Whether whipping through Toronto’s leafy residential streets on a spanking new set of wheels courtesy of the Kimpton Saint George Hotel (these new bikes are complimentary for guests) or calling the front desk for some gratis tweezers because you forgot to pack your own (yes – tweezers are part of the “Forgot It? We’ve Got It!” menu), the hotel amenities are a refreshing welcome for travelers seeking local, authentic stays.
But then again it’s a Kimpton property and nothing could be finer.
Located in the heart of the city’s hip’n’trendy Annex area in the city’s Culture Corridor which is also home to the Ivy league-looking University of Toronto, The Kimpton Saint George is the company’s first ever Toronto location.
Toronto-based interior design firm Mason Studio, in collaboration with Kimpton’s Ave Bradley and Saint George’s design director Diana Martinez have designed the interiors to convey the nuances of neighborhood life. The 14-story hotel which previously was a Holiday Inn integrates elements of Toronto’s culture and personality. The 188 rooms, including 20 suites and a Presidential Suite, give guests a sense of place by the Annex-inspired heritage homes.
Virtually all of the art pieces are original works by Canadian artists. Each color selection, piece of furniture and object also has meaning and a story to make guests feel a part of Toronto’s vibrant Annex neighborhood. The hotel exterior features a hand-painted owl mural by Toronto street artist, Birdo. The owl’s wit and curiosity symbolizes how guests can discover the hotel from one room to the next.
The reception check-in area has a hand-painted mural of a misty Toronto-inspired scene by artist Tisha Myles. Spot a blue jay flying over the mist, a fun reference to the local MLB team, the Toronto Blue Jays. From the reception area, guests naturally flow into the Living Room anchored by a fireplace. It’s a refreshing departure from the fast exchange common in a classic hotel lobby. This one is hospitable, inviting, casual and comfortable.
The proximity to public transportation by the Saint George subway station makes getting around the city a cinch on the TTC network. Shopping is easy with your choice of chi-chi Yorkville and Mink Mile only steps away or the more grunge bo-ho style popular in the Annex. Cultural icons like the Royal Ontario Museum, the Bata Shoe Museum and the Royal Conservatory of Music to name only a trio of fabulous institutions are also within walking distance.
Kimpton Saint George highlights
The Living Room is the heart of the hotel with a design that encourages you to mingle with other guests. It’s easy to mingle too. Mornings have the popular complimentary morning coffee and tea service and there’s an evening social hour.
For fitness conscious guests, there is a 24-hour fitness center and each room has a yoga mat.
The pet-friendly property has no weight or size limitations or additional fees and provides separate pet-free floors to ensure guests with pet allergies are also cared for.
The popular Kimpton touch of music is heard throughout the property. This music is specially curated to feature the many musicians that got their start in this neighborhood, especially on the folk music scene.
The Suite Pluses:
Each of the hotel’s suites are equipped with TEAC turntable systems and vinyls from a variety of Canadian artists curated by Kimpton’s Director of Music, Lauren Bucherie, in collaboration with the local record store, Sonic Boom Records.
My Queen Queen Deluxe room (283 sq. ft) showcased a collection of local art. The armoire like the bathroom mirror has an arched motif to reflect the neighborhood’s architectural features of arches and archways. The calm soothing gray tones emit a relaxing vibe that carries through in the familiar homey attributes like the old fashioned alarm clock and brass accents. There’s a fully stocked mini bar with a fridge full of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages – an in-room item that is getting harder to find these days.
Windows that open, thick windows and black-out shades allow for a comfortable sleep as does the fresh luxurious Frette sheets and plush bed. Included in each room is a yoga mat found inside the closet. Don’t be shocked by the white squirrel hanging off the closet door. The decorative art piece is made by a local artist and is a play on a local resident squirrel found in one of Toronto’s urban parks.
Guest amenities at Kimpton Saint George include all of Kimpton’s signature offerings like the “Forgot It? We’ve Got It!” menu of travel and vacation essentials; luxurious Atelier Bloem bath amenities; free Wi-Fi for IHG Rewards Club members; and health-minded wellness options, such as complimentary use of custom designed PUBLIC bikes, 24-hour access to the hotel’s fitness centre and in-room yoga mats.
Adjacent to the hotel, and also accessible through Saint George’s living room, The Fortunate Fox is a hip gastropub that offers a familiar yet refreshing experience. The Fortunate Fox is an elevated take on the classic pub, with a menu of made from scratch items and a great selection of local craft beers and cocktails that can be paired with any dish. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and services the hotel’s meetings and events, as well as in-room dining.
Before you begin your nightly entertainment, enjoy some complimentary wine in the living room at the Saint George’s hosted evening wine hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Experience the many neighborhoods by bike and borrow one of the Kimpton-branded PUBLIC bikes available for guest use.
This boutique hotel nicely lives up to its namesake and is a welcome addition to Toronto’s changing neighborhood scene.
Room rates are from $329 Canadian plus taxes.
Photography: Ilona Kauremszky and Kimpton Saint George
Ilona Kauremszky was a guest of Kimpton Saint George which did not review the story.