Late last week I spent a couple of nights in Toronto, which was planned fairly last minute. Hotels were outrageously priced, most going for $500+ per night.
During my previous trip to Toronto I stayed at the Park Hyatt, where I got the hotel’s one renovated room. Otherwise I’ve heard the rooms are past their prime, and not really up to Park Hyatt standards. However, all rooms should be renovated pretty soon.
This time around I decided to try the other Hyatt option in Toronto, the Hyatt Regency.
Why? Because while all other hotels were outrageously priced, the Hyatt Regency was available using a Points + Cash rate. Since this is a Category 4 property, a redemption cost just 6,000 points plus 75USD per night. That’s a much better deal than outright spending 12,000 points, since I’d basically be saving 6,000 points per night for 75USD, plus I’d be earning elite night and stay credits, which I wouldn’t earn for an outright points redemption.
While the Park Hyatt is located in the more swanky and exclusive Yorkville area, the Hyatt Regency is in the downtown entertainment district, which has more bars, coffeeshops, etc. It’s also near Union Station, so the hotel is within walking distance if you’re taking the UP Express from Toronto Pearson Airport.
The lobby felt pretty sterile, given that it’s shared with an office building and a couple of other businesses, so it didn’t feel especially welcoming.
Reception was located to the right of the elevators to the rooms, and there was no wait when I arrived. The guy who checked me in was exceptionally professional, and did a good job balancing “the script” they have to read for Diamond members, with still making it sound sincere and personalized.
He explained that I had been “upgraded” to a room on a high floor. Furthermore, since the hotel doesn’t have a Regency Club, he said that I’d receive complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant.
I took the elevator up to the 15th floor, where my room was located. Upon exiting the elevator I turned left, and then left again, where my room was located on the left.
I was assigned room 1558.
The room itself was reasonably nice, in a cookie cutter Hyatt Regency kind of way. The room featured a comfortable king size bed, chair with side table, and a desk with an office chair.
The TV was wall mounted and across from the bed.
To the left of the TV was a coffee machine as well as two bottles of complimentary water.
The desk had several conveniently located outlets, which I appreciated (it’s amazing how many hotels fail with such a basic thing).
The room had a nice view of the surrounding downtown area, though due to the shape of the hotel, the view was less than 90 degrees.
The room’s bathroom was back near the entrance and on the small side, and featured a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower.
The shower was extremely poorly designed. For one, the only way to turn on the water was using a handle at the far end of the shower, and you had to be in the shower in order to turn it on. So you’d get drenched with cold water immediately. Furthermore, there was only half a partition between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, so water splashed quite a bit. Lastly, the water pressure and shower head aim weren’t very good.
Toiletries were provided by KenetMD.
Overall I thought the room was fine. It was in perfectly good condition and well designed in terms of the location of outlets, etc., but otherwise cookie cutter and boring.
The hotel had an outdoor pool on the 17th floor, which is a pretty unique (and seasonal) feature in Toronto. I didn’t use it, though did take a look.
The views from up there were pretty good as well.
The gym was also located on the 17th floor, across from the pool.
Breakfast was served at King Street Social Kitchen from 6:30AM until 11AM on weekdays. The restaurant itself was fairly nice, though there were no views from it.
As a Diamond member I was entitled to the full buffet, which was surprisingly good.
There was a variety of fresh fruit…
Granola, berries, and yogurt (in other words, a make your own yogurt parfait station, which is my ideal breakfast), salmon, cold cuts, cheese, etc…
There were several types of cereal…
There was fresh bread, muffins, danishes, scones, etc…
The hot selection was quite good as well, including ridiculously tasty french toast…
There was also an omelet station…
I thought the breakfast spread was one of the more impressive aspects of the hotel, though that was ruined when the host at the restaurant told me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the buffet, which was a first for me…
Hyatt Regency Toronto bottom line
Ultimately the Hyatt Regency did the trick for what I was looking for. I had a lot of commitments while I was in Toronto, so was looking for a reasonably priced hotel, making this one of the better options.
However, I found the hotel to be especially not-charming, even by cookie cutter Hyatt Regency standards. That being said, my room was reasonably nice, aside from the shower, which could use a design overhaul.
Service ranged from great to bad — the guy who checked me in was very professional, while the rogue employee in the restaurant trying to tell me not to take a picture of a buffet left a bad taste in my mouth.
I’d probably avoid this hotel in the future if visiting Toronto, assuming there’s a comparable hotel in a similar price range.