CheckOut: Hotel X, Toronto

6 06 2018

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe brand-new, stylistically-striking Hotel X Toronto in Toronto, Canada is anything but yet another cookie-cutter urban luxury hotel crammed into a downtown lot. Hotel X Toronto is a very short taxi/Uber/Lyft ride from everything that Toronto has to offer; making it an ideal headquarters for enjoying Pride Toronto or any other event in Canada’s largest city. Story by ManAboutWorld correspondent, James Careless.

Amenities

Worth noting: The 404-room, 30-storey Hotel X Toronto is likely correct in claiming that it offers “a wealth of amenities unrivalled by any downtown hotel, including four indoor tennis courts, a full-service spa, two year-round heated swimming pools and TEN X TORONTO—a 90,000 square foot athletic centre with its own children’s area.” In addition to its restaurants (with options for vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan diets), Hotel X Toronto has an art gallery, beer garden, stadium-style movie theaters, event spaces, historical exhibits, and the three-storey rooftop SkyBar with – again – unparalleled views of downtown Toronto and the lake. The multi-story ‘living wall’ at the Front Desk – literally a vertical surface of plants rising high above one’s head – is impressive in its own right.

Rates

Hotel X Toronto is currently in what is known as a ‘soft opening’ until the end of July 2018, when it will officially open. This means that the hotel is still in the process of getting everything running – and giving guests price breaks as a result of it. (Note: Everything I experienced while there gave me the feeling that the hotel was fully operational.)

The good news: “During the soft opening period of Hotel X Toronto, you will find rates reduced as much as 30%,” said Celso Thompson, the hotel’s director of Sales and Marketing. “At any time, the hotel offers a prepaid, non-refundable option which clearly is the best deal if you are certain about your travel plans. Rates start at $350 for the entry level rooms.”

The bad news: You’ll have to go through Hotel X Toronto’s booking sites to get actual prices. Still, 30% is 30% off – and that is on top of the US dollar being worth about $1.20-$1.25 Canadian.

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Location

Located at spacious Exhibition Place (home of the Canadian National Exhibition – CNE — every summer, and various Class A events and conventions year-round), Hotel X Toronto is right on the shore of Lake Ontario. It is far enough from the downtown core to have a clear, unobstructed view of the lake, the nearby Toronto Island with its parks and airport, and Toronto’s major buildings; plus the lakeshore’s Ontario Place and the 1840s-era stone Stanley Barracks at Fort York.

Having grown in Toronto and spent many summers at the CNE in all its gaudy midway glory, I could never have imagined a true luxury hotel being located on the fair grounds. But much has changed at Exhibition Place. New convention/display buildings have been added (like the Enercare Centre) and older spaces renovated, while the rundown Exhibition Place grandstand has been replaced by the modern BMO Field (home of the Toronto FC pro soccer team). The historic Stanley Barracks next door has been restored and softened with the addition of gardens.

Add the fact that Hotel X Toronto is right on Lake Ontario, yet so close to the downtown hub (transit is available, in addition to taxis and walking), and this hotel combines the best of open waterfront breeziness with downtown urban access. It is a welcome alternative to the very best downtown cor hotels that are crammed together, through no fault of their own. (Runners will particularly like the quick access to the lakeshore and its open spaces, rather than being confined to car-packed downtown sidewalks.)

Room/Bathroom

I was fortunate to stay in a corner suite, on the 18th floor of Hotel X Toronto. I walked into an entrance hallway that angled left to the spacious modern bathroom (including a glass-walled shower with space for more than one), then turned right into a truly roomy bedroom with floor-to-ceiling full glass windows on two side.

The view alone from this suite justifies the price of admission. It is one of the best that I have seen in Toronto’s many downtown hotels. But the quality of Hotel X Toronto’s modern furniture and appointments is also worth mentioning: The wood, metal, leather and fabric far are above the usual hotel fare. They and the room’s fabric walls make you feel like you are staying in someone’s elegantly-decorated high-end condo; rather than yet another unsuccessfully pretentious hotel.

I was also struck by the bathroom’s elegant fittings, and the little details that were tended to; such as having two bathrobes and slippers available rather than just one. The room service was also a treat: What a luxury to have smoked salmon Eggs Benedict delivered to one’s room for breakfast!

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay Factor

If ‘Gay Factor’ translates into superb modern design with no false flash, elegance and quality in all things, and the sense that staying here somehow raises one’s game and sense of self, Hotel X Toronto has tremendous Gay Factor. That said, what I have just said applies to anyone, regardless of gender or orientation – as long as they have class, style, and a sense of how to comport themselves in public.

Meanwhile, Hotel X Toronto is a quick taxi/transit ride to everything in downtown Toronto; be it the city’s famous Gay Village, the Rogers Centre (home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club), the Theatre District, the business core, shopping, or the Toronto Island (accessible by an underground tunnel at the nearby Island Airport, or a short ferry ride across the harbor; well worth it).

About the Checkout

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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Gay Travel Update From Around the World

19 01 2016
Centro Cultural Kirchner, Buenos Aires, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine; gay travel update

Centro Cultural Kirchner

ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine keeps you up to date on gay travel options in major global cities. ManAboutWorld’s travelin correspondents stay on top of hip things to do in a score or two of our favorite cities. Here’s their latest gay travel update.

VENICE, ITALY
In the past several years, the very gay-friendly Caffe Centrale has benefited from significant upgrades. The eccentric and modern space feels more elegant and sexy. The service is friendlier and the food, which was wonderful to begin with, is even more scrumptious. Be sure to try the beef tenderloin in Amarone wine sauce or maybe the Catalana of crustaceans (salad of grilled shellfish), but definitely order their mojito in the pot, for dessert. It’s Venice, so you can even have a gondola drop you off, or pick you up, from their canal-side dock. Now how romantic is that? — Arthur Wooten

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
If you’re in BA, check out the fabulous new Kirchner Cultural Centerwhich has already been welcoming approximately 10,000 patrons a day who walk around an ornate, turn-of-the-last-century building that has been converted into what promoters claim is the fourth-largest cultural center in the world. Best of all, everything in it is free, from video installations to comedy acts to symphony concerts and contemporary musical acts. — Pablo DeLuca (see above)

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
The Godfrey Hotel Boston is scheduled to open early January 2016 in Boston’s much improved Downtown Crossing district, which was the primary retail area of Boston a century ago then went into a decline towards the end of the 20th century. With its central location between Boston Common and the financial district, Downtown Crossing is re-emerging with trendy new residential and commercial buildings. The hotel, situated in a gorgeously renovated building, will offer luxurious accommodations in the center of the city as well as complimentary high-speed WiFi and other perks. — Kenny Porpora

BANGKOK, THAILAND
The Accor-managed Pullman Bangkok Hotel G provides a nice option for gay travelers thanks in part to its location at Silom 188, just a few blocks away from all the action. The hotel was recently remodeled and includes an excellent breakfast. The gym could use an update, but it is sufficient. The hotel may remind you of Delano in Miami: very white, clean and modern. If you want an amazing facial treatment, make a left out of the hotel and bring that tired mug into Dahra Beauty and Spa at Silom 154 for some pampering. — City Seen correspondent, Michael Siebert  (photo below)

Pullman Hotel G, Bangkok, in gay travel update in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Pullman Hotel G, Bangkok

NEW YORK, NY
You’ll find the Natural Gourmet Institute,a hidden gem, on the second floor of a non-descript Chelsea officebuilding, where every Friday night they set the communal tables and light the candles for a three-course vegetarian (often vegan and/or gluten-free) BYOB dinner. Prepared by the student chefs and chef instructors of NGI’s Chef Training Program, it’s a unique local experience — and very affordable at $45.Billy Kolber

TORONTO, CANADA
Rapper Drake and Restaurateur Sursur Lee opened Fring’s Restaurant, a posh, celeb-laden Asian fusion hot-spot, in September, drawing heaps of headlines and a glitzy grand opening. The clubby downtown hangout is inside the old Crush Wine Bar and is expected to be the new see-and-be-seen dinner spot, with celebrity DJs, a full bar, and menu by the renowned Lee. — Robert Sharp

For even more gay travel inspiration and trip-planning information and suggestions for destinations, tours and events download ManAboutWorld’s latest issue. Start planning your next trip now!

This was originally published in ManAboutWorld’s December issue and re-posted in Towleroad on December 18. Photos: Top: courtesy Kirchner Cultural Center; Bottom: courtesy Pullman Hotel G, Bangkok.





#DailyDose: Toronto World Pride

28 06 2014


toronto
IMGP9770Our Editor-in-Chief Ed Salvato is on the ground in Toronto, celebrating the 28th annual World Pride (and some beautiful Toronto weather!) Toronto is one of our favorite cities (and one we covered in our Sept. 2012 issue) and this week of festivities is a big reason why. For World Pride, more than 34 bars have extended their last calls to 4a.m. so the celebrations can continue into the early morning dawn. There are also tons of parties and official events worth checking out if you’re in town.

For more of our insider tips and secrets about Toronto, click here to subscribe

 





Welcome to our Newest Correspondent: Steven Bereznai

13 04 2014

IMG_1165One of Steven’s favorite ways to see the world is traveling to international gay and lesbian water polo tournaments with the Toronto Triggerfish. This has taken him to the World Outgames in Copenhagen and other events in Cologne, Iceland, and Antwerp, where his team won gold in 2013. He’s written extensively for both gay and straight outlets, including Instinct magazine, Xtra!, Fab, VIA Destinations, The Toronto Star, and NOW magazine. When home in Toronto, Steven helps promote wellness through his work as a hypnotherapist, trainer, and fascial stretch therapist. He’s the author of the survival guide Gay and Single…Forever? 10 Things Every Gay Guy Looking for Love (and Not Finding It) Needs to Know, and the gay teen superhero book series Queeroes.

Follow Steven on Instagram at Brave1956 and his blog stevenbereznai.com





Ed on the Radio: Picture-perfect Provincetown Honeymoon

28 07 2011

Listen in to Ed Salvato on ProudFM Toronto:

Listen to my segment on Provincetown (with Proud FM)





QUEER BEER FESTIVAL, TORONTO

21 06 2011

519_10
Leave it to our friends up north to create the first Queer Beer Festival in North America on Thursday, August 4, 2011 starting at 4pm.

The Queer Beer Festival celebrates Canada’s rich brewing history, hosted by experts of the brewing craft from around the world. Featuring more than 120 brands, great live acts and delicious food from gourmet BBQ to oysters and more. Canada loves its beer!

Toronto’s Queer Beer Festival is located at Bandshell Park on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition.Tickets are available here: http://www.queerbeerfestival.ca/tickets/buy-tickets-now

Originally published in GPS.OutTraveler.com.





Ask the Expert: Toronto on a Budget

16 11 2010

I recently had the pleasure of hearing you on Sirius/XM with Derek and Romaine and actually feel comfortable enough to ask you some questions. I am visiting Toronto, ON Dec 27-Jan 4. I am recently single and well, I need some healing time so i thought to try a new city.

Can you suggest some hotels that would be close to my kind of action?  I like muscular guys. Any bathhouses? Please kindly let me know if you have any suggestions.   Moderate price is preferred..not cheap, but not pricey either…thank you for your time.

–James via email

Here are a few suggestions from my friends in Toronto.

Lodging:

Bathhouse:

Leather scene:

  • The Onyx Ball – This is the big leather/bear party at the Opera House on New Years eve.  It draws a crowd relatively early and clears out by around 3 or 4 when people either go home or to the gigantic party that is usually held at Sound Academy.  There is no website for either yet, so I suggest he pickup a copy of Xtra or Fab when he gets to town to find out details.
  • The Eagle – http://www.blackeagletoronto.com/Black_Eagle/Black_Eagle.html

 








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