There's never been a better time to explore your own backyard.
Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. There’s so much to see, do, eat and take advantage of right at your fingertips—which equals endless opportunities for staycations! You could be doing the classics one weekend, the next splurging on a romantic getaway or an art-filled weekend. Here’s how to map out an ideal staycation in the city, whether you want to feel like you’re in another part of the world or just to de-stress a bit.
Pick your staycation theme
A staycation in Toronto can be anything you want it to be. That's the beauty of being in a large world-class metropolis. Before booking, think about what you want your staycation to look like and follow this formula.
- Pick a theme and a great hotel as your base
- Add in sights, restaurants, attractions and neighbourhoods that all support your theme
- Then, repeat on a different weekend with a different theme
Here are some fun ideas to take on the city.
Go sustainable at the ECO-CONSCIOUS 1 Hotel
Sustainability is top of mind for many of us lately, especially when travelling. Located in the heart of King West Village, 1 Hotel prides itself on bringing green sustainability to all its locations. Here in Toronto, the hotel focuses on the natural and diverse beauty of the lakeshore, Lake Ontario and Ontario’s ample green space.
From the hotel lobby with living green walls to your room with touches of reclaimed wood, native greenery and organic cotton linens, this hotel will have you feeling like you’re encased in nature with epic city views. Even the restaurant is full-on sustainable. 1 Kitchen is zero-waste, making those delicious eats and cocktails all the more enjoyable.
Foodies feast at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
This could be one of the easiest staycations you could ever plan out thanks to Toronto having EVERY kind of food you can imagine in all price ranges. Start by booking a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville, not just for the great rooms and views but also for the never-disappointing Café Boulud by famed chef Daniel Boulud (weekend brunch here is magical).
Staying in Yorkville gives you easy access to public transportation for wherever your taste buds take you. Toronto is well-known for its Italian, Chinese, Greek and East Indian foods. But think of expanding outside of that too… Egyptian brunch at Maha’s, a taste of France at Cluny in the Distillery District, Turkish breakfasts at Simit and so much more is waiting for you.
You may also like: 10 Yorkville Haute Spots to Eat, Drink, Shop & Indulge
Patio escape at Le Germain
Being outside, sipping drinks and having a great meal in the heart of Toronto is some of the best vibes the city has to offer.
There are plenty of patios to choose from straight across the city, but if you’re looking to add in a posh hotel stay along with your patio time, check out Le Germain’s two city locations, Hôtel Le Germain Mercer and Hôtel Le Germain Toronto Maple Leaf Square. These hotels have patio digs that you can check out when the warm weather hits.
At Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, Bar Le Germain Sidewalk Café has photo-worthy cocktails and nibbles that also deliver on taste. Montreal street artist Stikki Peaches designed the vibrant patio space.
Over at Hotel Le Germain Mercer, Victor Rooftop Terrace is the quiet escape in the city. With only 14 seats and on the 11th-floor rooftop of the hotel, it’s intimate and an ideal romantic patio spot. It’s also a partner with Veuve Clicquot, so you know it’ll be perfection.
Rediscover the classics around the Fairmont Royal York
Hands up if you know Toronto's major tourist attractions but haven’t actually seen or done those activities yourself. Consider exploring them now!
Picking a centrally located hotel like the Fairmont Royal York means you’ll be close to major attractions. Must-see attractions like the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Union Station, Ripley’s Aquarium and the Steam Whistle Brewery are just steps away from the hotel.
Grab the streetcar, take the subway or walk to nearby neighbourhoods. Head to the infamous Queen Street West neighbourhood to shop, check out some street art in Graffiti Alley, visit Chinatown, dine in Little Italy and visit the Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square. There are tons of Toronto attractions that are great for families, Instagram-friendly, easy to get to and totally worth a visit.
Treat yourself at Hotel X
It’s time to treat yourself… from some luxe additions, packages, spa time and more at Hotel X. A perfect addition to its rooftop is the X Lounge (Summer House) experience. With a special menu of food and cocktails (with pretty much everything being delicious, you can’t go wrong), access to the pool (if you’re an overnight guest) plus yoga and fitness classes, it makes for the perfect staycation—you just might have a hard time leaving!
The luxe treatment doesn’t stop there. The hotel offers 10XTO’s outdoor fitness classes, the Guerlain Spa and a rooftop pool with a gorgeous view of the city skyline.
If you’re looking for a bit more wellness on your “treat yourself weekend”, Hotel X is right along the Lakeshore, which makes it perfect for jogging along Lake Ontario, walking, cycling or just relaxing. And if it happens to be an ActiveTO weekend with part of the Lakeshore closed to traffic, you’ll have even more space to get moving.
You may also like: Hotel Rooftop Bars with Epic Views of Toronto
Escape at the Shangri-La Hotel
One of the most notable things about Toronto is just how diverse and multicultural its neighbourhoods are, which means it’s pretty easy to feel like you’re not actually in Toronto. Hotels don’t disappoint on that front either. The Shangri-La Hotel is known for its Oriental-inspired decor, plush rooms, afternoon tea, incredible restaurants and Turkish-inspired Miraj Hammam Spa. A stay here can feel like a trip overseas in itself.
It’s also in a great location next to Osgoode Station, so you can explore more of Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods. Want to get a taste of Italy? Hit up Little Italy for some of the yummiest gelato and pasta in town. Need a little dose of Greek island vibes? The Danforth is your spot to soak up some Greek culture.
Sports comeback at Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel
True Blue Jays fans will be lining up for a chance to see our city’s beloved baseball team. You can get in on the summer baseball fun and be in the heart of downtown at the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel on Blue Jays Way.
Splurge at the St. Regis Hotel
The St. Regis Hotel is one of Canada’s top luxury properties. With its swanky rooms (if you haven’t seen the Instagram pics of the bathtub with a view, look it up!) and the beautiful Louix Louis restaurant (where you can get a 13-layer chocolate King's Cake).
Nothing says splurge like an entire spa day. The Iridium Spa is on the 31st floor of St. Regis, a 1,400 sq m sanctuary with 14 treatment rooms, plush resting areas, spa butlers and some pretty impressive city views.
Outside the hotel, keep the splurge going with a helicopter ride by Toronto Heli Tours or a private plane ride over Toronto’s skyline. Treat yourself (or a loved one) and make it an extra special occasion right here in Toronto.
Explore the arts at the Bisha Hotel
A Toronto staycation was made for art lovers. You can tell from the striking and artsy main door that the Bisha Hotel is your perfect canvas for an arts staycation. The Bisha, with rooms decked out in celebrity photographs (Lenny Kravitz even designed one floor), is in the heart of the Entertainment District. You’re only a hop, skip and jump away from Toronto’s best museums, galleries and shopping.
Book your weekend with visits to the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Bata Shoe Museum and excellent galleries to expand your artistic horizons.
The Bisha has some of the best visuals you could ask for—just head up to the rooftop restaurant, Kōst. Stunning views of the CN Tower along with some great artwork, will up your social media game.
Make sure you also check out Toronto’s thriving and incredible street art scene. It’s all outside, it’s all free, and you’ll find yourself in so many different parts of the city. A lot of iconic street art in the city happens to be along Queen Street West, a short walk from the Bisha, which means you can poke into all the shops filled with local and vintage finds.
You may also like: Shopping on Queen West
Friends getaway at the Broadview Hotel
The recipe for a great friends’ getaway, no matter the destination? Good food, good drinks and a few fun activities in a cool neighbourhood. Oh, and a hotel that ticks all those boxes, like the Broadview Hotel in Toronto’s east end.
Map out a couple of days digging into gourmet food shops, restaurants and stylish boutiques in Leslieville—one of Toronto’s hippest and most storied neighbourhoods. Landing back at the boutique Broadview as your base means plenty of IG-worthy moments, from the unique rooms to picture-perfect nooks.
Your options for dining at the Broadview Hotel are plentiful. Consider ordering room service from the Broadview Bistro + Bar, sipping on cocktails at the Rooftop (seriously, some of the city's best views) or enjoying delicious food and live entertainment at The Civic.
Never Have I Ever at the Sheraton
Book a centrally located hotel like the Sheraton Centre Toronto. This hotel makes it easier to tackle more on your Never Have I Ever list. Then, you can finish off the day back at the hotel with a relaxing swim year-round in the indoor/outdoor heated pool or work out in the 24-hour fitness centre.
Thrill-seekers don't have to go far to do the CN Tower EdgeWalk (and conquer that fear of heights!). If you're more adventurous with your stomach, the Sheraton is also close to the culinary wonders of Assembly Chef's Hall. There are plenty of options, and the menu changes daily. Try something you probably haven't had before, like Tachi, Canada's first traditional stand-up omakase restaurant, which serves sushi lovers just like the stand-up sushi shops in Japan.
Cozy up at the Windsor Arms
Book a cozy room at the classic Windsor Arms Hotel any time of the year. Comfy rooms, treatments at The Spa at Windsor Arms and an elegant afternoon tea room. You don’t have to step out of the hotel if you don’t want to (perfect for a winter stay but even as a summer vacation if you want to relax!). But its location puts you close to some incredible Toronto sights if you venture outside.
Take in the fantastic artwork of the nearby Yorkville murals, do some high-end shopping along Bloor Street or on Yorkville Avenue, or get in some fine dining in the neighbourhood.