I need a minimum of a trip every 3 months. I just recently received my fourth week vacation allotment at work (WOOHOO!) but sometimes, schedules don’t work out. Pals are using their vacations on out of town weddings, my husband is jet setting to the middle of nowhere Canada for work, my mommy friends can’t get a long term sitter, man, getting older is hard. BUT! I was recently given a free stay at the hip Queen Street location Drake Hotel (www.thedrake.ca) from Daily Hive Toronto (www.dailyhive.com) (BLESS you!)
I invited one of my close friends Amber to join me for a night away from work stress, husbands hogging the TV and making dinner, but right in our own backyard. Both of us haven’t had a ‘staycation’ before, I always figured, I live downtown anyway, what am I missing?, but from the moment we booked the hotel, the service I experienced was incredible. A customer relations agent named Danielle e-mailed to check in and see if I needed anything special for the room. We were told we could have anything from flowers, chocolates and even adult toys (hey now!) waiting for us upon arrival Also, since we were guests of the hotel, we could receive passes for complimentary yoga and spin classes, and we would be granted free access to the DJ set in the Drake Underground (usually $20).
Check in was a breeze and we got a room on the 3rd floor overlooking Queen Street called The Crash Pad. It’s a mere 150 square feet but they really utilize the space well and we never felt crowded. There were two mini bottles of champagne on ice for us (perfect surprise) and cards with a number to text written on it if we needed anything from the concierge. We never needed to use it but it seemed super convenient. A cute touch I enjoyed, were designer stuffed animal/doll sitting on each of the bed’s. We got one that resembled what I thought to be a moon or a little meteorite. Just adorable.
Included in our getaway package was a $100 gift card to one of my favoruite hangouts, The Drake Mini Bar (www.drakeminibar.ca). This was the first time I would have actually eaten here, but I am very familiar with their long list of in-house bartender created cocktails (my favourite is the Maharaja! Try it out). Located a short Uber ride away in the Financial District, the Drake Mini Bar is in the lobby of an office building right across from the Drake One Fifty. The vibe is always really relaxed yet still chic and stylish and has a killer mural on the back wall. I enjoyed the mushroom pasta with a drink or three, and Amber indulged in the steak frites. It was the perfect start to our evening.
We headed back to our little crash pad to get ready for the DJ. There were tons of fun snacks to choose from (I just LOVE Squish gummies) and high quality in room products like lotions and shower gels and shampoo from Malin + Goetz.
We felt like we needed another Maharaja before hitting the dance floor, so we headed down a few flights of stairs and into the hotel’s bar. The staff were great to talk to and very friendly. The cocktail list is the same as at the Drake Mini Bar, but there were great local craft beers on tap and your usual bar rail. The aesthetics of any Drake hotel or bar location are always a sight to see. Carefully selected pieces of art or backdrops make the locations an interesting meet up point with friends or coveted place to stay (think Prince Edward County).
The Drake Underground was no less impressive. Fun neon signs lit up the room and booths covered with brightly patterned wallpaper held patrons resting their feet and re-upping their drinks. Pink and purple strobe lights moved through the pulsing crowd as DJ’s took turns with their 90’s throwback sets. I’m a grandma when it comes to going out, I’m usually in bed by midnight but we were having so much fun and the crowd was so easy to get lost in, we didn’t return to our room until 2am. If you’re a fan of throwback’s be sure to check out Thursday nights in the Drake underground for a good time.
The bed was super comfy and so welcoming after hours of dancing to Nelly and Usher. We slept like babies and the windows were so well insulated we didn’t really hear any noise from the street. I wake up really easily and this is always sort of a concern for me when travelling.
Check out was quick and at 11am. We took our freebie yoga passes to The Good Space (www.goodspacetoronto.ca) , a short walk down Dufferin Street. A bright, open studio that smelled of lemon grass beckoned us out of our hungover states and we were gently lead through a series of poses with yoga blocks and cushions to help us along. We took Friday off of work for this staycation and it felt so nice to take some time for ourselves and take part in a little self care. I may have never known of this studio before The Drake brought it up to us. I’ve probably passed it before dozens of times but it’s a little unassuming and in an office building, so it may have gone unnoticed to me. I really enjoyed my class there and look forward to returning.
It was fun to see Toronto through the eyes of a tourist for a night. The service we received at The Drake was impeccable from beginning to end and really seems like the perfect choice for someone visiting our great city. I’m glad I was able to experience it and I would love to go back with my husband for a cute little escape from the average day to day.
Thanks to the Drake for being wonderful hosts and to the Daily Hive for setting this all up for us. We may have found our new favourite weekend activity!
Until next event! X
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.