Chris atchison

Download 111.64 Kb.
Date conversion04.09.2017
Size111.64 Kb.

New five-star hotels raise the bar in Toronto, Vancouver


Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Oct. 29 2012, 4:40 PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012, 4:05 PM EDT


  1. 51

  1. 24

  1. 18

  1. 9

  1. 1

Print AA

If there were such a thing as a bull market in the luxury hotel sector, Toronto would be smack in the middle of the mother of all rallies.

In the past year alone, four luxury hotels – a new Four Seasons, the Shangri-La, the Trump Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton – have opened their doors and welcomed visitors to Canada's largest city. All have room rates starting at about $500 per night, according to their websites.


  • Accepting an invitation to cross the yellow bridge

  • A brighter future created atop brownfields

  • Luxury brands meet the layover at Vancouver International


In pictures: Luxe lodgings boom


In pictures: Toronto's new pedestrian bridge, Puente de Luz


In pictures: The peculiar tale of Banff's 204 Wolf St.

The most recent to open, the 259-room Four Seasons in the heart of the city’s posh Yorkville neighbourhood, marked the renewal of an iconic Canadian brand in its hometown. It also heralded the entry of celebrity chef Daniel Boulud onto the Great White North’s Michelin-star-deprived culinary scene.

This for a city that, prior to this recent development boom – and with the exception of a handful of high-end boutique hotels – lacked any true five-star accommodations.

“I think Toronto has been underserviced from a luxury hotel standpoint for years,” says Bill Stone, executive vice-president with real estate consultancy CBRE Hotels. “There have been hotels like the Windsor Arms or Hazelton, but they weren’t enough to service demand.”

Toronto isn’t Canada’s only city to experience a recent luxury lodgings boom. Vancouver has seen the addition of three new high-end properties since 2009, including a Shangri-La hotel, the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel and the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.

But this flurry in five-star development begs a critical question: With the global economic recovery advancing at a snail’s pace and uncertainty hampering the spending plans of everyone from wealthier leisure travellers to major corporations, just how many high-priced hotel rooms can cities such as Toronto and Vancouver absorb?

David Larone, Toronto-based director of hospitality consulting firm PKF Consulting Inc., points to average daily rates rather than room count as the key metric to watch in predicting the potential success of this new round of development. He notes that in Toronto, the four new five-star properties have added slightly fewer than 1,000 rooms to the city's approximately 17,000-room downtown hotel supply. That may seem like a lot until taking into account the closure of the old Four Seasons and the one-time celebrity magnet Sutton Place, hotels which combined housed more than 700 rooms. (Both of those properties are being converted into condos.)

“The number of rooms by themselves is not a big deal,” Mr. Larone says. “The question is, ‘Can you absorb this many hotel rooms coming in at one time at the upper end of the market?’”

His conclusion: Toronto and Vancouver are not only able to absorb this new luxury supply, but they will continue to attract both the leisure and corporate clientele needed to sustain and grow the business over the long term.

Mr. Larone predicts that as these new properties trudge through the typical five-year ramp-up period that any luxury hotel faces en route to solidifying its clientele, occupancy rates will hover in the low 60-per-cent range before strengthening to about 68 per cent by 2017. The average annual occupancy rate for a hotel in Toronto typically hovers at about 73 per cent, he says.

Interestingly, discerning lodgers may not have had the chance to indulge in Toronto and Vancouver's new five-star offerings if not for the cities’ recent condo booms. Nearly every one of the new luxury hotels in these cities has an attached condominium component.

Monique Rosszell, Toronto-based senior vice-president with HVS Global Hospitality Services, explains that marrying luxury condos with chic hotel brands is part of the new economic reality for high-end hotel developers.

“The hotels would not be feasible on their own,” she says. “The cost to build is too high, so obviously they’re subsidized by the condos. But from a day-to-day operational standpoint, the condos benefit from having the hotel.”

How? Beyond having a name such as Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton attached to their property, condo owners often enjoy posh privileges such as room service, sharing of amenities such as pools and gyms, while also having access to the hotels’ high-end retail and restaurant components.

The hotel brand and amenities attract condo buyers, and in turn those buyers offset the massive capital costs of building the kind of hotel able to command room rates that can easily top $1,000 per night for larger suites.

Ms. Rosszell points out that true hotel opulence nowadays extends beyond simply boasting pristine interiors, offering state-of-the-art, in-room technology or providing attentive concierge services – although they're all must-haves. Luxury hotels must now offer fine dining such as Mr. Boulud’s new café at the Four Seasons in Toronto or Market, the restaurant operated by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Shangri-La in Vancouver.

Then there are the amenities. Take the in-house spa, for example. Having a soothing space to properly pamper guests is the new mint on the pillow – and a priority for five-star consideration, according to Ms. Rosszell.

But even as guests’ preferred amenities change with the times, one critical aspect of running a successful luxury hotel remains the same: the need to provide attentive, even obsessive, levels of service.

It’s a reality that’s top of mind for Dimitrios Zarikos, regional vice-president and general manager at the Four Seasons in Toronto.

“We have to deliver the service or we are doomed. It’s always about service because the other hotels have beautiful products, as well. We have to stand out to do better than everybody else.”

New luxury haunts

Looking for luxury lodgings in Toronto or Vancouver? Due to a recent development boom, there are more options:


Shangri-La – 202 rooms

Four Seasons – 259 rooms

Trump International Hotel and Tower – 261 rooms

Ritz-Carlton Toronto – 267 rooms


Shangri-La – 119 rooms

Rosewood Hotel Georgia – 156 rooms

Fairmont Pacific Rim – 377 rooms


  • Fixing a 20-year-old gaffe in downtown Banff

  • Aging medical property gets a new prescription

  • World’s tallest tower plan raises eyebrows

  • Titanic-era ship anchors port redevelopment


  1. 51

  1. 24

  1. 18

  1. 9

  1. 1

Print AA

Sponsored Links

Penny Stock of the Day

Don't miss the next stock to take off! Insane gains for nano-penny stock CTLE...

MSSD New Smartphone Play

Company now moves to lead new 60.4 Mil unit sales expansion for 2013.

5-Star Stock Pick: CTLE

5 Reasons Why Nano Labs (OTCQB:CTLE) May Be Vital to Your Portfolio.

Advertise Here

Investment Opportunity | Income Growth Potential

GTA West

For Sale

Office for Sale

Land Area: 4.95 Acres.

Building Area: 95,368.00 SF.

6355 Viscount road, Mississauaga


Search Property


For Sale

For Lease



Property Type




  • LIFE

Memo? What memo? Grammy stars flaunt cleavage and leg


Oil changes: Vital car maintenance or cash grab?

Saving for retirement? See how you compare to Globe readers


Why you should pay your employees what they deserve


Disturbing trend has women obsessed with 'thigh gap'


Mother lion proudly shows off her new cubs


Navy Unveils Ship for Speedy Troop Transport


The Vatican faces crisis in replacing Pope Benedict


North Korea tests nuclear weapon


Two stocks on this top fund manager's radar


Tips for small business owners trying to save for retirement

  1. ◀ ● ● ▶



We get it,’ new Barclays chief says as he unveils major overhaul, job cuts


Saving for retirement the last financial priority for many entrepreneurs">" border="0" alt="" >


  1. Memo? What memo? Grammy stars flaunt cleavage and leg

  1. North Korea confirms it has conducted third nuclear test

  1. My dad was not an orangutan, Donald Trump says in lawsuit

  1. February 12: Your daily horoscope

  1. Leafs big win has Burke’s handprints all over it



Why do you sometimes refer to American whiskey as ‘whisky’?

The database is protected by copyright © 2017
send message

    Main page