This is a short review of the Shangri-La hotel in Vancouver, which I stayed at for a night, before heading up to Whistler, for Gay Ski Week.
The British Airways flight from London arrives quite late in the evening, around 19.30, so figured the last thing that we’d want to do, is schlepp up to Whistler straight after landing, arriving in the early hours.
I looked at a few hotels in Vancouver and ended up booking the Shangri-La, via a Virtuoso agent. That meant that we got a complimentary upgrade, free breakfast for two people, late check-out, plus a $100 food and drink credit at the hotel (excluding the mini bar).
After landing at the airport and going through all of the immigration and customs formalities, jumped in a cab to the hotel. I was very surprised that there’s no Uber in Vancouver at all; as someone who uses it extensively while travelling, it would have been nice to have the option rather than the official taxis. That said, they charge flat fares to most of Vancouver, when being picked up at the airport.
We must have arrived at the hotel around 20.30 in the evening and were driven down in the underground reception area. It wasn’t the grandest of lobbies, but there was a member of staff there immediately greet us, as well as ask the name on the reservation, plus another to assist with all of the bags and skis.
Walking into the lower lobby, another member of staff already had my reservation and keys waiting for me, explaining again all of the benefits and welcoming me to the hotel. They seemed very on the ball. The member of staff also said that I’d been upgraded to a suite!
We were shown to the lifts and our room was on the 12th floor. It was indeed lovely. There was a decent sized, entirely separate living room area, with its own desk, TV, sofa and coffee table. There was also a very decently sized walk-in wardrobe and area for storing bag out of the way.
Evidently, the housekeeping team had already completed their turn-down service as the bad was ready to get straight into, complete with. little sweets (in lieu of chocolate) on the bed.
It was one of the most comfortable hotel beds I’ve ever had the delight to sleep in – it really was outstanding.
All of the window shades, curtains and blinds were controlled with some kind of hi-tech panel in each of the two rooms. It did take me a few moments to locate it and work out what everything did!
The bathroom was equally lovely, featuring both a full walk-in shower, and separate huge bath.
Two bathrobes were ready and waiting as well. The lavatory was nicely hidden behind a frosted glass pane.
Being pretty tired, we headed out for a quick drink to the gaybourhood to meet my German friends who’d arrived the day before. We had a quick gin and tonic at Score on Davie, which was just what we needed. Bar food, a really friendly (but not overbearing) waiter and lots of gin!
As you can see, they had a bunch of fridge magnets to play with! Hours of fun for drunk gays!
Returning back to the hotel, we crashed out until about 7.30 the next morning. As I mentioned, the bed was so comfortable, in every way.
We headed down to breakfast, which I entirely forgot to take any pictures of. Unusually for a hotel like this, there was no buffet. Everything was cooked to order and waiter service. They explained that we could have anything we wanted on the menu, as many drinks as we wanted too, and it was all fully included.
They brought out some freshly made bakery items, a muffin and a pastry for each of us that were both warm and very delicious. I picked an egg-white omelette for my main breakfast course all washed down with a number of double espressos.
Not having much time left before we had to get our bus up to Whistler, we had a quick explore of the rest of the hotel. Upon exiting the elevators on the spa level, you were immediately greeted with this intriguing water-feature, taking up pretty much all of your field of view.
There was a fully quipped gym, sauna and outdoor hot-tub as well as their spa.
It was such a shame that we only had a very short stay at the hotel, as it was truly fabulous. All of the staff were very much on the ball, the food at breakfast was excellent and we couldn’t have wanted for more facilities. This is what a contemporary luxury hotel should be – understated, quality and service. I’d return in a heartbeat.