On my first trip, I stayed at the Gladstone Hotel, which is the oldest hotel in the city. Built in 1889, it was once a flophouse. Today it is a trendy boutique hotel where local artists have decorated more than 35 of the hotel’s 51 rooms. The staff was great and there was a bar and also a fun café where you could get a really good breakfast. I had a quiet room, with king bed and small bath which was perfect for my stay. There is art on every floor so you feel like you are in a gallery. They also have one of the old manual elevators which adds to the charm and ambiance.
Back again for my next trip, I chose the Drake Hotel on Queen St. West just east of the Gladstone. What a great find. This is a small boutique hotel with a fun café which is great for breakfast or brunch. There is an eclectic lounge off the lobby, a music club on the lower level and a rooftop bar, The Sky Lounge, off the second floor that is a hot spot for locals during the warmer months. My room was somewhat compact, but attractive and well-designed, with a small bath and king sized bed. The staff was most helpful. Just ask for a quiet room away from the rooftop bar. Walk the neighborhood to the north and you will find some charming, older homes. Stop and see the Drake General Store next door for clothing and home furnishings.
Yorkville is the high-end shopping and entertainment district. There are many restaurants, boutiques and hotels. The Hazelton Hotel, at 118 Yorkville Avenue, comes highly recommended.