“Recharge your batteries to update your spirit. Refresh your perspectives to update your soul.” – G. Boston
Welcome to a new year! We’ve got 12 months ahead of us with goals to execute, problems to solve and missions to accomplish, which is why I’m planning ahead this year with this post, reminding us all to prioritize recharging our battery as often as we can. Sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery to allow us to unplug for a little while so that we can go the distance (effectively and happily). We don’t necessary have to travel far far away to recharge, but a fresh view outside our window and even a new space that we wouldn’t normally find ourselves in can take our mind off of the everyday stresses and worries that’s been bogging us down.
Which is exactly why I recently checked in to Toronto’s new boutique hotel, The Annex, for a staycation. No TV. No Room Service. No amenities. However, before you cringe over the thought of not having Instagrammable eats in bed, you should consider what I’m about to share about this new hotel nestled in one of the the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. It’s being touted as a “street-level hotel made to feel like home,” and well, I can’t argue that.
When I first walked in, I found myself in the hotel’s restaurant lounge. There wasn’t a front desk with your familiar bellman in sight but instead, a friendly representative who approached me with her iPad and fabulous Diana Ross-like hair! Beside an open kitchen with a chef putting together late night snacks, she checked me in.
We walked up a stairwell to the third floor and down a hallway that reminded me of a loft I had once visited on Queen St. West. When we got to my room, I entered a four digit code to enter which was a relief because I’m always “that guest” who loses the room card on the same day. I’m working on my flakiness this year.
I felt like I had walked into a bachelor apartment owned by a young architect who’s passion for music was written all over the walls. Yes, there were interesting hand-selected artwork hanging that gave me this impression but also, an incredible selection of records and a record player at my disposal! From Kendrick Lamar to Miles Davis, Ray Lamontagne to Kanye West, my musical taste buds were fired up.
On one end I found a comfortable, appropriately slept in bed for my staycation, and on the other, a massive shower that would likely fit four people – if that’s what you’re looking for. Two large windows sat above a long desk that took up the length of the room with a sink stationed at the corner of the room. Like most hotel rooms, there was also a shelf with snacks, bevies and books for my reading pleasure. Admittedly, the thought never crossed my mind because I was so distracted by the records.
Around 11:00PM that evening I dropped by the lounge for a night cap. With an eclectic cocktail menu, chill house music that gave me all the Miami vibes, and a super friendly bar staff, I felt compelled to stay for another.
The next morning I went back for breakfast. The menu is quite small which I prefer because who likes to stare at a menu for minutes on end, torn between choices like a breakfast tug-a-war? I decided to go with the avocado toast with fresh flower petals and pomegranates sprinkled on top which was a delightful way to start a Tuesday morning. Packed full of flavour, light, and beautiful to look at!
If you’re planning your next trip to Toronto – I gotta say that The Annex rivals your typical hotel and Airbnb rental. It’s homey without a cleaning fee attached, and it’s as charming as your girlfriend’s bachelorette. If you’re a Torontonian and reading this – you might wanna stop by and experience a different side of the city that might just give you that dose of rejuvenation needed for the year ahead!
B. Tru xx