Last year when our parents turned 60, my sister and I were thinking about what we should give them as a present. As my mother dropped several times how she would love it to visit Canada one day to visit our cousin living there, we decided to gift them the plane tickets to Canada and invite ourselves along for the trip. In about one and a half week we made a trip around the cities in central-eastern Canada, visiting Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa and Toronto.
Our last hotel on the trip was the InterContinental Toronto Centre, located right next to the Toronto Union station and the famous CN Tower. It offers a perfect location to discover Toronto, with lots of things within walking distance and a good access to public transportation to venture further out into the area.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a very friendly and welcoming lady at the dedicated IHG Rewards Club counter, as it was only 1PM and rooms are normally only available as of 3PM she went out of her way to get us a room immediately. As the hotel was fully booked they were unable to give us the complimentary Ambassador upgrade and gave a compensation of 10,000 rewards points instead.
As I booked a club room we were allocated a club room on the 8th floor, where the club lounge was located as well. It was a spacious recently refurbished room with two queen beds. There were two sofas and a small table near the window overlooking the station, ideally located for some reading.
Along the wall opposite the beds was a big desk area with a wall mounted TV above and a Nespresso machine to make your morning coffee.
Montreal there were enough towels provided for four persons in the room, initially there were only two pairs of bathrobes and slippers but two more were brought up immediately after asking the lounge manager. The toiletries where of the slightly more upscale Aveda brand and had a very nice and subtle rosemary mint perfume.
For my parents’ birthday the hotel also delivered a small cake to celebrate.
As our room was located on the 8th floor, we had to walk only a few steps before we could enter into the lounge area. It was divided into several smaller nooks with the central area boasting the welcome desk where the lounge attendants were ready to assist you.
Right next to them was the bar, while non-alcoholic drinks where complimentary there was an honesty bar in place for your alcoholic drinks as Canadian law doesn’t allow hotels to serve free alcohol to their guests. Whenever you wanted to drink a glass of an alcoholic beverage you had to fill in a small paper and the amount was charged to your room bill.
In the morning a breakfast was served, containing some hot and cold items. The types of eggs varied each day, alternating between scrambled eggs and omelettes. The rest of the offer remained pretty much the same every morning and contained some of the typical breakfast items.
In the evening they served some more food, if you are not a big eater like us you could easily have a proper meal with this. There were of course a number of cold options like salads and a wonderful cheese platter as well as a few hot options.
On the second night it was Indian themed, with some typical Indian dishes. On the third night it was my favourite night as it was Asian themed and they served some delicious sushi!
The last night we could settle into a more European vibe as they opted for a Greek/Mediterranean theme. Every night we had some delicious tasting food and the changing of the themes made that you did not get bored of the lounge food.
Whenever the lounge manager, Mr. Mavromatis, was present everything in the lounge ran like clockwork and it was a very enjoyable experience. One night when he was not present the young Asian man running the lounge was not able to hold up the standards as tables where not cleared away and it was hard to find some place to sit as all tables were filled with used plates, cutlery and glasses.
To work off all the fat layers you gained by indulging in the lounge food, the hotel offered a fitness on the 3rd floor, it had two big windowless rooms with a number of machines to exercise with. To me it felt not like the most welcoming fitness however.
I have to say I really enjoyed my stay at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, after my disappointing stay at the InterContinental Montreal it reaffirmed my trust into the InterContinental quality.
Most of the staff was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and enabled everyone to have a nice and care-free stay. The only hiccup during the stay was the one night the club lounge was a mess, but I’m sure the hotel will have dealt with this to keep up its high standard. I would recommend staying here, as the location and facilities are fantastic and it was a great ending for a great holiday.
What is your experience with hotel club-lounges? Do you like them? Let us know in the comments below!