Before 2015 rolled in I took my yearly pilgrimage to Yorkville, which, without a doubt, is one of Toronto's swankiest areas. It's also my personal favorite Toronto area.
Any time of the year Yorkville is trendy and glamorous. It maintains a small village feel within a large metropolis. But during the month of December, with the extra twinkling of festive lights, it is especially attractive (and romantic).
In and around Yorkville, you'll find art galleries, bars, restaurants, cafes, night clubs and shopping, shopping, shopping. In other words, Yorkville has everything needed for a fab Toronto outing. But where to stay? There are options.
For my mid-December overnight in Yorkville, the Intercontinental was my go-to place. Located on Bloor Street, just west of Avenue Road and directly across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum, the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville, is a great choice for all area activities.
Spinning through the hotel's revolving door landed me in the lobby, which feels more like a warm and welcoming entrance into a grand estate, than it does a hotel lobby.
“Welcome to the Intercontinental,” said Fabiana Briceno, Lobby Concierge, who seemed to personally be awaiting my arrival. I felt all warm and fuzzy. She directed me to the reception desk for a prompt and efficient check-in.
The Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville has 208 guest rooms and 33 suites. All rooms/suites come with standards like coffee and tea maker, bathrobes, hairdryer and a work-desk with enough electrical outlets around it to support today’s technological needs. WI-FI is available and is quick and easy to access. It’s free for IHG Rewards Club members. Non-members have to pay a fee, a policy that should be reviewed, as WI-FI is now simply an expectation.
For a pre-dinner cocktail, drop into the hotel's own Proof Vodka Bar. I ordered a vodka martini (it's a vodka bar), and was surprised to be asked which brand of vodka I wanted my martini shaken with. I opted for Grey Goose (it was the only brand that came to mind). With the glow of warm fireplace behind me, and long-sips of a cool martini, I warmed up quickly on a cold December night. The Grey Goose went down easily.
Signatures is the hotel’s award-wining restaurant, and it is where Chef de Cuisine, Andrew Frastacky's, culinary artistry can be sampled. To complement Toronto’s cultural influence in the cuisine, unique photographs of Toronto's landmark neighborhoods decorate the walls of the restaurant.
For dinner, I chose the three-course, festive fixed-price menu ($45.00). I started with a luxuriously creamy pickled apple butternut squash soup, which was absolutely delicious. Next up came braised lamb shanks (which I love), served over carrot purée, and roasted root vegetables. Dessert was steamed pudding (warm) topped with vanilla ice cream (it was Christmas time after all).
Whether you find yourself in Yorkville for the shopping, the food, the art or just the beautiful-people watching, the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville, with its easy access to the subway system, is the perfect spot to lay your head down.
And, oh yes, the martinis are just so darn good!