This is our review of the Kimpton Saint George hotel in Toronto, part of IHG One Rewards.
Following my Air Transat Club Class flight (see my review here) I needed somewhere to stay. The Kimpton Saint George very kindly offered to host me despite a very busy Bank Holiday weekend in the city.
Toronto feels like it’s booming with residential towers and hotels going up everywhere. There seems to be a big demand for luxury hotels, with Hyatt in the process of building an Andaz which should open in the coming year.
Formerly a Holiday Inn, the building comprising the Saint George was completely refurbished over a six-month period back in 2018 before reopening as a Kimpton. This is a trendy boutique brand and part of the IHG family.
Where is the Kimpton Saint George hotel?
Although technically located on Bloor Street, the Kimpton takes its name from one of Toronto’s North-South streets called St George, which is just round the corner.
In terms of location, it’s hard to beat.
The St George metro station is literally a minute away, and the Spadina metro stop is not much further. St George gets you onto the two main subway lines in Toronto – Line 1 (yellow, north/south) and Line 2 (green, east/west) so you are very well connected.
It takes about an hour from Toronto Pearson Airport, taking the UP Express (similar to the Heathrow Express but not as pricey!) before jumping onto metro Line 2 for a handful of stops.
Whilst this part of Bloor Street isn’t particularly exciting, you do have the beautiful University of Toronto campus on your doorstep. The Bata Shoe Museum is opposite whilst the Royal Ontario Museum is a block away.
Head west on Bloor Street and you’ll end up in Yorkville, which is filled with trendy restaurants, bars and luxury shopping.
Head south on St George Street and you’ll eventually – after a 20 minute walk – find yourself at the excellent Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and not far from City Hall and the rest of Downtown Toronto.
Toronto is a very walkable city in the warm sunny weather. Although there’s not a huge amount happening within a block or two you don’t have to go far to find somewhere interesting.
Inside the Kimpton Saint George, Toronto
The exterior of the hotel is surprisingly discreet, with a black facade disguising the 14-storey tower in the centre of the building:
The entrance is not on Bloor Street, the main road, but just round the corner in a sort of alley and near the hotel parking. It is a little odd and I’m not 100% sure why this was done, as there is an entrance on Bloor Street that opens directly into the hotel restaurant / pub. A bit more pomp and circumstance wouldn’t have gone amiss,.
Inside, the lobby makes a much better impression. Although not huge, it is stylishly designed around arched columns:
There is a small seating area by the windows with a gas fireplace. It is slightly odd to be running a gas fire in the air conditioned lobby during the Toronto summer, although I imagine it is very cosy in the winter.
I was seen straight away and made sure to use the Kimpton secret password, which until early September is “no shade”. This lets you pick a from four random boxes, each of which contains a unique benefit. I picked number four and got two bottles of (very strong!) local, pre-mix cocktails:
My IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite status was recognised and I was asked whether I wanted free breakfast or points as my welcome amenity. I went for breakfast, which is always the right option (given the low value of the points alternative) unless someone else is paying your bill.
Rooms at Kimpton Saint George Toronto
There are 188 rooms at the Kimpton, including 20 suites. I was given an entry level King room on the 8th floor. Despite that, it was still a good size, although the bathroom could have been bigger.
This is what it looks like as you walk in:
The bathroom is on the right and features a walk-in shower. Pressure was good although the extractor fan was excessively loud – fortunately you could turn this off at a switch on the wall.
Toiletries are by Atelier Bloem. The shower gel was geranium scented and reminded me of the Ren Skincare products Virgin Atlantic uses in its Clubhouses:
If you’ve forgotten to pack anything, a little sign above the sink lists all the amenities the Kimpton can provide, including dental kits, combs, ‘salon quality’ hair dryers, adaptors and more. It was quite extensive.
After the bathroom is the main room. This is quite large and I wish they’d given over more space to the bathroom as it would’ve felt a bit more balanced. As it is you get a large room with a small bathroom.
There is a king bed in the centre, which was very comfortable:
On one side there is a proper bedside table with drawers, one of which contains the safe. The other side only gets a stool. There are mains sockets on both sides, although only the left-hand side gets USB ports.
Opposite the bed is a large TV mounted above the desk:
Bizarrely, the desk doesn’t feature a chair, so I had to grab the armchair from the small round table in the corner:
There were also no obvious plugs to charge a laptop on top of the desk, which was annoying. The (empty) mini fridge is under the desk. There are no coffee or tea making facilities in the room but you do get free tea and coffee in the lobby in the mornings.
On the other side of the bed you’ll find a wardrobe with dressing gowns, an iron and other bits, as well as a bench:
The view from my room was nothing to write home about, although I don’t think the views from any of the rooms will be particularly astonishing. I overlooked the backlot/parking entrance:
There is a utilitarian black out blind as well as a more decorative curtain.
You can’t deny that the rooms are stylish and spacious, although I did find the ceilings to be particularly low which makes it feel slightly cramped. This is undoubtedly because this is a conversion of a Holiday Inn – I doubt a new-build Kimpton would be built like this. Otherwise, as mentioned previously, I would’ve liked a larger bathroom!
Breakfast & Kimpton Wine Hour
Whilst there is no restaurant, the hotel does host a pub on the ground floor called The Fortunate Fox, which is accessble from the lobby as well as the street.
This is open throughout the day with breakfast in the mornings and an all-day menu for the remainder of the day.
The breakfast menu is fairly simple and includes things such as pancakes, lox salmon bagels, eggs benedict / royale / florentine, omelettes, yoghurts and smoothies.
I went for the eggs royale on my first morning:
Followed by the ‘Fox Breakfast’ on my second morning:
I found the amount of potato wedges a bit overwhelming, although they were fresh, and would’ve liked to have some healthier hot options. The eggs royale, in particular, was dwarfed by potatoes. Potato wedges and poached eggs just seem like a bizarre combo regardless!
The evening menu is similarly American, shall we say, in style.
Another unique Kimpton standard is that it does a free Wine Hour every evening for guests. Between 5pm and 6pm you can choose from a glass (or two!) of house red or white wine. It is set up in the same spot in the lobby where you can get tea and coffee in the mornings:
I managed to pop in on the day I was checking out and it seemed very well attended, so much so that there was only one seat left in the lounge area next to the lobby! The wine isn’t going to win any awards but it’s a nice touch and creates a pleasant atmosphere in the lobby.
The Kimpton Saint George is a good option for anyone looking for a well located, stylish but not unreasonably priced hotel in Toronto. Apart from the low ceilings – a personal bug bear of mine – you wouldn’t guess this is a conversion of a Holiday Inn thanks to the trendy renovation across public spaces and rooms alike.
I do wish The Fortunate Fox offered some less potato-focussed options for breakfast, but that is possibly a personal niggle! That said, the service in the pub was excellent.
Overall, the Kimpton Saint George is an excellent base for exploring the city. Rooms in September are around £389 most of the time although I found them as low as £181. Consider using IHG One Rewards points if you would get more than 0.4p per point, our target valuation.
If you are booking for cash, I recommend getting our luxury travel booker Emyr Thomas to give you a quote. The IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Collections rates, which he can book, offer extra benefits at no extra cost. There is no booking fee, you pay at the hotel on departure as usual and the rate is the same as the Best Flexible Rate showing online. Click here to read more.
IHG One Rewards update – September 2023:
Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not currently running a global promotion.
New to IHG One Rewards? Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here..
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.