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30th Birthday Splurge at the Shangri-La Toronto

30th Birthday Splurge at the Shangri-La Toronto

Look, I love a good luxury hotel, and I refuse to apologize!  

I wasn't originally planning to go to Toronto for my 30th birthday, but at the last minute, I had an appointment in the city.  Most of my Toronto friends were out of town.  And hell, if I was spending my 30th birthday alone, it was going to be in one hell-of-a comfy bed and that was that!

In the bath house at the lovely hotel spa

In the bath house at the lovely hotel spa

For any of you not in-the-know, the Shangri-La has properties around the globe and is one of the ultimate luxury hotel brands.  Expectations were extremely high.  Some might say I was setting myself up for disappointment. 

I priced matched the room rate as much as possible, spent all my hotels.com Rewards Nights and still ending up dropping some cash, but not too much.  I felt a little ridiculous.  But I'll be damned, I was determined to take advantage of every included amenity in that establishment!

And this, folks, is my full assessment. 

I booked two night stay in an executive room at the Shangri-La Toronto. To be honest, I'm not convinced it was executive.  There were no extra amenities.  The room was not large by any standard.  And there was no executive lounge, which in my opinion, is the entire point of booking an executive room.

I got a great deal for that time of year (around Valentine's day) $425/night.  Before I price matched, the rate was listed at over $700 per night.  After using my hotels.com Rewards Nights, I got the room for about $200 per night.  It was a great experience for the amount I paid. However, if I had paid $700 + per night, I wouldn't have been particularly impressed.

Pros:

Pool cabanas

Pool cabanas

Great spa experience! The spa is actually not owned by the hotel.  It's in a Turkish bath style and is really something to experience!  Highlight of the stay!

Room amenities were top notch! Most everything you need can be controlled by an iPad in your room!  You can order food to your specifications, request maid service, control lights, curtains, heat, AC & more!  There was TV in bathroom mirror, which I always think is a cool touch, but I never use. The room had a Nespresso machine, was comfy and elegantly decorated.

Lobby bar

Lobby bar

Both restaurant dining and room service were very professional, as to be expected at the Shangri-La.  The pool and gym area were amazing.   Hanging out in a personal pool cabana with a privacy curtain and tv was a great way to spend the day! 

The hotel noticed it was my birthday and had a dessert delivered to my room. Nice touch!

Birthday cake from the Shangri-La

Birthday cake from the Shangri-La

Cons:

I was told that there was no executive lounge.  What?!  They encourage guests to attend afternoon High Tea in their lobby instead.  While I have heard great things about this from online bloggers, it is not complimentary and I was a little peeved that they'd suggest it in lieu of a lounge.  I did not partake.

There was also no special check-in service or wine or juice offered at check-in for executive guests.  I did not find the check-in experience a particularly friendly one.  

The executive room was small.  So, why did I pay extra for executive? I'll never know.  In fact, I'm not convinced my room was executive at all.

One thing that the Shangri-La hotels are loved for is their L'Occatine toiletries.  They had a smaller selection than I normally see at Shangri-La hotels.  There was no toothbrush, manicure kit, sewing kit or amazing loofahs that most Shangri-Las have.  Although I'm sure they would have brought those things if I had asked.  

The wifi was subpar.  In fact, I couldn't stream youtube without it pausing often to buffer.  Really, Shangri-La?

And my ultimate disappointment upon entering the room -  there was no complimentary snack or personalized note waiting in the room upon check-in.  All other Shangri-Las that I have stayed at have had a fruit basket, nuts and dates or sweets waiting in the room upon check-in.

Was it a great experience?  Yes.  Was it a $700 + per night experience? Absolutely not.

Would I stay here again? Only if I got a great deal.  But let's be honest, I would never pay $700+ per night for a hotel room

Champagnes on the Luximetre

*The Luximetre is FooteOuttheDoor's 5 point scale to measure the degree of luxury felt by the hotel guest

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