From unforgettable hotels to breathtaking experiences, we’re here to show you just how much there is to explore in our own Canadian backyard. Let us inspire your next Stylish Staycation!
When we think of travelling we often think of going to foreign countries. But what if our budget won’t stretch to international travel at the moment? What if we’ve only got a weekend away? What if we need something a little easier to plan?
The good news is that some of the best travel experiences are waiting to be discovered right here at home in Canada.
Toronto staycation highlights
- Stay at the Shangri-La Hotel
- Miraj Hammam spa treatment
- 3-course dinner at Bosk
- FlyGTA scenic flight over Toronto
VIDEO: Toronto Staycation
Get a look inside the luxury 5-star Shangri-La Hotel and take a scenic flight over Toronto:
Where to stay: Shangri-La Hotel
Stepping into the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto makes you feel like you’ve just arrived in Singapore, the site of this internationally renowned hotel’s first location in 1971.
A bright and lively lobby—tea room by day and lounge by night—is decorated with soaring black and white calligraphy paintings and elegant potted orchids. A central double-sided fireplace lends a glowing warmth to the buzzy evening atmosphere, complete with live music and library-style drinks menus. Throughout the lobby you’ll find tall glass cases showing off couture dresses from designers Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Roberto Capucci, and Bob Mackie.
The rooms are a juxtaposition of new technology (there’s an iPad to do everything from watch movies to order different types of pillows) and classic Asian design. Expect a wondrously comfortable night’s sleep on these mattresses.
Bathrooms are a marble-clad highlight with soaker tubs and separate showers, and bath products by L’Occitane en Provence.
Where to eat: Bosk
Bosk is the hotel’s Asian fusion restaurant, and an ideal spot to come for dinner before a show in the city’s theatre district.
Unlike some restaurants, Bosk’s pre-theatre set menu is actually great value and excellent food. Choose from two options for your starter, main and dessert for $52 per person. I ordered the chilled sweet pea soup (poured tableside over fresh peas), duck confit and warm toffee pudding with little flecks of gold leaf.
One of my favourite dishes was actually the bread and butter. The butter is whipped together with honey from the hotel’s rooftop bees. Slightly sweet and totally irresistible.
In the morning Bosk does Asian-inspired breakfast items like duck eggs with sweet Chinese sausage and bok choy. Or, go the whole nine yards with dim sum. Healthy options like smoothies packed with greens are available too.
Coffee drinkers might want to convert to tea here, as the hotel has a whopping 75 different varieties of premium teas to try, served in individual tea pots. To make the most of it, head to the lobby between 2-5pm for their famous high tea.
Where to relax: Miraj Hammam Spa
Fancy a trip to Morocco? You need go no further than the Miraj Hammam Spa on the 5th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel. Each treatment room is named after a city: everything from Marrakech to Bordeaux.
I checked in for a 60-minute Divine Body Treatment. It includes a full body scrub with sugar, hibiscus, sesame and grape seed oil, a steam shower, and a 30-minute massage. Dim lighting and gentle music throughout the spa make for a genuinely relaxing experience before and after.
One of the best features of the spa is the relaxation room where you receive a little glass of mint tea, baklava and a handful of grapes in a sumptuous setting. Ornate hexagonal tables and dark wood carvings are gently lit with golden Moroccan hanging lamps. I could have stayed here the rest of the day.
The change rooms feature some skincare products by Caudalie and haircare by R+Co so you can emerge looking just as glamorous as you feel. You can buy these and much more in the spa’s retail area.
Make sure you spend some time at the pool, which offers private cabanas overlooking a large hot pool with bubbles. There’s another regular pool and a dry sauna too.
What to do: Scenic flight over Toronto
Head to Billy Bishop airport for a 30-minute scenic flight over Toronto with FlyGTA. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or Toronto is home, seeing the sights from above will give you a whole new perspective on Canada’s largest city.
One of my favourite perks of this tour was receiving a bottle of sparkling wine in the tiny cabin pre-flight. It’s a perfect way to celebrate something special with plenty of photo opportunities.
Travel tip: book online and bundle your staycation
Booking online and bundling your hotel and activities will get you some of the best deals. I booked my Toronto staycation through Booking.com. I found some pretty unique activities to try, like the scenic flight over the city. It’s something I wouldn’t otherwise have thought of doing. But it made for an epic way to see my own city from a totally new perspective!
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