Sunsets, sprawling views and spectacular speed  — Hotel X Toronto was the epitome of race and resort luxury for Honda Indy this past weekend.

In a booming city like Toronto with a breadth of hotels to choose from, Hotel X Toronto is sui generis — breaking the constraints of the hotel title and morphing into something that feels more like a lakefront resort with no shortage of city, lake, sunset, and yes, track views.

Entering the lobby, guests were immediately swept into an eco-oasis and greeted with a majestic green wall full of living plant species. As the only hotel in Exhibition Place, it was home to many Indy go-ers and race-teams, creating a unique melting pot of drivers, race attendees, and travellers alike.

A quick elevator ride up to the 28th floor transports guests to “The Pond” at the Falcon SkyBar, a year-round, 50-foot heated swimming pool surrounded by a 360-degree view. For Indy fans looking to relax without missing a beat of the race action this experience is unparalleled. The 10,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor SkyBar spans the top three floors with no shortage of seating — or elevated cocktails — for visitors.

Since 1986, racing has breathed life into the streets of Toronto, largely at Exhibition Place. The Honda Indy Toronto is now an annual IndyCar Series race previously under the moniker Champ Cars. This year visitors witnessed history as France’s Simon Pagenaud took his first Honda Indy title with ease.

The views from the Falcon Skybar offered unobstructed aerial views of the winding track below from Princes’ Gates along Lake Shore West, as a roaring symphony of engines racing by sent electricity into the air.

In the lulls between practice runs and races the beauty didn’t stop; with views of the sun glistening off the navy lake as boats in the harbour swayed with the waves and planes glided into flight from Billy Bishop Airport, it’s hard to believe the hustle and bustle of a big city is only steps away.

The Honda Indy experience at Hotel X Toronto is the ideal mix of relaxation, libations and race excitement. The Honda Indy can only exist with road closures, which can be a point of frustration for visitors, however Hotel X’s BMW car service to-and-from their entrance at the Enercare Centre made for an easy transition. For hotel guests attending the race on the Indy grounds, they had direct access to Thunder Alley for a quick re-entry away from the crowds.

If you’ve ever wanted to hear the sound of speed, the patio of Maxx’s Kitchen on the second floor overlooking the hotel entrance and track needs to be added to the bucket list. The experience of listening to the unique booming noise of the Indy cars zooming by during practice rounds on Friday and Saturday while enjoying a meal is unlike any other. Suggested fare? Try the lemon and herb lamb chops, with the roasted ginger crème brûlée and espresso martini to finish.

Views aside, the hotel is abundant with unique offerings including a screening room,  professional conference/lecture hall, 10XTO a state of the art private gym and spa facility equipped with squash and tennis courts, a golf simulator and a hot yoga studio. To top it off, the ground floor is home to an original photo art gallery by photographer Neil Dankoff  who travelled the world snapping shots specially curated for the hotel. If that isn’t the job of dreams, what is?

Loction, location, location! Positioned just inside Prince’s Gates, it’s just a few minutes outside the downtown core right next to the Beanfield Centre and Enercare Centre, with Billy Bishop Airport just around the corner it’s a no-brainer for any business or conference travellers. For those looking to mix business with pleasure, the entertainment options are abundant with Budweiser Stage, BMO Field and Liberty Village a stone’s throw away.

With or without the Honda Indy in town, Hotel X Toronto is one of the places you’ll visit and very quickly wonder “Why would I ever stay anywhere else?”

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