More about Shangri-La Hotel
A very nice hotel which has great potential but not quite there yet!
We just returned from our stay at the Shangri La Vancouver. When we arrived in the underground parking lot, we were greeted by the valet and ushered to a small reception desk. The desk is very small and there was only one staff member there who was struggling to deal with numerous guests. The underground lobby was dark and very unimpressive. When a large number of people are checking in, this unusual and unfortunate area will be overwhelmed very quickly. We were told our room was not ready (no big deal as we were early) and invited to have lunch in the restaurant. We were escorted through a dark, narrow and winding corridor to the elevators. Again, this is another design flaw. The lobby lounge on the upper floor was somewhat better. It is not overly large or impressive, and the concierge’s desk is quite cramped. Around the corner, the lounge is a tight and small area with very cramped and uncomfortable furniture. We had a small but nice lunch. The front desk manager informed us during lunch that our when our room would be ready in 15 minutes and someone would let us know when it was ready. Half an hour later, we were still sitting in the restaurant. We went back to concierge’s desk and a very nice and efficient concierge made reservations for dinner and gave us a map and customs forms for our trip back. He called the front desk to have a staff member show us to our room. A woman arrived soon after and proceeded to help another guest and finally checked us into our room.
The rooms are nicely appointed but very cramped. We had the executive suite and it still felt small. There was a HUGE outside deck with chairs and a table that was wonderful. The bathroom was also huge. Unfortunately, we kept bumping our feet and knees on the tables and bed as we negotiated the tight space. Each room has a different layout. The attention to detail was very nice and all of the furnishing were all high quality. The storage space was HORRIBLY inadequate as there were only a few drawers and a small closet in a strange place. Nonetheless, the rooms were pleasant, neat and stylish. We were right above a reception room with a large and noisy wedding party. We asked to be moved and were fortunate to be relocated to a small but nice suite without a balcony on the 14th floor. We asked to be moved back to a suite with a balcony for the rest of our stay and were told that would happen the next day. We appreciated being moved quickly and with no fuss.
The next day, we were told we would be moved by 3PM. Since we wanted to leave the hotel and explore the city, we were told to pack our things and that our luggage would be moved to our new room by 3PM. In the meantime, we went to the gym and worked out. The gym was a bit warm but had decent equipment. There are nice dressing areas and a juice bar as well. The outside swimming pool was very small but well done. The seating area by the pool is very limited. We had a spa treatment at Chi Spa. The staff is very warm and attentive. The treatment rooms were some of the nicest we have ever seen, even nicer than some spas in Asia. We did not care for the type of treatments we received, but that is not necessarily the fault of the therapists who did what we think was a fair job.
At 3PM, we returned to the hotel. The staff at the front desk said our room was still not ready. We finally received a call at 4 and were moved. We were not pleased with the lack of communication and competence of the front desk. The level of service was very uneven at times. However, we were upgraded to one of the largest suites on the 14th floor with a long balcony and a great view, so our anger dissipated quickly! Later that night, I realized I had left an item in the old room. I called the front desk and it was delivered in minutes.We also appreciated the free WI FI.
The buffet breakfast in the lobby lounge was decent with good service. But the architectural design was again lacking. It was a very tight space and breakfast felt very disorganized and crowded.
The staff was unfailingly polite. In fact, this was one of the nicest staffs we have experienced. When we checked out, the process was flawless and we were sent with water bottles and cookies in the car.
The main problem here is that this hotel has a very tight footprint and things feel very cramped. This may be the price one pays for staying in a large city.
The Shangri La Vancouver is quite simply a very nice hotel. It has a fantastic location in the heart of the city and is convenient to everything. It has a modern, stylish and chic vibe. The minimalist Asian décor works well and has a definite upscale feel. However, it struggles to hit the mark as a five star hotel. It is a notch below Four Seasons stature, but it tries very hard and may one day reach that goal. As a new hotel, most of the elements are in place to become one of the best places to stay in Vancouver. I hope it does reach the five star level. We highly recommend this hotel and would stay there in the future.
Great location and excellent service
First and foremost, this hotel is in a great location (about 1 block off Robson Street in West End). It is also the newest hotel in downtown Vancouver. It is very chic and trendy. We decided to skip the car rental because transportation from the Vancouver airport was so simple. There is a skytrain stop (Burrard) less than 2 blocks from the hotel and the Canada Line connects the airport to the Skytrain. It takes about 30 minutes total to get to and from the airport. We come in on the L level instead of the LL level which is where the check-in desk is. Someone immediately had someone from check-in meet us at the lobby and walk us to our room. We ultimately checked in in our room. Our room was on the small size, but the bathroom made up for it. (It even had a TV inside the bathroom mirror.) The view was of other buildings so we kept the sheer curtain closed for added privacy. There was a little basket of fruit in the room and a handwritten note welcoming us. That was a nice touch. The room is practically all controlled electronically (curtains open/close, lights turn on/off with the touch of a button). "Market" restaurant is on the hotel premise as well as a hip little bar. If you are looking for a nice dinner out, you HAVE TO check out DIVA at the Met. It is 10 minute walk from the hotel. Skip Raincity Grill. The food was fine, but the service is awful! The fitness center is very modern. The spa looked really nice, but the prices were extremely high. The pool is on the tiny side. Only have TWO complaints. ONE -- Houseekeeping didn't make up our room until 5:30 pm (after we got back from siteseeing), so we decided to leave our room again and have a drink at the bar. TWO -- Despite reserving a room with a king size bed, we got a room with 2 full-size beds. The beds were so small, there was no way the hubby and I could comfortably sleep together. I asked to be changed to a room with a King size bed, but they claimed there were no rooms available to move to. My theory is that our rate was so low (since I was able to get a great corporate rate), they were not as inclined to accomodate us... but I can't prove that. The beds were really comfortable, so I kind of enjoyed having one for myself!! The lobby smells really nice. I am not sure what they pump in there. Overall, great experience! If you can get a good deal, I would totally recommend this hotel. We had a great babymoon getaway.
Maybe one of the top hotels in North America...
...because it's the only Shangri-La in North America right now.
This hotel puts all city hotels I have stayed at (including 4Seasons, Ritz-Carltons, etc) to shame. The staff is terrific and responsive to a fault. The facilities are better than most luxury condos. The restaurant's food (we only had lunch) was top notch.
When in Vancouver, stay here. You will NOT be disappointed.
We spent three nights at the Shangri La at the end of August. It's pricey, but if you can swing it, I'd say go for it. We were shown two rooms -- one a spacious typical room and the other a suite with a balcony. Even though the cost of the room was high, we splurged on the balcony room. Every morning and evening we would have our coffee or wine outside with the most incredible city view. Of course the weather was pleasant and the balcony would not be such a big deal if it was rainy or cold. The room itself was perfect -- great comforter and bed, free wireless internet, incredible bathroom in marble with double sinks and amazing walk in shower. The room was spotless and very quiet in spite of it's mid-city location. The check-in area on the lower level was a bit confusing but we didn't find it to be a real problem. My husband used the gym and said it was one of the best equipped hotel gyms that he has seen. Unfortunately, I didn't allow any time for any spa treatments--that can wait for next time. As a promotion, we had a $200 food and wine credit which we used towards dinner at Market -- loved it. I've stayed at other hotels in Vancouver and this one outdoes the rest. Great location too....next to Urban Fare--a Bristol Farms type store with great salad bar, coffee bar, fresh fruit, groceries and prepared foods...great place to hop into for a quick snack or meal. Don't miss the Shangri-La...Forgot to mention the 5th floor swimming pool and amazing unobtrusive service. Elegant and truly a world class hotel.
Nicest hotel I ever stayed at....
Would definitely recommend this hotel for anybody staying in vanouver. Great spa, AMAZING food at the Market Restauant. The rooms were huge and spacious - free internet, huge plasma tv's, dvd, electric blinds so you dont even have to get up to open the blinds, the bathrooms even had a tv embedded into the mirror. sweet. also loved the fact that they check you in, in the privacy of your own room.
Best place to stay in Vancouver if you want to see celebrities. I saw 3 and I was only there for 2 nights!
definitely 5 Star!
Shangri La-di-Da - this hotel thinks it is better than it is
It seems like we had a completely different experience to the other recent reviews. We were very excited to be staying at the Shangri La as part of our honeymoon and hoped it would be really special. We really thought this would be the pinnacle of our recent hotel experiences.
The underground check-in was a bit odd - we felt like we going in the service entrance and were flabbergasted at the price of the valet parking. We accept that the in-room check-in was a novel idea - but it didn't work for us where we had two rooms and wanted them on one bill and credit card.
Also for a fairly empty hotel it would have been nice to have rooms next door rather than along a corridor with a constantly screaming child in one of the rooms in between.
The rooms were so small - it felt like staying at a travelodge with slightly more hi-tech touches. There was no room to put out two cases. We were constantly climbing over furniture and bags. One room had cookies delivered on arrival - the other didn't. One room had robes and slippers - the other didn't. The service seemed very sporadic. There was tea and coffee facilities but no milk. The plug in the bar didn't work and nor did the I Pod hook up. The internet access had to be fixed by a repair man as it didn't work when we arrived. The turndown service was intermittent and twice very late (after 10pm). The hot tubs weren't working throughout our stay.
It just didn't feel special - it was our honeymoon - they knew this - and it was never mentioned. The staff were perfunctory but never more than that - they certainly didn't go out of their way ever.
For the money we paid for two rooms for 3 days we expected much much better. We tried to tell them this but they didn't seem to care at all and just e-mailed us when we got home to say they had taken our comments on board - no apology or explanation.
We would never ever stay here again or recommend it to anyone.
This puts the “La” in La-La-La! A fabulous hotel!
I would recommend this to anyone who can afford it and to those that can’t – look for special offers. It’s a fabulous hotel in a great part of town.
That's how every request was met by the staff at Shangri-La. We absolutely loved the hotel, staff and all the services they offered. We had a suite which was a separate living room & bed room. The balcony was long and afforded a nice view. The bathroom was spotless and well appointed. The only thing that was wrong was the battery operated clock on the night stand that only worked one night of our 3 night stay. Wireless was fast and free.
Service - valet was very helpful. The other reviewers are right that the downstairs entry is a bit offsetting and it's really hard to find the driveway/entry. The concierge was helpful. They had a complementary car service but we were never able to seem to find a time that it wasn't "booked."
The Spa was amazing. My husband and I both really enjoyed our treatments. The private spa treatment rooms were really elegant. The only thing I didn't like about them is that there was no relaxation room like in other spas. There was a small area within the treatment room but you were not able to linger and relax due to the room being needed for the next appointment. They should figure out a relaxation spa that's open for use after treatments. I was so relaxed after a massage and facial that it was harsh to jump up, get dressed and go.
Restaurants were great. The bar area had nice cocktails and snacks. The light continental buffet was super for a quick breakfast. Market had wonderful food and service. The atmosphere was a little too "seen and be seen" and the tables were right up against one another so you felt like you were having dinner with the next table. In our case, the next table was a nice local couple that we chatted with for most of our collective meals.
Overall, we had a wonderful 3 night stay. The hotel is expensive but totally worth it. We are hoping that they'll open more locations in the US (NY & Las Vegas are planned) so that we can enjoy more often.
very good, but not a shangri la
I spent 3 nights here in the beginning of September. The location is perfect, especially since you have 2 or 3 of the best restaurants in town within a 1 block radius and the Urban Fare upmarket grocery store downstairs. Wasn't too impressed with Market restaurant in the Hotel.
As many people have mentioned, the basement check in / lobby is quite odd and irritating. My cab didnt know where the entrance was and dropped me off in the street and I ended up walking around the block with my suitcase looking for the hotel entrance. I couldn't blame him since its the hotels fault for not having a bigger sign out on the street at the entrance to the parking lot/ lobby driveway. There is an entrance to the building on street level, but its on ''georgia'' street, which is like the main street in vancouver and cars cant stop. That was especially odd.
Service was great, staff very nice, room was wonderful compared to many of the best hotels in Vancouver. Bathroom was big, but I wouldn't consider it nice. I found the white marble quite ugly, but that just a matter of taste I guess. The shower, which I consider the most important part of the room was not good at all. Shower head seemed very cheap in comparison to the room and bathroom. Also I expect a bidet in a room of that size and hotel of that caliber.
All in all, forgetting the hotel entrance fiasco it is the best hotel I have seen in Vancouver but definitely not up to par with Shangri La standards, especially considering the bathroom.
Would I stay there again, or recommend friends to stay? Yes definitely, but only because you dont have much choice when it comes to high end hotels in Vancouver.
Shangri-la comes to North America, starting from Vancouver, BC
If you are looking for true luxury experience in Vancouver, BC, don't go anywhere else. Sitting on Georgia Street, only a block away from popular Robson Street, it offers the best hotel experience in Vancouver. Shangri-la has been top-notch hotel in East Asia along with Peninsula and Mandarin-Oriental for long time and started to expand to North America. Its first location is Vancouver, BC, Canada, and it opened in January, 2009. Even basic rooms are very spacious,and they are full with everything you may need. Vallet parking costs $32/day as of 2009. They allow late check-out(4pm) for golden circle members, so better to get one while you are there. Shangri-la also brought award-winning Chi Spa to this location. Try it even though it's bit more expensive than that in Bangkok, Thailand.
Don't be fooled by other 5-star hotels in Vancouver. This is true and (maybe) only 5-star hotel in Vancouver, BC.