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“Stunning building but rooms in need of some TLC” 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)   |  
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Toronto Christmas Market
Ranked #37 of 141 Hotels in Toronto
GreenLeadersBronze level
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Stunning building but rooms in need of some TLC”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

This hotel is in a great location. The building itself is gorgeous and the lobby, restaurants and bars are stunning.
The rooms and bathrooms however are very aging and the queue for checking in/out was ridiculous.
We had a very pleasant stay as we just used it for a base, but I wouldn't stay here again nor would I recommend it. Our room was comfy but we had to pay for wifi which I think is a bit of a rip off.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, Tim Morrison, Hotel Manager at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you for your feedback—we are happy that you had a pleasant stay overall though we apologize for your feeling of disappointment with your guestroom and for the line at check-in. To add value to future visits to Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, we suggest enrolling in Fairmont President’s Club to gain access to an express check-in desk and to enjoy complimentary WiFi among other great benefits
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3,322 reviews from our community

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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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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

In my view, some of the reviews for the Fairmont Royal have been a bit nasty. The Royal is a grand old hotel in the middle of downtown Toronto. So, it has a brilliant location not to mention a grand facade and amazing decorative features. It really is a classic old hotel, the kind of which will never be built again. One can appreciate the sheer beauty and grandeur of hotels as magnificent as the Royal.

So why the average rating, you ask? Well, as ever, this comes down to management. The level of service and amenities in a hotel is always driven by management and the view they take on these issues as opposed to the cost of improving those aspects. It seems to me that management at the Royal have decided they will deliver a pretty good experience (and they do that) without going that extra mile that some hotel chains will do (think Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula etc).

In my case, my room was at the end of a corridor that seemed to run for a mile (it's a big hotel, so good for large conferences). The room was OK but the room temperature control was stuck between the TV cabinet (which was so heavy it could not be moved) and the wall, so it was impossible to to do anything to change the room temperature). Why would you show such little care to the occupant of that room? Astute management would fix that in a second.

The hotel has a good shopping arcade and a good gym/fitness room. It also has a very good bar. This is why I think some of the reviews have been just too nasty.

The Royal is a nice hotel and I would have no problem staying there again. But, I don't go to Toronto often and if I was going again I would probably try another hotel that offers a more outstanding hotel experience.

If you're looking for a good decent hotel in the middle of Toronto with a number of amenities (bars, restaurants, shops, gym etc), then the Royal is a perfectly good place to stay. If you're doing business with RBC, then it's right next door to the HQ.

However, if you are looking for one those outstanding hotel experiences (and are willing to pay for that) then you might want to consider some other hotels in Toronto.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Tim Morrison, Hotel Manager at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you for your review—we are happy to know that our prime location and history added value to your experience though we are very sorry to learn that we did not exceed your expectations in all areas. To touch on your comments with respect to the location of your guestroom’s thermostat—we agree that this is an oversight on our part and apologize for the inconvenience this caused. We have contacted you to obtain your room number so that we may relocate the TV cabinet to ensure that future guests are able to access the temperature control. We look forward to an opportunity to welcome you again and hope we may have a second chance at providing the “wow” experience we are truly accustomed to delivering.
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

I was fortunate enough to stay at the Fairmont Royal York just after New Years when it was still quite quiet downtown. My wife and two kids decided to go for a larger suite and it was great. Enormous room and the views and location were great. I had lower expectations of this hotel based on others experiences but was delighted and surprised.

A special mention to the chef who kept the food out for us at 9:55am in the buffet as we slept in. He came to the table and told us whatever we wanted from the kitchen he would bring us.

The pool was very cold and the woman apologized and said maintenance was coming to fix it. The steam room was wicked steamy but had a musty smell despite a bottle of eucalyptus on the bench.

If and when they overhaul this one it will be another gem in the Fairmont crown.

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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Tim Morrison, Hotel Manager at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you for your review—we’re thrilled to learn that your experience was so enjoyable and appreciate your taking a moment to comment on the personalized service provided by our Chef. We apologize for the challenges with the pool temperate and the steam room. Our fitness centre, change rooms and steam room are currently closed until Jan 17 for preventative maintenance and deep cleaning and our pool & whirlpool will be closed Jan 17-26 for the same work to be completed. This will help ensure that future guests do not encounter these issues. (Alternative arrangements have been made with neighbouring facilities during this time to allow our guests the option of enjoying a swim or workout during their stays).
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WashingtonDC
Top Contributor
417 reviews 417 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 121 cities Reviews in 121 cities
277 helpful votes 277 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

My partner and I stayed at the Royal York Fairmont for two nights over New Year's, and overall I would say that the service is very personable and welcoming, but the hotel is obviously aged quite a bit.

Being part of the President's Club in Fairmont, we were upgraded to a two-bedroom suite. The room itself was enormous, and for whatever reason we had a second bedroom. As shown in the pictures, we had a dining room table and a china cabinet and a sitting room. This seemed like a suite more for corporate entertaining, since there was a mini kitchenettes with a bar. The views were absolutely amazing, and we could see the CN Tower right from our bed.

Check-in was easy, and the service throughout the hotel was good, suffice for some small issues. The location of the film is in the financial center, and originally, I didn't know if that was going to be good or bad, because being downtown in some cities at night or on the weekend is a recipe for abandoned streets and closed stores. But the Royal York's location at the Union Station subway made it accessible all night with people walking around. I can't say I had a problem with the hotel's location, especially considering our amazing views.

But I will say that the Royal York is showing its wear after all these years. I know the hotel is historic and notable, but it's clear there hasn't been much renovation when I walk around the main hallways and the room. I heard that half of the hotel is going through major renovation, so I'm sure this aspect of my review would not be relevant once that is completed, but I certainly agree that a renovation is needed.

I also think that the housekeeping and room service aspects could use some work. I understand that the suite is a large area to clean, but the state of our shower -- in particular -- was extremely ridiculous. There was soap left from the previous guest, and the showerhead was disgusting and looked as if it hadn't been cleaned for a year. I felt like that guy from the TV show "Hotel Impossible" when he gets grossed out with the state of the rooms...that's how I felt with this showerhead. I took a picture of it to illustrate what I was talking about. Also, our coffee machine in the room did not work the first morning, and so we told the concierge who said that it would be fixed or replaced, and then later in the day he said it was replaced. So the next morning, we try to use the coffee machine and it didn't work and we're standing there trying to figure out how this didn't work until we embarrassingly call room service to say that we can't figure out how to work the coffee machine, and then they said they never replaced it in the first place. So we said we would like some coffee from room service since the machine was broken from yesterday, and it literally never came for the three hours before we had to check out. That's a complete breakdown in their communication and service, and left a bad taste in our mouth as we were leaving.

Overall, I would recommend the Royal York Fairmont while in Toronto based on its great location and generally good service.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, Tim Morrisson, Hotel Manager at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you for your feedback—it’s wonderful to know that our service was personable and welcoming and that the complimentary suite upgrade added to your enjoyment of your visit. We recognize that our guestrooms would benefit from updated décor and have commenced the renovation of 200 rooms. In the interim there is no excuse for lapses in preventative maintenance and housekeeping and we have contacted you directly for more information to enable us to follow up with our team and rectify the problems you report.
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

My wife and I stayed in the Fairmont Royal York in June/July 2012 whilst staying in Toronto for 5 days as part of our Honeymoon tour of Canada.

Of all the hotels we stayed in, this was the only one to offer us a free upgrade owing to the circumstances of our visit. This was ever more special for us considering that our stay was over the Canada Day holiday. We were blown away to find that we'd been upgraded from a double room to a suite, and in addition the staff had left a bottle of champagne and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries for us. Top marks!

The hotel lobby a stunning area and as a result it has been used as a set for many film and tv productions. Some may say that it's a little old looking, but for me it's an integral part of the hotels character and befitting of a hotel of this scale. A quick review of the images online will allow people to decide for themselves.

Within the lobby of the hotel, and in the basement below, there are numerous bars, restaurants, cafes, and even a barber shop. We enjoyed dinner in the hotel on more than one occasion and had cocktails in the extremely relaxing Library Bar several evenings.

Location wise the property is ideally situated in the centre of the city and is within walking distance of Downtown, The Waterfront, and The Financial District and so whatever the purpose of your stay, you'll find it within reach of this hotel.

Highly recommended and thanks again Fairmont for making our stay in Toronto that little bit special.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalYorkHotel, Tim Morrison, Hotel Manager at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
We appreciate your taking the time to share positive feedback and are thrilled to learn that our team recognized the special purpose of your visit and helped contribute to your celebration. We are also happy to learn that the hotel’s history and character added to your experience and that you had an opportunity to enjoy the Library bar.
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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I stayed here for New Years Eve with my boyfriend. The hotel is very large and very old looking. Our room was on the 4th floor. Our room was nice, clean (except for the coffee machine. It was not cleaned out. I went to make tea, boiled water and it came out light brown from the person who made coffee before.) There was papers in the room from the previous person that were not thrown out as well. We kept hearing glass clanking in the early morning which was annoying. We booked on hotwire so we did not know which hotel we would get. I wish we had gotten a Hilton. I would choose the Hilton over this hotel in a second. Mattress was OK. pillows were good. If you are into old charm, and older, bigger hotels, then this hotel is for you.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, Tim Morrison, Hotel Manager at The Fairmont Royal York, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are happy to know that your stay was enjoyable overall however we are concerned by our lapses in housekeeping. We have contacted you to apologize and obtain more information to enable us to address this with the appropriate members of our team so we can prevent future oversights.
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Denver
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I have been in the Fairmont during conferences previously and this was the first time I stayed over. Check-in was a little slow with only one assistant - but once at the front desk was very efficient and welcoming. My room in the East Wing was adequate for the short stay but I would agree with other reviewers that things do look a little dated; but everything was pleasant and comfortable. I had a good rest. My meetings were early and north along York street so the proximity was perfect. I can't wait for the roadworks outside to be complete too! Everything said - for the location I would definitely return.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Royal York

Address: 100 Front Street W, Toronto, Ontario M5JIE3, Canada
Phone Number:
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
#16 Spa Hotel in Toronto
#20 Romantic Hotel in Toronto
#21 Family Hotel in Toronto
#26 Luxury Hotel in Toronto
#37 Business Hotel in Toronto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Royal York 4*
Number of rooms: 1365
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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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