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What is Toronto's Best Hotel?

Or finding my mojo by rediscovering old faves

If you've ever been to Toronto, you know there's more to do here than anyone can safely enjoy in a week, month or year. The city is just too big and beautiful for anyone to ever say they've "done" Toronto.

Can you truly have a favorite hotel in Toronto?

where does the queen stay in Toronto?where does the queen stay in Toronto?Does the Royal York, the Queen Mary of Toronto's hotel scene, still have secrets to share with me? When Brad and Angelina visit, they reserve an entire floor and, of course, we can't forget about Oprah and Arianna Huffington. When the Queen visits Canada, she stays in her own suite in the hotel, which can be rented to commoners for a royal price. Although I can trace my family roots back to the German crown, I wasn't given the royal room...

Fairmont Royal York

Grand BallroomGrand BallroomA visit to the Royal York is like visiting your Grandma - if your grandma was Betty White. The hotel opened in 1929 and while it remains stately and grand, it's got an unmistakable joie de vivre that's much more than the strictly business persona seen by so many.

In the Library Bar, I indulged in a Royal Stinger Honey Beer. It's brewed exclusively for the Royal York by Mill St. Brewery using honey from the rooftop hives.

Royal Stinger honey beerRoyal Stinger honey beerWhat did I tell you about surprises?

Oh, and by the way, they also have a rooftop (cooking) garden and the largest commercial kitchen in Canada.

While the Royal York is a favorite destination for business travelers, there's much more going on here. Chef Collin Thorton, a recent transplant from Hawaii, offers guided shopping excursions through St Lawrence Market, followed by a meal at Epic Restaurant, featuring your finds for the day. There's also afternoon tea, perfect for moms and daughters looking for something uniquely elegant to enjoy together. Of course, we can't forget romance at the Royal York. I spent my wedding night here, but that's another good story for another time ...

The Royal York - more than meets the eye

Teatime?Teatime?Many people don't know this but the hotel is Canadian owned and they like to think of themselves as distinctly local - each employee is an ambassador of the City of Toronto. What does that mean exactly? According to Judith, The Daily Royal Yorker, an actual paper produced for guests in the 30's has been transformed to an electronic daily fact checker that lets employees know what's going on in the hotel and the city, as well as any celebrity guests who may be visiting.

Gladstone HotelGladstone HotelA stay here reminds me of a stay at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago, which brings me back to my original question: can you have a favorite hotel in Toronto? I'm a big lover of Toronto hotels like the Pantages, Gladstone and outlying hotels like St Anne's, Millcroft and Highfield's and I'm going withhold judgement until I've tired the rest. This could take a while...

The Royal York has some big changes planned over the next few years, including massive renovations on the exterior and interior. I'm eager to see how they'll refresh this icon of Toronto and happy that they're so prolific on social media. At least I won't miss any of the excitement - and maybe I'll have to return to see for myself.

Want to check out the Royal York hotel for yourself? Visit Radio Royal York online, their Facebook Page, or chat with them on Twitter. Also, see what other travelers have to say on TripAdvisor. Reservations and information: 416-368-2511.

Stay tuned for my story on the Elizabeth Milan Spa - because you know visiting the spa is my second favorite thing to do in the world...

Got a favorite hotel? Let us in on your secret - follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let's start talking!

To comply with the long list of regulating bodies and in the interest of transparency, our experience at the Royal York  was complimentary. Commentary and perspectives are those of GoGirlfriend.

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The library pub is a classic stop at the Royal York. Fun article and its great to see that some of the Canadian classic hotels still have a bit of game. :)

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