The 119-room hotel occupies the first 15 floors of a stunning 62-story condominium tower in the heart of downtown. Designed by local architect James K.M. Cheng, it’s the tallest building in Vancouver. For what it’s worth, though, there is no 4th floor or 13th floor. And while the hotel’s official address is on historic West Georgia Street, the driveway entrance is actually on Alberni, the ritziest shopping street in the city, one block removed from trendy-but-less-exclusive Robson.
There’s a charming outdoor pool and one of the brand’s signature CHI spas on the fifth floor. There’s not much of a lobby, just a concierge desk and a few sofas, but it’s a small hotel with a discreet presence. Most people gather instead on the third floor, at Market, a restaurant and bar by New York-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (but run by chef Ken Nakano, a local). We spent one rainy day just lounging around the hotel and hung out in the restaurant continuously from early breakfast through lunchtime, transitioning from coffee to wine along the way.
The rooms are supremely comfortable and up-to-date, with exquisite cabinetry and bespoke Chinoiserie, as one might expect from an old-school luxury brand from Hong Kong. The British-Asian confluence still lives strong in Shangri-La’s DNA.
We stayed in a 15th-floor executive suite, which is essentially a junior suite with a small living room separated from the bedroom with sliding wood doors. The bathroom is almost as large as the bedroom, with a massive tub, separate walk-in shower and double vanity. The bed is very soft, but not absurdly so, outfitted with very expensive linens and pillows.
Service throughout — from pre-arrival to check-out, from the concierge to the waiters in the restaurant — is superb.
Bottom line: Pure luxury in the perfect downtown location. This is an exquisite hotel. I’ve stayed at Shangri-La properties in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and this hotel is more intimate and luxurious than any of those.
Rates from roughly $215 (USD). 1129 Alberni Street, Vancouver, 604.689.1120, shangri-la.com/vancouver