First thing’s first: If you haven’t been to Vancouver, stop what you’re doing right now and book a ticket. It’s awesome. It is easily one of the top 3 cities in North America. I could go on and on about how great the food and hospitality was, but this post isn’t about that. We’re here to talk about the amazing deal we found staying at a super posh, 5 star hotel (with free room upgrade, breakfast, and resort credit). All things considered, the room itself came out to $120 a night!!!!!!
The hotel is in downtown, a few blocks up from the water. It’s close enough to be a 10 minute walk to the convention center, yet far enough where you won’t bump into as many cruise ship passengers. It is right in the heart of the major shopping area (Prada, YSL, Burberry) and about a 20 minute walk to Gastown.
If it’s any indication to how nice the Shangri-La is, there is a Burberry and Rolex store located inside of the hotel. I left my rolex GMT at home so I decided to buy another one….JK WHO THE F CAN AFFORD THESE THINGS????
The lobby is a beautiful open space equipped with a fire place and huge chandeliers.
There were a few days when they had a live piano player in the lobby, which was a nice touch. The lobby has a concierge and a doorman who are very friendly and helpful.
The gym at the hotel was fantastic. Really new cardio/weight equipment with built in TVs. We went there around 8AM every day and hardly saw anyone else working out. The gym offers cold water and cold towels, which was extremely appreciated since we both tend to sweat a lot.
The locker rooms were also very nice. Each locker has a touch pad that lets you set new codes after each use. The men’s room had a sauna while the women’s room had a steam room. There was also a bathing suite dryer.
The pool area was another highlight of the hotel. There was a decent sized heated pool with adjoining hot tub. Whenever we were by the pool/hot tub, Shangri-La staff always came outside to give us water and hot tea. After working out in the morning, Izumi and I would sit in the hot tub for 10-15 minutes. Great way to relax after a workout.
With the fantastic FHR deal in place, at check in, Izumi and I opted to stay in a One Bedroom Suite (which was promptly upgraded to a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite). All in all, our suite ended up being around $250 a night.
As you can see from the pictures, this room was terrific. The One-Bedroom Suite seemed like it was 900 sq ft. I have stayed in the regular rooms before, and felt completely comfortable. Everything is just as nice, just on a smaller scale. This particular room came with a terrace with a view of the city.
The room came with all of the comforts of a 5 star hotel, with a few personal touches:
- Nespresso machine in every room
- Control pannel lighting in every room
- Automatic opening/closing drapes and curtains
- Marble Bathroom
- Large shower the three s shower head options.
- Large Tub
- L’Occitane bath products (huge plus from Izumi)
- TV in mirror of bathroom
- Heated floors
- Heated towel rack
- L’Octtaine hand cream and water set out for turndown service.
Room service and breakfast (@Market) were both fantastic. Through FHR, it was comped (with tip included) every morning. Izumi and I ate like animals the entire trip, so breakfast was the one meal where we tried to eat somewhat normal. If we wanted to though, we could order multiple entrees, smoothies, a pastry basket, cappuccinos, etc. for free. It truly does not get any better than this if you love to eat.
The hotel restaurant (Market) is accessible through the elevator and is located on the 3rd floor. It is a very modern restaurant with great views of the busy shopping streets.
In addition to eating breakfast a few days, we went to Market twice for evening cocktails. In the evening, the bar tends to play more down tempo EDM to give it more of a “lounge” feel.
This is where the hotel really separates itself. The service was outstanding. Everything you would expect from a 5 star hotel and then some.
When we arrived, the doorman promptly offered to take our luggage up to our room and asked us for our name for expedited check-in. At check-in, the receptionist was very thorough. She greeted us by saying welcome back, which made us feel like they remembered us (even though it was just tracked on their computer). She told us about what was included in our package, what floor all of the amenities are, and personally walked us to the elevator to make sure we were taken care of.
Every day when we left a small tip for the house keeping and in return, they would write us a note thanking us for staying with them and extra water. They did an exceptional job cleaning the room and they always greeted us when we saw them in the hallway.
How We Booked:
Vancouver is home to some amazing hotels. There is a Four Seasons (looks a little dated), Rosewood ($500+ per night), and multiple Fairmont Hotels to name a few. Looking at the following screen shots, you can get an idea for how much some of the 4 and 5 stars hotels cost each night.
After going on Hotels.com to get a feel for general prices, I did my digging on the Shangri-La hotel website, Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, and AMEx’s Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR). I knew Izumi and I wanted to go over a long weekend, but we were willing to be flexible depending on the flight/hotel deals.
After reviewing everything, I realized the deal found on FHR was incredible.
At $338 CAD ( $253 USD) a night with the 4th night free, FHR was offering the Shangri-La at an average nightly cost of $253 CAD or $190 USD a night. Compared to the Marriott, Loden (whatever the heck that is), and Pan Pacific, the Shangri-La came out cheaper…and it’s the Shangri-La!
When you add in all of the additional perks you get by booking through FHR, this booking became an absolute no brainer.
As with other FHR bookings, we received a complimentary room upgrade, $100 USD resort credit, and daily breakfast for 2 every day. If you subtract the $100 USD credit and daily breakfast for 2 ($70 USD credit), the average nightly room rate even dips lower to $120 a night! ($190 USD per night x 4 nights = $760USD) ($760 USD – $100 resort credit – ($70 breakfast credit x 4 breakfasts) = $480 USD
*Tip* Try to stay during the off season – After September till around March. This will save you hundreds of dollars. The misconception is that it is too cold there since it’s in the north, but the winters are quite mild with temperatures in the 50’s.
A great hotel at a great price. My only fear with this hotel is that it’s so nice, I’m worried that they aren’t charging enough and could go bankrupt.
From reading other reviews, the Fairmont Pacific Rim looks great (and is right on the water) but Izumi and I like to stay at smaller, boutique hotels. Rosewood also looks very nice, but it is significantly more expensive. For my money, the Shangri-La is the winner.