Views of the 6ix (Toronto, if you weren’t plugged into that particular sobriquet) are grand enough that in films it actually passes for NYC. So the chance to take it all in from the dizzy heights of the Hilton Toronto was not insignificant.
We actually managed to get the scoop on the hotel’s spectacular new project, their unambiguously named Signature Suites, which sprawls across the entire 32nd floor. Beginning in April 2018, guests can book these newly minted suites, of which there are seven; they are undoubtedly the new show ponies of the property. And from the urban oasis locale (a stone throw’s away from Toronto City Hall, Toronto Harbourfront & Lake Ontario, The Canadian Opera Company and The CN Tower), the rooms, perched on the top floor, offer picture-perfect panoramic views of the city.
Envisioned by Canadian designer Sarah Richardson, the luxe rooms are meant to exude a homey, residential sentiment, and are vivid with a painter’s palette of blue hues, whose spectrum of shades is found in each room – it’s a kind of unifying thread that weaves its way through all the spaces. Moreover, each suite is named after a neighborhood of Toronto, from the fancy and affluent goings on of Forest Hill to the Mother Nature pleasures of High Park.
Furnishings echo elements from each of these nooks, and the comfort level is amplified with flair-filled contemporary pieces that play with texture and prints (tartan bedroom benches and zebra curtains, for instance). The fun continues with dramatic pendant lighting, maple wood cabinetry, and marble flooring, all of which have been custom-crafted and sourced locally to showcase Torontonian talents. We love how each element is striking on its own; and yet in the same light, can coalesce with its surroundings to support the overall eclectic vision. The diverse nature of the design mirrors that of Toronto’s fabled multiculturalism.
The only “wild child” is the Summerhill Suite: whose floral and citrine touches throughout are set against a dynamic, CN Tower backdrop. For Richardson, it was an opportunity to spread (a bit more of) her creative wings.
Should you be able to tear yourself away from your suite, downstairs is Tundra, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. Executive Chef Kevin Prendergast and Executive Sous Chef Aaron Chen offer Canadiana on a plate: feature favorites include the Alberta bison burger with onion marmalade, double smoked bacon with Prince Edward Island aged cheddar, and tundra spiced aioli; Miso and Cola Braised Beef Short Ribs with Asian slaw and Ontario sour cherries; and, naturally, Tundra Poutine with sweet potato fries, pan gravy, braised beef, and Quebec cheese curds.
We couldn’t resist the Seasonal Tasting and National Ballet of Canada menus (the former is not advertised anywhere and executed by request only). The plating of the former ventures into the avant-garde, but is really more of an outlet for the chef to “play” with his food – with us being their happy and willing guinea-pig participants. The last hallmarks of winter fare includes succulent seared-scallops with braised mussels and lemongrass sauce; and black cod with squash quenelle, miso, black garlic, and hen of the woods mushrooms.
The latter menu is inspired by whatever current ballet performance is showing in the adjacent Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts. Thus, the Sleeping Beauty menu features a delectable coq au vin, as well as roasted squash risotto with spiced almonds. And thankfully – since we’re not the ones doing grand jetes and pirouettes, we happily indulged in the tundra tiramisu verrine and bourbon panna cotta for dessert.
And then fell into slumber with the city lights twinkling below…