Wednesday, February 20, 2013

VANCOUVER, B.C.: Rosewood Hotel Georgia Revisited

After my first stay at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, B.C., I wrote “one night was not enough.” Now that my wife and I have enjoyed a two-night stay, we agree: it’s still not enough.

I hadn’t intended to write a second review after our visit over the U.S. Presidents’ Day weekend, but our excellent experience convinced me otherwise.

As a matter of practice, I don’t revisit reviews of properties at which I’ve stayed unless things had changed dramatically, either for the better or for the worse. And since the service I experienced was as attentive as the service I received during my first visit in May 2012, a second post saying how great the hotel is seemed redundant.

However, upon further reflection, I realized there was good reason to write anew.

Exterior of hotel
My first stay was purely business-related. In addition to experiencing the hotel for the purpose of writing about it, I had a meeting nearby the next day, so staying at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia served a dual purpose. I was completely captivated by my experience, as you can read here.

This time, however, I’d be staying over a weekend instead of a week night and, as most seasoned travelers know, the leisure guests at a hotel are often very different on weekends than the primarily business travelers on weeknights. I wondered whether the service we’d receive would be different as well.

I’m pleased to say the service was perhaps even better than the service I received the first time I stayed, and I blame our German Shepherd. A retired breeder whom we’ve had for about a year, she always attracts very positive attention, and the staff and guests at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia were as captivated by her as anyone.

As we approached the front desk, the desk clerk welcomed us warmly with (and maybe I'm imagining this), special attention to our canine companion.

Which brings me to my next, and by now obvious, point: the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is dog friendly.

Upon entering our guest room, we found a message on the TV screen welcoming us by name; a selection of petit fours and a handwritten note of greeting from the manager on the desk; and a dog bed, water and food bowls, and dog biscuits waiting for our pooch.

Deluxe King Room
Spoiled as she has become in retirement, she immediately began to climb onto the love seat, as she is allowed to do at home. Slightly horrified, we shooed her off, only to have our bellman James tell us she was allowed on every surface in the room; there were none that were off-limits (though I think I’d have an issue if she tried to climb onto the desk).

Making this royal treatment all the more remarkable was the pet fee of $50 per stay, not per night as at many hotels. FYI, pet fees are largely to offset the additional time housekeeping spends deep-cleaning a guest room after a pet departs, which often takes double the amount of time to make up a room after a guest checks out.

Finally, the size limit for pets visiting the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is generous enough to accommodate those of us who have actual, full-sized dogs as opposed to the hand-carried variety I describe as “fashion accessories.”

As I found during my first visit, staff members were extremely attentive. Virtually everyone we encountered bid us a “hello” or “good day,” and many called us by name, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that many of those people did not have a computer or our credit card in front of them; they simply remember their guests. That is impressive.

Even more impressive is that we received this very personal service despite the fact that the hotel was sold out for the weekend. Also impressive was the fact that we never heard other guests in the hall or through the walls of our room, nor did we see a room service tray languishing in the hallway, waiting to be collected. Service was as close to perfect as I’ve ever encountered.

Spa-like bathroom
Our room had a combined sleeping and sitting area of more than 250 square feet adjoining a truly spa-like bathroom with two vanities, a soaking tub with separate shower, toilet, and heated floors in 140 square feet. I have literally lived in apartments that were smaller than our deluxe king room.

In addition to the usual amenities including a hairdryer, iron and ironing board, safe, and wireless Internet access, robes and slippers were waiting in the closet. In addition, the room had an increasingly rare minibar and a Nespresso® coffee machine, which is several notches above the ubiquitous mini-Mr. Coffee machines so prevalent in hotels across North America.

The hotel also has a Bentley and driver, and offers guests complimentary rides anywhere within a 15-minute drive of the hotel, which covers the majority of the downtown area and Stanley Park west of Coal Harbour. What a treat!

We’ve been to Vancouver many times and have stayed at many different hotels over the years, some of which were excellent and others less than wonderful. However, I can’t think of one where we have enjoyed better service or been made to feel more at home. Now, I don’t think it’s likely we’ll be satisfied anywhere else.

And that includes the dog.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photos by Carl Dombek
Click on photos to view larger images

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