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October 8, 2012updated Jul 15, 2015

Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto Makes A Grand Debut

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Toronto, Canada – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto opened this month on Canada’s grand ceremonial boulevard, University Avenue, in the heart of its largest city, Toronto. The 202-room property resides within the first 17 floors of a new 66-story landmark tower. In addition to the white-glove service and luxurious accommodations that Shangri-La is known for, guests will love the hotel’s downtown location – where the city’s business and entertainment districts meet.

The property is within a five-block radius of the performance center for Canada’s opera and ballet companies, the headquarters for the country’s five major banks, consulates, leading research hospitals, sports venues, the city’s live theater district and the TIFF headquarters. At the University entrance, a hand-hewn stainless steel sculpture, ‘Rising,’ by one of China’s most influential contemporary artists Zhang Huan, reaches from the street up the glass tower and into the hotel’s two-story lobby.

Like the exterior, the hotel’s interior is a destination where art and architecture are emphasized. Entering the street-level lobby, guests find themselves in the 90-seat Lobby Lounge where natural light streams through two-story windows highlighting birds from ‘Rising.’ The lounge features four large-scale Chinese calligraphy paintings, an all-day menu inspired by Southeast Asian food vendors and a wide selection of teas, cocktails, wines and spirits.

“Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is proud to welcome guests to the newest member of the group’s growing global portfolio and second hotel in North America. Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto brings our signature hospitality from the heart to the fast developing downtown core of this cosmopolitan city, welcoming both Toronto residents and travelers from around the world,” said Greg Dogan, president and CEO of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd.

Bosk, the hotel’s 80-seat signature restaurant, includes a private dining enclave for up to 30, plus a seasonal outdoor terrace that wraps around the corner of the building. Led by Executive Chef Jean Paul Lourdes, the dining room brings to life a globally inspired menu with distinct Asian influences.

Beyond the hotel lobby are 202 guest rooms and suites, ranging in size 490 to 2,200 square feet. Saple veneer, a dark wood from the mahogany family, covers the walls and provides a contrasting background for the muted earth-tone furniture and accessories, while floor-to-ceiling windows fill the room with natural light. Furniture, finishings and amenities, including a 47-inch flat-screen LED TV and iPad for in-room use, are residential in feel and functional in design. The bedroom features a custom, pillow-top mattress, black-out curtains, and fabrics in soft, soothing champagne tones. Oversized bathrooms, decked in black-veined white marble, offer walk-in rain showers, jetted tubs and LCD TVs.

Five specialty suites include the premier Owner’s Suite (1,100 square feet) and Shangri-La Suite (2,200 square feet). The latter is dark and dramatic with a wood-paneled, library-like entrance, while the Shangri-La Suite is open and airy, making use of Japanese lattice screens, oak wood molding and pewter marble. The Shangri-La Suite also offers a pantry with private butler’s entrance.

The hotel’s exquisite event rooms, named after prominent Toronto destinations, include a 42-seat screening room with oversized merlot leather chairs and a two-story glass room set with 13 crystal chandeliers, hanging at varying heights. The largest space, Queen’s Park, offers 3,670 square feet of open space, which can be divided by an air-wall that descends from the ceiling. Overhead are 39 crystal chandeliers. Center pivot doors open to reveal a glass wall and an outdoor garden terrace overlooking University Avenue, enhancing and extending the ballroom capabilities.

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Located on level five is the 9,000-square-foot health club with a private enclosed studio and an open concept room framed with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer natural light and city views, including a glimpse of Toronto’s famed CN Tower. Covering the north end of the facility, a separate room with a candlelit wall, cascading water columns and chandeliers, contains a 64-foot saltwater lap pool.

An independently operated spa, Miraj Hamman Spa by Caudalie, Paris, also located on the fifth floor, touts nine treatment suites including two couple suites and two hammam rooms. The hotel is part of a development that incorporates residential living, the revitalized historic red-brick Bishop’s Block, one of the oldest remaining buildings in Toronto and a restaurant and bar by acclaimed New York chef David Chang.

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