The man, the myth, the legend that is Charles Khabouth continues to redefine Toronto’s entertainment district with the opening of Bisha this past summer. The brainchild of Khabouth (INK Entertainment) and Lifetime Development principals Sam Herzog and Mel Pearl, this new property has quickly become one of the hottest venues in the downtown core, attracting everyone from Hollywood celebrities, to locals who wish they were. Located at Blue Jays Way and King St. W, there are a lot of reasons one might choose Bisha for their next stay in the 6ix, whether travelling for business or pleasure. Here are five:
It’s the new place to see and be seen.
Quite frankly, anywhere good enough for Jake Gyllenhaal is good enough for me. And he's just one of the many celebrities spotted at Bisha during the Toronto International Film Festival in September; my guess is that the stars will keep on coming. But that doesn’t mean you have to have appeared on the big screen to fit in here; Bisha is designed to make you feel like a hotshot from the moment you step in the door, even if it’s all pretense. Grab a seat at the sophisticated lobby bar, where you’ll find a meticulously curated wine and cocktail list, or opt for rooftop views at KŌST (pronounced ‘coast’) on the 44th floor. Wherever you find yourself, the eclectic and edgy vibe will have you feeling red carpet-worthy.
Views for days.
Believe me when I say Bisha arguably has the very best views in the city. From the aforementioned KŌST restaurant on the 44th floor, you will overlook the Toronto waterfront and CN Tower – stunning by day, romantic by night. Hotel guests have access to the rooftop pool in the summer, with patio service for those looking to imbibe while soaking in the sun. But the panorama views can also be enjoyed by others interested in just stopping by, as KŌST is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here on business? Forget the dark and depressing event space you might be used to; meeting and conventions at Bisha are hosted on the 43rd level, complete with floor to ceiling windows and the best views you could possibly hope for while taking notes or networking.
These rooms, tho.
I’m a real sucker for a good hotel room, and those at Bisha totally appeal to my senses. The look: Sharp, bold, sophisticated – almost Vegas-style but with a unique twist that we’ll call “new age Toronto.” The feel: Spacious, sexy – the type of place that makes you feel like a real high-roller. The view: Depending on where you land, you might overlook Toronto’s downtown or, if you’re really lucky, the waterfront. The amenities: Bisha is the first hotel in Canada to offer in-room amenities by BYREDO, a modern European luxury fragrance house. Rooms and public spaces have been designed by Studio Munge, though Lenny Kravitz and his design team are responsible for the look of 14 rooms and suites, obviously inspired by his rocker sensibility.
The food scene is “on fleek.”
The way to my heart is no doubt through a good croissant, which one can find at Bisha’s 24-hour café, French Made. The thought of waking up in the morning knowing that the Parisian-inspired venue with freshly baked pastries, handmade gourmet sandwiches, salads and custom roasted coffee is just downstairs is enough to make my mouth water. For more complex palettes, KŌST serves-up cuisine inspired by the Baja peninsula, bringing together the bright, fresh and lively flavours of the Californian and Mexican coastlines. Of course, the lobby bar is another viable option, but the most anticipated of them all is Akira Back, the first-ever Canadian namesake restaurant led by celebrity chef Akira Back, where guests will find dishes representing his signature style of blending Japanese cuisine with Korean ingredients and flavours.
Everything you want is right outside your door.
Location, location, location, dear readers. If you’re the type of traveller that wants easy access to theatre shows, great shopping and/or Toronto’s top sporting venues, Bisha is located in the heart of it all. There are two major theatres within a five-minute walk, the Air Canada Centre (hockey) and the Rogers Centre (baseball) are 10 to 15 minutes away on foot, and top tourist attractions like the Hockey Hall of Fame and CN Tower can be reached just as swiftly. Second City is but a jaunt across the street, some of the best bars and restaurants in the city are steps away, and did we mention that the hip shopping area of Queen West is a mere few blocks north? Stay in style and explore the city with ease.