Do you enjoy getting away from your everyday? Yes, of course you do.
One of the things my family and I enjoy doing and as often as we can, is taking a little staycation not too far from home but far enough that we feel we are truly experiencing a mini getaway from the mundane routine of our day-to-day lives.
One of the places we love to escape to is the City of Toronto because there’s just so much to explore and discover that it always feels like we’re back again for the first time.
This past Victoria Day long weekend, we decided to take a trip to the City and spend a couple of nights at The Eaton Chelsea Hotel, located in a prime spot in the city — right in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Situated at Gerard and Yonge, Eaton Chelsea is just a few minutes walk to the bustling Yonge and Dundas Square where a lot of Toronto magic happens, easily accessible to subways and you will not run out of shopping and restaurants to visit as they envelope all parts of the hotel. I love discovering hidden gems and you will certainly find plenty around the Eaton Chelsea.
As we were there during a long weekend, there definitely was a lot of traffic coming in and out of the hotel. You can tell that this was the hot spot for tourists and locals because of it’s prime location.
Although busy, we were checked-in quickly and the front desk staff were very courteous. The children both also received a little wrapped gift consisting of age-appropriate toys. One thing I will mention and highly recommend if you’re not comfortable maneuvering through tight underground parking spaces is to spend the additional money for valet. I found it extremely tight with my SUV (if you have a really large vehicle this may pose as a challenge) although there was plenty of parking spots which was great.
Our room was a 2 Double Bed Deluxe Suite.
One thing that many hotels don’t usually have are balconies and this room (and many of the others in the hotel) do have one. I wouldn’t say it is the safest with little ones but for adults that would like fresh air (and aren’t afraid of heights), it can be a plus.
The room was decently-sized for my small family although I would have appreciated just a bit more space with my toddler as he loves running around. The room and bedding’s were clean which is a big deal for me but I found it to get quite hot easily with the cold air-conditioning on in the room not really making much of a difference. Opening the door to the balcony helped a lot to bring in cool air; however we had to be careful with the open screen and door with our little curious one.
One thing I wish all hotels offered in their rooms are microwaves and small fridges. I know that they usually do come at an additional cost or upgraded room for most hotels but ideally it would be a great thing to have when travelling with little ones to store food, milk, etc. I was really appreciative that the hotel offered to bring a small fridge to my room when I called to ask if I can leave a cake I had in a fridge of theirs for a bit before we needed it. That was such a lifesaver! We are major foodies in our family so we tend to dine-in and eat-out quite a lot when travelling and don’t like to waste anything. So when we have our leftovers (and we usually have quite a bit), it’s great that we were able to store them conveniently in the fridge.
Now speaking of food, you can get your fill of pretty much anything you want around the hotel but the Eaton Chelsea also offers a couple of great spots right in the hotel:
Monarch Pub which is a lively venue offering HD TV’s and live music 6 nights a week and features contemporary pub fare including delicious starters, hearty mains and tempting desserts, while a special late-night menu is available from 11pm to 1am. Guests can also sip samples from Monarchs Pub’s impressive range of domestic and international brews.
Market Garden and Espress|o Coffee Bar is also located right in the back of the main floor behind concierge and front desk.
Newly renovated featuring express|o coffee bar, is the solution for diners with little time to spare. Guests can browse the market-style aisles stocked with grab-and-go items, create a salad of their choice or watch chefs prepare hot and cold dishes right before their eyes.
You can select from a deliciously diverse range of prepared soups, sandwiches, pizzas and baked goods, then choose to dine in or take a seat on the seasonal outdoor patio.
We enjoy dining out but not as much as we enjoy dining in! We sampled the delicious dinner and breakfast menu from the Market Garden and was thoroughly impressed. Next time you’re here, you must try the Thai Chicken Cashew Rice Dish. Simply appetizing! My daughter loved the Chicken Alfredo Penne Pasta which comes with garlic bread and if you enjoy a good burger, you will not be disappointed with their Prime Rib Bacon Cheeseburger. Make sure to pair it with The Pop Shoppe Root Beer!
For breakfast we indulged in fresh fruit, parfait, OJ, a sausage and egg muffin for the kids and tasty breakfast burritos. The ingredients were very fresh and breakfast was satisfying! The parfait and fruits came in a to-go package which was great to bring along for a walk down Yonge.
Now the FUN. I’m talking about the Family Fun Zone. This was easily one of the best features of the hotel as not many hotels have something like this.
There is tons to do here for kids of all ages, from tots to teens!
Located on the second floor, the Family Fun Zone includes:
• Indoor family pool and 130 ft ‘Corkscrew’ waterslide
• Kid Centre
• Club 33 Teen Lounge
Family pool and Corkscrew waterslide
Dive in and make a splash in Eaton Chelsea’s family-friendly heated indoor pool and whirlpool. For added aquatic fun, youngsters can take a roundabout ride on the ‘Corkscrew’ waterslide.
Measuring 130 ft, the four-storey ‘Corkscrew’ takes guests on a twisty adventure that loops around outside the hotel walls before splashing back to the pool below.
Active and artistic children will find plenty to keep them busy at the Kid Centre. Focused on providing educational and engaging activities, youngsters can paint, play Wii games or sample the range of arts and craft supplies.
My daughter the artiste naturally gravitated very quickly to the arts and crafts area and began to paint.
They have bins filled with arts & crafts supplies, toys, stuffed animals, play-doh and more!
As an added convenience, babysitting service is offered (at an extra charge) for children ages 3 years (toilet trained) to 12 years of age in the Kids Centre, for a maximum duration of 2.5 hours only during the Kids Centre opening hours of operation with a 24 hour notice required.
Also strollers are available and can be signed out on a first come first serve basis for families that wish to tour the city but have forgotten their own stroller at home.
Club 33 Teen Lounge
The ultimate teen retreat, this all-in-one venue boasts the necessary games and gadgets to keep youngsters busy. Club 33 Teen Lounge is equipped with two LCD flat-screen televisions, two Xbox 360s, a foosball and pool table as well as various arcade games and air hockey. Make sure to bring some change!
After a busy day of playing tourist in the heart of Toronto, enjoying lots of family fun at the Fun Zone and delighting in exquisite fare, it’s nice to be able to kick back with a cup of coffee… and fire up the laptop for some reading, web-browsing (and possibly some work… ssh!). I say Thank Goodness for FREE wifi!
The Eaton Chelsea is a great hotel to stay in for families for an overnight or weekend stay especially if you seek the prime Toronto location.
To learn more about Eaton Chelsea, visit them online here.
33 Gerrard Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z4
Reservations Toll Free (North America only): 1-800-CHELSEA (243-5732)
T: (416) 595 1975
F: (416) 585 4375