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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Hotel Insider: The St Regis Hotel, Vancouver, Canada

This one-off property offers no-nonsense luxury in the heart of downtown  

The exterior of the St Regis Vancouver. St Regis Hotel
The exterior of the St Regis Vancouver. St Regis Hotel

The welcome

The historic five-storey hotel (no relation to the main St Regis chain) is located on a busy street corner, so taxis can only stop briefly. As soon as my bags were on the pavement, a staff member appeared and shepherded my stuff into the lobby and then straight up to the room without any fuss. The hotel is over 100 years old but has been pleasantly modernised to be comfortable but still old-school.

The lobby of the St Regis Hotel Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel
The lobby of the St Regis Hotel Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel

The neighbourhood

The hotel is in a great downtown location, round the corner from the main shopping district and the Vancouver Art Gallery and a five-minute walk from the waterfront and Gastown. It’s next to a metro station serving the airport.

The scene

This is a traditional but no-nonsense small hotel serving both business and leisure guests. Most are middle-aged or retired but no group would feel unwelcome, such is the professionalism of the staff, though since it’s without a large lobby, gym, library or swimming pool, it’s not really a place to hang out in. That’s aside from the attached bar and restaurant, which are both worthwhile venues for a casual sports atmosphere or a special occasion, respectively.

The room

A bedroom at the St Regis Hotel, Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel
A bedroom at the St Regis Hotel, Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel

The hotel has just 65 rooms and mine is a 5th floor suite, which faces the street but is quiet. It’s extremely comfortable, with a central sitting room, comfy bedroom with great pillows, two high-quality TVs, desk workspace and a full bathroom. It’s tastefully decorated in grey and white, with fresh, comfortable furniture. A night in here with the TV would be no chore.

A suite bathroom at the St Regis Hotel, Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel 
A suite bathroom at the St Regis Hotel, Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel 

The service

Front desk staff are polite, discreet and efficient, and housekeeping staff were friendly. At breakfast on my first morning, staff seemed irritated that I arrived at 10 minutes before the end of the scheduled service at 10am. On the second day, they were much nicer.

The food

The included breakfast consists of a choice of either continental, with yoghurt, fruit and toast, plus fruit juice, tea and coffee, or an omelette. The St Regis Bar and Grill on the ground floor is accessed via reception and is a traditional sports bar wit good fish & chips costing C$12 (Dh34). At the Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar (https://gothamsteakhouse.com/), a 1930s art deco structure attached to the hotel has been given a theatrical period makeover inside, with dark velvet curtains, cosy booths and candle-lit lamps on each table. The fresh oysters (C$24/Dh68 for 6) are recommended, as is the tomato and red onion salad with blue cheese and buttermilk (C$15/Dh42), and bone-in ribeye steak C$70 (Dh197). All steaks are prime grade Alberta beef.

The Gotham Steakhouse at the St Regis Hotel, Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel
The Gotham Steakhouse at the St Regis Hotel, Vancouver, Canada. St Regis Hotel

Loved

All guests are entitled to free long distance/international calls, breakfast and Wi-Fi. I loved the hotel’s solid construction and the sense of peace and quiet in such a good location.

Hated

Although my room overlooked the street, the view was nothing special. Also, the air-con controls were in the living room, which seemed to cool more than the bedroom so I had to leave the bedroom doors open to the living area.

The verdict

A high-quality, good value base in a great location.

The bottom line

Double rooms at the St Regis Hotel cost from C$300 (Dh846) per night including taxes and breakfast.

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Read more:

Hotel Insider: The Douglas, Vancouver, Canada

In memory of Anthony Bourdain, a phenomenal meal in Vancouver

On the move: why we should all join the e-bike revolution

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