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! One weekend you could be doing the classics, the next splurging on a romantic getaway, or an arts-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 literally be anything you want it to be. That's the beauty of being in a large world-class metropolis. Before you start 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 newly-opened 1 Hotel
Sustainability is top of mind for so many of us lately—especially when it comes to travel. Toronto’s freshly-opened 1 Hotel in the heart of King West Village. 1 Hotel prides themselves on bringing green sustainability to all their locations, and here in Toronto, the hotel focused 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, which makes 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 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 as well. 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
It’s the summer of patios in Toronto! 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, Le Germain’s two city locations, Hôtel Le Germain Mercer and Hôtel Le Germain Toronto Maple Leaf Square, have new patio digs that you can check out.
At Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square, Bar Le Germain Sidewalk Café has photo-worthy cocktails and nibbles that also deliver on taste in a patio space designed by Montreal street artist Stikki Peaches.
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 Cliquot, 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 steps from major attractions. Must-see attractions like the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Union Station, Ripley’s Aquarium and the Steamwhistle 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
Hey, it’s been a tough year! It’s time to treat yourself… from some luxe additions, packages, spa time and more at Hotel X. A perfect addition to their rooftop this year is the Summer House experience. 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 most perfect staycation—you just might have a hard time leaving!
Or, sign up for Hotel X’s Porsche Drive package. You’ll have a Porsche 911 delivered to your door, so you can zip around the city for the weekend, along with a custom scenic map to get to Hotel X Toronto.
The luxe treatment doesn’t stop there. You’ll have a luxury suite and a VIP picnic for two at a picturesque destination. In your downtime, use hotel amenities, such as 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 their 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.
Plan your staycation around a destination and add activities inspired by those places, from food to galleries showing exhibits around your chosen destination or even try taking in a film.
Sports comeback at Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel
True blue Blue Jays fans will be lining up for a chance to see our city’s beloved baseball team back in action when the time comes. But in the meantime, you can still 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.
The All-Star Stay: The Ultimate Baseball Fan Package at the hotel is the closest thing to being at the game! Recreate the game-day experience with hot dogs, classic stadium snacks, beer, team memorabilia and more. Early check-in means you get to watch the game on a 55" HD TV with a city view and a mini Marriott foam ball and bat, plus a special Toronto MLB team souvenir. And did we mention the hotdogs, crackerjacks and beer?
Splurge at the St. Regis Hotel
If you had set money aside for a special trip that didn’t pan out because of the pandemic, you're in luck. Toronto is home to some of the most luxurious hotels, incredible food and stellar shopping in the country.
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 newly renovated and opened Iridium Spa is on the 31st floor of the St. Regis, a 1,400 sq m sanctuary with 14 treatment rooms, plush resting areas, spa butlers and some pretty impressive city views.
Outside of the hotel, keep the splurge going with a helicopter or private plane ride over Toronto’s skyline. You can even book a chance to drive a Lamborghini! 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 and 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 (one floor is even designed by Lenny Kravitz), is in the heart of the Entertainment District, so you’re a hop, skip and jump from Toronto’s best museums, galleries and shopping.
Book your weekend in with visits to the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Bata Shoe Museum and cool galleries to expand your artistic horizons. And the Bisha also truly 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.
For something that is physically distanced, 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 too, 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 include ordering room service from the Broadview Bistro + Bar for breakfast in bed, sipping on cocktails at the Rooftop (seriously some of the best views of the city) or digging into the best in grill and BBQ fare at the hotel's Beer Garden + Grill on its 2nd-floor terrace.
Never Have I Ever at the Sheraton
Book a centrally located hotel like the Sheraton Centre Toronto. This 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 from 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 any time of the year at the classic Windsor Arms Hotel. Comfy rooms, treatments at The Spa at Windsor Arms and an elegant afternoon tea room means 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 their location puts you close to some great Toronto sights if you venture outside.
Take in the amazing 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.