Joann and I rushed over to the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver since we had a NEXUS interview soon. It was a short walk further into the center of Vancouver. While the main street of Robson reminded me of Times Square and Fifth Ave with all its shops, Shangri-La’s West Georgia St. really reminded me of the business district in Manhattan.
We entered from Georgia St. which is the main, street-level entrance, but it is not where the front desk is located. We were immediately greeted by a friendly concierge and instructed that the front desk was down a level and he escorted us to the elevator, all the while offering to carry our bags. The elevator arrived with a bellboy who insisted on taking our bags, but we were OK. The front desk is in the garage level where pickup and dropoff goes down – much darker and less inviting. The front desk agent informed us that we were on the 9th floor. Again, the bellboy asked if we needed help with our bags but we declined. We could already tell the level of service here was great.
We stepped out of the elevator and the halls were dead silent. They must have had some serious acoustics in that place. We walked to the end of the hall to our corner room. I booked an Executive Balcony King through the hotels.com promotion that you can read about here. I swiped the key in front of the RFID reader (no card slots here) and Joann walked in first… WOW. Beautiful room. Floor to ceilings windows in a north-facing room. Beautiful views of surrounding skyscrapers framing the Vancouver Harbor can be seen from inside and out on the first balcony.
You have to put your card in a slot once you step in to power anything in the room. Basically, it’s a master switch for energy savings; everything shuts off about 5 minutes after you remove the card. From there, everything is operated by a button or a switch – room lights, desk lamp, nightstand lamp, nightlight, drapes, sheer curtains, EVERYTHING. And although all this nice tech-y stuff filled the room, the underlying sense of Asian-inspired elegance ran throughout. The 42″ LCD TV was the largest I’ve seen in a hotel and offered a lot of HD channels – much appreciated for TV hounds like ourselves. There was an extensive minibar that we had zero intention of raiding, but it was impressive to say the least. Above the minibar, a Nespresso machine was stocked with different blends. As I hear, they are pretty good coffee machines so it was nice to see they left nothing out of this luxury experience. The room was a home run in our book. I could go on and on about all the little touches but you should just read them on the hotel’s web site.
The bathroom was just as luxurious as the bedroom. Open the door and you look right out the floor to ceiling window and 2nd balcony. There is a large shower with a rainfall shower head and a separate jetted tub. The toilet is isolated behind heavy sliding glass doors. The marble-surrounded vanity, although not a dual, sits above a classy black granite. There’s nothing overly ornate about this bathroom. The L’Occitane amenities were lovely according to Joann. For me, they smelled nice – the end. Perhaps the best feature of this bathroom is the little TV embedded in the mirror. It’s so well executed that I can see how you can just take your time getting ready and watching TV. I could also see why the tub was where it was – perfect for relaxing with a bath and watching.
After our NEXUS appointment that we’ll now use for expedited customs and immigration through Canada and the US, we returned to the Shangri-La to freshen up. Upon re-entering our room, we saw a fruit plate on the coffee table with a hand written note from the GM. I always see these in trip reports so it’s nice to finally get one myself! While Joann showered, I tested out the free WiFi. It was fast and easy to access. You have to love a luxury hotel that doesn’t nickel and dime you like even some large chains do. Then, I went to shower and took my sweet time getting ready (but really watching TV) for our dinner reservation at MARKET…
Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver Gallery