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The Drake Hotel 3.5

Art and Design District, Toronto, Ontario

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Delightfully quirky boutique hotel with a young and energetic vibe
  • In the lively Arts and Design District, near restaurants and nightlife
  • Filled with an eclectic art collection, including rotating exhibits
  • Snazzy rooms with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and Bose docks
  • Multiple restaurants/bar and a popular live music nightclub
  • Freebies include local gym passes, coffee in the Cafe, and Wi-Fi
  • Events include live music, themed dance parties, and trivia nights
  • In-room spa services available
  • Private event space
  • Parking can be reserved 

Cons

  • Small rooms with little bathroom privacy
  • No in-room coffeemakers 
  • No rooms with multiple beds
  • Party crowd and busy street can cause noise
  • Not especially kid friendly (pro for some)

Bottom Line

The upper-middle-range Drake Hotel is a quirky boutique property with eclectic decor that fits nicely into the lively Art and Design district surrounding it. The 19-room hotel emphasizes food, drinks, and fun, with multiple restaurants, lounges, and nightclubs attracting a young crowd that often parties into the wee hours. Consequently, it’s not a place for perfect peace and quiet. Small yet stylish guest rooms are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, Bose docks, and well-stocked minibars. Clear glass bathrooms provide little privacy, however, and might pose a problem for some. Room service menus also includes a few unusual items like floral bouquets and sex toys. Rather high rates reflect its popularity, and weekends are often fully booked. For an alternative, the mid-range Hotel Victoria offers better rates and a central downtown Toronto location, though not as many on-site features.

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Scene

An eclectic and artsy boutique hotel with a lively nightlife scene and young, energetic clientele

This eclectic, artsy boutique appeals to a young clientele, who are drawn to spaces like its rooftop Sky Yard bar

One step into the rainbow-colored lobby and it’s easy to see why guests use words like "quirky," "hip," "genuine," and "fun" to describe the Drake Hotel. Like its (mostly) young and artsy clientele, the lobby is energetic and offbeat, with cool art and a vintage photo booth. Marble staircases lead up and down to the hotel’s marquee attractions -- its subterranean Underground nightclub and its rooftop Sky Yard bar that has an outdoor courtyard. The lobby has some comfy leather sofas, but with more interesting places to explore, guests typically don’t hang out here. However, they do linger over the eclectic art collection that graces the hotel at every turn, which includes permanent and rotating pieces. As you might suspect, this place has a boisterous nightlife scene that can get a bit loud, so families with young children might want to look elsewhere.

Location

In Toronto’s lively Art and Design District surrounded by dining and shopping

Map of The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel is located on Queen Street West, one of the main arteries in Toronto’s Art and Design District, which is lined with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and galleries. Once rundown, the lively area bustles with crowds day and night. But most of the city's major attractions aren't in walking distance. A street car stops right outside of the hotel offering a good connection to other neighborhoods and tourist landmarks.

  • 10-minute walk to Trinity Bellwoods Park
  • 10-minute drive to the Art Gallery of Ontario (20 minutes via public transportation)
  • 10-minute drive to Union Station (22 minutes via public transportation)
  • 12-minute drive to the Eaton Centre mall (23 minutes via public transportation)
  • 12-minute drive to the Hockey Hall of Fame (25 minutes via public transportation)
  • 12-minute drive to CN Tower (27 minutes via public transportation)
  • 15-minute drive to the Royal Ontario Museum (26 minutes via public transportation)
  • 16-minute drive to Casa Loma (44 minutes via public transportation)
  • 20- to 30-minute drive to Pearson International Airport (60 minutes via public transportation) 

Rooms

Fresh, stylish -- but small -- rooms with well-stocked minibars and glass bathrooms 

The Den room is fully of eclectic touches, such as a whimsical sock doll, and stylish details like the glass-walled shower (that might scandalize those searching for privacy)

Modern and stylish, the Drake's rooms are jammed with lots of trendy details. Pops of color like teal or lime-green in furniture, accent walls, and textiles give the rooms a certain freshness. Original contemporary art and whimsical touches like sock dolls and beach towels in place of bed runners amp up the fun factor. But amber-finish wood furniture and white walls keep things grounded and sophisticated.

Rooms are a bit small, however. At 150 square feet (14 square meters), the smallest Crash Pad and Nook Rooms have scant space between beds and walls. Den, Salon, and Studio Rooms aren’t much larger, ranging between 185 square feet (17 square meters) and 215 square feet (20 square meters), and even the Suites offer only slightly more space than a typical mid-range chain hotel room (385 square feet or 35 square meters). Thankfully, the efficient design and high ceilings enhance their comfort. 

Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, Bose docks, safes, minibars with an extensive snacks and alcohol menu, and free high-speed Wi-Fi, plus turndown service is included. The room service menu includes a few unusual additions as well, such as floral bouquets and sex toys. Clear glass walls in the bathrooms -- including the walk-in showers -- lack privacy, though toilets are covered by frosted glass doors. Malin + Goetz toiletries and robes are provided. Note that rooms can get ambient noise from the street and hotel nightspots, but many past guests have said their rooms were quiet, especially those not facing the street.

Features

Multiple dining/drinking spaces including popular nightclub; in-room spa services available and free gym passes

Multiple dining/drinking options can be found on-site, including an expansive Lounge that regularly hosts events

The food, libations, and entertainment offerings at this 19-room hotel belie its diminutive size. The Café serves freshly baked goods and free coffee for breakfast and is open throughout the day. The expansive Lounge is open all day and into the night, and is host to various events and specials, like trivia nights, weekend brunches, and DJ nights. The rooftop Sky Yard is a nice spot to enjoy a drink alfresco, while the Underground, appropriately located in the basement, is a wildly popular nightclub that features everything from live music to dance parties to poetry slams. Room keys allow hotel guests to skip the lines at the club. The Underground and other spaces are also available for meetings, weddings, and events for up to 80 people. Room service is available, and the menu includes a few unexpected additions such as floral deliveries and sex toys.

Though there are no fitness facilities on-site, guests get free passes to a nearby gym, and in-room spa services such as massages are also available. Parking is available in a public lot across the street, but it’s limited, and reservations through the hotel are suggested. Wi-Fi is free, and the hotel has a computer for guest use.

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Things You Should Know About The Drake Hotel

Address

1150 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1J3, Canada

Phone

(416) 531-5042

Room Types

  • Crash Pad
  • Den
  • Salon
  • Suite

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