5 Toronto Hotel Bars You Need to Try On Your Next Night Out
From breathtaking rooftop views to cozy abodes, Toronto hotel bars are experiencing a renaissance. Here are a few decadent options for your next night out.
As we emerge from the pandemic into a new roaring twenties, it’s evident that some of Toronto’s premier hotels were busy updating their bars for the day they could welcome guests back. Today, these opulent watering holes (some new, others updated) harken back to a time when the hotel bar was the ultimate place for business and culture—a place to broker deals, catch up with friends, both old and new. Some iconic Toronto hotel bars have gotten a modern refresh; others offer a new perspective on cocktail culture. It’s a great escape: a way for locals to explore their own cities, or for travellers to be more at home within their accommodation.
Writer’s Room Rooftop Bar – Park Hyatt Toronto
The Park Hyatt’s storied bar has been edited and is ready for its new chapter, complete with supple burgundy leather chairs and updated portraits of its literary alumni (like Margaret Atwood and Mordecai Richler) on its oak panelled walls, designed by Studio Munge. After imbibing on a classic cocktail or one crafted in-house like “The Right Thing to Do” (a boozy potion of mezcal, tequila, Aperol, chartreuse green, and lemon), plot your way through this intimate salon to the balcony to take in an iconic skyline view.
CLOCKWORK – Fairmont Royal York
Reminiscent of Grand Central Station and its deep train travel roots, the refurbished art deco-clad CLOCKWORK bar is the perfect perch for people watching and a strong libation.
Beverage Director, Rus Yessenov, has a menu to match: riffs on the classics, bubbles galore, and a curated yet extensive spirits list. (Don’t miss out on his variation of the Sidecar called ‘Between the Times’— a blend of rums, cognac, and passionfruit topped with Greek yogurt.)
Paired with upscale snacks like oysters, CLOCKWORK is the ideal pit stop before hopping over to Union Station across the street or heading back up to your suite for more lounging.
EPOCH – The Ritz-Carlton Toronto
The Design Agency’s refresh on The Ritz’s interiors elicits a subtle luxury through its clean lines in its dining room, bar, and Green Room (complete with a pool table and fireplace). Overlooking Simcoe Park and around the corner from Toronto International Film Festival ground zero, the lush terrace features a wood-fired stove oven and sets the scene for live Bossa Nova performances on Friday evenings. This is the place for an indulgent twist on gastropub classics (Billionaire Shepherd’s pie with Wagyu beef, anyone?) and the gold standard in mixology paying homage to the cocktails of past, present, and future.
Flora Lounge – 1 Hotel Toronto
The brand new 1 Hotel has planted new roots in the former Thompson Hotel with its eco-luxury concept. Its lounge is a chic replica of a cottage-inspired living room—sprinkled with some of the hotel’s 3,300 plants and locally-sourced wooden furniture. Chef Derek Powers amps up the farm-to-table concept by sourcing the menu within a 100km radius. After enjoying a meal at Harriet’s on the rooftop, head down to Flora Lounge. The bar’s selection of drinks is a nod to locals and travelers alike, featuring neighbourhood-themed and global cocktails in addition to sustainable wine producers. Nestling into the lounge chairs will never be a decision you’ll regret but we prefer the bar for a close-up view of their incredible selection and statement floral installation. Don’t miss out on the outdoor Garden Pavilion for an Insta-worthy snap.
Bistro + Bar – Gladstone House
Since 1889, the Gladstone has served as a cultural anchor in the city for artists and creatives to convene. The historical landmark’s latest reiteration of its lobby bar, Bistro + Bar, gives nods to its architectural bones (exposed brick walls and wooden treatments) with bright and funky updates, including the well-known local art program throughout the hotel. The bistro furniture and panel doors are evocative of an airy, outdoor cafe. Morning, noon, and night, this bar will be your home away from home. Stay tuned for the return of The Melody Bar and its legendary drag brunch.