Review: W Toronto is where luxury meets hip, too much for my old bones

by Anshul
W Toronto

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W Toronto – Introduction and Booking

W Toronto can come across as trying too hard, with decor and esthetics that carry a “cool and edgy vibe.” And it does an excellent job at that: luxury meets hip. Unfortunately, this hotel may not be for you if you love understated elegance. However, W Toronto has some incredible bars and restaurants to boast, and if you are looking to host friends for an evening or a luxurious bite during your stay, look no further.

W Toronto is nestled in the trendy neighbourhood of Yorkville, epitomizing urban chic and contemporary luxury. It’s perfectly positioned for guests to experience Toronto’s most celebrated neighbourhoods, conveniently connected to a rail/subway station and just moments away from the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto – St. George Campus. The hotel features a curated collection of Toronto-inspired works, extending from the guest rooms to the rooftop. The guest rooms offer impressive city and courtyard views and plenty of shared spaces to enjoy the hotel’s vibrant atmosphere.

Last month, I spent one night at the property while on a work trip in Toronto. Booked last minute, the nightly rate for a standard ‘Wonderful Room’ was $525. It is not far from what most luxury properties in the city are priced at. Thanks to my favourite currency to redeem towards hotel stays, Scotia Scene+ points made the pricing feel bearable. And more so when I was upgraded in advance to a ‘Spectacular Room on a higher floor.’

W Toronto – Arrival and Check-in

My Uber driver dropped me off on Bloor Street outside the unassuming ‘W’ sign. The building facade is not much to speak of, as the walk to the main floor elevators is confusing with a lack of proper signs, especially after hours when no staff was around.

a glass wall with plants in it

Bloor street level entrance

The signs don’t become prominent until you get close to the elevators on the main level. The welcome/check-in desk is located on the 6th floor of the hotel. The 6th floor is also home to the Living Room (Tapas Bar), meeting rooms and other hotel amenities we will cover later in the post.

a glass doors with white text on them

The check-in desk and the entirety of the 6th floor revolve around chic shared space offering various seating styles for hotel guests. My check-in experience was seamless as the staff member confirmed my upgrade, gave me a rundown of the hotel’s amenities, and oriented me to the best ways to access them. My ‘Fabulous Room‘ was located on the 8th floor.

a room with a reception desk and chairs

W Toronto – Welcome Desk

a room with a bar and a yellow chandelier

Lobby Seating

W Toronto – Spectacular Room 818

The walk from the elevator to the room was long, and the walkways looked futuristic, with the white light set against the black panels and room doors.

a long hallway with blue carpet

W Toronto hallway

I walked into room 818 with zero expectations, as I had not bothered to ‘look up’ the rooms and hotel before my stay. The room door opened straight into the view in the picture below – partly towards the open sink and looking towards the bed. I found this setup to be awkward. It was one big square with a bedroom, sofa, Bar, bath and toilette – all in one. A fancy bachelor pad, if you will. The hotel calls it a ‘Studio Suite.

a room with a bed and a mirror

Spectacular Room – 818

The corner miming a ‘living room‘ offered a seating area, a moveable desk and ample closet space to unpack and settle in. The ‘bedroom’ with a king bed was adorned with work by local artists.

a room with a bed and a table

King Bed Room

a room with a television and a bed

a room with a couch and a table

The bed itself was extremely comfortable, and I slept well that night. The bedside was equipped with multiple power sockets and USB connections, which was much appreciated. The room also featured a signature Mix Bar, including the recipe, the tools, and the ingredients to make the cocktail if required.

a bed with a white bed frame and blue curtains

W Toronto – King Bed

a small bar with a tv and a shelf

a closet with a black and silver cabinet

a tv on a wall

Mix Bar – W Toronto

The room also had a single vanity, separate toilet, and shower area. Toiletries and bath products were from MOMO by Davines and featured minimal packaging.

a bathroom sink with a mirror and a mirror

a glass shower door in a bathroom

a bathroom sink with a towel and a towel on it

a group of bottles of liquid

Given the space constraints of the room, it was highly functional, well-designed, and packed with many amenities one could need for their hotel stay, including a Jenga set – a lovely touch.

W Toronto – Food and Beverage

This is where the hotel truly shines. It prioritizes shared and social spaces to the extent that it could be a culinary destination, not just a hotel. The dining options outside of room service include three distinct venues;

After check-in, I ventured to Skylight for small plates and a drink to escape in-room dining. The space is stunning and vibrant with colour and design. The Bar with a low-hang copper ceiling compliments the luxurious drapes covering the floor-to-ceiling windows on one side and the starry cityscape on the other.

a group of people sitting at a table

a bar with many bottles and lights

W Toronto – Skylight Rooftop Bar

a room with tables and chairs and plants

Skylight Bar

I settled into my seat at the Bar and enjoyed the small talk with one of the bartenders. I opted for the Grilled Octopus and the Lamb skewer to eat and complimented it with an Empress G&T to start. The service was laid back and professional, with the bartender keen to personalize drinks to everyone’s tastes and preferences.

a glass with ice and a lime wedge next to a glass with ice

Empress Gin and Tonic

a plate of food on a table

Grilled Octopus

a plate of food with a small bowl of dip

Lamb Skewers – Skylight Toronto

The following day, I was keen to experience the breakfast at the Public School Coffeehouse. The establishment is split into distinct sections, with the street-level coffee house, while the Kitchen and Bar are at an elevation connected to the inside of the hotel. The coffeehouse was chic and resembled a fancy bar in a nightclub rather than an urban coffee spot.

a woman standing at a bar

Public School Coffeehouse

a restaurant with people sitting around it

Public School Coffeehouse – Bloor Street, Toronto

The restaurant was busy with a good mix of locals and hotel guests. The breakfast menu featured several modern twists to popular comfort foods. I ordered the “Eggs in Purgatory,” which was a twist on Shakshuka, and came with baked eggs in a Tomato and red pepper sauce, with sausage and sourdough bread. Despite the slightly overdone eggs, I enjoyed my breakfast and appreciated the moderate portion size.

a restaurant with a bar and people

Public School Kitchen + Bar

a menu and fork on a table

a bowl of food on a table

Breakfast: ‘Eggs in Purgatory’

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to experience the ‘Living Room’ bar, which is in the center of the hotel and brings together several shared and social spaces, including an outdoor Patio when the weather permits.

a room with a glass ceiling

W Toronto – Other Hotel Facilities

In addition to several on-site meeting and event spaces, the hotel is home to the W Sound Suite recording studio, which guests and the community can use to produce podcasts and music. The hotel has an in-house music label and hosts several music festivals annually. The gym with boxing equipment and mini yoga studio were beyond what you expect in a standard hotel gym.

a gym with exercise equipment

W Toronto – Gym

a black column with white text

W Toronto – Takeaway

The hotel is on-brand, with everything shiny, expensive, and hip, reflecting luxury. Despite not being a fan of walking into a closet-size room that resembles a bachelor pad, the space is functional and esthetically elevated. The social spaces, including restaurants and amenities at W Toronto, are worth the price tag. Honestly, I cannot decide if I dislike the hotel or if it is too cool for my old bones. I loved the vibe at bars and restaurants, but the hotel room was tiny and awkward to walk straight into a sink and bed almost beside each other, especially if I was paying ~$600/night. At that price range, Park Hyatt Toronto (review) is more ‘my speed.’


PRIVATE January 30, 2024 - 7:19 am

I’m not sure of your age, but I don’t think it has anything to do with your “old bones.” There’s a 20 year age gap between myself and another guest during a recent stay, and we both agree – this is NOT a luxury property. I completely agree with the other comments.

The suite layouts and materials are almost amusingly horrible.

The level of service and attentiveness from the employees is EXCEPTIONAL, but t’s extremely unfortunate that the desginer appears to have focused more on public spaces and shiny “instagram” shots without having any understanding of what luxury means.

Completely atrocious.

Wonderful staff, but I will never stay at a W hotel again.

MurrayF January 23, 2024 - 7:36 pm

I would never book a room like that for 2 people. I lothe having the bathroom open to the room and would leave if I booked a hotel like that without knowing.

Derek H December 14, 2023 - 1:13 am

W room layouts have always been atrocious to me. I can never understand it.


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