Review: Park Hyatt Toronto

I spent about 36 hours in Toronto this past weekend visiting friends, which was my first time spending a night in the city. In the past I’ve visited the city for an afternoon during a long layover, and I’ve spent the night near the airport, but I’ve never spent a night in the city.

As a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist I took a close look at the options — Hyatt has two properties (a Regency and a Park), and then Starwood has several properties, all of which are mid-range and look cookie cutter.

So I decided to book the Park Hyatt Toronto, which had rates of 279CAD per night (~215USD). Best of all that rate was bookable through Virtuoso, which got me the following benefits:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests in restaurant
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full, not applicable to Spa Products purchases or Gift shop)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Admittedly a lot of these perks overlapped with my Diamond status, but at a minimum I’d be getting a 100CAD hotel credit. The Virtuoso rate was the same as the flexible rate and just 15CAD per night higher than the advance purchase rate, so was well worth it to me.

I should note that before I stayed here, several friends warned me that this is one of the dumpier Park Hyatts out there, and isn’t really worthy of the Park Hyatt flag, so I came in with fairly low expectations.

I took an Uber to my hotel on Friday evening, which cost about 35CAD. The drive took about 40 minutes, as I was fortunately arriving shortly after prime rush hour.

This is one of the larger Park Hyatt properties, with 346 rooms. The hotel has two towers, which are connected by a long hallway and the lobby.

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Park Hyatt Toronto exterior

As I pulled up to the hotel I was completely ignored by the bellmen. Not that I needed help since I just had a carry-on, but usually at luxury hotels (or any hotels, for that matter) they’ll at least greet you and point you towards reception.

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Park Hyatt Toronto driveway

When facing the hotel, the lobby is located towards the left, and it’s definitely rather old world, though at least manages not to be too outdated.

While the bellmen ignored me, the front office associate checking me in was extremely friendly and efficient. I was checking in at around 7:20PM and told her I had dinner plans at 7:30PM, so she had me checked in within a minute. She informed me that I’d receive breakfast, and that I’ve also been upgraded to the hotel’s single renovated room, which they’re testing as a model for how to redo all the rooms

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Park Hyatt Toronto lobby

I was also given a letter explaining the Virtuoso privileges.

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Park Hyatt Toronto Virtuoso welcome letter

My room was located on the opposite side of the hotel, so I took the long hallway to the other end. I sort of loved the design of the hallway, which is timeless, in my opinion.

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Park Hyatt Toronto hallway to elevators

At the end of the hallway were the three elevators to guest rooms (which are slightly less timeless, in my opinion).

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Park Hyatt Toronto elevators

I took the elevator up to the eighth floor, where my room was located.

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Park Hyatt Toronto hallway

I was assigned room 833, which had me turning left out of the elevator, and then it was at the end of the hallway on the right. Let me say once again that this is the one renovated room in the hotel, which they apparently completed a bit over a month ago. They’re testing it for a while to work out the kinks, and will then bring the design hotel-wide.

The room featured a wide entryway, with a connecting door on the right and the bathroom on the left. The room was quite large and it’s clear they wanted to fill all the space, though I found the presence of two benches in the entryway to a standard room to be a bit odd. I can see using one as a luggage stand, but two seems like an overkill.

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated king room entrance

The room was a great size, with a king size bed, curved couch, and desk.

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated king room

The king size bed was extremely comfortable, and I especially liked that the pillows were quite large (I really don’t like square pillows).

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated king room

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated king room

The desk featured a comfortable leather chair, lamp, and phone.

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room desk

Then in the corner was a curved couch which could seat several people. There was both a side table, as well as a larger table in front of the couch. The couch was comfortable, so I really liked the design, as I haven’t seen one of these in a hotel room before.

There was a big lamp behind the couch. The only issue is that best I could tell you could only turn it on using the button which was on the floor behind the couch. There was no easy way to reach it, though.

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room seating area

Across from the bed was a large flat screen TV on a chest, and next to that was the minibar.

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room desk & TV

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room desk & TV

There was an illy coffee machine inside the minibar, which made some great coffee — I actually liked it more than a Nespresso machine.

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room minibar and illy coffee machine

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room illy coffee machine

The refrigerated items in the minibar were all in a pull-out drawer, as I’ve found to be the case at many hotels.

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Park Hyatt Toronto king room minibar

The room faced views of the surrounding streets and buildings, though since I was only on the eighth floor, there wasn’t much to see. At least the immediate area was pretty quiet.

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated room view

The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, and then a walk-in shower.

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated room bathroom

The toilet was located to the right of the sink, and wasn’t partitioned off in any way.

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated room toilet

Then there was the shower, which had fantastic water pressure and two heads, but there’s just one major issue — the shower controls are on the opposite side of the shower of where you enter. The shower controls aren’t labeled, so the only way to turn on water is by getting in the shower and getting soaked. It amazes me how many hotels screw this up — have the people who designed these showers never stayed in a hotel before?

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated room shower

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated room shower

All bath amenities were the Bergamote 22 line from Le Labo, which is tough to beat.

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Park Hyatt Toronto renovated room Bergamote toiletries

I’ve never stayed in the old rooms, though I think the hotel did a fantastic job with their new model room, all things considered. The decor is modern and (for the most part) functional, so I assume this will be a huge improvement over their old rooms.

The first morning I had breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, Annona, which serves breakfast starting at 6:30AM.

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Park Hyatt Toronto restaurant entrance

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Park Hyatt Toronto restaurant

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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I selected the “Leisure Weekend Breakfast.” While breakfast was included, I couldn’t help but think it was an especially good value for breakfast at a luxury hotel, especially when you consider the prices are in CAD and not USD.

The breakfast came with illy coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice. Since the breakfast included waffles, I was brought a cute maple leaf-shaped bottle of maple syrup.

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Park Hyatt Toronto breakfast — orange juice and maple syrup

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Park Hyatt Toronto breakfast — illy coffee

The breakfast began with a yogurt parfait, which was tasty as could be.

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Park Hyatt Toronto breakfast — yogurt, granola, and fruit parfait

Once the main arrived I realized I had ordered way too much food. Breakfast consisted of toast, waffles with strawberries and bananas, scrambled eggs (which I requested well done), breakfast potatoes, and a side of fruit (which I was offered since I didn’t want any of the meat which usually comes with breakfast).

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Park Hyatt Toronto breakfast — scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, and waffles

Breakfast was tasty, though service was slow. There seemed to be one guy serving the entire area, so when I was done it was 15 minutes before I could flag him down and sign the check.

I also ordered room service lunch one day (I know, Anthony Bourdain would be appalled), and ordered french onion soup, chickpea curry with broccoli, and coffee.

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Park Hyatt Toronto room service lunch

Both dishes were excellent.

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Park Hyatt Toronto room service lunch — french onion soup

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Park Hyatt Toronto room service lunch — chickpea and broccoli curry

I also used the hotel’s gym once, which is on the basement level. I’m not sure if they’re renovating the gym and just have a temporary setup or what, because the gym was abysmal.

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Park Hyatt Toronto gym

It had more than enough treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes, but other than that just had a set of weights and three weight machines. That would be acceptable for a secluded resort, but for a city hotel that seems rather underwhelming.

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Park Hyatt Toronto gym

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Park Hyatt Toronto gym

My flight on Sunday morning was at 8AM, so I left the hotel at around 6AM. Check-out was efficient, and the drive to the airport took about 25 minutes.

Park Hyatt Toronto bottom line

Is this property to the level of the Park Hyatt Maldives, Park Hyatt Sydney, etc.? Nope. But it’s a solid city hotel, and given the price point, I’d definitely return.

The renovated room was well done overall, so it’ll be great when the design is expanded to other rooms. I found the hotel’s location to be good, though I’m also not an expert on Toronto. Service at the hotel was hit or miss, and the hotel lacked the lux feeling you get from some other Park Hyatt properties.

But overall Toronto doesn’t seem like an amazing hotel market, so I’d recommend the Park Hyatt (at least the renovated room, which is all I can speak to as of now).

Do you have a favorite Toronto hotel?

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Comments

  1. You should check out the Delta Downtown next time, near the Rogers Centre. Now that is a beautiful hotel.

  2. I really have three preferred hotels for Toronto, each for a different type of stay. The Park Hyatt is for when I want a quiet and removed hotel. While still in the city, it is just slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. My prime go-to is the Intercontinental Toronto Centre, great facility, and just a block to Union Station makes it easy to get anywhere. My third hotel is the Courtyard on Yonge street for when I want to be in the center of the action, and it is only a block from the Village for enjoying the nightlife.

  3. The hotel’s location is solid, but you missed out on the unrenovated rooms– they’re not so timeless.

  4. I’ve stayed at Trump Toronto once at a low rate. Room was not “huge”, but the service and details are “tremendous”.

  5. Ugh. The Park Hyatt! I’m not sure what you mean by “amazing hotel market” – maybe volume of hotels? Toronto has a Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-la, the flagship Four Seasons (their HQ is in Toronto) and a Thompson as well as several funky boutique hotels such as the Drake, the Gladstone and Le Germain among many others. If you’re looking for mid-level brands, there’s a brand new Delta near the waterfront and a (relatively) newly renovated Hilton. The Sheraton and Westin are both a bit tired, but even still, the Park Hyatt is pretty much the last hotel I’d recommend to someone staying in Toronto. I’m sorry you stayed there! But, I hope you had a nice time in our city anyway.

  6. Not too sure I’d say that Toronto doesn’t have a good hotel market. There is the Shangri La, the Ritz Carlton, Trump (shame about the name, but a good hotel) and the flagship Four Seasons. All are less than six years old. The Park Hyatt is the last place I would have checked in.

  7. Agree with @Jacky

    Trump hotel is outstanding. Fresh, vibrant decor. Truly superior service.

  8. Damn…I wish this would have been a review of one of the un-renovated rooms. I need to go to Toronto for work, and I’ve been struggling with options. I’m actually not making the trip until I figure out where we’re going to stay (lol) and this was high on the list. If you haven’t already, the Park Hyatt Hamburg is what I would consider a timeless Park Hyatt. The tv’s are old (but were at one time very nice Bang & Olufsen units), but everything else was fabulous.

  9. Have a theory on the “bellman issue” – Toronto is really struggling with the Taxi vs Uber scene and back in the day many taxis around hotels would pay a small “fee” to the hotel/concierge/bellman for picking up passengers at the hotel door. Now that uber has pretty much cornered that market, bellmen seem less inclined to lay out the red carpet service, especially when they see an uber car pull up, especially the uberx’s.
    I have noticed this in many Canadian cities struggling with uber takeover. Again, just a theory…

  10. You missed the rooftop cocktail lounge. A truly lovely place to have a drink and take in the view of downtown. And virtually every movie star has been there during the film festival, if you’re into that sort of thing. If the front desk didn’t suggest you visit the lounge, then shame on them.

  11. The neighborhood is good, it’s Yorkville. It’s not too far of a walk from Dundas Square either.

    In terms of the hotel market, like others have said, there are quite a few nice and new hotels in Toronto. Park Hyatt is indeed one of the more dated choices (which is why the price point is so low).

  12. you were lucky they put you in the north tower. the south tower is basically a different hotel and is extremely older and not even comparable

  13. I’d rather have a regular room in the north tower than a suite in the south tower

  14. “The bathroom featured a sink, toilet, and then a walk-in shower.” – groundbreaking journalism right there.
    “Toilet was to the right of the sink” – oh my heavens, it really would have been unacceptable if it was at the left!

    Lets spend less time on hotel minutia and just leave these reviews to tripadvisor.

  15. lol… ^ this guy… Kev I actually come here to find hotel reviews before I book in cities where I know he’s been. Similar to yelp, I find the caliber of reviewers on tripadvisor to often be less than stellar.

  16. Ok, ok, so “Kev” indeed does win my Best Post of the Day Prize. He was joking, right?

  17. The best things about the Park Hyatt are the rooftop bar (a regular hangout for lots of people and action central during the film festival) and the outstanding mid-town/Yorkville location. But, other than that, I would never recommend the property. While Toronto used to be a bit of a hotel wasteland, there’s now a great selection of mid-range and upper end product – as others have mentioned. I’d recommend any of those, depending on where in the city you’d like to be, over the Park Hyatt. That said, the Park Hyatt is a much better choice than the Hyatt Regency, if you’re looking for a Hyatt. That one used to be a Holiday Inn and although it has a good entertainment district location, it’s pretty lame product.

    Hope you enjoyed Toronto, Ben. At least you had some good weather.

  18. Hmm. I’d recommend the Ritz-Carlton, brand new, it’s usually reasonably priced and you can easily get an upgrade to a suite facing the CN tower through FH&R.

  19. Ugh, the Park Hyatt is tragic. I’m sure if it weren’t for American business travelers trying to stay loyal to the Hyatt brand it would have gone under years ago. The normal rooms look nothing like what they gave you, trust me.

    My go-to in Toronto is the Ritz because we get a great group rate there. Beautiful rooms, generous with the upgrades, and a good location close to Union Station and the Porter shuttle. I’ve done the Trump a couple of times. The service was good, but the rooms were a bit overdone and gaudy for my taste – think EK F but a bit less refined. I tried the Thompson a few months ago but it wasn’t really my style either. Maybe if I’d brought my man-bun and typewriter….

    @Jacky: It’s “YUGE”.

    @Kev: You forgot how the toilet “wasn’t partitioned off in any way”. A toilet in the actual bathroom? Scandalous! It’s one step away from shitting in the woods like an animal.

  20. Park Hyatt. LOVED your room gorgeous. but NOT my first choice to stay.
    As you stated, service in-front stale.
    As most mentioned to Roof-Top bar is great for people-watching and the bartender (if not retired yet) has been there for over 25 years. Small patio. I prefer, if alone, to either sit at the bar or they have 2 couches by the fireplace.
    NOTE: the roof-top bar is located behind where you checked-in. go down the longggggg hallway to elevators and take it to daaaa roooooooooooof. 😉

    As far as eating in that area. Although a chain restaurant, right next door I always go to Morton’s.
    Again if alone, I sit at the bar. They do have a happy hour on appetizers daily. It is NOT open for lunch.
    They really have the best Bone-in Filet. It’s not on the menu, I just ask if available.

    FYI: great review and photos!!! :):):)

  21. Lucky: the utility of reading this review was dramatically decreased when you accepted their one renovated room. Next time consider refusing such a room so that your readers can actually benefit from the review.

  22. Yeah, I’ve stayed at this hotel several times and indeed the current rooms need help. Glad to hear they’re renovating and their trial room was decent. Hard to beat the neighbourhood for shopping and only a short walk to the gay bars.

  23. As mentioned, the rooftop bar – and the location – are the saving graces of the Park Hyatt. I stopped staying there years ago. Toronto has much better hotels to offer. Chainwise, I’d use Marriott points for the Ritz-Carlton, or stay at the Intercontinental on Front street.

    The only hotel in Toronto that is more disappointing than the Park Hyatt is the Intercontinental on Bloor.

    My favorite hotel in the city is the Shangri-La. You get Four Seasons quality and luxury at 2/3 the price. I think it’s even better than Ritz Carlton…and a little less expensive, too.

    Plus, the lobby of the Shangri-La is a great place to hangout for afternoon tea or the live music.

  24. I know that Ben is a loyal Hyatt / Starwood fanboy, but I actually found the Hilton to be far superior. Stayed at the Westin and wasn’t impressed in the slightest. The Hyatt’s weren’t any better.

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