A Home Away From Home In Downtown Toronto

Earlier this year, I promised myself that I would take more adventures. I realized that even though I’ve wandered far, I haven’t done much exploring right here in Ontario, so I decided to focus my efforts on adventuring closer to home. In January, I booked workshops at the Toronto Yoga Conference. You know what booking events out-of-town means? Booking accommodations out-of-town! But, it’s been literally ten years since I stayed in a hotel, which also happened to be the last time I was in Toronto, and I recall not having the best time… So Toronto had big shoes to fill to make me love it. Well, I’ll be damned if this city didn’t win me over a little more, every hour I was there.

Let’s talk about those accommodations. I had to find a place that would be clean, comfortable, and would have fantastic food – because you know I’m all about food. The Delta Toronto Hotel seemed like a perfect fit, so I booked two nights and immediately got more excited about my work-cation.

My friend, Allison (of Rising Lotus Yoga) also booked some workshops at the Toronto Yoga Conference, so we decided to carpool and split the drive. Hard to argue with saved money, shared tunes, smaller carbon footprints, good stories, and good company! With the sun in our eyes, and excitement in our hearts, we set out for the big city at 9am on April 11th, and arrived safe and sound at the Delta Toronto Hotel around 2pm.

From my front door, to the hotel front desk, I felt like there was always someone looking out for me and leading me in the right direction. I often get anxious that transactional conversations and exchanges (like those involved in checking into a hotel), will magically reveal me to be the awkward person I sometimes feel I am. But checking in at the Delta was super easy! The concierge was very pleasant in reviewing the hotel amenities with us, and told us where to find food, the gym, and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Shortly afterward, I was on my way up to my room with my belongings, keycard in hand.

The room was stunning; my jaw dropped to the floor! The room had plenty of natural light and a beautiful view of the city. It was energizing to be in this bright, clean, tidy, and wonderfully furnished suite, especially after five hours cooped up in a car. I was particularly relieved at how spacious the suite was. Have you seen any of my Instagram videos? If so, you know that I’m the kind of human that requires plenty of room to move around, whether I’m doing yoga, or just settling down for some rest and relaxation.

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, and stopped giggling uncontrollably at how amazing the room was, I organized a few things, and then set off with Allison for a meeting with the Daniel Reyes of Do The Daniel! A whisky tasting had been arranged at Char No .5 Whisky Bar, a unique venue just off the main lobby of the Delta Toronto Hotel. The tastings are private and only available by reservation, and boast a selection of 250 different whisky, scotch, and bourbon options to choose from. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this novel activity.

Char No. 5 has some of the world’s best whisky on offer, allowing for the cultivation of a one-of-a-kind whisky experience. The ambience is warm urban chic; it’s well-lit with modern minimalistic furnishings and food plating to match. The vibe is inviting, and even with many patrons, the bar maintained an air of calm sophistication.

Up until this point, I had never tried Whisky. I always felt it would be too strong for me, or that the flavour would be overwhelming. In the spirit of stretching my horizons and trying new things, I set all my reservations aside, and opened my mind, ears, nose, and mouth to the fascinating world of whisky. After all, I do love to learn about food and drink! I was all ears, listening to Head Bartender Ray Daniel, explain the origins of whisky (Canada, USA, Ireland, and Scotland), and aging process for each spirit presented in the array selected for us. He showed me how to properly sniff a glass of whisky without burning my esophagus – a very important tip!

Chef Keith Pears popped in with delicious foods that were specifically chosen to pair with our four varieties of whisky. No surprise, the foods complemented the whiskys perfectly, and made for a truly memorable occasion. One of the spirits we tried was Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey, and peeps: I think I might be a Jim Beam kind of lady. I am now more confident in my knowledge of whisky, and feel like I have more beverage choices when I’m out for an evening with friends.

The tasting ended, but the night was still young, so Allison and I explored the area, with the helpful guidance of the Delta Toronto Hotel front desk staff. They provided us with maps, and gave many suggestions on how we could spend our evening. After a bit of sight-seeing though, we found ourselves fatigued, and retired to our hotel suites, parting ways for the night. We had a huge day of moving and learning ahead of us, at day one of the Yoga Conference, so we needed to be well-rested.

Waking up in the morning light, in such a comfortable bed, made for an amazing start to the day. At home, I typically wake up to my son’s foot in my eye or mouth, or maybe jammed against my head. Here, I had a whole king-sized bed to myself, and it felt like heaven. I did a quick morning yoga practice, and before taking off to retrieve passes for the workshops I signed up for, I jumped in the shower to make sure I would be greeting the day fresh-faced and squeaky clean.

The bathrooms in the Delta Hotel are great on their own, but are instantly elevated to a status of fabulous with the inclusion of their amenity kits. These kits include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, liquid hand soap, and bar soap. It was refreshing to find that all the products are made from naturally-derived ingredients, and smell amazing! Best of all, for each amenity kit in each suite, one is given back to amazing kids living in communities in need worldwide, which made this yogi’s heart sing. My skin felt great after the shower, and I loved the energizing scent of the bath products. One of my goals is to try and stick to natural body care, so I was pleased to keep my eye on the prize while away from home.

It was a long eventful and fulfilling day at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and by the time my workshops were done, all I wanted to do was relax. I met up with some friends for dinner, but then hightailed it to my suite for an evening of Netflix and relaxation. Imagine my joy at watching a show without anyone asking me what happened in the latest episode, or asking me to explain something they’d missed!

My two-night stay at the Delta was divine, and I wish I could have been there longer. It just had so many excellent amenities! There was the 24/7 Fitness Centre, the SOCO Kitchen + Bar (heart-warming food!), Char No. 5 of course, and I can’t forget their continental breakfast! Maybe you’re laughing because continental breakfasts are something of a joke at some hotels, but this continental breakfast was served in a lounge on the top floor, with a fantastic view of the city. I found that eating breakfast there, while gazing at the cityscape, really helped put my life in perspective.

Would I hit up a Delta Hotel again? You bet I would! The atmosphere and accommodations were classy, the service was exceptional, and the amenities really helped me maintain a close version of my regular daily routine, which made me more comfortable while away from home. A huge shout out to the Delta Toronto Hotel, for hosting me on my first visit to Toronto in a decade. I had a great time in Toronto, due in no small part to everything running so smoothly. The energy of this city was inspiring, and the people were delightful. I can’t wait to return!

Join me on my wild journey through Instagram with #DoTheDaniel, and see how I try to handle life in the Ottawa Valley, running a business, and being a yogi while raising this amazing child that has given me a new sense of purpose (and a few grey hairs!).

With Gratitude,


Photos by Ro Nwosu

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