We swung the door open, eager to escape the notoriously cold temperatures of a Canadian winter. The noise of the street disappeared as the door closed behind us. A quick glance around showed marble stairs sweeping to the level above, and elegant crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Suitcases in tow, we pushed through the next set of doors into the warm and inviting lobby. The Teller’s bar to the right, seating to the left. Ahead, a staircase leading to a historic vault that I knew I would have to explore later. After glancing around we made out may to the reception to check in for out girls’ weekend in Toronto at the luxurious and elegant One King West Hotel and Residence.
One King West, as you may have guessed from above, is both a hotel and residence. It’s located in Toronto’s downtown financial district; amid stunning skyscrapers and bustling streets, but only a short walk to some of the city’s main attractions including the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium. There is a metro station just outside the door, and taxis can be easily found just around the corner of the main entrance. The perfect location for visitors wanting to explore the city, and for our girls’ getaway.
The Vista Suite
We stayed in the Vista suite; a beautiful set of rooms located on the 35th floor of the building. From the windows in the living area we had a stunning view of the CN tower, and a great sunrise and sunset. Despite there being an actual work-desk space, the living room quickly became my preferred place to relax. Sitting on the red chair with a view of the CN tower and lots of natural light made it the perfect place to sit with a cup of tea and my laptop. It’s was nice and cozy during the day, but did get bit chillier at night so make sure you have a sweater.
The Visa suite comes equipped with a full kitchen space; fridge, freezer, oven, utensils, and of course an island-type table in the middle. Perfect for those who would rather eat in than out. There is also a dining room around the corner, with a large table and seating for six.
There are two bedrooms, both ensuite. Mine had a walk-in shower and the softest, coziest white towels I have ever used. Mini toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion can be found in the bathroom cabinet, along with face cloths and a blow dryer. There is even a washer and dryer machine in the back corner if you need to do laundry.
Without a doubt, the Vista Suite is sleek and modern, a fun contrast considering its history
During the mid 1800s, this location was home to Michie & Co. Grocers and Wine. However, in 1879 the property changed hands and become the head office of the Dominion Bank. It had to be rebuilt in 1914 following the great fire of Toronto in the early 1900s. In 1999 the property changed ownership once again, this time the historic bank was transformed into a residential building. New sections, including a tower, were built and the re-design was complete in 2006 to be as it is today: a luxurious building that combines modern style and historic elegance.
While our Vista suite was definitely modern, we did get to take a peek at some of the historic rooms including the vault down below, which was at one time considered to be the most secure vault in Canada.
The Chairman’s boardroom, covered in original walnut wood paneling with a decorative fireplace and ceiling.
And the stunning Grand Banking Hall with cathedral windows, the old deposit slip tables, and a 100-foot bar which is the longest bar in North America. It’s a popular spot for weddings and, if I’m being completely honest, I would have loved to sneak into one just to see it all done up.
Of course, being such a historic building, I had to ask if there were any spooky ghost stories. While there is nothing official, employees have commented on the elevator always being ready and waiting for them when needed; perhaps proof of a ghostly bellman? Thankfully, as much as I loved hearing the stories, I did not experience any ghostly phenomenons.
The One King West hotel also has an interesting history with tv shows and movies. Movies and tv shows which have used parts of the hotel as a set include: Suits (Which I LOVE), Orphan Black, Jumper, and Red. During the time of our visit, part of the hotel was currently being transformed into a set for an upcoming legal/spy series called the Perfect Citizen.
Amenities and Dining
One King West has a great selection of amenities, as well as dining options. Free wi-fi, valet parking, and a rooftop fitness center with panoramic rooms all add to the draw of this beautiful hotel.
Breakfast is buffet style; with both hot and cold options. It was one of the best selections I have seen in a hotel and offered just about everything: cereal, bagels, toast, pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt and fruit cups, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage etc.
There is also a bistro and bar. We dined in one night and had a fantastic meal. I highly recommend the braised ribs for your entrée, and of course you can’t go wrong with cheesecake for dessert. If you love fruity cocktails be sure to try the pineapple melon splash (although warning- it goes down very easy!)
I loved my stay at One Hotel West Hotel. It was a beautiful and elegant hotel, but the staff were warm and welcoming. Our Vista Suite was comfortable, and spacious and the food both at breakfast and dinner were delicious. I loved the historical aspects of the property, which I think added a lot of extra charm, and would absolutely recommended staying here if visiting Toronto.
*I was a guest with Nicki of Eat Live Travel Drink at the One King West Hotel and Residence. However, all opinions are strictly my own. Special thanks to: Kelley and Deborah for taking care of all our needs and spoiling us during our stay. And to Junarde, Sheila, and the chefs for such a delicious dinner!