As film stars jet to Toronto from across the globe, the city’s finest lodgings have begun primping their suites before rolling out the red carpet. After last year’s buzzy import of a $100,000 Hastens bed, the bar has been set high and nightly rates are already on the rise. With mediocre hotels charging a premium, empty the pocketbook and live large, even if only for 9 days. Here are 10 hotels to stay at during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where you’ll either be staying with celebrities, or living like one.
1) Ritz Carlton Toronto
181 Wellington Street West
Right in the centre of film festival madness this luxury dwelling-and-hotel will be home to celebrities and events galore. Next door to Roy Thompson, it will be hectic around the hotel on opening night. Breakfast Television will be setting up shop with City TV, using it as their TIFF hub, so expect to see stars coming and going.
2) Shangri La Hotel
188 University Avenue
Right downtown, on University, the Shangri-La Hotel is ideally situated steps to the TIFF Lightbox and Roy Thompson red carpet. Not to mention it is literally on top of (well, right beside) the Soho House. The presidential suite (called the Shangri La Suite) pictured here is one of Toronto’s most stunning rooms on the market.
3) Four Seasons Toronto
60 Yorkville Avenue
The old location (which is now being transformed into condos) was a hub for fangirls and paparazzi during TIFF’s earlier days. Don’t be upset, the new Four Seasons is indisputably one of the finest properties in Toronto. Besides, it is home to Canada’s most expensive condominium—the penthouse—which sold for more than thirty-million dollars. Plenty of big names will no doubt be laying their heads at the Four Seasons.
4) Trump Toronto
325 Bay Street
The Trump doesn’t get enough attention from Toronto. Partially because it hasn’t been widely marketed (and for good reason!), but also because most Canadians aren’t familiar with Trump’s hotel collection, even if they might know of the man himself. Go for an executive suite, they offer more room to spread your TIFF wardrobe out.
5) Thompson Toronto
550 Wellington Street West
Toronto’s hotel market was shaken up when Thompson built its first property north of the border. Quickly establishing itself as a TIFF and party hotspot, the rooftop lounge and banquet-screening space in the lower level will be bustling all festival long.
6) Windsor Arms
18 St. Thomas Street
Back when TIFF called Yorkville home the Windsor Arms was one of the most happening hotels in the city. Today, the Arms still makes the list, with its attractive event spaces there is no doubt going to be plenty of action on St. Thomas Street. Can’t afford a room? Drop by during the afternoon for high tea—the experience alone is well worth it.
7) Hazelton Hotel
118 Yorkville Avenue
The Hazelton is one of Toronto’s most posh and private properties. Last year, the hotel brought in one of the world’s most expensive beds for a guest: a Hastens piece priced at $100,000.
8) Park Hyatt
4 Avenue Road
Even though the festival has migrated south, the Park Hyatt remains a magnet for parties, industry professionals, talent and media. The rooftop bar and its adjacent lounge host an array of parties when it’s not festival season, so there’s no question about how busy it will be during TIFF. If that isn’t tempting enough, the picturesque view from the rooftop patio is well worth the reservation.
9) One King West Hotel
1 King Street West
Built on top of one of Toronto’s oldest banks (the vault is still in the basement!) in the Financial District, One King West is the place to stay if looking for a condo-like suite with great views. A short walk from screenings, red carpets and parties, the hotel is a great choice for someone who doesn’t want to travel across town for events.
225 Front Street West
No hotel in Toronto is closer to the CN Tower than the Intercontinental. And with the Ritz right across the street, the hotel will be seeing plenty of festival overflow. Don’t go for a basic room and try Intercontinental’s executive suite, it might not be the most lavish but it’ll do the trick.