV and a lengthy console, which housed the Nespresso coffee maker. Adjacent to it, a well-stocked minibar featured premium bottles of liquor.
A modern oak desk and sitting area were located at the far end of the room, complete with a plush curved sofa tucked into the corner. As a thoughtful touch, a welcome note and fresh fruit had been proactively placed on the table upon my arrival.
The room offered sweeping views of Toronto through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests staying in a Yorkville Premier King Room are treated to expansive northeast- or northwest-facing views of the city from the vantage point of a high floor.
Positioned near the room’s entrance, a small closet is available to store belongings.
The full granite bathroom was striking, with a single vanity playing home to expansive mirrors with illuminating LED lights. The bathroom also features a freestanding bathtub, and the toilet and shower are concealed behind frosted glass doors.
In keeping with the Four Seasons’s reputation for top-notch amenities, turndown service is provided in the evening – a luxurious touch that’s always appreciated. Plus, in-room tablets offer access to on-demand housekeeping and the concierge service.
The Four Seasons is well known for its comfortable beds, but perhaps due to my hectic sleep patterns around this time, I didn’t quite feel it on this occasion.
The bed felt a bit too firm for my liking, even though I’m someone who usually prefers to sleep on harder surfaces.
However, I’ve since learned that Four Seasons hotels are able to customize the firmness of the bed for each guest, which is a feature I’d like to try out on future stays with the brand.
Four Seasons Toronto – Premier Room
I had a chance to scope out a few of the other room types at the Four Seasons Toronto, the first being the base-level Premier Room.
The design and layout of the room was in keeping with the Yorkville Premier Room that I had stayed in. This particular room seemed to be more conducive to working than lounging, as it had two armchairs in lieu of a sofa, but a much larger desk.
The bathroom was also virtually identical to the one in my room, with a bathtub, beautiful dual vanity, and the shower and toilet concealed at the back.
Four Seasons Toronto – Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite
Next up, I toured the Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite, which is the base-level suite at the Four Seasons Toronto. The layout is quite standard, with a separate bedroom and living area, ideal for those seeking a bit of extra space and privacy.
The room is very spacious, with a plush king bed, adjacent armchair, full-sized sofa, and a lengthy desk positioned at the window.
Four Seasons Toronto – Corner One-Bedroom Suite
The Corner One-Bedroom Suite is similar in layout to the Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite, occupying the corner of the building with natural light coming in from two sides.
The living area is complete with a large plush L-shaped sofa and a desk on the opposite wall, while the bedroom had a simple layout, playing host to just a king bed.
The bathroom features a lengthy bathtub that runs along an interior wall, as well as a tall LED-backlit mirror close to a single vanity.
Four Seasons Toronto – Presidential Suite
The Presidential Suite at Four Seasons Toronto is the hotel’s second-highest suite type (after the highest Royal Suite), and it’s of an immaculate size. The living area alone is expansive, with four distinct seating areas.
There are two seating areas, one featuring two full-length sofas, and the second featuring one large L-shaped sofa and an armchair.
In the central area has bar seating for four, and then adjacent is a dining table that can accommodate up to eight people.
At the suite’s entrance, there’s a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge, stove, dishwasher, and sink.
To the right is the main bedroom, complete with a plush king bed, curved sofa, armchair, and a stunning ensuite bathroom.
The bathroom was immaculate, with a circular bathtub in the centre, a beautiful double vanity with vessel sinks that matched the bathtub.
The suite also features a half-bathroom and an expansive wardrobe.
Overall, the Yorkville Premier King Room I stayed in was elegant and well-equipped, striking a balance between comfort and understated luxury without ever feeling too showy or over-the-top.
In general, the Premier Rooms at the Four Seasons Toronto would likely be best suited for couples or solo travellers who don’t require too much space, as well as those seeking the most budget-friendly option while still experiencing the luxury of staying at the Four Seasons Toronto.
The suites will afford more space and privacy for those travelling in larger groups, or those looking a tad more luxury and aren’t fussy about price.
Four Seasons Toronto – Dining
Café Boulud, the hotel’s restaurant on the ground-level, is operated in partnership with Chef Daniel Boulud.
I had dinner with our Toronto-based team members at Café Boulud. I’ve been here a few times in the past, but it’d been a few years since my last visit, so I was keen to see how the menu had evolved.
The restaurant offers a seasonally changing menu focused on French tradition. We sampled a wide variety of dishes, and we found the beef tartare appetizer to be a highlight, while the duck and plum for two main courses was nothing short of delectable.
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Breakfast in the morning is also hosted at Café Boulud. If breakfast is included in your stay, you’ll get a $90 (CAD) credit towards breakfast per room. The breakfast menu can be found on the Café Boulud website.
A friend joined me for breakfast in the morning, and we shared the eggs Benedict, a breakfast croissant, and berry parfait.
All the dishes at Café Boulud were well executed and flavourful, just as I had experienced in the past. The food was excellent in terms of quality and quantity.
If you’re looking for an evening atmosphere, D|Bar on the ground level of the hotel could be worth a visit. I had a chance to scope it out, and it appeared to be a great evening setting somewhere between casual and formal.
Four Seasons Toronto – Other Facilities
The hotel’s spa and indoor pool are located on the ninth floor of the hotel, and the fitness centre is located on the eighth floor.
The large indoor swimming pool and adjacent whirlpool are standout features at the Four Seasons Toronto. The pool deck is equipped with ample comfortable loungers for guests to relax on and is heated all year round.
I couldn’t resist taking a dip in the afternoon and spending some time swimming a few laps.
The pool area is connected to the on-site spa, where you can book a range of personalized treatments. Here, you’ll also find an outdoor terrace and lounge area that leads to the generously sized changing rooms and shower facilities.
I also went down to the fitness centre in the morning, which was well equipped with rows of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes, as well as weight machines, free weights, and a yoga studio. Essentially, there was something for every type of workout.
To my delight, the dumbbells here went up to 65lbs – I’ve been training harder recently and had been to too many hotels whose weights end at 50lbs, so this was great to see.
Furthermore, the fitness centre also had a coffee and tea station in the morning, which was a very thoughtful touch.
As a further testament to the luxuriousness of the Four Seasons, a house BMW is available to guests on a first come, first-served basis. Guests can use the BMW for complimentary drop-offs within five kilometres of the hotel, as well as for airport pick-ups and drop-offs at an additional charge.
I took the house car to the nearby Eataly for a lunch appointment. The service was quite pleasant indeed, and I appreciated the chats with the driver along the way.
Lastly, the hotel also features a charming on-site gift shop, with an array of souvenirs and gifts for those visiting from outside the city.
Four Seasons Toronto – Service
The Four Seasons brand is known for delivering service that goes above and beyond, so how was my first experience at a Four Seasons hotel from a service standpoint?
Overall, everything about my stay went smoothly, and all of my requests – such as our Café Boulud dining reservation or a 1pm late check-out request – were met efficiently, gracefully, and with a smile on the face of the staff member I was interacting with.
I didn’t have too much in the way of special requests, nor was there anything that went wrong that might’ve called for an act of service recovery, so I’ll have to stay with the brand a few more times before I can properly assess this criterion.
One thing that I really loved was the responsiveness of the Four Seasons app, which is connected to a human agent at the front desk of every Four Seasons property (and is available to anyone with a Four Seasons account even when you aren’t staying).
I used the app to ask for a dental kit to be delivered to my room, and even though I was away from the room at the time, I returned to find it elegantly arranged beside my toiletries.
It wasn’t perfect, though – one of my inquiries about the breakfast allowance wasn’t responded to for a few hours. Outside of this, however, I’d say my first brush with Four Seasons was a very positive one, and I’m looking forward to putting them to the test a little more on future stays.
The Four Seasons Toronto lived up to its esteemed reputation as one of the top luxury brands in the city. I’d place it above the St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton, and on par with the Park Hyatt down the road and the Shangri-La on University Avenue, in terms of the overall experience.
The Yorkville Premier King Room afforded me a spacious and well-appointed abode for the night, complete with luxurious touches like turndown service.
Café Boulud was a highlight with its delectable and comprehensive French-inspired menu. Meanwhile, the pool and fitness facilities were top-notch as well.
The Four Seasons app’s request feature was a pleasant surprise, and came in very handy during my stay. Furthermore, the hotel’s staff were incredibly accommodating throughout my stay.
All in all, the Four Seasons Toronto is an outstanding choice for anyone looking for a luxurious stay in the heart of Toronto. While not cheap by any means, this was a great stay to kick off my journey with Four Seasons, and I look forward to seeing how the brand’s other locations around the world compare.