A major hotel brand just returned to Toronto — we take a look around

Canadian hotel brand Sutton Place has opened its first Toronto location in over a decade. I check in to Sutton Place Hotel Toronto on King West to see what all the fuss is about. 

Seating inside Abrielle restaurant at the Sutton Place Hotel Toronto

Sutton Place Hotel Toronto: the draw

Following a complete gutting, expansion and rebranding, King Blue Hotel Toronto at the corner of King Street West and Blue Jays Way has finally reopened as the Sutton Place Hotel Toronto. The eight-storey hotel, housed inside the Westinghouse building, has been given a makeover, with 118 spacious suites on offer just steps away from landmarks like the TIFF Bell Lightbox. 

Though Sutton Place Hotel has a firm footprint across Canada, with locations in Vancouver, Revelstoke and Halifax, it's been 11 years since the brand has had ties to Toronto. The previous Sutton Place Hotel was situated at Bay and Wellesley, but the hotel will now call Toronto's Entertainment District home. 

The front desk inside the Sutton Place Hotel Toronto

First impressions count, and Abrielle — the hotel's Mediterranean coast-inspired dining venue — isn't shy about causing a stir. On your right, you'll see the atmospheric bar and restaurant, all pastels and tile, while a scan to the left will give you a glimpse into the loungier, library-style space on your way to the check-in desk. From here, you'll be whisked up to your rooms in the elevator: If you're staying on the fifth floor, snag a peek at the ballroom en route to your room, which is often rented out for events and weddings. 

Outside the sanctuary of your room, there's a fitness centre and indoor lap pool that, even on the weekend, is serene. The Sutton Place Hotel also plans to develop the rooftop space beside the pool on the seventh floor, and there are also whispers of a speakeasy-style bar to come in an as-yet unused lounge area. 

Plus, you can forget the dogsitter: For $40 a night, guests at the Sutton Place Hotel Toronto can welcome four-legged friends into their suite. 

The pool inside the Sutton Place Hotel Toronto

Sutton Place Hotel Toronto: the rooms

In a city where room rates can venture into the $500 and above territory, Sutton Place Hotel Toronto is a steal of a deal in the winter months. Nightly rates at this conveniently located downtown dwelling start at $213 during the slow season (January to March).

Accommodations have bags of room to sprawl out and relax, either on the king bed or in the cozy seating area. You won't encounter the same bells and whistles you'd expect in boutique Toronto hotels — think sparse but functional design versus custom artwork — but there's enough to occupy you for the duration of your stay.

You'll find robes hanging in the closet, plus Gilchrist & Soames products in the three-piece bathroom (if you want a soak in a tub, you'll have to upgrade to King Deluxe). There's also a Nespresso machine so you can get a jolt of caffeine without leaving the comfort of your duvet. 

Sutton Place Hotel Toronto: Abrielle

The ground-floor restaurant inside Sutton Place Hotel Toronto is arguably the biggest contributor to the hotel's buzz since it opened in December, 2023. From the team who brought you Ascari comes the new and delicately refined concept of Abrielle: a gal about town who is not opposed to the idea of at least one aperitivo or two to get the night going.

Abrielle restaurant inside the Sutton Place Hotel Toronto

Though Abrielle is a Meditteranean restaurant, executive chef Olivier Le Calvez takes his inspiration from all along the European coast. There's plenty from the sea to snack on, of the raw (oysters, tuna) and delicately cooked (octopus, sea bream) variety. On the land side of the menu, there's everything from handmade pasta to lamb ribs and a wagyu carpaccio.

Alongside the whipped dips and flatbreads, you'll find Greek, French, Italian and Spanish influences on Le Calvez's menu. Croquettes aren't usually my first choice, but Abrielle's ibérico chorizo and octopus-stuffed balls wowed big time when dipped in the accompanying spiced aioli. The grilled Ontario lamb chops, served with a white bean purée and confit heirloom tomatoes, are juicy, tender and absolutely sensational.

A spread of brunch dishes at Abrielle restaurant at the Sutton Place Hotel Toronto

Brunch is worth getting out of bed for, with a selection of unusual and delicious options that go beyond scrambled eggs. The open-face burger, with pickled radish, and the avocado toast, with basil ricotta, were standouts — but pastries and biscotti are available if you want a lighter start to the day.

Cocktails are not loyal to one spirit or influence, meaning you can zigzag your way across the menu, whatever you fancy. From riffs on the espresso martini, that skip the vodka in favour of St-Rémy XO Brandy and Spanish liqueur to mezcal-forward tipples like Sunset & Serenade, there's an escape to sunnier climes just a glass away. All wines by the glass were made by female owners and makers, another nod to the feminine wiles of the restaurant's namesake. 

Rooms from $223 per night; suttonplace.com

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