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2006 10 05
Cosmopolitan Zen

By Cassandra Russell

Amidst the seamless frenzy of Toronto’s downtown core lies the Zen chic Cosmopolitan Hotel. My husband and I pampered ourselves with a spa overnight for two, to escape the piles of boxes at home that surrounded us after our move.

As a graphic artist, I was keen on experiencing the urban spa atmosphere first hand. I wanted to indulge in the hotel’s reputable visual details. The website suggested much for those of us who appreciate little luxuries.

Upon arrival, I began to sense the sanctuary in the all black lobby which reads like an alluring nigh club. Blending in like a chameleon, as I too was fully clad in black, I immediately felt at home. We checked in, exhaling peacefully in the darkened setting, which was a tranquil departure from the visual collage of the city.

After a security swipe, we entered the suite on the twenty second floor which also featured a full corner window facing Lake Ontario. My mind temporarily dissolved any thoughts of the unpacked boxes waiting for us at home. As we walked through the door, relaxation mode kicked in. Well edited, was the first thought that came to mind.


Hardwood floors, monotone mosaic tiles, shag rugs, and crisp white 400 thread count Egyptian cotton linens were some of the textures that create a sense of lavish home comfort in the suite. The separate bedroom looked like a page in House and Home Magazine. Also of note was the 7ft bamboo fountain fashioned by energy consultant Sylvia Noble, whose calm trickling could be heard throughout. The good chi was definitely flowing.

Not that I was planning on cooking, but the suite’s trendy kitchenette does boast six appliances, china and utensils. I pictured making a fabulous gourmet meal with this mini kitchen as an up to date backdrop. For a couple whose décor style is always dancing between contemporary traditional and modern, it was refreshing to be in a space where everything was intentionally streamlined.

We traded our street wear for the complimentary white waffle embossed robes sporting the Cosmopolitan logo. After turning on the bamboo arrangement fountain, we were ready to relax. But before we knew it our appointment for our couples massage at the Shizen Spa located within the hotel had arrived.


Upon entering the spa, one must take note of the white birch log arrangement which acts as sculpture separating the men’s and women’s locker room. Another distinctive wood element is the chocolate Brazilian oak deck flooring that encases the twelve-person Jacuzzi and juice bar.

Waiting for our massage was actually a treat in this solarium, where the floor to ceiling glass walls are grounded with wooden benches covered in orange pillows characteristic of Eastern style.

The Doku 15 Restaurant was our convenient dinner destination situated off of the Cosmopolitan’s glamorous lobby. The entire ceiling houses a metal scroll sculpture that curls around the light fixtures enhancing the room’s intended lounge luxe atmosphere.

The menu is described as “trans-Asian” cuisine, which translates into eastern food that has been transformed to suit Western taste. Bliss is another word to describe this remarkable culinary fare which we sampled from a tasting menu consisting of eight dishes. Makimotos, a sushi like morsels with tempura vegetable in the centre instead of raw fish are a must upon dining at the Doku 15.

The meal via the tasting was served two dishes at a time, each complementing the prior. The server and chef work hand in hand to bring you a sampling of the best of the menu. Doku also offers several “Specialty Cocktails” which are awesome alcoholic blends laced with three ounces of liquor. The brilliant service accompanying this feast was the icing on the cake.

The next morning we awoke to a sunrise peaking over the lake horizon. While leisurely drawing before breakfast, I took in the views looking out at the lake and down at the street. As our spa getaway drew to a close, I visualized life in a completely modern space while taking pleasure within the serenity of the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

By Cassandra Russell

Cassandra Russell is an artist/graphic designer/photographer who writes on related topics. Visit her blog for more innovative ideas and places: http://cassandrarussell.typepad.com/
[email this story] Posted by Cassandra Russell on 10/05 at 08:45 AM

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