Staying downtown in Toronto
Le Germain is a family-run boutique hotel chain based in Quebec which can be found across Canada. For our first trip to Toronto, we stayed at the Le Germain on Mercer Street in downtown, not to be confused with the nearby Le Germain Maple Leaf Hotel, which is only a few blocks away.
Why stay here? Well, you're only 5 - 10 minutes walk to some of the main attractions in Toronto including the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada. One of the two ticket purchase points for the City Sightseeing bus is 15 minute's walk away, as is Union station - the entry point for most people arriving from the Toronto Pearson international airport, including us. It's also very close to Billy Bishop airport for internal flights and flights to the USA.
It was winter when we visited and minus temperatures are common so a location like Mercer Street was ideal for us as we like to walk...but not too far in the cold. The hotel is also on a quiet side street so you're close to the sights but can avoid the noise and crowds. It also has an excellent, sleek and cosy restaurant called Victor. Read our review of the restaurant here.
As the doorman opens the door to allow you to enter, the restaurant is to your left and the check-in desks are to the right. There's lots of wooden panelling, funky lighting and big windows letting in a lot of light. It's warm and welcoming, contrast that to the cold outside. Check-in was quick and painless and we were offered assistance with our bags.
On the level just behind reception is a lobby for relaxing in with comfy couches, books and a fireplace.
Taking the elevator up, we stayed in room 1006. The room is modernly furnished with a comfy foot rest chair and a retro office chair - the type Mrs Foodie would buy. The colour scheme was quite dark with grey walls and carpet.
There are no bright lamps, instead, mood lighting is dotted around the room. The view wasn't much to look at but it gave you the feeling of being in a big city but with the warmth and solitude of being in our secluded room away from the cold air and busy streets. The bed was also large and cosy so we slept well each night.
There's a mini-bar too, stocked with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Crisps, nuts, chocolate and even Tylenol painkillers were available. More hotels should offer pain relief in the room - we thankfully didn't need it though! A bottle opener/corkscrew was also provided.
Free fast WiFi is also available in the room.
The en-suite was clean and modern, the shower having two shower heads and two robes. Molton Brown toiletries were supplied, so Mrs Foodie was very happy (for once!).
A buffet breakfast is also included in your stay, served in the Victor restaurant at ground level. This includes hot and cold, and sweet and savoury items.
If you're not a guest at the hotel walk ins for breakfast are permitted. Here's what the menu looked like on our visit:
If you're planning a trip to Toronto and you've never been before then Le Germain Hotel Mercer is an ideal place to base yourself. Its convenient downtown Toronto location to the main tourist sights means you can forgo the need for taxis, trams or metro trains to get around. The hotel has a relaxed vibe with professional service, which is reflected in the price as it can get quite expensive at peak times but if you find a price cheaper elsewhere they'll beat it by 10% when booking direct. When we stayed the rate was around £150 (£1 roughly equals $1.75) per night.
The hotel is mostly wheelchair-friendly, and young children and well-behaved dogs are welcome.
+ Great location - walking distance to main tourist attractions
+ Warm, cosy, secluded room
+ Free WiFi and breakfast included in price
- Expensive at peak times
Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer
30 Mercer Street
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Disclaimer: we received a complimentary stay but Fred sez we is honest hoomins as we made sure to leave him lots of treats while we were out of the country.