Hotel X Toronto

Posh spice.

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Just before flopping into bed at the Hotel X Toronto, I open my phone to check one last thing: the time of tomorrow’s sunrise. Google tells me it’s a bit before 7 a.m., so I set my alarm with just enough time to wake up, put on my bathing suit, and head upstairs.

Hotel X’s outdoor swimming pool sits on the rooftop of this luxury boutique property, and while my schedule has only allowed me one night’s stay here, I’m determined to make the most of it. So rise with the sun I do, despite my West Coast internal clock telling me that it’s three in the morning. Shuffling down the quiet hall in my slippers and robe, I ride the elevator alone, not seeing a single person until I exit the lift and say good morning to an aquatic attendant doing some last-minute cleaning.

Surrounded by chaise lounges, the rectangular shallow pool is deserted this morning—I have it all to myself at such an early hour. The city is starting to wake down below, sparkling in the disappearing dusk, and I poke my head over the edge before quietly kicking off my slippers and stepping down a ladder into the warm water. Doing some easy laps back and forth as the sky begins to brighten above me, I revel in a few minutes of solitude before a hectic day.

Solitude, respite: it’s what any good hotel should provide for its guests. Hotel X does, and not only because I happen to swim solo today; located just west of Toronto’s core by the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, this waterfront Library Hotel Collection property sits unassumingly on the boat-dotted lakeshore. Separated from the heart of crazy downtown (made especially crazy during the Toronto International Film Festival and coinciding Toronto Fashion Week), Hotel X is a luxurious and fashionable cosmopolitan retreat.

Entering into the high-ceilinged lobby for the first time the evening before, I’m immediately taken with its grand contemporary feel as I make my way to the marble reception desk, which is backed by an enchanting living wall. Check-in is a breeze and soon I’m opening the door to my expansive room, where my living area boasts incredible views of the lake and the city. L’Occitane amenities line the counter of the luxurious white washroom, and I have to resist dropping everything and drawing myself a bath.

The next day post-swim, I head down to Maxx’s Kitchen for some comforting avocado toast with poached eggs, balsamic drizzle, pea shoots, and grilled cherry tomatoes plus a side of roasted potatoes. Across the hall is a dedicated Nespresso cafe, though Library Club members are also invited to a separate complimentary breakfast one floor above, along with wine and cheese there in the afternoons (which I unfortunately do not find time to squeeze in). A movie theatre, posh rooftop bar, chic lobby library, and expansive recreational centre with tennis courts all make it really quite easy to spend the whole day here—the city calls, though, so leave I must. But I do so with the desire to return, and with the calm that I am pretty sure only a sunrise swim can bring.


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September 13, 2018