Let me preface this review by stating that I have been a very regular visitor to Vancouver since childhood and my wife and I have stayed in very many of the fine hotels in the city since we were first marriage. In fact, Granville Island Hotel was the first hotel we stayed in together in Vancouver but that was shortly after it opened. Because Vancouver has so much to offer we just never seemed to get back to it.
This April marked a very special birthday for my wife and I offered to take her anywhere she wanted to go. She surprised me by asking to go to Vancouver and stay at Granville Island Hotel. We had no idea what changes might have taken place over the years but we booked our reservation and crossed our fingers. The two of us needn’t have worried. In fact, this boutique hotel is an absolute joy.
On arrival we pulled up to the front of the hotel and received a very warm greeting from a young man handling valet parking. Entering the hotel we noticed real changes from its start in the 1980’s when there was a massive moving sculpture hanging from the ceiling and an open bar and restaurant area next to the lobby that was typical of that era – excessive. Now the lobby is quiet, stylish and calming.
The staff members at the front desk were not only welcoming but genuinely pleasant. As they carried out the check-in they made a special point of wishing my wife a happy birthday, something that was a very nice touch. They then surprised us by upgrading our room.
We took our bags to the top floor, the 3rd, on the East wing of the hotel. Our room was situated right at the end of the wing. We opened the door to find a very large, beautiful suite that featured a terrific king-size bed in the centre and windows looking out on two sides. There were three small balconies overlooking the park and yacht moorings on one hand and then all the way down False Creek past Yaletown to the geodesic Science Centre. As we stood admiring the view a dragon boat swept past on the water with rowers pulling on oars, sailboats pulled away from docks and joggers ran by on the pier below. At night the same view was magical with the lights of the city reflecting on the water. Pure heaven.
Our room also featured fine amenities including free Internet access and a good desk set-up. That came in handy when I had to deal with urgent business matters one morning. The flat screen television was large and of good quality and the seating in the room and out on the balconies allowed us to catch up on the news in the morning and sit with our coffee to take in the view. It was also a very nice touch to find a free newspaper at our door every morning.
Our room had a very large bathroom with two sinks and a large show with a great showerhead arrangement. Although not a problem, we found it odd that there wasn’t a bathtub in this room. That may be a part of a good water conservation policy, a real effort to be eco-friendly when many hotels just make token gestures.
Through our stay the staff always greeted us as if we were old friends and made certain that they took the time to chat. They also wanted to make sure that our every need was being taken care of. As an example, when we found that our room did not have any bathrobes we made a request and they were brought up in less than 5 minutes.
We ate breakfast and also had cocktails in their main dining room, the Dockside Restaurant. Each time the food and service were very good. I was pleasantly surprised that the menu had very healthy choices and an emphasis on excellent ingredients. A real bonus is that Granville Island has its own microbrewery on site. They make well-crafted beers that are a delight to those that enjoy a good pint.
Vancouver is a very busy metropolis and its city centre is very dense with a lot of traffic and activity both day and night. Granville Island Hotel offers one very unique feature that very few hotels in the city can do. Because it is situation at the end of Granville Island out over the water and away from the main roads, it is very quiet. You don’t have to worry about being awakened in the middle of the night by traffic sounds or sirens or the odd rowdy tourist.
Granville Island Hotel is also situated in one of the most bohemian areas in the city. The Emily Carr Art College sits just a couple of dozen steps away. Art studios for painters, glass blowers, sculptors, textile artists and others abound on the Island. Good restaurants, theatres and interesting shops are also right nearby. The Granville Island Market sits just down the street and is a delight for the senses. The Granville Island Hotel is right in the heart of the city but right on the water. Water taxis can take you to Yaletown, Hornby Street and other great areas to explore. This hotel could not be situated in a better spot.
In total, Granville Island Hotel is a delight. My wife and I are very grateful to the staff and management for our wonderful stay with them. We don’t know why we stayed away so long but we will be back very, very soon.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Granville Island
- Granville Island Vancouver
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Granville Island Hotel, a boutique hotel, offers a one-of-a kind experience. With welcoming staff to greet, a restaurant and lounge to entice, and a luxurious room to make you feel at home, the Granville Island Hotel is Vancouver’s best kept secret. With endless opportunities to dabble in local art & cuisine at the famous Public Market or to explore Vancouver by bike or kayak, the Granville Island Hotel offers something for everyone. Located just minutes from the village, the Granville Island hotel is the perfect get-a-way spot for couples looking for a quiet alternative to staying downtown. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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