Posted by Ric Garrido

Bloor Yorkville is the high-end shopping district of Toronto, sometimes referred to as the ‘mink mile’. Is that politically correct to say these days? I picked up that name from the district description in the Official Toronto Visitor Guide 2013. Toronto appeared to me as an environmentally conscious city with activists recruiting other ecologically minded activists on street corners in the St. Lawrence Market district and recycling waste bins everywhere around the city.

InterContinental Yorkville is located across the street from the north end of University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum. Park Hyatt Toronto is around the corner from the InterContinental Yorkville.

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View of InterContiental Yorkville Toronto from the Daniel Libeskind designed Crystal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest natural history and cultural museum. Libeskind is the master plan architect for the new World Trade Center towers being reconstructed in New York.

My two day stay at the InterContinental Yorkville was so busy that I did not see much of the lobby or restaurants.

The hotel is 40,000 points per night and rates were about CAD$250 during my stay. This looked to be the more expensive of the two InterContinental Hotels in Toronto.

The location is convenient to the St. George subway stop around the corner. Heavy rain showers during my stay made the close proximity to the subway a nice feature.

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InterContinental Hotel Yorkville Toronto.

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The elevator lobby is the only photo I took that gives a lobby design clue. The lobby was generally packed over the weekend with university reunion, wedding and athlete guests. And at least one travel blogger. The athletes meant I was not the only guest walking around the lobby in shorts.

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Guest floor hallway.

The 4th floor interior courtyard facing room was to be expected with my mistake award rate (15,000 points per night) booked in January 2013.

The standard room was spacious with a king size bed and comfortable soft pillows.

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This was a comfortable bed with high quality pillows.

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The coffee maker is in the desk unit.

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Seating for three is functional. Fewer than two chairs is a disappointing feature of a luxury hotel in my opinion, so this room made my grade.

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Electronic mini-bar? I don’t know since I was not offered the key.

My only complaint about the stay was arriving at midnight one night after a party with a pint of milk in preparation for my morning coffee only to discover the mini-bar locked. I went directly to bed and my $2.00 carton of milk went to waste.

Perhaps I would have bowled over $50 in liquids trying to squeeze my pint of milk inside the mini-fridge with tipsy fingers.

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Hand laundry day is the reality of life on the road for two weeks and living an intra-continental life at the InterContinental.

On the Costa Brava Spain press trip at last year’s Europe TBEX, two bloggers gave a 5-star hotel in Blanes their backpack laundry to be washed while we were on an all-day tour. Their hotel bill for one load of laundry was US$135.

I have no shame in showing how I stay up on my washing while traveling.

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Bathroom toiletries are Agraria brand, a San Francisco company I was not familiar with before this stay. Their products are sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

I guess it is a good thing for me I packed the shampoo and soaps. My wife makes gift bags for the items I don’t use. And I am fond of saying I can judge the hotel market segment for my stays when I run out of designer toiletries at home.

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Bathtub towel rack and entry hall.

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Shower stall (with spots to place the soap and shampoo bottle).

Pool and Fitness Room

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Indoor 1.0 meter shallow lap pool on 8th floor with skylight.

A torrential rain shower was happening when I visited the pool area resulting in dim light from the skylight.

Heat lamps in the hotel courtyard were blown over along with chairs and flying cushions as the staff worked to cover the patio furniture.

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About half of the exercise room adjacent to the lap pool. A guest was using the other side. Fitness room is in the room on the other side of the mirrored wall in this pool photo below.

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Pool view from other side of the room. Doors lead to balcony seating, but the rain was too fierce to step outside.

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CN Tower seen in background near Toronto Harbourfront about two miles south.

Apparently I have only one photograph of the hotel courtyard taken from my room.

TBEX travel blog exchange conference kept me too busy.

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InterContinental Yorkville Toronto.

I transferred from the InterContinental Yorkville Toronto to the InterContinental Toronto Centre attached to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. My preference is the Yorkville location for the neighborhood unless you have a specific reason to be downtown. The subway will get you downtown to the other hotel location in 20 minutes.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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6 Responses

  1. How is the Toronto Centre in comparison to the Yorkville?

  2. I debated between this property and the Park Hyatt for my trip last October and went with the Hyatt. Glad I did judging from your photos it looks much nicer than the IC.

  3. The only hotels you want to stay in Yorkville are The Four Seasons & The Hazelton. Both are new, luxurious and five star! I stayed at Four Seasons and it was the best hotel stay I’ve had in a very long time. Building is beautiful, spa occupies an entire floor and room was modern and had iPad to control lights, tv, order room service etc… If you are looking for a great cupcake there is a pace called Dlish Cupcakes around the corner best cupcake me and the Mrs. ever tasted.

  4. @KL – I was only $70 out-of-pocket for each night of five nights at the InterContinental Hotels in Toronto. I can’t afford the Four Seasons. I did not make it over to see the building. I did hear great comments about the property from Tourism Toronto.

    Park Hyatt was an option with a free suite upgrade, but I am saving the suite upgrades for a stay with my wife.

    I heard about some great independent hotels in Toronto from other travelers.

  5. If you buy whole milk it will keep perfectly well overnight without being the least bit off. Skim, 2% etc less so but usually fine just overnight. (the fat in whole milk helps it stay fresh longer).
    Don’t put it right over the heater duct of course – but somewhere coolish like the bathroom counter will work.
    AND… since you are in Canada it is likely that the milk is ultra-pasteurized anyway so will keep even longer.

  6. @DDaniel – I worked as a dairy microbiologist for five years. I know milk.

    The milk would have probably been fine. Most of the dinners I purchased in Toronto were also my unrefrigerated breakfast the next day.

    The main reason it was waste is I had to get out of the hotel the next morning and travel across Toronto to the other IC.

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