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New Delta Hotel Toronto coming along … Calgary occupancy on rise

The hotel focus in Toronto the past couple years has been on five-star hotels or five-star hope-to-be’s. delta-torontoWe’ve seen the opening of the lovely Ritz Carlton and the Shangri-La, which I quite like, as well as the Trump and the new Four Seasons.

Now comes one of the few four-star “full-service” hotels to be built in Toronto in years.

Delta Hotels and Resorts unveiled its flagship hotel in the city’s South Core neighbourhood during a topping off event on Oct. 8, marking the completion of the hotel’s 46th floor.
Scheduled to open in late 2014, the Delta Toronto at Southcore Financial Centre will usher in the next generation of four-star full-service hotels for the Delta brand.

Delta Hotels and Resorts “is in the midst of a major transformation to better serve Canadian and international travellers,” officials said. “Designed to exceed the evolving expectations of the modern traveller, the Delta Toronto will serve as the flagship brand standard for Delta’s growing portfolio of hotels and resorts across Canada.”

“The Delta Toronto is truly a unique hotel property in the Greater Toronto Area market,” says Ken Greene, President and CEO of Delta Hotels and Resorts. “Toronto has not seen a purpose-built four-star full-service hotel in two decades. We are excited to bring our upscale hospitality experience, as well as our reputation for service excellence, to Toronto’s newest neighbourhood.”

The Delta Toronto features 567 guest rooms with views of the lake, the downtown skyline and CN Tower. Rooms will be on average 400 square feet, which is above what most four-star hotels offer. A number of rooms will also have spacious four-piece bathrooms with freestanding tubs and separate showers. Additionally, 16 luxurious extended-stay suites will be available.

Designed with the latest in sustainable features and built according to LEED standards, the hotel will benefit from a number of innovative technologies including: heat recovery ventilation and low flow fixtures; smartcards controlling room lighting and air based on suite occupancy; green roofs throughout the building; and an urban forest which will create a unique green space with forested walkways and gardens.

The hotel will also include extensive health and wellness facilities including gym, yoga studio, steam room, whirlpool and indoor pool.

The Delta Toronto will connect people with Toronto’s financial and entertainment districts through direct access to the PATH, Union Station and Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The hotel will also act a stepping stone to neighbouring cultural and sporting events, attractions and a revitalized waterfront.

“The new Delta Toronto is right in the heart of Toronto’s hottest new district – the South Core – that has quickly become a prime area for entertainment, sports, meetings and great hotels,” says David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto.

Sounds like it’ll be a very solid addition to the city. And it’s a big deal for Delta as the former Delta Chelsea is now the Eaton Chelsea, leaving Delta – temporarily – without a major downtown presence in the country’s biggest city.

CALGARY NUMBERS ON THE RISE

Things are looking up in Calgary for hotels, which is no surprise given the general economy out west. A new report says the average daily rate for hotels in the city rose to $156.68 last year, surpassing the previous high achieved in 2008 of $154.45.

Occupancy levels for the first seven months of 2013 were running at 72.3%, up from 70.0% during the same period in 2012.

THIS AND THAT

Air Canada is expanding its Europe coverage. The airline will add non-stop service from Toronto to Milan, Italy with up to five weekly flights, offering the only non-stop service between Canada and Milan. In addition, Air Canada will increase its year-round Toronto-Istanbul non-stop service to daily flights from three times weekly. As part of the Summer 2014 schedule, Air Canada’s leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge, will launch seasonal non-stop flights between Toronto-Lisbon, Toronto-Manchester, Montreal-Barcelona and Montreal-Nice. The new routes supplement the leisure carrier’s other popular vacation destinations, including previously announced Toronto-Dublin year-round service … I didn’t know this until now, but Via Rail offers free trips to Canadian musicians travelling across the country in exchange for playing on board. Wouldn’t that be a great trip? How about Jim Cuddy or Blue Rodeo as you cross the Rockies? How awesome would that be? … Sunwing Airlines has enhanced its Elite Plus Service with the introduction of priority baggage handling. Now passengers who upgrade to Elite Plus can travel with ease as their luggage will be the first to be available for pick-up upon arriving in their destination and returning to Canada … The Ritz Carlton continues to grow in Asia. They opened a property in Chengdu, China (Sichuan province) this week, and will open one in Tianjin, on the coast near Beijing, on the 18th. They also will open a Ritz in Bangalore, India on Oct. 31. Tons of luxury properties going up all over Asia these days, especially China and India … Why do some hotels insist on playing loud music OUTSIDE? I’m typing these notes on the patio at the ultra-lovely Hansar Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand. But instead of hearing the birds and the waves and the wind I’m listening to jazzy versions of “For Once In My Life” and “If You Think I’m Sexy.” I hate this….

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