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Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel

Lux, sophisticated and oh so seductive

Nestled in the heart of Tdot's financial district is Toronto's luxury destination hotel - the Shangri-La. It's housed in one of Toronto's 10 tallest buildings and welcomes guests with a sumptuous Lobby Bar, the highly acclaimed Bosk restaurant and 202 rooms (353 condominium units above).

Shangri-La Toronto lobby barThe story of Shangri-La as a hotel chain began in 1971 and pays homage to James Hilton's 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, which revolves around, you guessed it, Shangri-La. In case you don't know, Shangri-La means heaven on earth, Eden, Utopia - you get the idea. In the novel, Shangri-La is a bewitching, hidden paradise in the Himalayas, accessible only by pilgrimage. In real life, a trip to Toronto will lead you there.

simple touches like ornate orchidsOpen, airy and super chic, the hotel entrance marries the beauty of Japanese lattice screens, oak wood molding and pewter marble, which all serve as backdrop to stunning orchid arrangements scattered like diamonds everywhere you look. But the staff is the true shining star of the Shangri-La with their crisp, uniformed appearance and warm, welcoming smiles. What's more, they seem to know what you need before you do and take care to ensure they've delivered to your satisfaction. A five-star experience just based on the smiles per capita.

Eat at Bosk

dining at Shangri-La's Bosk When Bosk (accessible from the Lobby Bar) opened in 2012, they gave surrounding upscale restaurants like Tundra, Volos and Nota Bene a run for their money. Executive Chef Damon Campbell (most recently from Manila) oversees Bosk's culinary delights while Mark Moffat, General Manager and Sommelier, tends to the care and nurturing of guests on a nightly basis.

Breakfast can be quick or luxurious but it always begins with French pressed coffee with frothed milk. What's more, Jan-Michael, our breakfast guardian, delivered witty repertoire alongside tasty fresh-squeezed juice - to ensure a healthy mental and physical start to each day.

luxurious extra touchesFor dinner, we chose a table in front of the wine wall and let Damon, Mark and Courtney orchestrate our gastronomic evening adventure, beginning and ending with a visit from the Champagne (and later Port and Sherry) trolley. In between, we noshed our way through an 8 course tasting menu artfully paired with wines hand-selected by Mark. My favorite course? Hmmm ... all of them!

Sleep in Luxury

Shangri-La ~ Luxury hotel and spaThe Shangri-La Toronto boasts some of the largest hotel rooms in Canada - the smallest is 490 square feet. Like most luxury hotels, they earn their stars through the small but thoughtful additions, like the iPad with a personalized message waiting on the desk, water bottle and slippers placed bed-side in the evening and L'Occitane beauty products in the marble bathroom. I especially appreciated the walk-in closet that just happened to feature its own seating area, safe and velvet jewelry holder. Oh, and the Nespresso machine - hotel room coffee will never be the same.

Asian-inspired bedrooms and work areas with floor to ceiling windows are designed to enhance and simplify the life/work balance. We occupied a luxurious loft-style suite with a spacious sitting (work) area that opened into a bedroom with a king-size bed and marble-ensconced bathroom that featured a glass-enclosed shower and soaker tub - perfect for marinating in after a long day. The TV in the bathroom mirror intrigued me but that soaker tub won my heart. Bliss.

Play at the Shangri-La

It can be tempting to limit yourself to just eating and sleeping at the Shangri-La but don't do it. There's so much more here to be enjoyed.

Miraj Hammam Spa  by Caudalie ParisAfternoon tea - Choose from a selection of 68 premium teas from around the globe - each served by a certified tea specialist on a unique china tea set. Prices range from $7.50 per pot to $70.00 for the more exotic varieties.

Lobby bar - Begin your evening with a cocktail beside an elegant, glowing fireplace. Divine Brown may not be here any longer but truthfully, it doesn't matter - the vibe is white hot.

The Spa - The Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris is the perfect time out for an afternoon with your lover or gal-pal. We enjoyed the Hammam & Gommage treatment, which left my skin and attitude glowing for days. After our treatment, we lounged in the relaxation room surrounded by pillows and delighted ourselves in tea and a delish pastry. I felt like Cleopatra's BFF.

luxuriously pampered at the Toronto Shangri-LaHealth club and pool - If you feel the need to get sweaty (other than at the steam room in the spa), the health club overlooks the city line to distract you from your physical labor. Afterward, swim or soak in the 20-meter pool or relax in a poolside cabana where you can watch TV, sip healthy drinks or nap...

If your travel curiosity's peaked, visit Shangri-La Toronto online for more information. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter, and check out their visitor ratings at TripAdvisor.

Have you been to a Shangri-La hotel – anywhere? I'd love hear what you love about them! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - and let's continue the conversation!

To comply with the long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, our stay at the Shangri-La was hosted by the Shangri-La Toronto. Commentary and perspectives are those of GoGirlfriend.

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