My entire life I have been obsessed with hotels. There’s something about the fresh white sheets, new bath products and room service that makes me giddy – and I love the anticipation of discovering what the room looks like (even when it’s just a Holiday Inn in Grimsby for a hockey tournament!)
So a ‘staycation’ in Toronto every once-in-a-while feels like a super special treat, and something we try to do as a way to leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind to hang out as a family and reconnect.
Living in South Etobicoke, we drive by the stunning Hotel X Toronto quite frequently – and I had heard about the famous year round rooftop pool (see point #1!). So we jumped at the chance to check it out as part of their Toronto Aurora Winter Festival Stay & Play Package.
Here are X (Ten) reasons why we absolutely loved this hotel.
1. ‘The Pond’ Rooftop Pool
Their 55 foot partial indoor/partial outdoor rooftop pool lived up the hype and was definitely a highlight for us. It’s kept at a comfortable 80-85 degrees with a heated indoor section with loungers and an outdoor section with an incredible view of the city. The two sides are divided by a glass door that you need to see to believe!
A second pool will be added to the hotel as part of 10XTO (see below), which will be a junior Olympic sized salt water pool!
2. 10XTO Gym
The 90,000 square foot athletic centre will take your breath away – especially the four indoor tennis courts with vaulted ceilings and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city (and direct line of site into BMO Field!). The gym itself contains 50 state-of-the-art pieces of equipment. My husband and I attended an amazing flow class in their (stunning) hot yoga studio which was made possible by the next point!
3. Child Care
There is a 3000 sq. ft. Play Centre located within 10XTO where children can play while the adults enjoy the hotel amenities. The Play Centre is equipped with its own sports court, age-appropriate toys and books, four video game consoles, a big screen TV for movie time and a designated quiet area. Hotel Guests may drop off the kids for up to 3 hours ($10/hour per child, each additional child $5/hour)
An impressive 250-seat theatre offers movie screenings from Thurs – Sun. We were lucky enough to attend the media preview of The Second City’s Improv Showdown.
This family friendly show features two teams of top-notch improvisers and high-energy characters who compete in a comedy face-off. It’s a highly interactive show, even providing kids the opportunity to join the team on stage to help build the story line. The audience helps the performers by shouting out various prompts, as a friendly competition ensues between the right and left half of the auditorium.
Don’t worry – this isn’t like your shady Las Vegas comedy shows – all audience participation is completely voluntary and you won’t be called in unless you want to be!
The show runs From December 13th to January 5th, 2020. Tickets can be purchased here , or better yet – book a stay at Hotel X Toronto and your tickets are included!
5. The View
Photos don’t do it justice. You have an incredible 360 degree view from the Terrace, and from many other points throughout the hotel. Floor to ceiling windows in the rooms highlight the best Toronto has to offer.
With seven dining options to choose from, you don’t ever need to leave the hotel to ensure your family is fueled for fun!
We found Maxx’s Kitchen is be the best atmosphere for our family (two thumbs up for the avocado toast!) but there’s also a Nespresso Café if you’re looking for caffeine, snacks or a quick healthy lunch.
Pétros82 is a new Mediterranean restaurant and Falcon SkyBar is a three-level rooftop bar and lounge – a great choice if you decide to drop the kids off at the Play Centre for a few hours.
Of course, in-room dining is always fun when travelling as a family. We loved how the menu was displayed on the TV screen…and when the 9pm munchies hit, the sweet potato fries did not disappoint!
7. Library Club Lounge
Guests with Library Club Lounge Access can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese reception in the Lounge (simply select the Library Club option when booking your room).
After our show we popped in for the wine & cheese expecting it to be adults only with just a few bar snacks. We were blown away when we saw it was actually a very family friendly atmosphere and the ‘snack’ was a full buffet of artisanal cheeses & meats, baked goods, delicious salads & even hot dishes like beef stir fry.
8. Nespresso Machine
Okay, so this may not seem like such a big deal to some, but I am obsessed with coffee. So it will come as no surprise that I loved our in-room Nespresso machine and chilled milk stored in the in-room refrigerator (no powdered coffeemate for this girl!)
Once you’ve parked at the hotel (self parking is $30/day) you can easily walk to BMO stadium, Budweiser Gardens, the CNE, Ontario Place, and more. In our case, our Toronto Aurora Winter Festival Stay & Play Package included passes to the festival (which was a short five-minute walk across the street) The hotel offers similar packages for other events like the CNE when it’s in town.
Hotel X Toronto is also literally across the street from the Enercare Centre (I was tempted to sneak off to the One Of A Kind show, but ran out of time!)
If you want to go further than walking distance, the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to Union Station & Billy Bishop Airport (based on availability)
It’s also less than a 10 minute walk to a Go Station (Exhibition Place) – so if you live along the GO line you can make it a true ‘staycation’ and leave your car at home (I know many minis who would find a train ride to be one of the highlights of your vacation!) We were having so much fun during our stay, my son and I requested a late check out and took the train home (since hubby had to take the car to leave for work).
10. The Spa
Luxury French skincare brand Guerlain opened its first Canadian spa inside the hotel, which pretty much says it all. While we didn’t personally get a chance to enjoy the spa, I did stop in to snap a pic (and take a smell…heaven)
Want to plan your own holiday ‘staycation’? Hotel X Toronto has a special Black Friday Offer available Nov. 25th until Cyber Monday on December 2nd: book directly via the hotel and enjoy 25% off Best Flexible Rates, a complimentary fitness class, and self-parking.
At the time of posting this, you can reserve a Luxury Room (with Library lounge access, self-parking included and access to the awesome yoga classes) for $329. A great value for what you get – and excuse to treat yourself to something special!