Family Travel Review: The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
As you know, we’ve been following The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto since they first announced their plans for opening in the city and were very interested to see how they would fare for families. Located in the very heart of Toronto’s busy art and financial district and across from Roy Thomson Hall, the location of The Ritz is convenient for those looking to stay in the city. As this was our very first stay at a Ritz property, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Some luxury hotels aren’t the most accommodating when it comes to small children, so we were very interested to see how the Ritz fared.
Turns out The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto is very family friendly and even offers a special package just for kids. The ambiance of the hotel is very art deco with many Canadian influences.
Upon check-in, my kids were treated to the VIK (Very Important Kids) check-in. The lady in guest services pulled up a red step for the girls to stand up on, which they were quite thrilled about. They were really great with the kids and made them feel like VIPs, especially when they were handed their very own ‘gold card keys’ to our room.
We were given two suites during our stay, so I was able to note the differences between the two first-hand.
The deluxe room is the ‘standard’ accommodation and measures a roomy 450 square feet which ends up being one of the largest luxury Guest Rooms in Toronto. Our room was located directly across from the CN Tower, so we had a really magnificent view. All of the Deluxe Rooms have floor to ceiling windows, however you never feel cold standing next to them thanks to the heated perimeter flooring. The room has two Queen beds (you can also choose one King) and the standard amenities.
What I was most impressed with was the lighting system and the bathroom. The lights can be adjusted from super bright to barely there lighting. The bathroom is equipped with a shower and separate deep soaker tub and the flooring and walls are covered in a Portugueses Estremoz marble stone. The floor is heated and can also be adjusted, so that when you exit the shower or bath you step onto a warm floor rather than a cold stone surface. There is a large mirror above the two vanities and believe it or not, there is an actual 19″ TV designed into the mirror. My husband enjoyed watching the news while he shaved and the kids tuned into to cartoons while they had their bath. Very techie.
The Corner Suite is a great solution for larger families or for parents who want a little bit more privacy. This suite is more ‘homey’ with its wood flooring, area rugs and wood millwork. The bedroom consists of one King size bed and then there is a queen size pull-out sofa in the living room. Measuring at 650 square feet, this definitely provides more room than the Deluxe Room.
When we entered our room we were greeted with chilled milk, chocolate chip cookies and chocolates for the kids as well as miniature pink bathrobes laid out across the bed.
What a welcome! My son wasn’t left out either as the Ritz Carlton provided their POLO (Protect our little ones) safety kit complete with plug protectors, baby toiletries and many other goodies that I would have never thought to bring from home.
After dinner we returned to a full turn down service (complete with milk and cookies) and after getting into their pajamas the kids chose from one of the pay-in-room movies as part of the “Movie Night” service. Room service brought 2 ceramic popcorn bowls for the girls as well as some other treats as part of the package. We watched Puss in Boots in bed with popcorn. Needless to say, there were most definitely in their glory!
There are three dining options here including the TOCA Bar, TOCA restaurant and DEQ. Although all three are stunning, the most family-friendly option was the TOCA restaurant located upstairs. We breakfasted here on the day of our departure and my husband and I both loved the overall relaxed/modern art feeling of the restaurant. In regards to menus, well.. our kids were provided with an iPod menu to choose their meal. Can you say genius?
The meals are all named with fun descriptions that are appealing to youngsters. Parents will be pleased to note that most of the menu is very healthy to boot!
Our food was delicious, but note that prices are not cheap. Be prepared to spend between $40 and $60 for a family of four on breakfast.
The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto is an oasis of calm. If we had more time I could have easily spent the entire afternoon here. The 23,000 square foot spa is equipped with many amenities such as 16 treatment rooms, nine station nail salon and private pedicure cabins, a salt water pool, jacuzzi, fitness centre, stunning Yoga Studio, steam, sauna and vitality pools. Guests can purchase a day pass to the spa, allowing them to use the facilities.
I really liked how the spa catered to expectant moms and children as well. They had the entire line of Mama Mio products and a special ‘menu’ of services for pregnant mamas. The girls were treated to a manicure in the nail salon which they enjoyed tremendously. The Spa Attendants were so kind and caring with the girls, which made them feel relaxed and at home. They are quite shy, so to have them sit through a treatment with smiles on their faces was a big deal for us!
If you are looking for a real treat when visiting Toronto, I highly recommend this hotel. Their Family Fun Package is a must-book as well and includes:
- Accommodation in a Deluxe room (with 2 queen beds)
- Access to the Club Level lounge for continuous food and beverage presentations throughout the day
- VIK (Very Important Kids) check-in
- Choice of VIK programming (Mini Spa Manicure, pizza making in DEQ or cookie/cupcake decorating with Executive Pastry Chef)
- Children’s bathrobes and amenities (e.g. bath toys/amenities etc.)
- POLO (exclusive Ritz-Carlton Protect Our Little Ones) safety kit
- Video game console
- Children’s turndown service (milk and cookies)
- Movie night – choice of pay in-room movie + popcorn and candy
Besides all of the luxurious features, fabulous spa and amenities this hotel had to offer, the one thing that stuck out the very most and made us eager to return to the Ritz-Carlton was the service. Not only were we treated and catered to, but so was every other guest staying at this hotel. I observed the service while sitting in the lobby, talked to several of the guests and no matter where you went (restaurant, bar, pool) the service was always the same – excellent. This is one family-friendly hotel brand that we will most certainly return to!
*Thank you to The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto for hosting us during our stay!*