Staying With a Dog at the Marriott Yorkville, Toronto
Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I hadn’t until recently, and when I did hear it, I admit I did not really understand it. Until now.
I was recently in Toronto for 4 days and 3 nights. We were lucky enough to have family offer to pay for 2 nights out of our 3 and book our accommodations at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel. (It was a birthday gift for Mom. How nice is that?) We knew little to nothing about the hotel chosen for us, so when we saw the façade as we drove up, our hearts sank a little.
But we drove up and stopped the car at the valet parking. Right away, a cheerful gentleman helped us with our bags while another took the car keys and whisked the vehicle away after letting us know that we had “in and out” privileges. We didn’t need to worry about how many times we would need to pick-up or drop-off the car. We immediately felt looked after.
We often think of a hotel’s reception desk as the point of first contact, but really, it’s a valet, doorman, or concierge who usually relays a hotel’s first impression. And this hotel shines with great employees. The staff we met were attentive and friendly but not creepy, overly “Disneyworld” friendly. They all seemed genuinely able – no, more than just able, they were empowered – to make our stay special.
That was also in evidence when we checked in. A receptionist was happy to take care of us without delay. She handed Mom the pet policy sheet to sign and I am happy to say that, for once, there was nothing silly or ridiculous on the list … well, other than the usual, absurd, non-refundable pet fee of $50 per stay. I totally understand a deposit, but a non-refundable fee? Without evidence of some kind of advanced cleaning after a pet stay – and I’ve never witnessed it – I still don’t understand this ugly trend.
A n y w a y … the reception desk staff absolutely loved me! I got lots of cuddles and kisses. No one can resist a well-groomed, well-behaved dog exuding buckets of charm, and I did ensure my bucket was full. 😉
That may be why we got upgraded to a Junior Suite. And I have to say, that was nice! Although the ceilings of the hotel are very low, the room was large and the window facing the inner courtyard was a treat. We were on the first floor (second floor for our European fans) and had access to the rooftop garden. I liked it there. It was quiet, with benches and plants and even a mama pigeon on her nest with two eggs! I discovered her first and scared the poor thing half to death, so after that, the bipeds and I tried not to get too close. All living things deserve respect, after all.
The bathroom was clean with a small bathtub and shower combo. The hotel provided very nice bathroom products. Mom was particularly pleased with the orange ginger hand wash by Bath and Body Works, and Dad liked the shoe cleaning cloth. It’s the little things that can make a day.
The king size bed was very, very, v e r y comfortable with a good mattress, soft sheets, and plenty of pillows to choose from. We had a nice empty mini-fridge at our disposal. No silly miniature, overly expensive bottles of liquor we would never use; instead, we had space to keep food we had brought with us and some snacks we picked up along the way. Best of all, Dad was thrilled to have a capsule system coffee machine for his daily dose of espresso! Every day, hotel staff would leave two free coffee capsules for him. Mom enjoyed the tea. With two closets, a sitting area/lounge and a nice big bed, life was good.
The only complaint the bipeds could think of is, in this day and age with free Wi-Fi available everywhere, charging for in-room internet is absolutely ridiculous. Luckily, thanks to our proximity to the lobby below, we were able to connect to the free Wi-Fi that services that area. Another consideration might be requesting a higher floor if you’re a light sleeper. We could hear the subway trains come and go with a gentle little rumble as they passed right under the hotel. It didn’t bother us, but I do want to mention it, just in case.
The hotel also has a gym and a nice bar and restaurant. Although we didn’t use any of these during our stay, we saw many people enjoying those amenities. The lobby is functional but not opulent. It does not scream, “Hey, I’m staying in a high-end hotel!” but fresh flower arrangements lift the lobby out of the ordinary.
Where the hotel wins – hands down – is location.
Situated at 90 Bloor Street at Yonge, the hotel anchors the east end of the “mink mile” of Toronto – a stretch of Bloor Street known for its high-end shopping. We were just steps from Louis Vuitton, Dolce Cabana, Gucci, and other “fancy pants” stores. We had walking access to all of Yorkville and most of the Annex with all their wonderful little restaurants, boutiques, and very Anglo-Saxon styled homes.
In addition to all of that, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is just down the street. (The bipeds went to see the special exhibit, “China’s Forbidden City.”) And Queens Park and the Ontario Legislative Buildings are just a few more steps away. Read about Yorkville and the Annex in our previous post.
Another great perk to the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville is the super easy access to the pet friendly subway. You can actually access the subway directly from inside the hotel! If you are facing the reception desk, just to the right, before the elevators, is a door. Open it, go down some stairs and, voila! There you are at the Bloor and Yonge subway stop – the main hub for two of the three lines that serve Toronto, and only two stops from accessing the third line! From here, you can access the entire city. Oh, and the subway is pet friendly!
In review: Staying With a Dog at the Marriott Yorkville, Toronto is overall, great. We would stay again. With an exceptional location and incredibly attentive staff, it’s a good fit for those traveling with a canine, or even without.
Before closing, I want to take a moment to thank the ever so thoughtful cleaning lady who tidied up our room while we were out for the day at Woofstock. We had forgotten my bowl at home so had commandeered the soap dish to act as a water dish. It wasn’t ideal but it worked well enough. When we returned later in the afternoon, the soap dish was back in the bathroom … and there was a little proper bowl with fresh water in its place for me in my pop-up playpen. THAT is GREAT SERVICE.