Northern Exposure Hotels
by JOANNE BLAIN
Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel
877-900-5350 / fairmont.com/pacificrim
Opened just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics, this is the most luxurious of the three Fairmont hotels in the downtown core. Its most coveted rooms have unbeatable views of Vancouver’s harbor and mountains. Asian-fusion restaurant Oru is absolutely worth a visit, as is Giovane, a ground-floor café that transforms into a wine bar at night.
The Keefer Suites
888-688-1983 / thekeefer.com
With just four guest rooms, you’d be hard pressed to find a hotel more exclusive—because oh, what rooms they are. Each is on its own floor, with direct elevator access and 2,400 square feet that include two bedrooms, two bathrooms, powder room, kitchen, dining room, original artwork and Frette linens. The penthouse has a party-worthy rooftop deck with a pool and hot tub, and the industrial-chic bar downstairs is the coolest hot spot in rough-and-ready Chinatown.
888-855-1050 / lhermitagevancouver.com
Tucked away on three upper floors of a retail and condo complex, this 60-room boutique hotel has the feel of a posh Paris pied-à-terre, thanks to the Gallic flourishes in its contemporary rooms and its dome-ceiling L’Orangerie lounge. The sleek rooms range from studios to 1,100-square-foot, two-bedroom suites with open kitchens, washers and dryers. (Perfect if you’re in town on an extended stay.) Should you be accompanied by any canine guests, they get their own leather bed and dog-walking service.
The Loden Hotel
877-225-6336 / theloden.com
This 77-room boutique hotel is big on personality and midcentury modern vibe, courtesy of San Francisco design firm BAMO. Its influence is front and center in the lobby’s floor-to-ceiling zebra onyx fireplace, and it grooves right on into the guestrooms with chocolate-brown Emperador marble floors and vibrant blush and soft coral velvet chaises.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia
888-767-3966 / rosewoodhotelgeorgia.com
Vancouver’s newest downtown hotel is also one of its most dazzling. The landmark property, built in 1927, reopened in July after a top-to-bottom renovation that restored its Georgian Revival features while adding some modern functionality and panache. With a stylish spa, a saltwater pool and a restaurant winning raves for top local chef David Hawskworth, it’s a setting fit for rock stars, royalty and, yes, even regular folks.
866-565-5050 / shangri-la.com
The Hong Kong–based luxury-hotel chain picked Vancouver for its first North American property, and the place has made its presence known in a big way. Taking up the first 15 floors in an otherwise residential building—the tallest in the city—are Asian-influenced hotel rooms complete with bathrooms that border on decadent. They also landed Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten to head its elegant in-house restaurant, Market by Jean-Georges.
St. Regis Hotel
800-770-7929 / stregishotel.com
An $11 million renovation turned this formerly shabby establishment into a smart 65-room lodging in the heart of downtown. It’s hard to detect many original features of the 1913 Edwardian building, but the new hotel’s compact contemporary rooms have all the mod cons. And of course, any stay includes the St. Regis’ complimentary full breakfasts, newspapers, high-speed Internet and long-distance phone service.