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.
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- Also Known As:
- Toronto Drake Hotel
- Drake Toronto