Located between Queens Park Avenue and the luxurious Bloor Street, Windsor Arms Hotel is an unexpected little treasure in the fastest growing city in North America. In fact, Toronto is the 4th most populated city on the continent but takes the 2nd spot when it comes to wealth. Elegantly designed skyscrapers are popping like mushrooms as the city shapes itself as a serious business center attracting more and more enterprises from the United States to Asia. Did I mention that Canada has a population of only 40 million?
“To feel like home, but better” In this whirlwind of events, Windsor Arms Hotel (WAH) sits comfortably in its prime location not looking at what others are doing, but instead focusing on creating an exceptional experience for its guests, a place where they can “feel at home – but better”. CovetED Magazine had the privilege to interview Mr. George Friedmann, the owner of WAH.
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CM – How would you describe the hotel? Does it have a signature touch?
GF – It’s important to understand that Canada is a very, very young country, when this beautiful building was originally built in 1927 it was the very first hotel in Toronto. We want to respect its heritage and roots, so the style is typically British with a few cues of colonial, but with the luxury that you expect from a hotel built today.
“Boutique hotels sometimes are just small hotels” We are truly a boutique hotel, not because we don’t have enough space – we have decreased our room capacity from 80 to just 30 suites because we wanted to create the best experience for our guests by providing in each suite a living room, bathroom with shower and a tub, independent air conditioner, and humidistat – “some celebrities like this” – and a staff that can fulfill virtually any request 24 hours a day.
Plus, I value providing access to a gym, a pool, a spa (fully equipped with a massage room, salt cave and ice bath), a restaurant, meeting room, cinema room, etc.
CM – What makes Windsor Arms Hotel special when compared with other hotels in Toronto or in the world?
GF – I believe what distinguishes us is our history, our know-how, and homeyness. Keep in mind that WAH is the place of choice for celebrities and actors to stay in Toronto (Toronto is the 3rd city in the world with the most theaters) because they want to be treated with discretion and we have built that trust with them. Our Butler service is quite unique; it’s about having the right attitude and right approach. Fun is important in life.
“Once we had a client that asked us to fill the tub with jello, we just asked one question: Which flavor?”
CM – What services do the guests love the most at Windsor Arms?
GF – I would say the Tea room, weekend afternoons are very popular here. It’s required to book a table and you can choose from more than 40 varieties of teas from all over the world. I also would like to add that our restaurant is quite good, and it’s important to mention that 75% of the people that come to this restaurant are not guests.
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CM – Can you talk about your favorite moments here at Windsor Arms?
GF – That’s a tough question. We have had several important personal moments, for instance:
Elton John and David Furnish‘s engagement party was perhaps the most significant one – he played a live concert with some of his closest friends and mentioned in his speech: “How much better can my life be to be engaged in Windsor Arms and get married in Windsor Castle” Andrea Bocelli stayed and performed here, great concert. Il Divo too. Elizabeth Taylor was proposed to by Richard Burton here back in 1967 as well. Charity events are becoming very important, we held one in 1997 with President Clinton and 200 local Toronto elite that raised $1.3 Million dollars. And we can’t forget about the Toronto film festival opening party that is held here each year. This building is highly recognized by Hollywood; fortunately we don’t need to advertise.
The team CovetED Magazine would like to thank Mr. George Friedmann for the wonderful and lovely stay at Windsor Arms Hotel.
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