Chic, new boutique hotels in downtown Calgary. A Trump Hotel transformation in Vancouver. And new, stylish places to stay in Toronto, Halifax and Montreal.
Canada didn’t get many American visitors during the pandemic, so chances are travelers missed a great deal over the past few years. Here’s a look at some of the hotels they may not know about, as well as a posh new one (with strong celebrity ties) that's on the way.
Vancouver, British Columbia
1. Paradox Hotel Vancouver
The Trump International Hotel and Tower was shuttered a few years ago and reopened last year under the name Paradox Hotel Vancouver. The hotel has 147 guestrooms and a rooftop lounge with fine views. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and European oak hardwood floors. There’s a large nightclub called Mansion Club, and a fine-dining Chinese restaurant called Mott 32. Karma, the lobby bar, offers signature cocktails and sharing plates based on seasonal fare.
2. The Dorian
Inspired by the Oscar Wilde’s novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” The Dorian opened last summer. It features 137 rooms, all of which will have a copy of the book, as well as a liquor cart stocked with Eau Claire Distillery’s Earl Grey Gin, which was made especially for the hotel. The lobby bathrooms have wallpaper showing naughty monkeys drinking vodka and smoking cigarettes. There’s also a rooftop restaurant, The Wilde. Oh, and guests can arrange a bathrobe for their dog.
The lower floors of the building contain a Courtyard Marriott.
3. The Westley Calgary Downtown
Meanwhile, The Westley Calgary Downtown is a Tapestry Collection by Hilton property that opened in 2021 in a former office tower. Rooms are smartly decorated in shades of grey and white and feature cool artwork that combines old and new scenes of Calgary. One-bedroom suites have microwaves. All suites have a fold-out sofa bed with double padding for extra comfort. The on-site restaurant, Fonda Fora, serves contemporary Mexican cuisine and an excellent breakfast.
4. W Toronto
The 254-room W Toronto is a terrific remake of a nondescript Marriott on Bloor Street, just east of the trendy Yorkville district of town. There’s a cool, youthful vibe, and a rooftop bar overlooking one of Canada’s best-known intersections, Yonge and Bloor. There’s also a private recording studio and creative space for artists.
5. Canopy by Hilton Toronto Yorkville
Canada’s first Canopy by Hilton opened a couple blocks east of the W Hotel earlier this year. They brought in one of Canada’s top design teams, Studio Munge, who created a fun, engaging property with a hipster vibe.
6. Ace Hotel Toronto
The 123-room Ace Hotel Toronto is the first Canadian location for this boutique chain. It’s located in the garment district, just west of downtown. The hotel features a signature restaurant, Alder, which is powered by renowned Toronto chef Patrick Kriss. There’s also a rooftop bar and lounge. It’s quickly become a place to see and be seen.
7. The Modern Wing at the Drake Hotel
The new Modern Wing at the Drake Hotel is a five-story affair that adjoins the original property on West Queen West in Toronto. It opened in late December 2021.
8. The King Blue Hotel
The King Blue Hotel is a pet-friendly hotel in a former Westinghouse building in Toronto’s Entertainment District. It opened early in 2022
9., 10., and 11. The Park Hyatt Toronto, 1 Hotel and Nobu Hotel Toronto
The Park Hyatt Toronto has been given a major facelift and looks terrific, and the old Thompson Hotel has been turned into a 1 Hotel offering. Nobu says it hopes to open Canada’s first Nobu Hotel in downtown Toronto later this year, as well as a much-anticipated Nobu restaurant and residences. Nobu, of course, is led by Robert De Niro and celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
12. The Metcalfe Hotel
The Metcalfe Hotel in downtown Ottawa is a boutique property with a five-story atrium lobby and a French bistro called Cocotte. It’s the first Ontario property in the Quebec-based Gray Collection, which includes the posh William Gray Hotel in Old Montreal.
13. reStays Ottawa
A new mixed-use building called reStays opened on Queen Street in 2021. Studio, one-, and two-bedroom units offer kitchen and laundry facilities. The rooftop lounge boasts outstanding views of the nation’s underrated capital.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
14. The Muir Hotel
The Muir Hotel looks like a game-changer for Halifax, which has never been known as a super-luxury hotel destination. Muir means “sea” or “ocean” in Gaelic, and the hotel is built to honor Halifax’s seafaring heritage. The 109-room property is part of the massive Queen’s Marque waterfront development. Rooms feature curved white oak walls and plank flooring, a subtle nod to luxury ocean travel. The hotel has its own yacht and motorboat, as well as a private art gallery. There’s also a restaurant, Drift, and a speakeasy called BKS.
15. Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown
Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown is a revitalized Curio Collection by Hilton hotel that uses the latest in environmental equipment, including air-purification technology and UV light clean indoor air. They’ve also installed a television in the lobby that displays real-time air and water quality information.
16. The Hyatt Centric Ville-Marie Montreal
The Hyatt Centric Ville-Marie Montreal is part of a larger urban development around Place Gare Viger, which was built around the first railway station in Canada, Gare Viger. Centric is Hyatt’s “boutique” line, and this 177-room project is at the edge of stylish Old Montreal. The rooftop terrace offers views of the regular light shows on the Jacques Cartier bridge and the city's renowned fireworks shows in summer.