Back in April, I travelled to the Pacific Northwest for a 2-week holiday around Vancouver, Seattle and Portland which I had been dreaming about for a long time. On the last night in Vancouver, my husband and I stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel. As you can imagine, it was an absolute treat and a fantastic way to end our trip.
Shangri-La is the leading luxury hotel group in Asia Pacific and one of the finest hotel companies in the world. I had the pleasure to visit the Shangri-La here in London for breakfast at Ting at The Shard a few months ago. That’s when I fell in love with the Shangri-La brand!
So of course when I was invited to stay at the Shangri-La Vancouver in April I immediately said yes! Today I am sharing my experience with you.
Shangri-La Vancouver opened its doors in January 2009. At the time it was the only Shangri-La Hotel in Canada (there is now a hotel in Toronto as well).
It features 119 luxury rooms and suites (many with private balconies), two lobbies (on Alberni Street and on Georgia Street), a sophisticated restaurant and bar, 24-hour fitness centre and CHI Spa.
The Shangri-La is located in Vancouver’s city centre and occupies the first 15 floors of a 61-storey landmark building (the tallest in Vancouver). The location is perfect for tourists coming to Vancouver for a few days: it’s right in the heart of Downtown, close to the waterfront, luxury shops, and restaurants. Four train stations are within short walking distance: Burrard, Granville, Vancouver City and Waterfront.
It takes just twenty minutes to walk to Gastown, my favourite neighbourhood of Vancouver. The wonderful Stanley Park is just 10 minutes away by bicycle from the Shangri-La (you can rent a bike or a pair of rollerblades from the hotel concierge). Getting from / to the International airport is very easy with the TransLink Skytrain lines.
We stayed in the Executive Balcony King Room, one of the most gorgeous hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in.
The 46 square metres room featured a spacious walk-in wardrobe, a seating area, a large desk and a private balcony. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide plenty of natural light, though not so much privacy if you want to keep the drapes open (there are offices just across the street). The wardrobe was almost like a separate room, closed by a sliding door, with enough space for several suitcases.
My room was decorated with contemporary style and distinct Asian touches as a reference to the brand’s Chinese heritage. The light wooden furniture, darker wood panelling and cream carpet created a warm and welcoming space.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked into the bathroom and saw the floor-to ceiling windows and deep-soaking tub!
The white marble bathroom was stunning. It featured a granite vanity with two sinks, a separate glass-enclosed shower, a tub and a separate toilet. It even had a LCD TVs embedded in the bathroom mirrors!
The Shangri-La Vancouver offers to guests soft bathrobes, bath slippers and lovely toiletries by L’Occitane.
The Health Club and CHI Spa
I was very excited to learn that the Shangri-La Vancouver has an outdoor swimming pool on the 5th floor…but unfortunately I didn’t have time to use it as we arrived late and the next morning it was rainy.
I did however find the time to go to visit the Health Club: 465 square metres of gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and open 24 hours. I like to go running outdoors when I visit a new city, but the weather in Vancouver put me off so I stayed in and ran on the treadmill overlooking Georgia Street instead. I loved the facilities; there is also a small studio for private pilates and yoga classes.
I didn’t get to visit CHI, the signature Spa of the Shangri-La hotel group. The treatment suites come with their own fireplace, private bath, shower, relaxation lounge, changing room and vanity area. Guests can book personalised massages, facials, body wraps and more.
Market by Jean-Georges
Market by Jean-Georges is the first restaurant in Canada for three-star Michelin chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It’s located on the third floor of the Shangri-La hotel and it can be accessed directly from the street level.
The restaurant has an L-shaped elegant dining room with windows overlooking the busy streets of Downtown Vancouver. Great for a romantic meal at sunset! There are three private dining rooms and a heated outdoor terrace. Market is open everyday for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
The seasonal menu showcases the best Canadian ingredients available from coast to coast, focusing of course on British Columbia’s local products, especially the seafood of the Pacific waters.
Executive Chef Ken Nakano also creates 6-course tasting menus (CAD $125) in addition to the regular restaurant menu. The Sakura Menu – on offer at the time of my visit – was inspired by the the beautiful cherry blossoms that are out in Vancouver in Spring.
I loved my main course of Wagyu Beef “Teriyaki”, Potato, Leek, Croquette, Shiitake Mushrooms.
We had dinner in one of the private rooms and had a wonderful experience. Everything from the service to the cocktails, from the wine to the food, was perfect. I really enjoyed my dinner at Market by Jean-Georges and would recommend the restaurant to anyone visiting Vancouver, whether you are staying at the Shangri-La Hotel or not.
To complete my wonderful luxury stay at Shangri-La Vancouver, we decided to order in-room breakfast for our last breakfast on Canadian soil.
The regular breakfast service for the hotel is served at Market restaurant – there isn’t a buffet, however they do have a broad range of breakfast options, including French Toast with Canadian maple syrup, Dim Sum and Congee.
In-room dining is not easy to get right, but at Shangri-La they certainly do. First of all, the trolley used to deliver the breakfast to the room had a heated box to keep the dishes warm. When the breakfast arrived, my husband was still in the shower, but I kept the hot dishes inside the trolley and we were able to eat the breakfast together. It’s a simple trick, but it makes such a massive difference.
I was very sad to leave the Shangri-La Vancouver hotel, one night is simply not enough to make the most of this gorgeous hotel! I can say that this one of the best hotel stays I’ve ever had and I cannot wait to experience the Shangri-La world again in the future.
Shangri-La Vancouver, 1128 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6E 0A8, Canada. Low season rates start from CAD $345. High season rates start from CAD $495.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Shangri-La Hotel. This post was written in collaboration with Expedia. All opinions are my own.