Soho Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto: Home from home for the movie stars
I had never visited Canada before embarking on my latest travel assignment. The striking National flag, which features that symbolic maple leaf, stories of grizzly bears and tales of incredible skiing holidays from friends were at the forefront of my mind during the Air Canada flight from Heathrow.
However, I did not really know what to expect from my adventure to the East side of the country and the sprawling metropolis that is Toronto. In this part of the world, you are far away from grizzly bears and mountains, with the focus more on lively city life and everything that goes with it.
On arrival I was met by clusters of skyscrapers, which were reminiscent of New York City. With the USA border not very far away, it actually came as no surprise to see the architecture was more in the style of our American friends than that of continental Europe.
My base was the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel, which is a luxury boutique that is conveniently located in the Entertainment District. It is part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which is a prestigious selection of some of the world’s finest luxury properties.
Little did I know that this desirable hotel is considered to be the number one place for movie stars to stay when they are shooting scenes in the city. The vibrant streets of Toronto are actually used in many Hollywood blockbusters and, as a result, some of the world’s leading A-listers are regularly spotted recording pieces or relaxing away from the camera in the city. Suicide Squad, which features Will Smith, Jared Leto and Cara Delevingne is currently being filmed in one of the streets nearby and I was certainly staying in the right place for star spotting.
The SoHo Metropolitan Hotel boasts some of the trendiest dining venues in town and there is a strong focus on the food and beverage element at this 5* venue. Aside from the plush bar, which regularly attracts its celebrity guests and high society, there is an incredible Chinese restaurant called Luckee on the ground floor that has distinctive décor to ensure there is an authentic restaurant experience available to residents and visitors alike. It has an individual feel, despite its connection with the hotel, which makes it very popular and ensures it is a ‘hot spot’.
Luckee is considered one of the best places to eat in Toronto and was created by acclaimed celebrity chef Susur Lee who decided to partner with the hotel. The food at Luckee is excellent and the menu offers great variety with substantial portions. The Dim Sum is delicious and the dishes are very generous. Some of the best choices include the Scallop, Peashoot and Kind Mushroom Dumpling, Crispy Vegetable Spring Roll and the Steamed Spinach and Chinese Celery Dumplings.
You should be cautious about how much you order as the servings are much larger than in some European restaurants; however, there are so many incredible dishes to try that you may find this a little challenging. If you can, we definitely recommend that you find space for the Crispy Squid, Baked Sweet Soya Glazed Cod and the Black Pepper Fillet of Beef Tenderloin.
There is also an impressive selection of cocktails available to sample at Luckee and these can be enjoyed in the chic bar or as an accompaniment to your food. ‘The Calm’ is just one example and it mixes Plum Sake with Junmai Sake, Yuzu Juice and Belvedere Vodka.
For those who want to enjoy some casual dining, the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel proudly hosts the incredibly popular and fun burger destination, Wahlburgers. This restaurant has gained a reputation for serving the best burgers in North America and there is a huge fan base, with a very friendly and fun atmosphere. It is here that you can definitely enjoy a slice of America as it was founded by the famous Massachusetts acting family who put great importance on sharing good food and enjoying plenty of laughs at the same time.
Good food is at the heart of the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel and rather than just providing a simple room service menu, it is possible to order food from these great restaurants and have it delivered to your room. Naturally, this is a preferred option for the movie stars, who on occasions just want to enjoy some downtime after being in the spotlight.
Other areas of the hotel where you can enjoy some time to yourself include the impressive gym and spa facilities. The pool was recently changed to salt water and there is a large Jacuzzi, where you can relax with friends after doing some workout laps. There are also plenty of exercise machines, weights and an outdoor terrace area.
The décor throughout the hotel is unique and there is a focus on modern art in some of the rooms. The rooms are very spacious and have beautifully designed bathrooms, with heated floors, plenty of space and Molton Brown treats for all guests.
If you wish to venture outside of the hotel, King Street has many fashionable bars with roof terraces and this is only a stone’s throw away. Bloor Street is further afield but it hosts some of the city’s most upmarket boutiques and is worth visiting for a shopping trip. All of the staff at the hotel are very friendly, accommodating and willing to help you discover the hidden secrets of Toronto. You get the feeling that those working for this hotel are incredibly proud of their property and this energetic city – their enthusiasm is infectious!
The Soho Metropolitan Hotel is really at the heart of an up-and-coming area of Toronto that is positively bursting with feel good vibes. With this in mind, we wouldn’t blame you if you spent most of your stay simply enjoying the celebrity atmosphere at this venue and experiencing the sense of glitz and glamour that makes the hotel such a firm favourite with film stars.
The hotel can be booked through Preferred Hotels and Resorts, which has an incredible selection of properties for the luxury traveller: preferredhotels.com It is a member of the LVX Collection. In addition, further information about the Soho Metropolitan Hotel can also be found here: www.metropolitan.com/soho/
Return flights can be booked from London to Toronto with Air Canada at www.aircanada.com. Air Canada has a wonderful lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2 called the Maple Leaf Lounge, which is available to all Business Class passengers and well worth visiting before your flight.