Despite living in New York for over 2 years now, Toronto is still home for me. I usually travel back once a month to visit family and friends, but this time I decided to change things up and stay a night at my favourite hotel in the city – the Fairmont Royal York.
I have had so many great memories at this hotel – from afternoon tea in the Library bar, Summerlicious and Winterlicious (Toronto’s premier prix fixe food event that happens twice a year, featuring tasty lunch and dinner menus) at Epic Restaurant, to hot chocolate during the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which is right around the corner!
The hotel is right across the street from Union Station, which is perfect since I flew into Pearson International Airport and took the UP Express train right into Union in just 25 minutes.
I had a beautiful corner room with an amazing view – I could look across and see Union Station and the CN Tower, which is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. As if that wasn’t enough, the hotel left us a cheese plate and some wine as a welcoming gift!
For lunch we walked over to the St. Lawrence Market area, an iconic culinary hotspot that has been in the area since 1803! We were too busy eating and forgot to even take a picture – oops. But I assure you that the food looked amazing!
In the afternoon, we walked around the Financial District and up towards the Eaton Centre for some shopping. The historic mall with glass ceiling has several shops and restaurants! Everything is walking distance from the hotel, which is perfect because we had to take an afternoon nap after all the eating and walking around.
After the nap, I wanted to have a quick workout before dinner but I did not bring my gym clothes. Good thing the hotel has the Fairmont fit program where they provide Reebok workout apparel and shoes to use during your stay and it is delivered right to your room.
In the evening, we had dinner at the newly renovated Benihana lounge that just opened a few weeks ago. The whole experience was amazing and very different from the Benihana I knew – it is no longer just about the teppanyaki, but rather the sushi and sake. The detail in the presentation of the food really elevated the experience and made it a culinary adventure. We also liked the decor as it gives the whole atmosphere a fine dining feeling. The hamachi collar and uni were some of the food highlights of the night.
The drink menu now has a variety of sakes, including some delicious saketinis! The new Benihana lounge is the perfect place to hang out and have a drink with friends and colleagues.
The next morning after our evening food coma, we were still hungry for more food so we pigged out with breakfast “in bed”. Sometimes, it is nice not having to leave in search of food.
Even though I was only there for one night, it was a great stay and it was really fun being a “tourist” in the city where I grew up.
Next up: A day trip to Niagara – on the Lake for some wine tasting!