If you’re not interested in see-through showers and larger-than-life photos of muscular shirtless athletes, then go stay alone at the nearest No-Name Motel. But if a sleek and sexy urban hotel gets your engines revving, book a room with a special someone at Toronto’s Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square.
Inspired by the location adjacent to the Air Canada Centre (home to the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey team and the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball team), the guest rooms at this chic boutique hotel, part of the Montreal-based Groupe Germain, all feature dreamy, black-and-white photos of athletes in various sporty poses. Frette linens and down duvets top the king- or queen-sized beds — the better for snuggling — and you can plug your iPod into the bedside dock and load up your most romantic playlist.
Even the smallest of the 167 guest rooms — the 400-square-foot (37 m2) “superior” units, which start at CAD$269 — are spacious and feel even more so, with their smooth, warm-wood furnishings and walls of windows. You get plenty of closet space, a 40-inch flat-screen TV, and an espresso maker.
Besides the sexy photos, the hotel’s most distinctive feature is its bathrooms, which feature large rain showers with clear glass walls that face directly into the bedroom.
Don’t worry — if you’re not ready to act out your exhibitionist fantasies while you shampoo, you can close the blinds.
Room service operates 24 hours a day, and if you do decide to stray from your bed, you can head downstairs for a hearty Continental breakfast, with a well-prepared selection of pastries and breads, cheeses, meats, and fresh fruits, along with juices, coffees, and teas.
When business more sedate than seduction brings you to Toronto, Le Germain Maple Leaf Square is a good choice, too. Complimentary Wi-fi is available throughout the property, and you can meet colleagues for a drink in the lobby lounge.
The hotel’s car service can ferry you to your appointments around town, or if you’ve brought your own wheels, the 24-hour valets will park them in the underground parkade. You can also walk through the underground PATH network to Union Station or elsewhere in the financial district.
If the athletic photos motivate you to your own workout, the hotel has a functional fitness room that’s open 24 hours a day (though there’s no pool or spa onsite).
And if the sexy setting inspires athletic endeavors of a more romantic nature, well, that’s your own business….
Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, author of the new travel guide, Moon Handbooks: Ontario, which features fun and funky attractions and experiences, lodgings, and places to eat across the province. Photos courtesy of Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square. The hotel hosted my stay for review purposes.