Drake Hotel, Toronto, Ontario $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
A gloriously successful pet project of a dot-com millionaire, the Drake Hotel is a case study in urban gentrification. First opened in the late 19th century and expanded in 1949, the Drake fell on notoriously hard times in the '70s and '80s, along with the surrounding neighborhood of Parkdale. Its guardian angel arrived on the scene around the turn of the millennium and updated the interior with a decidedly design-forward appearance along with 19 hotel rooms. These days, the Drake is known more for its performance-art installations and bar scene than as a place to stay—you'd never know it was a hotel by looking at it—and lines to get in can get ugly on Friday and Saturday nights. Though there may not be a pool or spa, it's not every hotel that offers a legitimately cool nightlife scene, not to mention a great coffee shop to get you through the next morning. For anyone who wants to live hard, party with locals, and see the city's younger, hipper side, there's no better place to lay your weary head.
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