On July 23rd, 2020, our Content Marketing Manager, Ryan Adelson, spent the night at the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville to find out for herself what's changed with the help of Shaun Pearson, the hotel's manager. The 4-star hotel, which is part of the IHG Group, is located in the vibrant neighborhood of Yorkville and stayed opened through the pandemic, offering a place to stay for medical professionals, individuals needing to quarantine and those who weren't able to return home as travel bans were put in place. Changes are noticeable before you even step in the door with the installation of a motion sensor to open the doors.
Arriving to the hotel is now a touchless experiences, thanks to the newly installed wave feature on the front door of the hotel. Guests are then greeted by signage explaining the Ontario bylaws for mask usage and physical distancing.
Once at the check-in counter, the experience is mostly contactless with customers swiping their own credit cards. During the process, guests are told that as per the IHG Clean promise, if their room doesn't meet their cleanliness standards to let the staff know so that the situation can be fixed.
Finally, customers are provided with a PPE kit containing:
- A mask
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
Cleanliness has always been important for InterContinental and Yorkville, which is why the IHG Way of Clean was implemented in 2015. With COVID-19, the program has been enhanced with new protocols and all staff have been retrained on the processes with annual certifications to keep up with any changes.
As part of their commitment to cleanliness they have partnered with the Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey.
Listed are some of the enhancements at InterContinental Toronto Yorkville specifically:
- Masks are mandatory in public spaces
- Wave function at the front door for a touchless experience
- Elevator buttons are currently cleaned every hour, however, touchless technology will be installed this summer
- Hand sanitizer throughout public areas and on each guest floor by the elevator
- A dedicated cleaner for public spaces that makes sure each area is cleaned every hour
- A dedicated box for keys and pens to be sanitized after each use
- Staff temperature taken daily and health questionnaire filled out
The IHG Clean Promise Pledge states: Good isn’t good enough – we’re committed to high levels of cleanliness. That means clean, well maintained, clutter free rooms that meet our standards. If this isn’t what you find when you check-in then we promise to make it right
Upholding the pledge, the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville has made some changes to its rooms:
- High touch items such as throw pillows, magazines, pens, hair dryers etc. have been removed, however, anything is available by calling down to the front desk or using Zingle, the hotel's 24/7 concierge accessible through texting
- 24 hour resting period between guests
- Newly renovated rooms provide newer surfaces that are easier to clean
- Housekeeping is only provided if asked by the guest and will never enter the room while you're there
The room was noticeably different, however some things remained the same. Some observations made by Ryan were:
- Thoroughly cleaned surfaces
- Lack of items on surfaces such as magazines, pens, stationary
- The TV remote was wrapped in a cardboard sleeve
- There were no throw pillows on the couch or bed
- In the bathroom, single use containers were available
- There was a Nespresso Machine and Kettle
- The mini bar is present, however it was empty
Food & Beverage
Dining at the hotel is an ever-changing situation as it is dictated by the province. At the time of this visit only in-room dining was available, however, since then the Proof Patio has opened.
In-room dining is available from 6:30 am - 10 pm with a full menu offering. The staff do no not enter the room with the room service cart and there is no longer a need to sign the bill, making the experience contactless. The food offerings however, are the same, as well as the high standards of cleanliness, which the kitchen staff have always upheld. All staff wear gloves and a mask when preparing food.
Proof Patio, which serves food and innovative cocktails, has been modified during this time. While it has the capacity for 130 guests, it will now only allow 30 guests at a time, allowing for tables to be 6 feet apart. Additionally, there will be QR codes on each table and the option to see a one time use menu. The patio will be open Tuesday - Thursday (4-11pm) and Friday and Saturday (4-12pm).
In terms of amenities, the pool is open at the hotel with modified hours and restricted access (guests are to sign out a key from the front desk to keep track of how many people are there).
The pool is open from 5 am - 11 pm with a maximum capacity of 5 guests.
Ryan enjoyed a swim during her stay and told us, "it was a great amenity to have open during my stay and it was nice to have what felt like my own personal pool!"
Meeting and Events
IHG's new Meet With Confidence program allows guest to book with confidence with their new flexible meeting offer.
Changes in meetings at the InterContinental Yorkville include:
- New physical distancing measures and updated capacity chart
- Updated food and beverage offerings with individualized plated options in lieu of a buffet
- Individualized 6 foot tables per attendee with 1.5 feet in between tables.
- As of now in phase 2, 10 attendees are allowed for meetings, 50 for weddings and funerals
- In phase 3, 36 attendees without masks will be allowed (as the space allows for proper distancing) or 50 with masks on
- PPE welcome kit at each table
"I had a great stay at the InterContintental Toronto Yorkville! The hotel was beautiful, clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The welcome kit was a great amenity and it was reassuring to see all the hand sanitization stations around the hotel. I really enjoyed that they were able to open the pool in a safe manner as it was a nice amenity to have!" said Ryan of her stay at the hotel.
The InterContinental Toronto Yorkville is currently offering a multitude of offers as they welcome guests back to their hotels, including Canada Road Trip, Gas and Go, Toronto Cultural Gateways and the IHG Hero rate.