As someone who lives in Hamilton, day trips to Toronto are fairly easy to do as it’s only about an hour’s drive. They don’t happen often because they have to be on weekends when our schedule lines up. We found ourselves with a weekend concert in Toronto and I used it for the perfect reason to turn it into a weekend staycation with a hotel.
Not just any hotel, but The Annex Hotel. This boutique hotel had been on my list of places I’ve wanted to check out for a long time. I finally got to cross it off my list with this weekend overnighter.
I booked a Large Room for our staycation weekend. The check-in instructions arrived via text on the morning of our trip with all the simple instructions for a contactless check-in. This helped us get into the hotel entrance and then into our room using access codes all by ourselves. I love hotels offering this self-serve check-in process to skip any additional hassle.
There was Green P parking outside of the hotel, but it was all full by the time we arrived. We ended up finding a spot along Bloor Street and walking the 2-3 minutes back to the hotel. The street parking luckily only had to be paid until 9pm and was free up until 1pm on Sunday.
Upon entering our room for our weekend stay, I was pleasantly surprised that the space lived up to the hype. It was exactly how all of the photos and videos I had seen online over the years represented it.
The room featured a bed that looked as comfortable as a cloud, decor and artwork to bring together their particular aesthetic. There was lo-fi music playing softly from their in-room iPad and speaker combo as we walked in. There was also a record player with a small assortment of vinyl for guests to play, including Drake and Barbra Streisand.
As to keep with the vibe they had so carefully crafted in these rooms, they did not have a television in the room. Excluding a television helped play into the chill, restful theme in the room. I would prefer having a television, especially if it was a longer stay.
The bathroom and shower combo was separated behind a frosted door. The sink was on the outside our the bathroom, next to the full-length well-lit full-length mirror. The hotel’s toiletries were from The Grown Alchemist, which was a nice touch for having a known cool brand in the rooms.
The staff left us a bottle of wine in the room (gifted). You can have a bottle of wine ready in your room upon arrival as one of the add-ons in the booking. There were other add-ons like a late check-out option and bringing a pet with you.
We could have booked reservations at one of the many places I’ve yet to try in Toronto, but I was intrigued to try their in-house option, The Annex Cafe & Wine Bar. The cafe is open during daytime hours and the wine bar for the evening. We didn’t get to check out Two Twos, their cocktail lounge for the late-night crowd. Next time!
Not only do their rooms set a very specific laid-back and aesthetic vibe, but this also continues to this dining space as well. There aren’t many seats, but just enough to give an intimate feel to the space, separated by couches, low tables, and a bar counter. We opted for the couch area for our dining experience.
For this dinner, we were gifted drink tickets to cover a drink each at dinner. We ended up going during their happy hour which had a deal on their drinks if we were ordering more. Between us, we ordered a glass of orange wine and one of their feature cocktails. They had some non-alcoholic drinks as well featuring Barbet sparkling drinks which I love and Seedlip non-alcoholic spirits. I would definitely try one of those next time I visit!
For food, we both ordered pizza as our meals for the evening. These pizzas couldn’t be modified, but luckily there was a vegan option with seasonal vegetables.
In the morning, we got a text from the Annex Hotel that there was complimentary breakfast for guests at the cafe. We packed up most of our things and then headed down to check out what was available, expecting a pastry or bread.
I was delightfully surprised when we were told we each get a drink from the cafe menu, a pastry or sandwich, and a fruit. There was even a plant-based seasonal veggie breakfast sandwich option which was very tasty.
Since we had plans in the morning, we checked out a bit ahead of the 11am check-out time. Thanks to our earlier packing, we just had to grab a few things after breakfast and we were on our way.
We really enjoyed our stay and I would consider booking the stay again and testing out another room option. Looking back at it, we didn’t need the space of the larger room, but it was a cool experience as our first impression. I would like to eventually see what their special “Daniel’s Room” space looks like in person one day too!
Looking to see where else I’ve travelled to? Check the Travel section of my blog to read more!