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“A brave, confident and friendly place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Drake Hotel Toronto

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Drake Hotel Toronto
1150 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1J3, Canada   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 141 Hotels in Toronto
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A brave, confident and friendly place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

We leave tomorrow by which we will have stayed for six nights and absolutely love this place. My husband and I are in our fifties but we were bringing his 15-year-old son to Toronto (all of us for the first time) and I wanted something a little different to the usual corporate hotels we inhabit. As usual Trip Advisor was invaluable in helping me to choose The Drake Hotel.

It's fair to say that The Drake is in an area on the 'Up' rather than being in an established part of Toronto but it is friendly shabby rather than threatening shabby. And that means you really do get fantastic value as you are obviously not paying for high overheads. Not once did we feel uncomfortable in our urban surroundings. We walked on several occasions down Queen Street West (an incredibly long street) towards the centre of town and encountered no problems but lots of interesting shops and people. - There's also an abundance of cabs (cheap into the centre and to the Harbour Front) and there's a tram line outside the hotel.

We had a Salon Room, the 15-year-old had a Crash Pad across the corridor. In the Salon Room, once we got over the surprise of having a shower and loo at the end of the room with only a glass panel across (I think you do need to be comfortable with your room mate), and a rack with coat hangers instead of a wardrobe, we found it a really effective use of space and very well equipped with thoughtful home comforts/drinks/snacks and lovely toiletries. Needless to say the 15-year-old with his I-POD docking station in his crash pad loved it beyond words. It truly is a place where old(er) and young can mix with harmony.

For a small Boutique Hotel, it offers so many ways and places to eat and drink - an outside rooftop terrace, a Lounge strewn with lovely books (old editions that you can take down from the shelf and actually read whilst having a drink and waiting for others to arrive), and a lovely Café with a terrace where you can have breakfast. The breakfasts are superb - ranging from the Drake Breakfast - sausage, egg bacon etc to a breakfast that a carnivore like myself would never usually contemplate - Eggs, Avocado, Tomato, Salad and Rye Bread - an ALT rather than a BLT. Sounds a strange concoction but, having tried it the first day, I had it every day thereafter. There was a smashing waiter called Taylor that remembered all our orders and preferences - from choice of morning beverage to how we liked our eggs. In The Drake, you can snack throughout the day/night or have the full works. We ate on the terrace or in the Lounge on four evenings which says a lot about the quality of the food and the range offered - typically pork ribs and high-end burger for the teenager, steak frites for the husband and sushi for me. (Puddings could do with a bit more thought - not great variety). The food/ ingredients represented excellent quality and I am amazed to read that people think this place is pricey. I thought it fantastic value - try the Starving Artist red wine - the cheapest on the menu and very drinkable indeed.

Staff almost without exception are efficient, charismatic and charming. Very young, very competent and obviously proud to be working in this quirky, confident place with its commitment to supporting local artists - both of the live music and visual sort. Other reviewers have complained about aloofness. Yes, the occasional staff member was a little aloof and grand but perhaps that indicated that they lacked the confidence of the ones that were supremely friendly and confident. But nothing enough to spoil the atmosphere of a hotel and its various eateries that knew what it was about and did it very well. Would fully recommend.

Room Tip: We had 308 - a salon room that was far away from any live music
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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410 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hanover, New Hampshire
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Upon arrival to the confusing and busy lobby, there were two desks. The closest was manned by two girls who simply stared at us. The second, directly behind theirs, turned out to be the hotel registration desk. The clerk was more than happy to check us in once he closed his personal email. Apart from giving us our room key and taking my credit card, he didn’t say much. (failed to mention that parking is across the street in a pay-per-hour lot, or how to get to the room itself.)

Right away, we didn’t feel welcome in the hotel: the best way to describe it would be that we were imposing on the sanctity of self-created importance and hip-ness that floats the Drake Hotel the place to be in the rapidly-gentrifying West Queen district. The hotel staff is young, beautiful, and entirely unhelpful. This would be completely fine, save for the fact that we were treated in a condescending manner that at some times, felt like it stemmed from some kind of unspoken judgement. This kind of treatment of a guest at any establishment is obviously 100% unwarranted.

In Short: The Drake chooses to focus its commerce and attentions to the more social aspects of its business: its lounge, underground, bar and restaraunt: for here is where the money is made and the “see and be seen” culture it perpetuates makes the Hotel nights loud, the rooms claustrophobic, and the service embarrassingly bumbling.

The attractiveness of the hotel’s strong and bold design choices and the excellent waiters and bartenders in the Cafe and Sky Lounge are some of the strongest assets. Perhaps it would be a good idea to hire them to work in the hotel. (While you’re at it, give them all raises.)

PS----There is a significant typo in the Information Guides provided in the room. (Hint: it’s on the last page. You can’t miss it. It’s 29 words long.)

Extra-Short Summary: The Drake throws a lot of things at guests with little thought put into execution or one-on-one hospitality.

x (oh!)-----
Lafetite

Traveling tip: If you look young (and therefore unimportant as a guest,) don’t bother with the Drake. They won’t give you the time of day.

Room Tip: The cool things: The rooms have DVD players, so bring your movies. There’s also a bag of free popco...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rugby, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014



First time I have ever reviewed mid stay!

This place is just perfect! I mean faultless...they know what customers want and give it in bucket loads.

From the moment you check in the attentive but not overbearing staff can't do enough. The guy checking me in made sure I had all the local knowledge, gave maps and was proactive.

I had a crash pad which on entering had a hint of lavender in the room, very relaxing.

The room was small but like a mini car had all the features you need. It's designed perfectly, I mean people have thought about the customers experience

Breakfast in the cafe down stairs is a relaxed affair, with great food.

The hotel attracts a great bunch of people and the bars are worth checking out.

I was worried I would be too old, and not fit in. Far from it, this hotel has created a unique atmosphere with staff who enjoy their work and it shows.

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wachtebeke, Belgium
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

It was our second stay at Drake Hotel Toronto, and we're still in love with the place. The first time, we stayed in the suite (which is unfortunately wasn't available right now), so this time we spend a couple of nights in one of their smaller rooms which - luckily - doesn't feel small at all.
The deco, the atmosphere and the wonderful people make this place one the greatest to stay.

We'll be back!

Room Tip: Pick whatever room, I'm pretty sure they all look great!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

My husband and I just stayed in the suite at the Drake last night. I would have given it a higher rating if it weren't having an identity crisis. The room was lovely and the staff were accommodating.

I live on the east side of downtown Toronto and I booked the Drake as a treat for its convenient location near a number of west-side venues where I celebrated by 30th birthday. I planned to have cocktails there with friends before dinner and host some night owls after the bars closed. The language on the Drake website invites these plans. My room is described as "having ample room to enjoy a cocktail or two". Another room caters to "the kind of guest who only retreats to the bedroom once the party downstairs is over" and advises the guest to bring ear plugs.

Meanwhile, after booking, I was informed of a policy restricting guests of hotel patrons after midnight. And in actual fact, my guests and I were hassled about getting into the hotel even before midnight. We were informed by security in the most ironic way that "this is not a party hotel". At the time of those remarks, there was a sign near the door that read "party" and a line-up of party-goers out the door...

In any case, the real dilemma is this: if I and the other respectful (read: tame) professionals I hang out with cannot enjoy the space I've booked in the same unrestricted way as I enjoy my own adult apartment, then perhaps there is no reason for me to stay at the Drake.

The Drake needs to decide. I'd recommend just going with the image that people already seek out. Embrace being a place to party and add complimentary ear plugs for all guests to the champagne and popcorn you already welcome people with.

I enjoyed my time a the Drake - I just resent being treated as if I'm living in a university dorm.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

If you want to be right in the middle of all the action, this is your hotel. It is clean, quirky, has four bars/restaurants and other watering holes are close by. Float Toronto is just about to open and it is almost across the street!

Room Tip: I was in the room at the end of the hall, on the 2nd floor, avoided a lot of potential noise.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

The specs: Crash Pad (room 307), 4 nights stay, just the two of us (10th anniversary), first time to Toronto. The room: super fun, immaculate, comfy - and quiet even on a Friday night (we specifically requested a quieter room) - the perfect respite after long days of walking in the city. The food: breakfast at the cafe was excellent (pancakes with blueberries+lemon - yes!), cocktails in the lounge were scrumptious and the charcuterie board that we ordered from room service > inhaled. The vibe: a perfect blend of relaxation, luxury and sheer urban fun... but the true gem in this hip setting is the service: every staff member we encountered, from the concierge to the waitstaff to the maids, was simply wonderful - friendly, unpretentious and professional. Restaurant recommendations from the concierge were spot on and we even got great tips on a walking tour of the west neighborhoods from one of the waiters. Great city, great hotel, great trip.

Room Tip: Parking is limited; plan ahead. Our third floor room was nice and quiet, even on a Friday night, if...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Drake Hotel Toronto

Address: 1150 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1J3, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Toronto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Toronto
#10 Romantic Hotel in Toronto
#12 Family Hotel in Toronto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 19
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Toronto Drake Hotel
Drake Toronto

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