A wise Lenny Kravitz once crooned that we all need to “let love rule”…and yes, we’re getting our hearts on particularly strong upon with the onset of the month of February, all due to a crazy little thing called “Valentine’s Day.” So in celebration of all moments rife in sensual seduction, we look to Toronto’s (aka the 6ix—thanks, Drake) Bisha Hotel & Residences for a bit of advance romance.
In a tastemaker’s collaboration between high-profile entrepreneur Charles Khabouth (owner of Bisha Hotel and CEO of INK Entertainment) and the style icon / rock god, Lenny and his Kravitz Design firm were given full creative reign to unleash his visionary prowess upon the 7th floor of the splashy hotel, to spectacular effect (the rest of the hotel, including the Mister C lounge and KOST restaurant, was deftly designed by locals Studio Munge). But you could also spend days in the hotel just eating and drinking.
Lenny’s suites included, here are all the things we heart about the Bisha.
If you’re like us and easily seduced by sashimi and sake, we won’t blame you for having a #foodgasm while enjoying such fine fare in a posh waterworld kingdom that would surely rival Atlantis. It also doesn’t hurt the restaurant’s street cred when Kravitz is known to be a regular. Like him, we were taken with celeb chef Akira Back’s roster of artfully plated cuisine that spans fresh sashimi (flown in from Japan); tuna and mushroom pizza drizzled with truffle oil; unctuously decadent wagyu tacos; succulent charcoal grilled prime beef topped with kizami wasabi butter; and a roster of tongue-in-cheek named rolls such as the Brother From Another Mother—teeming with unagi, anago tempura, foie gras, and ponzu aioli.
Happy Hour becomes positively euphoric when the lounge hits its Finest Hour(s). From 5-7pm everyday, you get to nurse your weary and overworked soul with half-priced cocktails. If that’s not sipping joy, we don’t know what is. Inside this moody and mystically accented space, our go-to choices include the aptly named Toronto (when in Rome…), which is a simple yet sublime potion consisting of Bulleit Rye, Fernet Branca and Simple Syrup; and feeling a bit bougie, we also said oui to the French Jubilee with Hennessy XO, Lemon, Veuve Rosé. After a drink (or trois), we stayed for the Glitter—from 9pm till late every Thursday, top DJs and live performances help you dance your worries away.
Every other hotel seems to be going on and on about their art collections. But the Bisha has 3,000 pieces to swoon over, which include works by Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, and, of course, original photography by Lenny Kravitz. When visiting, keep your eyes peeled for our favorite shot of his: the paparazzi (reverse) perspective, located on the 7th floor.
What’s a bunch without some ‘Gram-worthy gushing to go with it? Kōst is located on the 44th floor of the hotel, and features a sprawling patio and outdoor infinity pool. And the space isn’t just a looker, the cuisine is just as gorgeously done; spearheaded by Chef Ben Heaton, his fare channels the sunny exuberance of the California Coastline. Even in the cold of winter, we appreciated a playful taste of sunshine, via a few of our favorites: avocado toast with goat cheese crema, heirloom tomato and jalapeño vinaigrette; panela bowl with corn, poblano, quinoa, chickpea, romano, baby gem and cherry tomato; and fresh ahi tuna steak topped with pickled red onion, baja slaw, meyer lemon mayo and avocado.
The elevator says 7th floor, but we thought it more like 7th Heaven. The thirteen guest rooms and three suites that Kravitz lent his dynamic design eye to are wrapped in sophisticated seduction with homages to the all that was groovy about the seventies. And of all the wow-worthy spaces, the pinnacle is unquestionably the 2,000 sq. ft. duplex known simply as The Bisha Suite. The pleasure pad greeted us on the main floor with its warm tones of caramel, gold, aubergine and burnt orange.
The sprawling interior included a living room that’s decked out with a chocolate velvet couch, a dining room with geometric chandelier and in-suite bar, spacious kitchen, and a private 1000 sq. ft. terrace that offers glorious views of downtown Toronto and the epic CN Tower.
Meanwhile, the top floor was occupied with a king-sized bed that’s set against a dramatic black-and-gold Japanese ceramic-tiled backdrop, as well as a bathroom that would make King Midas jealous (we’re guessing, anyway)—with separate vanities flanked by a bathtub, a walk-in shower, and heated floors, all wrapped in imported gold spider marbling.