This city has no shortage of luxury hotels, but not all of them know how to do luxury for guests traveling with kids. Our schedule hasn’t really allowed us to plan our usual big summer vacay, but I have been determined to find little pockets of time this season for short trips and staycations. Someone tipped me off to a link for weekend getaway deals with the Marriott group of hotels and for the first time ever, decided to stay at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. I shared some details during our two night stay at the property, but I figured with the questions still pouring in about our experience, I would share a few things that may have you interested in your own vacation within the city at the Ritz with the family.
Location Location Location
Sure, trips up north for the weekend sounds fab but you know what does not sound fab…the commute and traffic. When you only have a two day weekend to spare, time is of the essence. It took us 25 minutes to get to the hotel on a Friday afternoon. If I had to give the Ritz Carlton a walk score, it would be a 5 out of 5. It’s centrally located and walking distance to restaurants, theatres, Scotia Bank Arena, Rogers Centre, and tourist destinations – CN Tower, Centre Island, Ripley’s Aquarium and more.
The Suite (Sweet) Life
Whether you are traveling with one rambunctious toddler, like me, or checking in with a family of five, the Ritz has room and suite accommodations to make any size family comfortable. We stayed in one of the one bedroom corner suites on the 14th floor that had city views, floor to ceiling windows, a pull out couch in a separate living room, powder room and oversized spa bathroom.
Cribs are also available upon request. There was tons of space for Maxwell to run around and have a section of the 650 sqft room to herself to play and hangout. Truthfully though, we normally book larger accommodations, but the Simcoe or Wellington suites were both unavailable during the dates for our stay. These are amazing options if you’re looking for a suite over 1,000 sqft.
Family Fun Packages
One of the biggest tasks while vacationing or staycationing is finding fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. The Family Fun packages are what sets this hotel property apart from the rest when it comes to family friendly experiences. Now that I think about it, it is totally more of an experience for them than it is for the adults and includes the Ritz Kids check-in and welcome amenities, an in-suite movie screening during each night’s stay with choice of snack, access to the exclusive Club Lounge with complimentary EVERYTHING (more on this later) and your choice of family activity to enjoy during your stay
- Ritz-Carlton Camp – features in-room tent set-up and special camp themed amenities (e.g. flashlights/glow sticks, stuffed animals, children’s bedtime/ghost story books etc.).
- ‘Fin’tastic Family Adventure – includes 4 Anytime tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
- Explore Canadian Art– includes 4 tickets (2 adults and 2 children) to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
- Dig into Canadian History – includes 4 tickets (2 adults and 2 children) to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
- Culinary Creators Experience – Virtual Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Sundae interactive activity for 2 children in the kitchen with a Ritz-Carlton, Toronto Chef
Maxwell lost her mind when she saw the circus themed tent set up in our room, which came within the hour of us checking in. The staff and concierge wasted no time and go above and beyond here to make sure kids feel like VIP’s during their stay. Her latest obsession right now is the ocean and the world of animals that live in it, so we also scored passes to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which you can get as part of the ‘Fin’tastic Family Adventure option. The aquarium was the perfect Saturday morning activity. It’s a short walk from the hotel, there’s tons to see and do inside and so many food options.
*Extra benefits that come along with the Family Fun package – you can upgrade to one of the corner suites for an additional $100 and complimentary wifi.
The Exclusive Club Lounge
Get ready to have your minds blown people. Without a doubt, the club level is what really elevates an experience at the Ritz Carlton and the other properties that fall under the Marriott umbrella. The newly renovated oasis located on the top floor offers guests comfort and intimacy in a sleek lounge overlooking the CN Tower and Lake Ontario. Access to Club Level comes at an extra charge which can be applied either online during booking or at concierge when you check in and seriously is worth every single penny. Inside you’ll find well appointed furniture and a continuous culinary offering all day long – breakfast, light snacks, appetizers, alcoholic beverages, sweets and more. The cost for Club Level access is around the same price as you would pay for a hotel breakfast for two people so naturally it makes sense.
Having Club Lounge access means you also get complimentary enhanced wifi access, a dedicated concierge that can assist with in making resto reservations anywhere, they booked our Saturday night dinner at A Toi, a theatre show, concert, local tour, etc during your stay and even complimentary garment pressing during your stay.
Kiddies will LOVE the lounge too. It’s super kid friendly and I saw tons of tweens popping in and out on their own sans parents for snacks and treats throughout the day. It was also like a hangout spot for some too. There is a space for them to play boardgames and cards plus the TV area is designated Ritz Kids zone for watching TV and movies in a private setting.
*When you stay at the Ritz Carlton Toronto property, access to Club Level comes at an extra charge which can be applied either online during booking or at concierge when you check-in.
Lavish Lobby Perks
At most hotels, the lobby is just the gateway to getting somewhere else in the property or to leave it. The Ritz Carlton has made sure that their lobby is a space guests will want to actually hang out in while they are coming or going. On the Friday evening when we checked in there was a Limoncello cocktail station for adults, there is a daily ice tea station using a tea of the day from the infamous Sloane Teas on the weekends there is a pop-up candy bar for the kids and on the Sunday as we were checking out, they had a cart doing ice cream sundaes to help beat the heat!
Between the suites, club level lounge, family friendly packages and central location, we highly suggest the Ritz Carlton for your next family staycation or vacation. Check the rates for your desired dates for a weekend of fun this summer!