Puttin' on the Ritz (Carlton) in Toronto...sneak peek at new hotel in town
Star travel guy Adrian Brijbassi got a peek at the new Ritz-Carlton in downtown Toronto the other day, living it up in a $6,000 per night suite, and how sweet is that? Here's his report.
I was invited to be the first to stay at the $6,000-per-night Ritz-Carlton Suite and you’ll read a full report in a coming edition of the Toronto Star's Travel section.
What we can tell you is the suite should become the place to stay in town for big-name politicians and celebrities. It’s 2,500-square-feet of elegance, as you would expect from one of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands. The surprise, though, is the humility of the Ritz and its devotion to local wines, food, artists and culture.
The brand that helped define luxury in the 20th century is working to re-define it in the 21st. As general manager Tim Terceira said, “Luxury is now about personalizing the experience.”
And that means making you feel comfortable. The suite doesn’t feature gild or gaudy displays of wealth. It has plush, stylish furniture with sleek lines and stately décor. Like the rest of the hotel, the light fixtures in each room are highlights. The master bath is a beauty.
A full kitchen and dining room make it possible to have a function where people will want to linger a while. The eyecatching study features an iPad on the desk and print volumes of classics such as “The Best Poems in the English Language” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
Check-in is done inside the suite with a champagne welcome (see photo).
Above all, the Ritz’s staff live up to their reputation: friendly and inviting, professional and personable.
While I may not have another chance to spend a night in the $6,000 suite, I will be back at the Ritz for food and drinks. TOCA, the fine-dining restaurant, is on my list of places to go in March for dinner while the Ritz’s casual bar DEQ on the lobby level is a new favourite after this weekend – and that’s even before the patio opens up.
Back to Travel Editor Jim Byers for news from elsewhere in the travel world...
VANCOUVER LOSES A BIG NAME
We see this morning that celebrity chef Daniel Boulud is pulling up stakes from La-La-Land. Boulud announced that he's closing both Lumiere and next-door db Bistro Moderne on March 13. Both projects lasted just two years in a culture that seems to prefer more casual dining to full-scale celebrity work.
Mind you, Vancouver loves places like Vij's Indian restaurant and seems to keep some pretty high-end sushi spots in business, including Tojo's on West Broadway, where the food is killer and the presentation even better.
SORRY, NO KIDS ON BOARD
Interesting poll I spotted today, thanks to travelmole.com. It seems that airport hotel and parking website HolidayExtras.com asked about 5,000 customers what they thought of airline travel, and a huge 83 per cent said they'd like to see adult-only areas on flights. Just under a third went even further and said they would like to ban children on flights completely, which, I'm sorry, is just absurd.
A slightly more tolerant 51% said there should be cabins set aside for adults only, travelmole reported.