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“Genteel decline”
Review of Sylvia Hotel

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Sylvia Hotel
Ranked #34 of 92 Hotels in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Genteel decline”
Reviewed 26 January 2012

The Sylvia might have been wonderful in its halcyon days, but it's barely apparent today. The rooms are in disrepair: broken closet doors, insufficient heat in the winter, motel quality bathrooms. The staff is friendly but not professional. The rooms are large, but you don't really want to spend much time in them...so choose Sylvia for its location. The view is amazing, if you have one, and the location can't be beat. I think that's also why this hotel can 'rest on its laurels' and still count on business during a genteel decline.

Room Tip: The view of English bay is great, but only choose that side of the hotel if you're not sensitive...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank WorldMutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, 27 January 2012
Thank-you for your review, I am sorry that you have not noticed all the improvements we have made this year, new carpets in some rooms, new furniture, and lighting package, all rooms have been painted and upgrades to other areas of the hotel. With that being said we are committed to keeping the heritage of the Sylvia as close as we can to reflect the hotel as it was in days gone by. We will never be that stainless steel cold box type hotel, and yes the bathrooms are smaller as they were built in 1912 however they are spotless as many other guests have commented on in other reviews. I was happy to see that you appreciated the location and the profession staff I have to serve you.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (454)
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Bend, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2012

We visit Vancouver often, but this was a first stay at the Sylvia. We were very pleased with our find. The suite (an upgrade) was quirky, but comfy, clean and spacious. Best of all for us was the super staff who are all pet friendly. Our Mai Lei loved the attention and treats each time she went by the front desk. We'll be back for another visit.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NanEdKirkland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bobbyGRichmond, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, 17 January 2012
I always like reading the comments of a first time guests to the Sylvia Hotel, happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. I hope that you will return again soon. I will pass along your comments and kind words about the staff.
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2012

My wife and I stayed there for a little "stay-cation". A fantastic view of English Bay greeted us in the morning when I went out to Delany's for our coffee. The hotel is very pet friendly and all staff who encountered our two labradors offered them cookies and gave them some love.

A nice, quiet bar downstairs is ideal for having a couple of cocktails at the end of the evening. We will return in the future!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cabana76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bobbyGRichmond, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, 17 January 2012
Always like to read that our Guests enjoy the fact that we are pet friendly, I believe that we are the only Hotel in the city that does not charge for pets, we feel that 4 legged family members should not be charged as we do not charge for children either. The stay-cation is something that more and more people are doing, great idea. The Lounge was the first licensed lounge in the city of Vancouver and we plan to keep it quiet and with a great view of English Bay
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2012

My wife, her parents and I stayed in two rooms at the Sylvia over Christmas 2011. The hotel is right across the street from English Bay, giving many rooms a view of one of the most scenic spots in Vancouver. Stanley Park, plus many good shops and restaurants are very close, and downtown can be reached by a very short bus or taxi ride, or even a pleasant walk through the West End's residential streets. The nine-story pre-WWI hotel is a Vancouver landmark, its vine-covered brick walls giving it the comfy look of an old dowager. I've stayed at the Sylvia many times over the last few decades (!), but was surprised this time at how good the rooms looked. They seem to have been spruced up with new furniture and paint, but without clashing with the building's style.

Without going into too much detail, we made some heavy demands of the catering staff during one of their busiest times, and they amazed us with their kindness, thoroghness and efficiency. The hotel staff seem like one big family, and the decorations throughout the lobby and restaurant made the place seem even more homey.

During our stay, we overheard a guest complaining rudely to the front desk that his room was not as large as one he had on a previous stay, and he demanded a larger room. The desk clerk quietly and professionally filled the man's request, despite the fact the hotel was likely full. It reminded us to take with a grain of salt any negative reviews we see for properties that seem to get generally good reviews. Some people are harder to please or simply have a bad day - these things should not be allowed to damage a good hotel's reputation.

The Sylvia is a friendly older hotel with loads of character and in a superb location. They do a great job at looking after their guests, and the rooms are clean, comfortable, and well appointed. And it's surprisingly quiet from adjoining rooms and the street. If this kind of property tickles your fancy, you will love the Sylvia.

Room Tip: A room facing Beach Avenue or Gilford St. will be most likely to have a nice view.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Robert_Robson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bobbyGRichmond, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, 13 January 2012
Thank-you for spending your Christmas with us, it is a special time at the Sylvia to spend with family. We take allot of pride in making the hotel feel warm and welcoming at that time of year. I liked the comments about some guests being harder to please than others, how true is that? Coming to the Sylvia for decades says allot to me and that you appreciate how easy it is to get around the city and be able to be away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown core. I will pass along your comments to the Food and Beverage Department as they all did a fantastic job this year, not one complaint over Christmas. Your tip to other guests tells me that you know the hotel as well as I do. Thank-you for your comments and kind words, we will look forward to serving you again on your next trip to Vancouver.
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Salt Spring
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2011

We've stayed at the Sylvia for at least 20 years and usually I ask for a room away from the elevators which are old and very noisy. When I booked for this Christmas (I booked last February), I forgot to ask to be distanced from the elevators and so our stay was somewhat spoiled by the constant noise of the elevator mechanicals - I felt I was on a tramp steamer headed for a past time Singapore and my partner felt he had spent 4 days with a washer going 24 hours each day. The hotel apparently keeps no records of past request of the guest. Of course, the staff in the lounge and restaurant were and always are, terrific. Perhaps the front desk ought to alert guests about the excessive noise of the rather elderly elevators.

Room Tip: keep away from the elevators
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ron A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bobbyGRichmond, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2011
I was sorry to hear that you heard a noise at night, after looking into your comments it was found that it was not the elevators making the noise you heard, it was a faulty fan on the roof which was not noticed during the day but at night it was more noticeable. I apologize for that. It has been fixed and in the future please mention it to the front desk crew so that we could have looked into the concern earlier and moved you to another location away from the noise.
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Howlong, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2011

As travellers from Australia it is always hard to know exactly where is the best location to stay in a city. We were not disappointed by the Sylvia. It is not one of you intimidating big hotel-have stayed at many of those - it is a hotel were you can get to know all the staff and they become friends in a very short time. We were lucky to be able to stay for a week. Sure the room was small-but had a great big walk in wardrobe(Great for excess baggage). We were out and about all day so it was great to come home and have a shower and rest in one of the most comfortable beds we have slept in. Location could not be faulted asthe hotel is so close to restaurants, public transport, park and walks. Would we stay again? Sure would

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bigred4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bobbyGRichmond, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2011
The Sylvia is a very special place. I see the comments about our beds often, As I have said before I feel that the bed is the most import piece of furniture in the room as we do "sell sleep". I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay as received a great night’s sleep.
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Canada
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2011

If in real estate it is location, location, location, what I want in a hotel is location, service, room quality. I have recommended this hotel for years because when I lived in Vancouver my parents always stayed there when visiting me (I had a teensy apartment, not a bad daughter) and I saw their rooms. The rooms they had always were lovely, a bit quirky compared to a chain hotel in a positive way, and comfy, clean, spacious, and with windows that open to your view of English Bay. They would not have stayed anywhere else.

I was back in Vancouver recently and of course stayed at the Sylvia. I booked very late and got a bit of an unusual room. Mostly it was fine - like being able to open the windows and have the ocean breeze flutter the ivy around the window, but the bathroom was barely okay, and frankly a bit strange and smelly.

Still, anytime I go back to Vancouver, I would stay there with no question - even in the room I had this time. If it was fully booked I would have serious issues finding something even close to what I like - there is nothing else like the Sylvia. Love the location (location, location), great people, and the homely/homey feeling.

I have never eaten at the hotel, but the great thing about staying here is you are in walking distance to some of the really good, off the beaten track Vancouver restaurants, including some of the best hole in the wall treasures for Sushi (Shima) and proper, full-on French dinners (The Chef and Carpenter), and gelato (Mondo Gelato - nothing but the hazelnut for me), as well as institutions like the Raincity Grill. Or just go to one of the many coffee places, grab a coffee and pastry, and sit on the beach or wander around the seawall or Stanley Park.

Still love it.

Room Tip: Book Early.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NorthernAlice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bobbyGRichmond, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, 30 December 2011
You are correct we are a heritage site, with so many room types we have something for everyone and everyone’s budget, availability is the issue, we are often sold out from May thru October. Some of the bathrooms are on the small side however they are very clean and have everything you need. Thank-you for your kind words and I was happy to see that your parents always stayed at the Sylvia and now so do you, I guess good taste runs in the family. Good tip you offered other guests to book early.
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Additional Information about Sylvia Hotel

Property: Sylvia Hotel
Address: 1154 Gilford St, Vancouver, British Columbia V6G 2P6, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver > West End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Romantic Hotel in Vancouver
#33 Family Hotel in Vancouver
#46 Business Hotel in Vancouver
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Sylvia Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 119
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Also Known As:
Sylvia Hotel Vancouver

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