Bang in the business district, this 97-room boutique hotel professes to be a den of Zen, and houses an intimate urban retreat spa called Shizen. Popular with the corporate crowd on long-stay trips, every decent-sized room comes with a fully-equipped kitchens for nifty breakfast-bar dining. In reality, the Eastern influences in the rooms don’t extend much further than bamboo shoots, evening incense sticks and a meditation mat, but they have a simple and contemporary feel.
Mini-balconies with views out over Lake Ontario let in plenty of light and fresh air, but the public areas are dark and slightly oppressive. Those contrasts might appeal to the senses of some, but the uninspiring Eight Bar restaurant won’t, despite a recent facelift. But it’s super-central location means fine-dining is only a few steps away.