We went to the Ritz Carlton and the Hyatt Rooftop bar last night. The view from the Hyatt is probably the best in the city and the drinks were reasonably priced. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the cigar smoke. Too bad they encourage that. Otherwise a great experience. The Ritz has the greatest Truffle French fries I have ever tasted. Totally sublime. Great drinks too. We had two different Mohito's and some lovely wine.
We went to the Thompson and was told you had to be a member to get in. A member of a bar??? Give me a break! You would have to be a rich alcoholic with more money than brains to be a member of a bar! Save yourself the trouble and take a pass on the Thompson. Way too much attitude for a great city like Toronto.
There's a new hotel - Hotel Ocho. Was at a party there a couple of weeks ago - not sure it is hopping just yet, but it is basically at Queen and Spadina.
If you can get past the 'escorts', the Four Seasons bar has been known to have a bit of a scene. There's a sky lounge at the Intercontinental but i've never been.
My fave is still the Roof at the Park Hyatt. Always busy but not a hipster hangout.
There's also Proof, a Vodka bar in the Intercontinental on Bloor, on the main floor- if it hasn't closed. Wasn't exactly busy or hip though.
I like the Roof at the Park Hyatt, too, as well as Avenue.
I haven't noticed any scene at Avenue, at the Four Seasons, when I've been there. I'm not a frequent visitor, and I might not have been paying attention if any scene was taking place. Avenue let my favourite charming bartender go a couple years ago, when they had some lay-offs, and our table's server was almost surly on my most recent visit, but I still prefer Avenue to most hotel bars in TO.
I found the crowd a little sketchy the one time I visited the Thompson midweek last spring.
Does the Hotel St Germain or its restaurant Victor have a decent bar?
Guess Toca might work for some people, too. Haven't been.
Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA
181 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5J 2H5, CA
depends on the time on Friday and Saturday nights....
Generally hotel bars skew older and are busy from 3pm to 5pm with people checking in and their rooms not being ready. They are also busy from about 10pm to Midnight as people come back from dinner or their shows. They tend to be places to start or end your evening rather than be the focus of it.
For hip bars at hotels that is another matter entirely. Really they are but a few...Drake, Gladstone, Thompson-they only happen to be in hotels but are operated as bars and nightclubs in their own right and tend to skew younger.