Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel: Downtown Luxury by B+H

Ever since the first Shangri-La hotel opened in Singapore in 1971, the name of the now multinational hospitality company has been synonymous with luxury. With more than one hundred hotels and resorts across 6 continents, Shangri-La — a name derived from the mythical, peaceful valley in James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon — has established itself as one of the names in 5-star accommodations worldwide.

The chain’s first North American location, housed in a 62-storey tower in Vancouver’s downtown core, opened in 2009. A second location in Toronto, situated just west of the city’s Financial District, occupies one of the 15 tallest buildings in Toronto. The 200 guest rooms and function rooms soar over the busy University and Adelaide intersection, offering breathtaking views of the city beyond.

CHIL Interior Design, the hospitality studio of 65-year-old global design firm B+H, was enlisted to create the luxurious spaces in this metropolitan setting. This would include function spaces, a theatre, the Miraj Hammam spa, a gym, and 200 guest rooms (as well as the Owner’s Suite and Presidential Suite).

The design aesthetic throughout is a marriage of traditional Chinese details and modern, streamlined elements. Rich wood panelling and millwork, modern art, and elegant Asian décor give the guest rooms an Old World-meets-modernity vibe. Washrooms feature Bianco Statuario marble, traditional Chinese vanities, and deep soaker tubs.

The Shangri-La Suite, located on the 17th floor, has even more luxurious details. Japanese lattice screens, oak wood moulding, and pewter marble can be found throughout the airy 204 sqm of living space. The 2-bedroom suite, complete with a living room, dining room, walk-in wardrobe, and lavish washroom, also features a private balcony from which guests can admire views of Canada’s most populous city.

The Lobby Lounge, an “urban living room”, as the hotel calls it, is filled with the natural light streaming through its 2-storey windows. It features a large-scale contemporary fireplace, paintings and sculptures, and an Italian handcrafted Fazioli piano. Here guests can order from the Asian-inspired menu, enjoy a decadent cocktail, or choose from the Lounge’s library of 68 tea varieties.

The Bosk Bar features a breathtaking, sculptural lighting installation of globe pendants in various warm hues of green and golden yellow. This feature is extended to the Bosk Restaurant, where accent walls that feature a fine wine display and 3-dimensional wooden patterning create an atmosphere that is both opulent and warm.

The design of the spa is inspired by ancient Middle Eastern rituals and the vineyards of Bordeaux. Two large Hammam steam rooms, a relaxation room that draws influence from Alhambra (a palace and fortress in Spain), and nine treatment rooms, complete with a couple’s suite and Vichy room, make this a soothing portal into Old World traditions in the middle of North America’s multicultural hotbed.

To explore other projects by B+H, be sure to visit the firm’s website. Curious to explore more of the world’s grandest luxury hotels? See our editorial picks.


Images courtesy of B + H.