Last week, my good friends, Solmaz, Anna and I had the pleasure of staying at The Westin Harbour Castle for a girls’ staycation! Our staycation fell on a Friday evening, and could not have been more perfectly timed, after what felt like the longest week and after receiving the sad news about Anthony Bourdain. We arrived just after check-in time and quickly made ourselves VERY comfortable in the huuuuuggge Executive Suite on the Penthouse level!
The Hotel & Location
The Westin Harbour Castle is at 1 Harbour Square, in between Bay St. and Yonge St. in Toronto’s Harbourfront district. It has an amazing location, close to many of the city’s most popular attractions, like the Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre, CN Tower, CNE, and Harbourfront Centre. The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is a 1-minute walk from the hotel; so, you can be over at one of the Toronto Islands with just a hop, skip, and a jump! The theatre and financial districts are also just a short walk or car ride away!
Fun Fact: Did you know that The Westin Harbour Castle was the first Hilton hotel to open in Toronto? It was originally built in 1975 as the Harbour Castle Hilton. Then, in 1987, Hilton Hotels exchanged the property for the Westin Hotel on University Avenue. The old Westin became the Hilton Toronto, and the Harbour Castle Hilton transformed into The Westin Harbour Castle! The Westin Harbour Castle is also the only hotel in Toronto with panoramic views of Lake Ontario!
On check-in and check-out, I noticed a definite ‘buzz’ in the hotel! We saw lots of people with Blue Jays jerseys on, as our stay fell in the middle of baseball season. Because The Westin Harbour Castle is so close to many major sports and performance centres in Toronto, it’s a convenient choice for those who travel in from the suburbs or out of town to catch a game or concert. The 3 p.m. check-out on Sundays and extended breakfast hours for in-room dining are probably also super attractive, if you plan to crash here after a Saturday night out on the town 😉!
In terms of features and amenities, apart from the 70,000 (!) square feet of meeting space and conference rooms, there is a business centre, fitness centre, and indoor pool (which we, sadly, didn’t get an opportunity to check out this time around). Valet parking is offered, as well as self-parking a short walk away. Oh, and the Wi-Fi is free, in case you’re wondering!
Our 2,000 sq. ft., newly renovated, Executive Suite is 1 of 977 rooms at The Westin Harbour Castle. Our room was so big, I did cartwheels in it!
The Executive Suite is the perfect choice for large groups or families. It has a master bedroom, another double bedroom, living room, separate dining room, 3 closets (including a huge walk-in closet at the entrance), and 3 bathrooms (2 en suite and 1 powder room). We were totally spoiled with more space than the 3 of us could ever need; and we felt like we could have invited at least 4 or 5 more girlfriends over. The hotel’s website says that the Executive Suite sleeps 6 (but between us, it could comfortably sleep up to 8 or 10 😉).
I loved the modern décor of the living room and bedrooms, which have pops of bright pink and red throughout. Each ensuite bathroom has a rainfall showerhead (my favourite!) and is stocked with Westin White Tea Bath Amenities.
All of the beds are the Westin’s famous Heavenly® Beds – beds so comfortable, they’re sold online (mattress, box spring, pillows, duvets and linens, included) and have their own registered trademark! If you’ve never heard of, or more importantly, slept on, a Westin Heavenly® Bed, you’re really missing out! My first experience was about a decade ago, when I literally melted into the bed for one of the comfiest sleeps of my life!
We also got microfiber spa robes, which felt so soft and fit so well (they weren’t oversized, as many hotel robes tend to be). Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in our bath robes during our stay!
Between the 2 restaurants (Mizzen and Toula) and bar (The Chartroom Bar and Lounge) onsite, there’s lots of choice when it comes to food at The Westin Harbour Castle. There is also 24-hr. room service available. But, what made our food experience extra special was that we were treated to an in-suite dinner!
Chef Corbin Tomaszeski, who I used to watch religiously on the Food Network, is the Executive Partner Chef at The Westin Harbour Castle. He came up to our suite to personally greet us, and we chatted for a bit before toasting to the life of Anthony Bourdain together. It was such a treat!
Then we dined on a fantastic meal consisting of: a beetroot salad with feta cheese; Chateaubriand with potato puree, haricots vert, Cipollini onion, and Bordelaise sauce; wild mushroom agnolotti in a brown butter sauce, and Eton Mess with lemon curd, fresh berries, and mini pavlova for dessert. We also had our choice of sparkling, white and red wine. It was THE perfect experience for our staycation, since we got to make use of the large dining room in the Executive Suite!
In the morning, we started our day with a lovely spread of continental breakfast and pastries (much needed fuel after a night of drinking wine and girl chats!), in our bathrobes, of course!
Thank you to the team at The Westin Harbour Castle for making our stay so wonderful. We all hope to be back very soon! Cheers!
*The Westin Harbour Castle hosted us for free for this staycation. However, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.