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“Not your best bet in Toronto” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont Royal York

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The Fairmont Royal York
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 Front Street W, Toronto, Ontario M5JIE3, Canada (Downtown Toronto)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #38 of 141 hotels in Toronto
GreenLeadersBronze level
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Not your best bet in Toronto”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Disappointing for a Fairmont. Rooms are small though they seem to have been updated recently. Its centrally located but generally expensive for what you get. I booked my stay through expedia and reserved a king bed only to find that Fairmont (at least the Royal York) does not honour preferences like king beds if its not booked through their website. It also has that annoying habit of gouging you by charging you for an internet connection

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Katharine, Customer Service at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Thank you for your review. I apologize that you did not receive the bed type requested. We try our best to honour requested bed types, but unfortunately at times we may encounter an inventory shortage in one of our room categories. I apologize for the negative impact this had on your stay, but am happy to learn you found our location to be central. For future visits to any Fairmont property, you may find value in joining our loyalty program, Fairmont President’s Club (FPC), where you receive a personalized room preference profile, along with other value added benefits such as complimentary internet access. Enrollment is complimentary.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Spent a weekend in Toronto meeting some friends who were staying around the corner for a conference. I love the grand feel and the history of the hotel. However, I was given a room that while completely clean and well equipped, was filled with the sound of the elevators zooming up and down. I know it sounds strange, but you can't make this stuff up. Needless to say, it made it hard to sleep.

The safe that you normally get in your room to lock up your laptop, etc., was not in mine. I mentioned this on check out, and they said they are working on equipping all the rooms with safes.

So, make sure to ask for a room with a safe and far from the elevators.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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halifax
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I do a fair bit of travelling, and usually stay in higher end hotels. The Royal York was a designated conference hotel for a conference I was attending. I booked a non smoking Fairmont room with a king bed and had contacted the hotel to advise that if available a non smoking room with 2 doubles would be acceptable, if available. My room was initially booked September 19, 2012 almost 8 weeks ago.

My flight was due to come in late and I contacted the hotel that morning by telephone to advise reservations of my arrival and to confirm the details of my reservation and also sent an email en route advising reservations of my arrival time. I do this routinely, especially at large conferences so they not think I am not coming, and my reservation is kept for me.

We arrived at the hotel just after 11pm. There was no bellman available, or anyone to help with bags. My colleague self-parked her own in valet parking as there was no one available, while I checked in. She had to chase someone down in order to give her keys to someone in valet parking.

Much to my surprise, the attendant at the front desk informed me that while he "was sorry, there were only 2 rooms left in the hotel ( despite a line of other people checking in beside us), and both were smoking rooms. "

Understandably, I found this completely unacceptable. I had made a specific reservation, weeks ago, and took the time to confirm my details prior to arrival, yet the policy of this hotel is apparently to over book room categories and give the rooms up to whomever checks in first or who I suppose is lucky enough to have earlier flights. This business practice is, as far as I am concerned, dishonest. I specifically reviewed this policy with the night manager, who apologized, but did confirm this is what they had done.

Initially, I was offered and somewhat placated with a room discount for the night and the assurance to be moved to another room the following day. The room rate was a conference rate of $209 per night. I was initially offered $150 off.

While this might at first seem reasonable ( and let me tell you once I got to the room we were forced into, it was not); my point to the front desk staff was that if I decided to not show up with less than 24 hours notice, I guarantee they would have charged my credit card for the night, and that I doubted if I called and said, " how about if I just give you $59 for your trouble, we'll just call it even..."-- that the hotel would accept that, as it would be in breach of the cancellation policy.

After I insisted that $150 off was not sufficient, and stated that felt I should not have to pay for a room I did not reserve, it was agreed that: there would be no charge for night. And that we would be moved, although inconvenient, to a non smoking room at some time the next day.

Once we got to the room, room 107, we walked off the elevator to the foulest smelling floor. It was like sleeping in a foul dank, bar. The room was just as bad, foul smelling, including the pillows, the bedding, and the beds. The room was worn, and the bathroom had mildew and rust from fixtures in the tub, with evidence of poorly cared for grouting. There was no way we could hang up, or keep suitcases open, the smell was that powerful. I can't imagine being allergic or have asthma; I did have a minor cold, and certainly I felt much worse the next morning. I had to have my coat professionally cleaned to get the smell out, even after being moved.

I called back to the front desk, and they suggested an air purifier, ( which really did nothing much) and i requested that the bedding and pillows be exchanged for those from a non smoking room. By this point , it was after midnight. I also insisted our parking be covered for duration of our stay, which it was.

We were given 4 new pillows and an air purifier by a handyman, but no housekeeping appeared to remake the beds with fresh bedding that hadn't been contaminated by smoking odours. The heat and air conditioning did not work in the room. By that time, it was after 1am, and I was too tired to deal with it any longer.

The air purifier stayed on, but helped minimally. I have seen posts from management re how they deal with odours; but apart from completely renovating the whole floor, I'm not sure how years of smoke damage can be rectified. Because if it, the elevator reeks, and I'd hate to stay in the floor above. It was by far, the worst night, I have ever spent in a hotel. And I've also stayed in fairly basic lodging....

We were moved the next day, and spent the next two nights in a room on the 4th floor , near the elevator. At least though, it was non smoking.

It would have been a nice gesture for the management to have left an apology note, a bottle of wine, or a flower , a gift certificate for a complimentary cocktail, in addition to me not paying fir a room i did not book.

To me, this sort of thing goes a long way to recognize that the hotel's own policy and practices resulted in such an unacceptable experience. But no. What did end up happening was an erroneous charge on my bill for a bottle of wine from the minibar of the first room , room 107. We DID NOT USE or consume anything from the minibar but yet mysteriously a false charge for $28 appeared on my bill. I had to call again to get that reversed. Glad I checked my bill closely!!

The front desk staff are clearly empowered to accommodate, make concessions and corrections, but this should not have resulted in multiple negotiations and calls by me for the hotelier's errors.

I did use the restaurant for breakfast, which tasted fine. I had the eggs Benedict. However, be aware, you'll be better off to walk a half block to Starbucks- a cup of coffee was a shocking $5.00; as was a glass of orange juice.

The lobby of this hotel is grand, and testament to that of yesteryear; the remainder of the hotel is very worn, especially various room categories , according to other guests and colleagues I spoke with. I have stayed previously in a suite in this hotel a number of years ago (during the SARS epidemic), and even then, while more pleasant than this stay, that Suite was worn around the edges then.

Don't even get me started on wifi access.

There are other comparably priced hotels in the area in the same category. Fairmont needs to step up it's game if it plans to secure business from professionals who travel. The next time the conference I attended is in Toronto (and it will be), I doubt I will choose the Fairmont Royal York if only because they do not guarantee and honour the reservations made with them and they overbook their room categories. Unless this policy/action changes, it will impact my decision to book Fairmont hotels in other cities.

Finally, I hope they pay their housekeeping and service staff well or at least hazard pay for working on that 1st floor where smoking is permitted; the second hand smoke exposure even left lingering, is likely enough to impact health over time.

Thank you to doorman, who was present on my final two days and was always quick to get me a cab, and ensured I had a town car when I finally left for the airport.

Very surprisingly disappointing overall experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Katharine, Customer Service at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Thank you for your detailed feedback. Your experience is completely unacceptable and not reflective of the level of quality and service we strive to provide. We sincerely apologize for your experience. We have contacted you directly to offer a more personal apology for the issues you encountered and ensure that that proper follow up takes place with our team.
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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

This place came recommended by my travel assistant and since I absolutely LOVE the Fairmont in Santa Monica, I was really excited about my stay here.
Whomp Whomp.
Its more like the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond Virginia except not well maintained.
It just feels old but not in a good way. Like in a sad way.

Service was nice, although you never really see anyone and no one really checks on you.

Its also crazy loud - you can hear everything in the halls, on the streets and in the rooms next to you.

Its also in the financial district so you don't really experience any charm or culture.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Katharine, Customer Service at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
It is wonderful to learn you love our sister property in Santa Monica, California. I apologize that your experience with us did not exceed your expectations. I am delighted to learn you found our service to be nice and would like to share we have commenced the first stage of our renovation plan and look forward to addressing improved soundproofing. We hope you will be able to return and enjoy our location in the heart of downtown Toronto!
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Minneapolis
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

We stayed at the hotel because we were attending a big conference. I knew this was to be a fancy hotel by it's name and history. Here's the problem, it was old!! The architecture in the lobby and meeting rooms was amazing, but you don't sleep there. The rooms were incredibly old and dated. My colleague had to crawl under her bed to find a plug in to charge her phone. You could actually stand in the tub and toilet at the same time and couldn't stand at the sink unless the door was closed. Housekeeping was limited, I think they made the bed and emptied the trash.

There were a few pluses - check in was very fast and efficient, the beds were just the right firmness and the pillows were fantastic.Also, although overpriced, the food and service at the Epic was very good.

I didn't encourage the conference to return to this hotel in the future. I suggested they go back to the Sheraton on Queen, where the amenities were much more user friendly for a business conference.

Room Tip: It appeared they were doing updates, I was on the 6th - co-worker on the 9th, clearly the 6th was mo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Katharine, Customer Service at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Thank you for your review. It is disappointing to learn our rooms did not exceed your expectations. We have recently begun our first stage of our renovation plan and look forward to continued updates. I am delighted that you found our check-in to be very fast and efficient. Your feedback for EPIC is appreciated and I am pleased you found them to provide food and service that was very good!
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Hotel is lovely and up to Fairmont Expectations. Our particular room was very lovely. Recommend executive level. The Lobby is elegant and inviting and we had a wonderful dinner with very good service in the Imperial Room. Breakfast in the morning was delivered swiftly and hot. Extra newspapers were not a problem. Don't go to this Hotel expecting Modern Yuppie Service. The Hotel is staid and elegant and refined, and good value for what you receive although it is not your Budget Location, and should not be expected to be.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012 via mobile

Pretty disappointed with this hotel. You can tell the hotel is old by the condition of the carpet, wall paper, smell of the room and the overall interior. Very surprised that the price of over $200 per night does not include wi-fi and not only that but their business cente, where I need to stop by for an hour work, does NOT have Internet access. Really? It is a business centre in downtown Toronto with no Wi-fi? All business is done online these days! Pretty disappointed overall.
Will not return to this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Ashley, Customer Service at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
Thank you for your review, we are very sorry to learn of your feeling of disappointment with your stay. If you would like to discuss your concerns at greater length, we would welcome this opportunity and invite you to contact us directly. We do hope that you will continue to choose Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and suggest that you enroll in our loyalty program, Fairmont President’s Club. If you include your number on your next reservation, you’ll enjoy many benefits including complimentary wifi access.

Future guests: to clarify, our Xerox Business Centre has internet access, including WiFi, though there may be a fee depending on the range of services you utilize.
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Royal York

Address: 100 Front Street W, Toronto, Ontario M5JIE3, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Toronto > Downtown Toronto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Toronto
#17 Spa Hotel in Toronto
#22 Romantic Hotel in Toronto
#24 Family Hotel in Toronto
#26 Luxury Hotel in Toronto
#40 Business Hotel in Toronto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Royal York 4*
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Royal York Hotel Toronto
Fairmont Toronto
Royal York Hotel Toronto
Toronto Fairmont

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