Fairmont Toronto Royal York

Based on some of my prior stays at this property, I've had this hotel on the "Avoid" list for some time.  While I really enjoy the Fairmont in Seattle (America's top "grande dame" hotel?), their Toronto property is without question the worst in the chain.

Like many hotels, while it is managed by Fairmont, a third party investor owns the physical property.  It is that investor that is responsible for the upkeep.  That owner is clearly not interested in putting money into upkeep.  While invariably Fairmont's management contract would provide them the right to withdraw from managing the property due to substandard physical premises, the Royal York is the "grande dame" property in Toronto.  Toronto is Fairmont's home city.  If Fairmont were to withdraw from management, invariably another flag would be brought in - and assuming some day renovations are done - Fairmont wouldn't be managing the grande dame hotel in their home town!  That's a situation they clearly wish to avoid.  As a result, right now, the Fairmont flag sits atop one of the worst properties in Toronto.

My last stays at the property were before I maintained this little blog.  As a result, I never took photos of my stays (and I have no plans to return).

A friend of mine stayed there recently in a suite, and was kind enough to share some pictures, which are below.

Sad to say, even in a suite, the property was still pretty stale.  While the suite looks far nicer than the run-of-the-house rooms that I've had there, based on the feedback from this stay, the hotel must stay on the "Avoid" list.  Taking a step back, the pictures probably make the hotel seem a little better than it actually is.  Add a musty smell in your mind when reviewing them, and you might get a better overall assessment of the property.

Let's hope new ownership can come in and hopefully turn this property around.  It has such an iconic location in Toronto.  Hopefully it is just a matter of time.  Until then, in Toronto, you'll find me at the Ritz Carlton!