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In two Canadian cities, home is where the luxury hotel is

A growing number of multimillion-dollar residences are set alongside Canada’s finest lodgings

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Money can’t buy everything — and that includes an overnight stay in the Ritz-Carlton’s largest Toronto suite.

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Spanning 5,845 square feet, the five-bedroom condominium is the largest of the Ritz-Carlton Residences, a collection of 135 luxurious homes occupying the top 32 floors of the 53-storey hotel tower that opened in 2011. Two private elevators provide exclusive access to the open-concept unit, which features a custom wine cellar, three fireplaces and five marble-clad bathrooms. As of early April, 2022, it was listed by Sotheby’s International Realty for $23.5 million.

Extended hotel stays have long been popular with the rich and famous, from Howard Hughes and Robert DeNiro to Coco Chanel and Bob Dylan. Over the past decade, however, a growing number of opulent residences inside, beside or atop upscale hotels have been available to buy rather than book.

These properties appeal for three main reasons, says Nathaniel Hartree-Hallifax, a real-estate agent with who caters to a wealthier Toronto clientele.

“One, brands like Four Seasons and Shangri-La have built-in cachet. Two, upscale hotel chains are experienced and skilled at providing security, privacy and lock-it-and-leave-it convenience. And three, hotel amenities like valet parking, concierge services and in-house fine-dining and spas are exactly what affluent residents want.”

According to the London-based Savills International Development Consultancy, the number of hotel-branded homes around the globe tripled between 2011 and 2021, with more than 70,000 today. Typically the products of partnerships between luxury hotel brands and real-estate developers, these properties “instill buyer confidence through the assurance of a high level of service and usually an exceptional amenity offer,” explains Savills consultant Riyan Itani.

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“Not only is the sector continuing to grow and diversify, but so too are the amenities offered by brands across their portfolios,” Itani says.

These portfolios include Canada’s two largest cities, with the five luxury hotels that follow also serving as home addresses.

Shangri-La Toronto Residences

Shangri-La luxury hotel residence Toronto

Vitals: With less than a third of its 66 floors devoted to reservable rooms, Toronto’s tallest hotel tower might be more accurately described as a supertall condo building with a hotel in it. The upper 49 floors, after all, are home to 392 condo suites divided into three collections — in ascending order, the Residences, the Private Estates and the Penthouse Suites — each more opulent than the last and ranging from 819-square-foot, one-bedroom units to palatial 4,400-square-foot penthouses.

Standout suite features: Custom-designed Boffi kitchens, Miele & Sub Zero appliances including under-counter wine fridges, granite and marble slab countertops, motorized window shades and glass shower enclosures with rain shower and body sprays. The Private Estates also come with two-car garages.

Shared hotel amenities: A fitness centre with a pool and spa, concierge service, valet parking, a Lobby Lounge that serves afternoon tea and snacks, an adjacent cocktail bar, and a Momofuku restaurant headed by New York chef David Chang.

Exclusive residence amenities: A private residential lobby with 24-hour concierge and security provides residents with direct elevator access to every floor via six high-speed lifts.

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The Residences at the St. Regis, Toronto

luxury hotel residence St. Regis Toronto

Vitals: Known as the Trump International Hotel and Tower until 2017, this 64-storey spire is home to 118 residential suites spanning the 32nd through 57th floors. Designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects, the St. Regis is the tallest mixed-use building in Canada.

Standout suite features: Coffered ceilings in galleries, foyers and principal rooms, oversized windows, walk-in closets, Listone Giordano hardwood flooring, custom Downsview Kitchens cabinetry, granite or quartz slab countertops, and natural stone flooring with radiant heating in master bathrooms.

Shared hotel amenities: Situated on the 31st and 32nd floors of the hotel is a 15,000-square-foot spa and 24-hour fitness centre with an infinity-edge saltwater lap pool. Also occupying the 31st floor is the LOUIX LOUIS Grand Bar & Restaurant, while the Astor Lounge hosts nightly Champagne-sabering rituals near the lobby. Personal butler and 24-hour concierge service is also available.

Exclusive residence amenities: Resident-only elevators carry condo owners from ground level to a private lobby on the 32nd floor. Residents also have a private chauffeured BMW 7 Series sedan at their service for outings in the area.

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Four Seasons Private Residences, Montreal

luxury hotel residence

Vitals: Overlooking the affluent swath of downtown known as the “Golden Square Mile,” the 18 condos on the 14th floor of this three-year-old midrise hotel are among the newest of Four Seasons’ branded residences, which now span more than 50 destinations worldwide. Ranging from 3,105 to 6,910 square feet and from one to four bedrooms, the residences were designed by local architect Philip Hazan.

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Standout suite features: Wall-sized curtained windows, gas fireplaces in living rooms and on south-facing terraces, 11-foot ceilings that rise to 12.5 feet in penthouses, heated marble floors in all bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling marble in master baths.

Shared hotel amenities: Valet parking, electric car charging stations, an indoor pool, gym, yoga studio and spa, and an interconnected dining and entertainment complex comprising a restaurant, terrace, lounge and nightclub helmed by renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Exclusive residence amenities: A private street-level entrance, 24-hour security and a doorman.

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Ritz-Carlton Residences, Toronto

ritz carlton hotel residence luxury Toronto

Vitals: Graywood Developments and Cadillac Fairview joined forces on the aforementioned Ritz-branded high-rise project two blocks due north of the CN Tower.

Standout suite features: Custom-designed slim coffered 10-foot ceilings in some foyers, living and dining rooms; full-height wall-to-wall windows; marble, granite, limestone and engineered hardwood flooring; marble, granite and Caesarstone countertops; direct-vent gas fireplaces with custom mantels; custom kitchen cabinetry by Bellini; Kohler Cast Iron Tea-for-Two drop-in bathtubs with deck-mounted Kohler faucets and hand showers.

Shared hotel amenities: A fitness centre, spa, coffee bar, indoor pool and hot tub, and valet parking.

Residence-only amenities: A private residential lobby and gym, 24-hour concierge and security, a Sky Lounge on the 21st floor, an outdoor terrace and barbeque area, a coffee bar, boardroom, catering kitchen, private dining room and theatre.

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The Hazelton Hotel & Private Residences, Toronto

Hazelton luxury hotel residence Toronto
Vitals: Not every hotel-branded residence is part of a chain, as evidenced by these 16 homes set above the Yorkville neighbourhood’s 15-year-old Hazelton Hotel. Ranging from 2,800 to an unprecedented 8,500 square feet, the residences were developed by Hazelton Developments and designed by Toronto’s world-renowned Yabu Pushelberg.

Standout suite features: 10-foot, floor-to-ceilings windows, private terraces, fireplaces with custom mantels, modern kitchens, hardwood flooring, custom-milled base and crown moldings, sophisticated and cutting-edge technology.

Shared hotel amenities: A health club and spa, a film screening room, 24-hour concierge, security, and in-room dining and private catering from the in-house ONE Restaurant.

Residence-only amenities: Private elevators.

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