Review: Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

by | Published Nov 10, 2022 | Edited Nov 23, 2022


Toronto is a city I find myself visiting multiple times each year, both as a result of my love for the city and due to local obligations. As I found myself planning my next trip out east with my significant other, I felt like now was the time to scratch one of the available five-star hotels off of my list.

As a result, I decided to book the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto for a two-night stay as a brief couples getaway. I had flown in for the weekend of Halloween as there were quite a number of electronic dance music events that weekend I had been looking forward to seeing.

Let’s jump into my review of this gorgeous property in Toronto’s downtown financial district.

Overview & Location

At the heart of downtown Toronto on University Ave, you will find this beautiful monolith of a building which is one of the fifteen tallest residential and luxury hotel buildings tucked away amongst the Toronto skyline. The Shangri-La Toronto is made up of 60 floors containing 393 residential units and 202 hotel guest rooms in addition to an on-site parking garage.

As the Shangri-La hotel chain does not fall under any of the bigger brands such as Marriott or Hilton, there are limited options when it comes to how you can pay for a stay at this property. The most obvious option would be to book cash rates, but as a five-star hotel, this of course does not come at a cheap price. For the two nights I planned on staying, the total cash cost would have been $1,727.59 CAD.

shangri la hotel toronto 2 night booking cash rate

Obviously, a very hefty cost to swallow for many, but potentially worth it depending on the nature of your stay. On the other hand, this presents a decent opportunity to redeem bank-issued hotel points and other points currencies if you have a ton of extra points to liquidate.

In a bit of a unique maneuver, I decided to redeem a chunk of Aeroplan points for this booking. The total cost for the two-night stay was 128,000 Aeroplan points, resulting in a rough estimated value of 1.3 cents per point. 

This is not great for an Aeroplan redemption by any means if you compare it to the value you can get from business class flights, but I had far too many points available with not much travel planned for the eventual future. As a result, it made sense for me to burn a small chunk for an aspirational and unconventional redemption as opposed to continuing to sit on a mountain of points.

Additionally, the total cost above was after I took advantage of an Aeroplan promotion which resulted in 30% off of hotel bookings when you use your points through the Hotel Savers discount program. This promotion definitely made the redemption a bit more appealing and bumped up the cents per point value making it more palatable. Before the promotion was applied, the total cost was

Of note, once you book your room at the Shangri-La you will receive an email confirmation that also gives you the option for additional cash upgrades for different room types, including suites, in addition to a variety of other optional perks. Depending on the nature of your stay, and ultimately your budget, you may be interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.

Premier Room, 1 King Bed

After a quick check-in process, we collected our room keycards and headed up to the 12th floor. Upon entering the 12th floor the first thing I noticed was the cleanliness of the hallways as well as the Chinese artifacts and décor which set an elegant tone to the property.

When I entered room 1209,  a sense of luxury immediately set in. The doorway entrance opens to the bedroom but if you choose to turn left into the washroom opening and open the bamboo doors, the first thing you’ll notice is the granite tiled shower and floor.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king shower

Turning to the right-hand side of the bathroom, there is a massive bathtub that is the pinnacle of relaxation. Truly, one of the better hotel bathtubs that I have seen in my travels.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king bathtub

Moving to the vanity, there was a TV built into the mirror which was unique and a nice touch. The hotel also offers a list of bath bombs and bath salts for you at a pretty good price should you choose to relax after a busy day. This was a  personalized touch and something I have yet to see at another hotel.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king bathroom vanity

On the left-hand side of the bathroom was the closed-off toilet room. The toilet was strong enough to suck out my intestines but also had a frosted glass door for privacy which was classy.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king toilet

Walking out of the bathroom, I noticed the massive closet which had tons of space to store luggage and clothing. The hotel provided a good number of hangers for shirts, something that is quite rare to see. It was nice to fully unpack and have my life set up in a relatively normal way as opposed to living out of a suitcase.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king closet area

Entering the main bedroom, the first thing you notice is the king bed and the massive supporting pillar which adds a unique design element to the room. Nightstands with lighting adorned each side of the bed.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king bed

Beside the bed were a chaise lounge and table. This was a gorgeous spot to relax and you could even turn it towards the window if you wanted to have a drink and look over downtown Toronto.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king chaise lounge and table

Directly in front of the bed was the television; pretty standard fare for any hotel room and nothing to write home about.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king television

To the left of the TV was a desk that was equipped with a tablet containing all of the information you need to know about the hotel, such as dining options and room service. The chair was quite comfortable, and this was a good place to post up and get a bit of work done during my stay.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king desk

The room also contained a minibar with various alcoholic spirits in addition to snacks for purchase. Complimentary coffee pods were provided and refilled daily.

shangri la hotel toronto premier minibar

Our view from the 12th floor overlooked the financial district in downtown Toronto. An endless sea of commercial and residential High Rises covers this area but if you look a little further in the distance you can see Lake Ontario which provides the cities on the lakes with commercial shipping routes.

shangri la hotel toronto premier king downtown view

All in all, the hotel room itself was nicely equipped and met our needs for the brief weekend stay. Considering this is one of their base rooms, I can only imagine what the suites at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto are like.

Lobby & Dining

After spending a bit of time in the room, I headed down to explore the lobby and the rest of the property. Immediately I noticed that on display in glass cases, there were various pieces of art for guests to enjoy.

shangri la hotel toronto art in lobby

If you head over to the right side of the elevators upon entering the lobby you’ll come across The Bar International which is located tucked away in the corner of the Shangri-La. This bar opens at 11 am daily and is open late, meaning that you can stop in for a drink almost whenever.

The lounge area was inviting with comfortable seating spaced out in such a way that you could absolutely have an intimate gathering with your significant other or a few close friends over your cocktails.

shangri la hotel toronto lounge

Unfortunately, our itinerary for our time in Toronto didn’t give us the opportunity to stop in for a drink but the staff did highly recommend coming back to grab a drink.

If you are curious about nearby dining options, the Shangri-La Toronto connects to the world-renowned Momofuku restaurant which is one of four locations, the other 3 located in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, Los Angeles, and New York City. I highly recommend checking this place out if your taste buds are looking for a new experience. Not to mention that if you are looking for other dining options, there is no shortage of fantastic experiences to be had in downtown Toronto.

Other Facilities

As I was only in Toronto for a few nights with a defined itinerary, I didn’t get to enjoy the full spa experience that this hotel has to offer. I was however lucky to be able to get a tour of the spa as well as the pool and I have to say it was pretty mind-blowing compared to what I have seen at other hotels.

Miraj Hammam Spa

When you enter the spa and pool area on the 5th floor of the hotel you’re immediately greeted with a sweet aroma which is a far cry from the chlorine smell you usually get with hotels.  The entrance to the Miraj Hammam Spa presents itself with a gorgeous black facade.

shangri la hotel miraj hammam spa entrance

The spa itself is fully equipped to wash away all your troubles and is the real deal when it comes to a luxurious experience, the focal point of the experience being the Hammam & Gommage service, an invigorating combination of steam and deep exfoliation to cleanse the skin and stimulate your senses and imagination.

Gym & Pool

In order to get to the pool area, you have to walk through the on-site gym which has pretty much every machine you could think of to be able to work out freely without interruption. Various cardio machines, free weights, and weight machines were all available; there was definitely something for everyone.

shangri la hotel toronto fitness center gym

Upon entering the pool area, the changing rooms are on the right side. These change rooms have a full steam room as well as dual saunas. In regards to the actual pool area, it has a very classic but modern design with neat pink lighting. A few lounge chairs adorned the pool area if you were looking for a nice and quiet area to relax.

What was interesting about the pool is that it had what could be called a “reverse water feature” with water shooting down from the roof into the pool. I thought it was a nice and unique design touch alongside the UV lighting against the wall.

shangri la hotel pool area

Conclusion

The reviews don’t lie with this renowned 5-star property. The service is beyond exceptional and the staff is some of the best I’ve encountered in my travels to the Greater Toronto Area. Of course, with the quality of this hotel comes with a considerable cost, but if you’re willing to pay, this hotel is well worth checking out.

Luke Rossi

Luke Rossi

Luke started travel hacking in late 2020 when the world stopped for a few years. His favorite part of travel is experiencing the various hotel chains around the world and what they have to offer. In addition to being an avid loyalty program enthusiast, he also DJs at various nightclubs across Canada.
Luke Rossi

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