The Suite Life: Shangri La Staycation Edition
Everyone needs a vacation every now and then to refresh, revitalize and give a fresh perspective to your daily routine.
While everyone deserves these vacations, we don’t always have the time or the days to take off work. This doesn’t have to stop you from having that much needed break/ refreshment. Enter: The Staycation.
Staycation: get out of your normal routine, book a room at your favourite local hotel using your regular days off and indulge! Pack your RIMOWA, pretend you’re from out of town (fake accents not discouraged), order room service, or have the hotel recommend the best resto (as if you didn’t already know). Take a bath, read a book, go for a swim, book a massage- anything to get into the vacation mind frame. It’s incredible how just a night away from your standard setting can feel like a small mental vacation.
This week, I did exactly that. I checked into the Shangri La in Toronto for a one night stay. The Shangri La is one of the top hotels in Toronto and one of the small handful of 5 Star hotels in the city. They definitely live up to their 5 stars, with prompt, attentive service.
After checking in I got my room keys and head up to my room, a single room with a king size bed- total luxury!
The entire room was beautiful. The Shangri La is Asian inspired hotel and this reflects in the interior decorating. The suite is full of dark wood, giving the room a very private, seductive and luxurious atmosphere. My favourite room is the bathroom. French doors with paneled wood opened to a rich white marble bathroom, from the floors to the soaking tub, to the walls. It feels serene. The vanity is a dark wood with a stunning green marble countertop.
Of course one of the first things I have to do, both because the tub is pure luxury and to get myself in the relaxed “vacation mindframe” is to take a bath. I draw the bath and the tub fills with an ocean blue tinted water and I add the complimentary L’Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote shower gel for some suds and scent. At home I am too impatient to ever take an actual bath, but in this marble heaven and with my brain in vacay mood, I don’t ever want to get out! I kick back with my book, The Girl on the Train (yes I know I’m a little behind with this read) and sink into the tub, only breaking the spell when the water starts to go a little cold and needs a fresh stream of heat. After I start turning into a raisin (and only then) I finally leave the tub and begin my next crucial “me time” ritual; a face mask.
After a few hours in my suite I almost forget that I’m still in Toronto. This means it’s time to order room service. I’m one of those really cool people who love breakfast at any hour, so even though it’s dinner time I order the Crispy French Toast with brioche bread, cinnamon, bananas and spiced milk syrup from the in-hotel restaurant Bosk.
As I kick back to eat and watch some TV, things take a slight detour- the TV doesn’t work. What starts out as a slight hiccup becomes an awesome turn of events for me. They upgrad the stay to a one bedroom King Suite, and while I thought my room was luxurious, this is next level. Not only does the TV work here, but I have options, with a TV in the living room, the bedroom and, wait for it, built into the bathroom mirror (might be forced to take a second bath here). Settling into the new suite takes no time at all, each amenity was a little better and bigger than the last room, the view is better being a little higher up and I have more room to explore, lounge and relax in.
One of my favourite parts of a staycation experience is sleeping in another (and bigger bed). Usually sleeping in an unfamiliar bed can be uncomfortable, but not at the Shangri La. It’s more comparable to sleeping on a cloud, and boy do I want to take all these pillows home with me! They have a full pillow menu, allowing you to choose based on preference (memory foam or down, etc) or experience (lavender pillows to relax). Waking up shrouded in white sheets and blankets, a small ray of sun peeking in the crack of the thick blinds, and legs sprawled out in the giant king-sized bed makes it hard to ever leave the bed. I could stay here forever!
It’s important to make the most of your morning in the hotel to extend your Staycation as long as possible. Always ask for late check out! I extend my check out till 2 pm and use this fresh day to begin with the Shangri La pool. This 5 star hotels pool did not disappoint. Surrounded by windows the sun shines into the whole room, illuminating the glass enclosed area making it feel like a tropical destination- made only more appealing by the frigid look of outside. Small waterfalls add ambience pouring water into the pool. Red lounge chairs line the pool. Small cabanas and shrubbery line the hot tub and at the far end there is an infrared sauna. I swim laps, float around, dip into the hot tub and then dry off in the sauna. I now feel that my staycation is an overwhelming success.
One more shower with the L’Occitane products and back to the real world. The scent lingers on my skin and the hotel employees carry my suitcase out to the cab for me- letting me feel like I’m on vacation till the last possible second.
The taxi finally pulls up in front of my not-so-5-star apartment and I finally accept the reality that I’m back- but all goals were met with overwhelming success as I feel completely refreshed and renewed, but I wouldn’t complain about staying at the Shangri La a little longer! 😉