Toronto has no shortage of luxury hotels, from the sleek Shangri-La to the classic Fairmont Royal York to the sexy Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square. So what distinguishes the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel?
On a recent stay in Toronto, I discovered three reasons to choose the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel:
The Central Location
Whether you’re in town for sightseeing, business, or entertainment, the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel has a convenient central location. At the corner of Wellington Street and Blue Jays Way downtown, the hotel is just a couple of blocks from the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and the Rogers Centre (where Toronto’s professional baseball team, the Blue Jays, and Canadian Football League team, the Argonauts, play). It’s an easy walk to the Air Canada Centre, too, where the city’s hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, takes to the ice.
Attending a conference? The SoHo met is a quick stroll from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Going to a show, concert, or film? You can walk to Roy Thompson Hall, several of the major Entertainment District theaters, and to the TIFF Bell Lightbox, which screens movies throughout the year and hosts the Toronto International Film Festival every September.
The Stylish High-Tech Rooms
Soho Met occupies the first four floors of a residential condominium tower, which make the 92 rooms and suites seem like your own apartment in the city. There are no views — except of the surrounding office towers and peek-a-boo glimpses of the CN Tower — but the floor-to-ceiling windows and modern maple furnishings give the units a bright and airy feel.
Beds are topped with white Frette linens, rooms have large walk-in closets, and marble baths with heated floors, deep soaker tubs, and Molton Brown toiletries are standard.
Panels next to the bed control the lights and drapes, and there’s Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Other room amenities include flat-screen TVs, DVD/CD players, Keurig coffeemakers, and safes large enough to hold your laptop and other gadgets.
If you do venture from your room, you can work out in the well-equipped health club or take a swim in the indoor lap pool. Be sure to notice the colorful glass sculpture by noted artist Dale Chihuly suspended from the ceiling at the hotel entrance.
The SoHo Met’s flagship dining room is celebrity chef Susur Lee’s Luckee Restaurant and Bar, which opened earlier this year just off the hotel lobby. This cool, contemporary Chinese eatery serves uniquely Susur twists on Cantonese, Shanghainese, and Sichuan dishes. My favorites were the delicate lobster and asparagus dumplings, the unusual tofu skin and chrysanthemum leaf salad, and the black pepper beef.
Also off the lobby, Senses Cafe is the hotel’s breakfast and snack destination, serving delicious croissants, muffins, and other pastries.
And opening at the hotel this month is the first Canadian branch of Wahlburgers, the burger joint that the film-famous Wahlberg brothers founded in Boston.
A great location, cool rooms, and plenty of good eating? Those are reasons enough to choose the SoHo Metropolitan for me. Double room rates start at about CAD$220. You can book online directly through the Preferred Hotel Group website or you can compare rates at Priceline and Hotels.com.
Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, author of the books, Moon Handbooks: Ontario and Living Abroad in Canada. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. The SoHo Metropolitan Hotel hosted my stay for review purposes.