Hotel Review: Intercontinental Toronto

Toronto is a huge metropolitan city with boundless options for devotees of any hotel chain. It’s also typically a very expensive city for hotels, with costs ranging upwards of $350-400 a night for the top downtown business hotel. Luckily, IHG points are pretty easy to come by so finding good points options downtown. The Toronto Intercontinental is in a prime spot smack dab in the middle of town, a perfect launching off point to see the entire city.

Living on the West Coast gives us the opportunity to visit the left hand side of Canada often. Vancouver is only a 2 hour drive away and places like Calgary and Edmonton are quick hops and skips in a plane. The East coast of Canada has always escaped us, mostly for it’s lack of flights. Air Canada flies direct using an A320 product that leaves a lot to be desired.

Calgary Stampede Dancers

On a recent business trip to Detroit, it occurred to me that Toronto was only a 4 hour drive away. Why not take the chance and go check out the city? We could figure out how to get back later (and we did, you’ll read about that in another post). Where to stay was a tough choice because while we are huge fans of SPG and Marriott, we were sitting on a huge stash of around 600,000 IHG points that were collecting dust. Getting rid of 80,000 for two nights seemed like a no-brainer.

If you’re short on some IHG points, the IHG Credit Card from Chase offers tens of thousands of points at sign up. Give it a look.

The Arrival

We arrived very late at night and found the entrance to the parking deck. After some friendly banter, we dropped off our car and proceeded up the huge escalators to the lobby. Check in was easy, quick, and they even processed an upgrade for us (NOT a requirement or benefit in the IHG program).

Intercontinental Toronto

Because it’s illegal in Canada to give away free alcohol, we received two non-alcoholic drink vouchers. We used them for some bottles of water at the bar since there were not many other things that sounded interesting.

Intercontinental Toronto Beverage

Intercontinental Toronto Arrival Water

Upgraded Room

We were given an upgraded Corner Junior Suite. As we entered the room there was a small hallway leading to a huge king size bed with queen size pillows (?!?!). There was a single bathrobe on the bed. Nice touch, except there’s two of us. Off to one side of the bed was a working desk, television, and two chairs to relax and watch your favorite shows.

Intercontinental Toronto Suite Entrance

Intercontinental Toronto Suite Entrance

Intercontinental Toronto King Bed

Intercontinental Toronto Robe

A stupid expensive mini bar was on top of the desks. Seriously. $12 cashews? $5 Kit Kat? I mean… there’s expensive and then there’s robbery.

Intercontinental Toronto Minibar

Intercontinental Toronto Minibar

Intercontinental Toronto Minibar

On the other end of the desk was a very nice welcome amenity of fruit and a bottle of water. A really nice touch, especially considering that we were Spire elites.

Intercontinental Toronto Welcome Gift

The bathroom was kinda wonky. The toilet was off to one side while the shower was off to one side. There wasn’t any place to hang your towel, and they were located above the toilet on the other side of the room. Strange…

Intercontinental Toronto Bathroom

Agraria amenities were in the room. I’ve never heard of them and while they were OK, it seems more like one of those brands that sounds fancy but is really just Dial soap with some fancy scents.

Intercontinental Toronto Bathroom

Breakfast

What breakfast? It wasn’t included, not even for Spire Elite members, so why bother paying $30++ for a crummy breakfast? We found an awesome coffee shop just two blocks away and both had coffee, pastries, and fun chat with a local for only $12 total. Winning!

Close to Everything

Want to go to the CN tower? It’s literally next door.

Intercontinental Toronto CN Tower

Blue Jays game? Two blocks down.

Intercontinental Toronto View from the Room

Chill at the Fish market and Distillery District? That’s just 8 minutes of walking away

Great live music in some cool underground speak easy? That’s just a 7 minute walk to your right.

Jazz Toronto

If Toronto was just a little bit closer for us and easier to reach, it might just become our new favorite city. The prices for eating out (if you know where to go) are affordable and there are tons of things to do in both the daytime and the night. The Intercontinental Toronto should easily be your next choice if you’ve got some IHG points to spend!

What’s your favorite hotel in Toronto?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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8 Comments

  1. Too bad the Park Hyatt is still closed under renovations ~ It’s literally around the corner from the IC. When it re-opens at the end of 2019, it’ll once again be my go-to in YYZ.

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    • I wonder how many points it’ll take?

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  2. @Jon
    @mojo
    There are 2 Intercontinentals in Toronto. It seems that you stayed at the “Intercontinental Toronto Centre” which is located by Union Station. There’s also “Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville” on Bloor Street.
    The Park Hyatt is by the Yorkville one and I believe it’s due to reopen in Spring 2019.

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  3. Marriott rogers centre! Upgraded me to an executive stadium view room for my 30th birthday last winter.

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  4. Do you have Intercontinental Ambassador ‘status’ (in quotation marks because you just pay $200 for it)? I’m Spire too (IHG is my number 1 choice), but never stay in ICs so it’s not really worth it for me. I’d read elsewhere that ICs pretty much ignored any IHG Rewards Club status unless you had Ambassador, so interested in a data point of them actually doing something for your Spire status. Would certainly make me likelier to stay at one in the future, although still not that likely given their price point. 🙂

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    • We don’t have ambassador status, and I sure am not going to pay for it.

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      • That’s pretty much how I feel about it! Great, that makes me feel better about staying at ICs in the future, thanks!

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  5. As noted there are two ICs in the city and you stayed at the larger one adjacent to the convention centre. The more boutique IC is next to the Park Hyatt in the Bloor/Yorkville district. Indeed, the IC reported on is convenient to many sites worth visiting as I do live nearby. However if you are able to walk from the IC to the Distillery district in 8 minutes you must be the Flash! I walked most of this route yesterday and at a pretty good pace clocked 20-minutes from the IC to the St. Lawrence Market, a mid-point to the Distillery district.

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