A luxury hotel in Yorkville, Toronto – The Windsor Arms Hotel
For my first time in Canada, I checked into one of the best Toronto luxury hotels, the Windsor Arms Hotel.
This 5-star semi-hidden gem is ideal for boutique travelers who also want to enjoy the sights of Toronto. A ‘delicate balance of old world charm and decadence’ greets you upon entering this striking building.
The Windsor Arms Hotel dates back to 1927. Hotelier William Arthur Price wanted to create a hotel that matched the University of Toronto’s neo-Gothic architecture of the time. Years later in the 1960s, the hotel entered the culinary scene. First came the Three Small Rooms restaurant, followed by the Courtyard Café.
The hotel shut down in 1991 after years of neglect, and with no signs of re-opening. That is until developer George Friedmann entered the picture with his vision of resurrecting the building. He restored the hotel to the standard of luxury condominiums, and Windsor Arms Hotel Toronto re-opened in May 1999.
There are so many good reasons to stay at the Windsor Arms Hotel, and I’m here to list them all.
The Windsor Arms Hotel – a review
Windsor Arms Hotel Toronto is conveniently located a short walking distance from 2 subway stations. Bay Street, and one of my favorite stations, Museum, are very close by. From both stations, it’s around a 4-minute walk, depending on your walking speed.
You can find the hotel on 18 St Thomas Street. It’s a short, yet quiet street that sits in the bustling upmarket area of Yorkville. Many shops, restaurants and coffee shops are within easy reach of the hotel, but you can always be sure to return to a peaceful accommodation.
Top tip 1: Aroma Espresso Bar is about a 2-minute walk from the hotel. They serve up a good cappuccino, plus other healthy breakfast treats, to start your day.
Top tip 2: Only purchase a TTC Metropass if you know you’ll be making more than 4 trips. The pass allows you to use unlimited use of the trains, buses and streetcars till 5am the next morning. From Windsor Arms, I walked nearly everywhere given its excellent location, meaning there was no need to buy a ticket.
See the best of Toronto by booking a local boat tour. This one to the Niagara Falls is perfect for families, friends and couples.
The Windsor Arms Hotel suite
Weary, tired and ready to relieve my feet and legs from a full day’s walking, I was ready for my suite.
Without knowing it, I’d been given the corner suite, and my jaw dropped when I walked in. The space is larger than any suite I’d stayed in previously. Slowly, yet excitedly, I began to explore the room like a kid in a toy shop.
The style of the suite is traditional, with hardwood flooring, and tones of soft creams and browns. Its furniture matches the décor, with a king bed in the bedroom, and 2 good sized sofas in the living area. Suffice it to say, I slept very well that night.
The bathroom is every woman’s dream come true. There’s a generous bathtub with Jacuzzi facilities, a vanity area complete with Molton Brown products, and a separate rainforest style shower.
I also came back to find something else waiting for me. On the coffee table was a personalized letter and plate of biscotti, which I finished in 10 seconds.
Having a turn-down service is a feature I love about staying in a luxury hotel. It adds an extra touch of old school charm, not to mention, the room’s all ready for you to relax.
“Many shops, restaurants and coffee shops are within easy reach of the hotel, but you can always be sure to return to a peaceful accommodation.”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
Windsor Arms Hotel spa
Windsor Arms Hotel Toronto has a spa unlike any other I’ve visited. It’s open for 24 hours, meaning you can really take that midnight dip in the pool if you fancy. That, plus they also have their own Windsor Arms salt cave.
From something that looks like a Santa’s Grotto from the outside, inside is something altogether unique. The healing salt cave is based on a Himalayan version, which helps the respiratory system while also rejuvenating the skin.
You definitely feel a sharp drop in temperature once you enter – which is normal – but you won’t freeze. The staff provide blankets and extra towels to keep you cosy and comfortable throughout the 45-minute treatment. Finely grounded salt is blown through holes in the wall for clients to inhale. You can book this treatment at the spa reception.
Guests can also take advantage of the spacious patio area, where you can request a massage outside as well as room service. They do require a minimum of 30 minutes notice to prepare your order, so do this ahead of time.
If you have time, I recommend taking a dip in the pool. It was so quite during my stay and calming too. The pool area’s also soundproof, so all you can hear is gentle music playing and the sound of you swimming.
The Windsor Arms Hotel staff
I can’t stress enough how welcoming, friendly and helpful the staff are at Windsor Arms Hotel Toronto.
No question or request is too big (within reason of course), and everyone is polite and accommodating. If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘well, that’s normal’, then you’re wrong. I’ve stayed at other high-profile hotels and didn’t receive the same level of good service.
The Windsor Arms Hotel bar
When you’re feeling lazy to go out and fancy a glass of wine in the evening, head to the hotel bar. The friendly bartender suggested trying the Windsor Arms Hotel’s own house red, which comes from their own winery.
The house red’s a Cabernet Merlot from its Private Reserve, and it was delicious. It was another bonus to add to my Windsor Arms stay.
Windsor Arms Hotel high tea
A traditional high tea wouldn’t be the same without the setting of a traditional styled tearoom. At Windsor Arms Hotel Toronto, the tearoom is the place to indulge in their afternoon tea.
Along with a choice of loose-leaf teas, the menu also includes traditional English scones with homemade preserves and cream. The staff were friendly and the attentive service made me feel all that more special.
The high tea also offers a fantastic and, not to mention, delicious selection of vegan chocolate truffles that I couldn’t get enough of.
“The house red’s a Cabernet Merlot from its Private Reserve, and I can confirm that a large glass is very drinkable! ”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
I cannot say enough about the high tea, and I highly recommend you try it for yourself! For the most up-to-date prices and availability, check the website for more information.
Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by Windsor Arms Hotel, all views are my own and based on my own experience. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.
Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience; a demographic (late 20s onwards) that enjoys glamping over camping, staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels, sampling the local food and wine, cultural activities, and indulging in a spot of wellness on their travels. Read more here…