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Original Boutique Hotels :: The Hazelton Toronto

Where: 118 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada
August 20, 2008 at 2:00 PM | by | ()

We now live in a world where every major hotel chain seems to slapping on the description "boutique hotel" to their newest brands like Starwood's aloft hotels and InterContinental's Hotel Indigo, which just opened its 16th location in the L.A. suburb of Ontario.

Hotel Indigo has (like many others before it) in fact broken one of the cardinal rules of proper boutique hotels: thou shall not exist in suburbia. Also, thou shall never have more than one location with the same name, let alone 16.

Even the man who started the boutique hotel business, Ian Schrager, is now selling out to the masses by creating a boutique hotel brand, called Edition, for Marriott, the biggest big-box hotel chain of them all.

All this leads us to ask: Where Have All The Good Boutique Hotels Gone?

We here at HotelChatter are going to devote some interweb space to profiling some of the Original Boutique Hotels that are out there. These hotels have one location only are found in urban metropolises across the globe--not near an airport or a strip mall. And today we are starting with Toronto's Hazelton Hotel.

The Hazelton Hotel is design decadent as only a true boutique hotel can be.

Owners and developers Peter Cohen and Bruce Greenberg pulled out all the stops when they signed on Toronto-based design firm Yabu Pushelberg to create the 77-room hotel's haute couture interiors and Canadian chef Mark McEwan to fashion the down-home-and-still-deluxe menu at One, the celebrity culinarian's dining room at The Hazelton.

But to keep true to the chic Yorkville neighborhood where it's located, the hotel is also home to Hazel, an emporium of elegantly high fashion by designers like Canadian-born Erdem and Paris-bred J. Mendel.

The men behind the modish selections are stylists Nicholas Mellamphy, a Torontonian who first honed his craft at Gucci, Chanel and Escada, and Steven Rozon, formerly of Gucci and Hermes.
Clearly, the exclusive picks of these taste-makers doesn't come cheap; merchandise prices range from $85 to $80,000 while hotel rates start at $425 a night. But if you're on the market for one-of-a-kind luxury lodging, this is where it's at.

In fact, The Hazelton is everything boutique hotels were before the big boys of brand accommodations came along and began slapping the boutique label on every new property they own.

Got an Original Boutique Hotel you think we should know about? Send it to us!

[Photo: St.Even]

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