I just returned from my first stay at the Thompson Toronto. To clarify, I am a mom of 3 young children under the age of 6. I rarely travel alone any more, and our hotel selection process has gone from finding some of the best top of the line trendy/higher end hotels, to mostly finding ones that have a good pool for the kids to play in and/or a kids menu in their restaurant. Still having the odd night where one of our little ones will wake through the night, sleep is very important to us. Prior to arriving, I read some reviews on tripadvisor - I have to admit that after reading them, I was somewhat terrified for the stay. I will even confess that after reading the reviews of this hotel, I made a conscious decision leave the brown flannel reindeer PJs at home (haha!).
I arrived at the hotel, and before I could even step out of the taxi, I was greeted by one of the members of the hotel staff. He walked me to the front desk, and after checking in, showed me to my room. The check-in process was friendly and efficient, and the service throughout my stay was excellent.
The room itself (a deluxe king corner room on the 8th floor) was beautiful - hardwood floors (no carpet! YAY!), floor-to-ceiling windows, modern decor, beautiful marble bathroom, one of the comfiest king beds I have ever slept in...and best of all, immaculately clean. At this point it's almost instinct for us to scan a room for cleanliness as soon as we get in it for the safety of the kids - when doing the "as soon as we arrive do the under bed/dresser check", we have found everything from a stray pill that someone dropped (several different times/hotels, unfortunately), to a condom wrapper left behind (in plain view??? ugh!). This room was fantastic, and not a single moment of the "ick" factor that you sometimes get when you feel that your room hasn't been properly cleaned since the last person stayed in it.
Re: the noise complaints in some of the other reviews (which had me the most terrified - I expect to sleep when I am in a hotel!), I actually didn't find that it was any worse than any other downtown hotel I have stayed in various major cities across North America/Europe. In fact, I would say that the noise level was actually better than some of the other hotels I have stayed in, especially when you take into account the fact that there was no carpet in the room and fewer walls (since it was floor-to-ceiling windows) - in other words, less "sound dampening" materials in the room itself. I was pleasantly surprised about this. Did I hear some noise in the halls? Sure. Could I hear some of the noise coming from the streets below? Absolutely. But the hall noise wasn't any worse than any other hotel I have stayed in, and the street noise was no different than what I have heard in any hotel that has busy streets below it. Not saying what others experienced is wrong/didn't happen, but I can say that I didn't experience it at all (and I'm a fairly light sleeper). On a side note, if noise is something you have issues with, I highly recommend investing in one of those little white noise machines for when you travel (only about $20 or so) - I didn't bring it this trip (and honestly, I didn't need it), but we never travel without it when the kids are with us. Because of that machine, the kids sleep through any level of hallway/city noise (literally, anything) - all they hear is the soothing sound of the rolling waves coming out of the little noise machine.
Re: the atmosphere in the hotel, some have called it pretentious/snobby, but I would call it sophisticated - they definitely strive to appeal to the guest with discerning/higher end tastes (and market the hotel accordingly), but all of the staff were still very friendly and welcoming. I can do "uppity" if/when I have to, but it's really not my thing (reindeer flannel PJs, remember?). I came back to the hotel at about 9pm Friday night, and the bar crowd had started mingling. The bouncer tried to stop me as I was heading in, but as soon as I told him I was a guest/heading to my room, he very quickly ushered me in (with a smile - and not a "who let you in here" kind of smirk...an actual smile ;) ). The hotel definitely has a certain vibe to it, but as someone whose priority on a Friday night was getting out of my conference clothes/heels and back into some yoga pants, not to head up to the roof top bar or to "see and be seen", I wouldn't say I felt unwelcome. I probably would have felt a bit out of place if I had gone down to the lobby in said loungewear that night (the lobby is right beside one of the bars, so there are lots of patrons in their swanky bar clothes hanging around that part of the hotel on a Friday night), but that is just because I quickly appreciated the kind of experience that they market/provide for their niche/clientele.
Would I ever take my little ones to this hotel? Absolutely not - never in a million years. It's not that kind of hotel. This hotel definitely fills a certain niche, and "family friendly hotel" (in my mind) is not that niche - and that's ok! Also, if you are looking for a chain hotel type of experience, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for a unique, sophisticated experience, I would recommend this hotel in heartbeat. Definitely one of the more higher end properties we have ever stayed at (and we have done everything from 2* to 6*). Just be prepared that, because of having several very popular/trendy bars on-site, the hotel does become somewhat of a "place to be seen" kind of place, especially on the weekend. And because of that, there will be bouncers and such to control who comes in (you included!) - but from a security perspective, I actually found it reassuring (ok, I admit...I also found it kind of funny!).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Thompson Toronto, Thompson's first international addition, opened the summer of 2010 in the diverse and artistically driven King West Village, a neighborhood adjacent to the city's financial and entertainment districts. Designed by Studio Gaia, 102 ultra-sleek guestrooms feature dark hardwood flooring, contrasting accents in lush orange and cool white, and floor to ceiling windows with sweeping views of Toronto's cityscape. The hotel's three dining facilities cater to all tastes: offering comfort food at The Thompson Diner, a modern incarnation of the quintessential 24-hour American diner, and traditional Japanese at Wabora Sushi.Other hotel amenities include a state of the art screening room, an exclusive nightclub, 1812, and Toronto's first and only rooftop pool bar and lounge. ... more less
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