Let’s admit it – food options at hotels haven’t always been, well, the best part of your stay. happily, that is fast-changing, and Westin Hotels and Resorts (and their Toronto flagship, Westin Harbour Castle) is at the forefront of this movement.
In addition to their focus on restorative sleep, in-room fitness and heavenly spas, Westin boasts wellness-focused dining, from grab-and-go options and freshly squeezed juices to healthy in-room menus that ensure you’ll stay healthy on the road.
To better understand the offerings, we spoke with Toronto Westin Harbour Castle’s Hotel Manager, Harmeet Chugh.
With over 17 years of hospitality experience, including international work across three continents, Harmeet has been with Marriott since 2003, and most recently, he worked as a hotel manager in St. Thomas at the morning star Marriott beach resort. his background includes banqueting, events, front office operations and sales.
Wander: When and how was Westin Harbour Castle’s Eat Well menu developed?
Harmeet: While the Eat Well menu has been around for almost a decade, over the last two years our local and global operations and brand teams have worked hand in hand to develop a compelling new offering, leveraging research around evolving food and beverage trends while also ensuring we adhere to our traveller’s needs.
At Westin, we believe that feeling good starts with eating well and getting the nourishment that is right for you. We strive to empower choice, crafting a variety of food and beverage offerings to suit individual dietary needs and preferences.
We attempt to make responsible decisions about how and where our ingredients are grown and actively seek out suppliers we trust to source ethical, sustainable and organic produce wherever possible.
We are passionate about providing options that fuel and energize without compromising flavour, taste or satisfaction.
Are menu items tailored locally, for example, using fresh in-season produce or area suppliers?
Yes, one of the core values of the Eat Well brand program is to offer our guests responsibly sourced options, and we work to incorporate local and sustainably-sourced ingredients into our menu to the best of our ability.
In Toronto, we are at the mercy of the ever-changing weather. We source our produce and proteins locally, only reaching out to farming operations south of Canada when the seasons change.
In 2017, the culinary team at the Westin Harbour Castle also established a garden on our 5th-floor terrace, where we grow seasonal herbs and vegetables in the summer months such as tomatoes, summer squash and mixed greens.
We are then able to use the fresh produce for our in-house Chef’s table, as well as for our restaurants and banquets.
The Westin Harbour Castle also has a robust urban beekeeping program, which allows us to cultivate our very own local honey. The bees will also fly within a 5km radius of the hotel, pollinating trees, flowers and our own vegetable garden.
What dining options are available at the Westin Harbour Castle?
We have a breakfast restaurant open every day, The Mizzen, which consists of a sprawling buffet with an omelette station, as well as a la carte service.
The Chartroom, our lobby lounge and bar, also serves as our lunch, dinner, and late-night restaurant, and In-Room Dining services all meal periods and items from our restaurants, as well as its own overnight offerings that are light but still pack loads of flavour.
We also have a lobby coffee shop, The Harbour Café, where anyone can come in and get fresh Starbucks coffee, fresh sandwiches, pastries, and cold-pressed juices from Westin Fresh by The Juicery.
Our final not-so-hidden gem is Toula Ristorante, which offers upscale Italian dining on our 38th floor, our top storey. Toula showcases our city’s calm elegance with a 360-degree view and pairs it with a comprehensive wine list.
What about taking food to go at Westin Harbour Castle?
The Harbour Café is the most seamless option for any guest on the go. However, if you have a touch more time to spare, there are options to take anything from The Mizzen and The Chartroom to go as well.
Essentially any food sold on-property can be made to go, should our guests and customers desire it.
We love room service when we’re on the road! What is the Sleep Well menu all about?
The Westin Harbour Castle understands the importance of restful sleep, especially while travelling. The Sleep Well menu was designed with light options to ensure our guests don’t finish their day on an empty stomach, and as the name says, sleep well.
Our chefs curated these menu items around sleeping well, which is a key driver of the guest experience. The Westin Sleep Well menu features an array of superfoods handpicked for their sleep-enhancing properties, for example, cow’s milk, nuts, and bananas.
We also have a Sleep Well Roasted Turkey Wrap for all of those familiar with the ever-popular post-Thanksgiving turkey nap!
Are gluten-free and plant-based options a standard part of the menu offerings?
Of course! We always have plant-based and gluten-free offerings available, and we work to source even more of a selection of alternatives to coincide with dietary restrictions and sensitivities; all of which ties in heavily to our Eat Well philosophy.