During a recent trip to Toronto in advance of The Travel Summit 2022, I had the chance to stay at Kimpton Saint George, the boutique hotel brand’s first property in the country.
Kimpton is known for their charming character and playful designs. This Kimpton property replaced what was previously a Holiday Inn in 2018, and underwent a complete refurbishment.
Recently, there was a short-lived opportunity to instantly earn top-tier IHG Diamond status with IHG One Rewards. After taking advantage of the status upgrade, and having never stayed at a Kimpton before, I was keen to give the Kimpton Saint George in Toronto a try.
Kimpton Saint George Toronto – Booking
Regular cash rates at this property fall in the range of $350–400 (CAD) per night, and booking with points should fall somewhere between 50,000–60,000 IHG One Rewards points.
At the time of my stay, both cash and points rates were exorbitant, at $600 (CAD) or 70,000 IHG One Rewards points.
This made for a decent opportunity to book using my IHG Free Night Award, which was worth 40,000 points. I then topped it up with an additional 30,000 points, for a total redemption worth 70,000 points.
While I wouldn’t consider this the best use of IHG One Rewards points, I wanted to redeem some points from my balance and get them off the books, given that I don’t frequent IHG properties too often.
This property participates in IHG’s preferred partner program, Luxury & Lifestyle, which gives you extra benefits at no additional cost. Bookings must be done through an authorized travel advisor, and you can receive elite-level treatment even if you don’t have IHG One Rewards status.
Kimpton Saint George Toronto – Location
Kimpton Saint George is located at the corner of Bloor Street and St. George Street, close to the University of Toronto.
The hotel is ideally nestled at the border between Yorkville and The Annex, and draws inspiration from both trendy neighbourhoods.
Heading east from the Kimpton, you’ll find yourself in upscale Yorkville, with plenty of high-end stores and restaurants. Heading westward to The Annex, you’ll be surrounded by an eclectic mix of independent shops, cafés, and bars.
It’s worth noting that this northern edge of Toronto’s downtown core is home to a notable concentration of high-end hotels, including both the Park Hyatt and the W Toronto along Bloor Street to the east, with an Andaz to come in the future as well.
The area is ideal for exploring many of the sights and sounds of Toronto, and is also somewhat of a museum hub. The well-known Bata Shoe Museum is directly across the street from the hotel, and the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum are both under a 10-minute journey by foot.
Getting around the city from the Kimpton Saint George is also easy, due to the hotel’s close proximity to St. George Station. You can access both the Bloor-Danforth and Yonge-University lines, which then connect you to the rest of the TTC’s network of subway stations, buses, and trams.
If you’re flying into the city, it takes approximately 50 minutes to reach the hotel from Toronto Pearson International Airport by subway, or 35 minutes by car. From Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, it’s around 20 minutes by car (depending on traffic) or 35 minutes by transit to the hotel.
Kimpton Saint George Toronto – Check-in
As I strolled up to the hotel, I immediately remarked at the contemporary entrance, which warmly welcomed me inside. The “Saint George” signage above appears modest at first glance; however, at night it turns into circular lights which spell out its name in Braille.
Although the upper half of the building blends in with its neighbours, the lower half was modern and jet-black. On the wall of the western façade was a playful hand-painted mural, setting the tone for the rest of my stay.
Upon entering, the lobby was chic and sophisticated, striking a balance between the two personas of Yorkville and The Annex. Two marble check-in desks were to the right, and behind them was another hand-painted mural of a Toronto-inspired scene.
Adjacent to the check-in area is the “living room”, a seating area that boasts cozy couches and an inviting fireplace, which I particularly appreciated.
Furthermore, a number of decorative archways layered the space beautifully.
The lobby’s welcome area has self-serve coffee and tea in the mornings, lemon water during the daytime, and is also set up for occasional surprise spreads like mulled wine during the holiday season.
The hotel staff immediately acknowledged my IHG Diamond status, and I was pleased to learn that I had been proactively offered an upgrade to a One-Bedroom Suite.
Unique to the Kimpton brand is their “secret password”, and when spoken at the front desk, you are rewarded with a special little treat. I tried my luck, and to my delight, I was provided with two complimentary boxes of gummies.
The hotel staff then walked me through the hotel’s facilities and the rest of my IHG Diamond member benefits, including complimentary breakfast and a 2pm late check-out.
I then made my way to the elevators, which were adorned with a stunning old Hollywood-style light display, and was whisked up to Room 903 on the 9th floor of the hotel.
Kimpton Saint George Toronto – One-Bedroom Suite
The hallways leading to the guest rooms were simple but stylish, with patterned turquoise floors and wood-layered arched mirrors for décor.
Upon entering the suite, a small kitchenette is to the left, and further in is a spacious living area for a very apartment-like space. The suite was colourful, but also had subdued tones, distinct bespoke furnishings, and quirky artwork dotted around.
The kitchenette featured a lovely deep blue tone and was home to a Nespresso coffee maker. Fronting the kitchenette is a curved marble island with seating for two.
At the far side of the room, the living room featured a soft grey sectional, with a flat-screen TV mounted to the opposite wall. A unique record player is found just below the TV, and a small reading chair is nestled into the corner.
The windows mostly look out at the skyscraper across the street. While it wasn’t the most remarkable of views, it was still nice to admire the city centre from a distance.
The bedroom entrance is to the right as you first enter the suite.
The king bed was covered with luxurious Frette linens and sits against the right-hand wall, with another flat-screen TV on the wall opposite the bed.
An eccentric earth-toned bench sits just below the TV, and then a mustard yellow chair and table are tucked away in the corner.
To the right of the bed is a custom wooden armoire. Kimpton hotels are known for the “closet smile”, which is a unique piece of décor representative of the location hidden within the closet of each room.
Here in Toronto, a white squirrel sculpture in the armoire plays tribute to the city’s bushy-tailed critters seen in Trinity Bellwoods Park. Also inside the armoire were two plush Frette bathrobes for an added touch of luxury.
The bathroom was also quite stylish, with a delicate white marble vanity, sleek brass faucet, and arched mirror. Two contemporary lights hung from each side of the vanity.
This suite has a combined walk-in shower with a porcelain bathtub directly inside it, all housed within a single glass wet room.
Altogether, I appreciated the vibrant character of the space and stylish furnishings; however, there were remnants from the old Holiday Inn that were still noticeable, such as the rather basic window linings.
Kimpton Saint George Toronto – King Room
I also had a chance to check out the King Room, one of the base-level room types at the Kimpton Saint George, which was equally as stylish and chic.
The room features a king bed with an armoire to its right, a flat-screen TV and dresser fronting the bed, and then a reading chair and table by the window.
The bathroom is also quite spacious, and features the same white marble vanity and rounded mirror. One major difference is that there is no bathtub combined with the shower here, and I found that the sink area felt quite small.
Kimpton Saint George Toronto – Breakfast
Breakfast is served at the hotel’s sole restaurant, The Fortunate Fox. The space keeps with the rest of the hotel’s creative charm with its mid-century-inspired furnishings.
For IHG Diamond members, breakfast is complimentary, and anything on the menu is fair game in unlimited quantities.
Having indulged in a rather large dinner at the all-you-can-eat Gyubee Japanese BBQ across the street the previous night, I opted for a lighter breakfast of yogurt and granola alongside breakfast potatoes and a bowl of fruit.
Although I didn’t fully indulge this time, I noted that the breakfast menu at the Kimpton Saint George looked very comprehensive, with items including numerous styles of eggs Benedict, omelettes, sandwiches, smoothies, and so forth.
Kimpton Saint George Toronto – Other Facilities
The fitness centre at Kimpton Saint George is fairly modest, and leaves a fair bit to be desired. There’s enough equipment for a decent session, including treadmills, an elliptical machine, free weights, and a cable machine, but it’s not quite a cutting-edge facility.
In one room, there was also a lone Peloton bike alongside some exercise balls, and as I came to find out, Kimpton hotels all over the world include Peloton bikes in the fitness centres.
The hotel also provides complimentary bike rentals, so anyone interested in actively touring the city can take advantage and seamlessly pop onto the bike lane directly outside the hotel.
Kimpton Saint George is a charming boutique hotel to call home when in Toronto, and I’m pleased to have had the chance to check it out. It’s well situated between two highly sought-after neighbourhoods, with easy access to public transportation and a multitude of nearby attractions.
The suites and base-level rooms are well-appointed and beautifully furnished, which makes for a comfortable and stylish stay. Moreover, the complimentary all-you-can-eat breakfast for IHG Diamond members is very generous, and is worth arriving hungry for.
I was quite impressed with the IHG Diamond treatment during my first stay as an elite member at this level, and I look forward to giving another property in the Kimpton portfolio a visit in the near future.
Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: Valentino Pattaya