Years ago, when I first heard the term “Staycation”, I was confused. Why in the world would anyone want to vacation in their own hometown?, I wondered. Vacations were for jetting off to sunny destinations, packing your suitcases and leaving your cares behind. Obviously.
Of course, that was before I had children. And all of a sudden, the opportunities for jetting off to sunny destinations became few and far between, and I found myself caught up in an endless cycle of grocery shopping, mortgage payments and laundry. Oh, the neverending laundry.
But it was a wise person who once said change is as good as a holiday – and he was right, because any change or break in one’s usual routine is enough to revive the spirit. Hence, I quickly became a huge fan of the ol’ staycation, which allowed me to take a break from the mundane – all without leaving the city limits.
This past Easter weekend, our staycation adventures took us to the Park Hyatt Toronto. Nestled in the heart of the fashionable Yorkville area of Toronto, the hotel represents “an elite level of luxury marked by subtle contemporary influence.” And while one wouldn’t necessarily think to put the hotel at the top of the list for family staycations, please hear me out – because I’m about to show you why the Park Hyatt will always be at the top of our list.
Arriving at the hotel, we were greeted by a sight you can only see in Yorkville; a Cadillac Escalade, a Maserati and a Rolls Royce, all within a few feet of each other. Let’s just say I was thankful we had just been through a car wash with our decidedly mid-level SUV.
However, any assumptions of pretentiousness were quickly dissipated once we were approached by the friendly, helpful and incredibly personable valet. He greeted us cordially and made us feel most welcome.
Once inside the hotel, the breathtaking lobby was laid out it all its splendor; a perfect example of modern luxury. Dark wood, clean lines and contemporary decor gave the space a sophisticated – yet inviting – appeal.
Here’s where the fairy tale begins. The Park Hyatt Toronto recently adopted a new “promotion” of sorts: Celebrating Guests. As explained by Jordan, whom we met with upon check-in, the Park Hyatt always does something special for their regular guests. However, once per day and at their own discretion, front desk personnel have been given the carte blanche to do something special for a new patron of the hotel.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Here’s a hint: we were new patrons of the hotel.
And so we were treated to a most welcome upgrade – originally booked into a Deluxe Double, we were now handed the key to a Park Suite. Grinning from ear to ear, I informed my husband that our mini staycation just got a little more luxurious.
(I’d like to stress that a new guest is celebrated every day, and in no way were we singled out because of this travel feature. The truth is, I mentioned I was reviewing the hotel in passing… after the decision to upgrade us had already been made. Shall I chalk it up to my cute kids? Sure, why not!)
Hence, we made our way to our room on the 8th floor; kids in tow, we were excited to check out our abode for the night. However, I did pause to take a few more pictures of the stunning decor – from high, vaulted ceilings to polished marble floors, the hotel is the epitome of style.
At the door to our guest suite, my husband and I giggled with anticipation. You see, when confined to a single room with two young, rambunctious little boys, the prospect of more space is always welcome. However, as much as we were prepared for an upgraded room, the magnificent Park Suite was beyond our expectations.
The large, spacious room was impeccably clean and tastefully decorated. I adored the separate sitting area; it allowed the boys to relax and watch television while I attended to a little work. Of course, even though the office area rivaled my home office in terms of space and comfort, I didn’t have the opportunity to get too comfortable, as two tiny CEOs soon took over the executive desk:
It may sound incredibly simplistic, but washable markers + colouring pages = happy boys. For hours.
Next, it was a very hectic day and a long, hot shower seemed to be in order. Of course, the bathroom in the Park Suite was most impressive; with an ultra-modern shower, the perfect layout and sumptuous Bergamote 22 amenities from Le Labo Fragrances, the bathroom felt more like a spa retreat – fitting, as the Park Hyatt Toronto is home to the famed Stillwater Spa.
However, no sooner than we had settled in, came a knock at the door: as part of being a Celebrated Guest, we were treated to gourmet amenities! And while the wine, cookies and popcorn were so very much appreciated, the handwritten note from Brittany was the icing on the cake. I can authentically say that the Park Hyatt Toronto goes over and above for their patrons; our entire family felt like the guests of honour. It’s no wonder they have one of the most loyal clienteles of any hotel in Toronto.
Now no staycation would be complete without in-room dining, and the Park Hyatt’s menu was a cause for celebration itself; with options to suit every taste and fancy, we perused the menu again and again until I settled on a Cobb Salad, and my husband decided on the Club Sandwich. Three guesses which meal was more delicious? I know, I know – crispy french fries and bacon will always come on top (though my salad did have bacon too!). However, hubby’s choice warrants a close up, so you can see the deliciousness in full technicolour. My compliments to the chef!
The boys were happy to pick at both our meals, but let’s be honest – the second the popcorn and cookies arrived, all thoughts of a sensible dinner went out the window for them. I was happy to oblige; we were on staycation, after all!
After a quick round of Canadian Idol – where the boys jumped on the “coffee table” and sang their little hearts out – they went right off to sleep. And just like that, movie night for mom and dad officially began – followed by the most dreamy sleep ever on the soft, feathery bed.
So if you’re keeping tabs, let’s see…
– Comfort, luxury and special attention
– A separate area for the kids to play and keep busy with activities
– A variety of delicous food options
– The best sleep you’ll have in a long time
Why don’t we do staycations more often??
The next morning, we popped on over to the Whole Foods Market for breakfast. Just steps from the Park Hyatt Toronto, it was the perfect solution when juggling singular tastes for breakfast (fruit and muffins for the boys, toast and eggs for the grown ups). And that’s another reason why the Park Hyatt is perfect for a posh weekend away: located just minutes from exciting things to do and see in Toronto, you can enjoy upscale shopping, five star restaurants, performing arts, museums and art galleries, all within walking distance from the hotel. You’ll also discover family friendly attractions that are conveniently accessible from Park Hyatt. View all off-site activities here.
But for our purposes – a weekend staycation where we could relax in a luxury setting – the hotel absolutely fit the bill. Not only did we walk away feeling celebrated, well rested and rejuvenated; we learned that pampering – especially family-style – is a wonderful break from the norm and a sweet way to spend quality time together. After visiting the hotel, we’ve made a pact to plan a staycation at a luxury hotel at least once per year going forward. At the top of our list? The Park Hyatt Toronto.
Special thanks to Jordan, Brittany, Kiesha and the entire team at the Park Hyatt for offering the perfect staycation for discerning families. Rates for a Park Deluxe Double begin at $249 per night. Click here to visit Park Hyatt Toronto.
For more pictures of our stay, view my Google + Album. Tell me, have you ever taken a staycation?
I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias #SocialFabric