Desperatley needing a get-away and knowing only a Drake fix would do, my husband and I booked the weekend spontaneously at 10:00 on a Thurs. night for Fri....asked if Sat. was available if we could swing it from our end and were told 'no problem - we have you covered'...and covered they did! Our very favorite host in Toronto, Jonathan the hotel Manager, not only squeezed us in at the last minute, arranged parking right across the street and was there to greet us, he also up-graded us to the very lovely and one of a kind suite! We were over the moon! After staying here many many times and always getting a crash pad but secretly coveting the suite, we were surprised, delighted and as giddy with excitement as school girls at a Beiber concert, to have our own little apartment at our favorite hotel in the world! The room and all her accoutrements was a treat - being both hip yet retro with all the most modern conveniences, beautifully decorated and as well-appointed with all the bells and whistles as the crash pads, with the welcome addition of a wee fridge, huge closet, and ample seating for guests. We loved the large washroom area with huge shower and appreciated having two rooms with the bedroom being separate from the super cool 'lounge' area with its retro, glamourous day bed, large flat screen t.v. and large comfy leather chair. Being at the front of the building was not noisy as per "ranger2705" who in a previous Drake review had speculated being at the front of the hotel would be noisy even with double glazing - (though it may have been because we didn't go to bed until after the late evening's traffic had wound up for the night - which is why we go to The Drake - to stay up late and let the city get sleepy and quiet before we retire). We did not find it noisy in the morning at all and in fact slept-in both mornings until well after 9:30 - perhaps the gentle hum of the fan provided enough white noise to keep any outdoor road noise at bay. The shower doors are "simply glazed" as per ranger2705 but again, unless you are sharing a room with a business partner (weird) the showers are sexy and only slightly revealing - like when a woman of a certain age wears a negligee - you can catch a wee glimpse at what lies behind the frilly exterior without having to see the whole package.
It was a delightful treat having that suite and Jonathan setting us up there was a surprise that we will talk about for a long time.
Jonathan is a surprise and a treat himself - funny, engaging and well-spoken with a quick wit and ribald sense of humour. Where else in the city will the hotel Manager first of all up-grade your room without you asking not because he thinks you will never go again unless he does, but because he now knows you well enough to know you will be SO excited and tickled pink to be in there that he does it for the sheer pleasure of your reaction? Where else would you go in the city where the hotel Manager would then sit and have a drink (or two) with you when he is finished work and leave you to the rest of your night with a fond and sincere kiss and hug? Where will you be greeted with "Welcome home!!!" when you arrive by the front desk staff (Stephanie - thanks for the warm welcome - we love walking in that door to your warmth and smiling face!!!) What other hotel do you go to where everyone there knows your name, stops what they are doing to take the time to chat, catch up with stories about their lives and generally make you feel like you are the most interesting person you think you are...only at The Drake that we have ever experienced!
Notable mentions....Our three favorite servers - Christine, Kayla and Jeff were still there in the lounge - still funny, glamourous and cool and SO smart and naughty in the best way - Jeff, we are still sorry we missed your acoustic set Friday night but promise when you are playing next we will be there, front and center - may we only hope you might do a set on the May long weekend hint, hint?? Christine, be still our hearts - we have a crush on her big-time - ask for her area & you will not be disappointed but only if you appreciate attention to your every need, graceful beauty, a huge heart and an exquisite sense of humour. Kayla stopped by Fri. and Sat. for a chat - she of the huge smile, beauty that stops you in your tracks and fresh off her stint on t.v. - she filled us in on her budding acting career and we look forward to seeing both her and Christine on the big screen!
We met Perry Friday night for the first time - adorable and fits right in - we hope she is there for the long haul as she seems like she has been there forever already. Say hello to the fabulous Gord in the Sky yard when you are there - tell him 'Patti and Steve' sent you for a night cap then hit the outdoor rooftop patio for some fresh air, a hot toddy and a comfy bon-fire while you admire the bevy of young hipsters mixed with some 'less than young' but still crazy-cool folks of a certain age who are all united enjoying The Drake World and all it has to offer.
The food is outstanding - we have not eaten anywhere else the whole time we there for many, many two-night stays - it is always that good and always spot-on when they change it up - it does not need to have a 'Boston Pizza' sized generic bible of a menu - it is perfection in its attention to seasonality, theme (comfort food, maple sugar time, old school-retro, pulled pork pop-up, Chinese take-out) and what wonderful new hot foodie ideas are trending...as a fellow foodie I appreciate everything that comes out of the kitchen!
I am not missing the coffee machine in the room (as per a previous review by another guest) as when have you EVER had a good cup of coffee from a wee hotel coffee maker - seriously...stale packaged coffee pouch, dehydrated coffeemate, a plastic stir stick...no, The Drake is better than that and wouldn't want that for her guests....IMO. Plus the cafe is a two second walk downstairs, has the best coffee ever, the coolest servers with the best (and most) tatoos in any cafe in T.O., and if you are lucky the 'Hello Dollies' or scones are fresh out of the oven and calling your name. If you are not enamoured with seeing your beloved or biz associate in the shower, this would be the perfect time to sneak out and surprise them with a perfect coffee.
If you want a certain room...call and be specific what you want...we have stayed many times and have always been accomodated with whatever room-type we needed...at first it was a quiet top floor room away from the sky yard or lobby...then it quickly became, "What do you think - where would you like to put us this time?" and voila - the room of your dreams.
If you get the chance, PLEASE stay here - you do not have to be a 20-something hipster who stays up late clubbing - you can be a 40-something hipster-wannabe who is now looking for that personal touch - a fabulous Manager who knows you by name, treats you with sincere warmth and personally tends to your every need, an exquisite meal served by a wonderful familiar face, a warm greeting in the morning served with a side of joking and joshing, a sweet hug when you leave and all the wonderful 'Drake-world' you can squeeze in, in between arriving and reluctantly leaving.
See you all in May! We love you guys!!!
*Just call and be specific...they will hook you up!*
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC