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“Great location”
Review of Sylvia Hotel

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Sylvia Hotel
Ranked #34 of 92 Hotels in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 May 2013

The Sylvia Hotel is located just on the edge of Stanley Park and across the street from English Bay. A beach park and beach walk way on English Bay are also easily accessed right across the street. It was originally an apartment building then was converted to a hotel and is over 100 years old.
We could not have asked for a better location as we had a lot of free time surrounding a weekend wedding. Walking to all locations was easy and there were so many wonderful and varied choices of places to eat. The Sylvia also had a very nice restaurant and lounge with a great view across to English Bay.
There was some renovation work going on in the hallways while we were there, but stopped everyday by 3:00 and was never a problem. After 3 you would not have known that a worker had been there.
We would not hesitate to stay at the Sylvia again

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Caroline P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2013

I hope that you enjoyed the wedding. The location is great when you have some time to waste in the area, so much to do. The construction is almost completed, thanks for mentioning that it did not bother you during your stay as we work hard not to affect the guests experience. I hope that you will return soon and thanks for the great rating and scores.

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Reviewed 28 May 2013

I was very excited to stay at the Sylvia Hotel for 10 nights in late April, early May of this year having travelled from Australia to run the Vancouver Marathon. As a West Vancouver native, now living abroad, I had always wanted to treat myself to a stay in this Grand Dame of a classic heritage building. Sadly it was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. Whilst I did appreciate the English Bay location and proximity to both Stanley Park & the downtown core, location can never excuse a property steeped in mediocrity. My room rate fluctuated but averaged just under $180.00 per night, inclusive of all taxes, etc.-so, it is not cheap. They stuck me on the third floor overlooking the back of the building and a dumpster (must have something against Marathon runners) The view got old by the 2nd night and I still had 8 more to go. With the exception of the security staff, housekeeping team and night audit, all other staff were cold, unwelcoming and self absorbed. Not once during my entire stay did one of them use name recognition, ask me how my stay was going or ask if there was anything I needed. Considering the average room rate I would think that the property would be capable of offering a morning paper, a turn down service, an in-room fridge, a coffee maker, a shower head larger than a quarter (that wasn't mounted a foot too low) or even a pleasant: "Good Morning, how was your sleep"....any combination of the above mentioned items would have been a delight but not one of them were on offer. In my opinion these types of items should have been very prominent at this current time as the hotel was under going some refurbishment, meaning that as a guest, I was subjected to walls covered in primer, workers constantly using the elevators to haul supplies up and ripped out carpet down, etc. and a general 'under construction' vibe. I find it extremely odd that the property is incapable of adding some points of distinction such as evening tea and cookies in the lobby, fresh baked muffins with the morning (lame) coffee cart or even a bowl of apples on the front desk reception area to at least give the impression that they value your stay with them. But I am probably getting ahead of myself, maybe they should start with a smile and a simple greeting by name- particularly for someone like me that was with them for over a week. Upon check out, there was no "thank you for staying with us", "sorry about the condition of the property at this time", nothing. I won't be back Sylvia Hotel. Mere location does not give you the right to run a property that exudes glibness and a sincere lack of guest appreciation.....don't even get me started on the nightly bug bites on my face. (photos of the property are attached)

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Grant T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2013

I am sorry we did not meet your expectations, I noticed that you stayed the full 10 days even though you did not find the hotel to your liking, I disagree with respect about your comments about my staff, as other guests have commented on in other reviews that they do a great job. Yes we are doing Reno’s however we all worked very hard to have minimum disruption to our guests; other guests have commented in other reviews that we succeeded in doing this. It is obvious to me that the Sylvia is not the hotel for you and I am sorry for that. Call me if you have any other comments you want to share, I feel this review is unfair however we respect that you are entitled to your opinion.

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Reviewed 27 May 2013

We stayed for one night with our dog and were immediately bumped up to a larger room with a full kitchen upon our early (free early) check-in. All the staff were friendly, the place was very clean (there was some construction going on outside the elevator on our floor but we didn't mind), quiet, and the restaurant food was very good. The bed rocked - it was perfect! My favorite part was waking up to the gentle lapping sounds of the waves of the ocean which is literally steps from the hotel. Old and quaint, reasonably priced.... I just don't have enough good thinks to say about it!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Melr H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2013

Great comments about your stay. Thank-you for mentioning the staff and the great service they offer. I was happy to read that you brought your pet because I think that we are the only hotel in Vancouver that does not charge extra for pets. The Reno’s are almost done and we hope that you will stay with us again soon. Thank-you for your kind words and great scores and rating. See you back soon.

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Reviewed 24 May 2013

The Sylvia was recommended to us by friends; checking it out online. it seemed to be reasonably priced and well located for our purposes, so we booked in for our three nights in Vancouver. I made a reservation via their website, requesting a two-night promotional rate they were offering, as well as an additional night, and received a confirmation email very quickly. After noticing that only the two nights of the special had been confirmed, I emailed them, and again promptly received an email confirming our reservation, this time with all details correct. I emailed them one more time with a question before our arrival, and again, the response was very prompt.

The hotel is an attractive ivy-covered building, with a venerable history in Vancouver's West End. Built originally as an apartment building and then converted to a hotel, it is just over 100 years old. Our room, however, was in a newer wing, behind the older portion of the building, facing out onto quiet, tree-lined Gilford Avenue. There is also a newer addition to the building in the front, that houses the lounge and restaurant.

Several small details give evidence of earlier days, such as small architectural details like the stained-glass at one of the lobby doors, and the old glass in the lobby windows that slightly distorts the beautiful view of English Bay and the beach and park right across the street. The lobby has a number of old photographs of the hotel and surrounding area.The elevators are quite small, and the hotel still uses regular keys, not electronic key cards. In fact, they have only one key available for each room, and ask you drop the key at the desk when you are away from the hotel.

Our room was a touch smaller than average, but nicely done up. The outside wall was composed mostly of two large windows, both of which opened for fresh air. Outside, the windows were edged with a garland of ivy, and faced out into the branches of a tree, which softened the views of the high-rise building across the street. Since the room was north-facing, it was a bit on the dark side, with sunlight only for a while in the morning. (This might be an advantage if staying during hot weather, since I don't think there is any air conditioning but one disadvantage of the location of this particular room was that a noisy garbage truck serviced said highrise before 8 a.m. on one of the mornings of our stay.) Plenty of lamps were provided, as well as overhead lighting at the doorway. There were two comfy chairs and a side table for a sitting area, along with a writing desk with a convenient electrical outlet provided for plugging in a laptop computer, or charging a mobile phone.. A large dresser held the flat screen TV. A suitcase rack was provided in a small closet, along with a low bench ... perfect for holding another suitcase. (One of my hotel pet peeves is that many hotel rooms only have one suitcase rack ... where is the second person supposed to put their suitcase??) The bed was very comfortable, with nice pillows and good quality linens.

The bathroom was a bit on the small side, and the counter space very limited. Water-saving toilets seem to be in use through-out the hotel (rooms and public areas) and the showerhead was easily adjustable and gave very good water pressure. The towels were of good quality; my one gripe about them is that, like many other hotels, the Sylvia recommends the water-saving practice of hanging towels back on the rack for re-use - but then when housekeeping services the room, even towels that are carefully re-hung are replaced daily.

We ate two breakfasts and one dinner in the Sylvia's restaurant, and all were very good, as was the service. We also had drinks in the lounge with friends ... on two occasions with two different servers, hot drinks (special coffees and hot chocolates) were mixed up and served to the wrong people, since they were all garnished identically.

The location of the Sylvia is probably its biggest strength. It is literally on the doorstep of Stanley Park, with the sea wall walking and running trail and English Bay Beach right across the street. Denman Street, with an enormous array of dining choices of countless nationalities, is a short walk away. A twenty-minute walk south along the sea wall will take you to the False Creek ferry, to access Granville Island.

The only major complaint I had with our stay was the hotel's in-room WiFi service was dreadfully slow - so slow that I could not send email, since my ISP's webmail site timed out every time I tried. When I mentioned this at check-out, the clerk told me they had been having problems with it and that someone was coming in that day to look at it. (We had stayed over a holiday weekend.) Since we enjoyed so many other things about the Sylvia, we will probably try the Sylvia one more time, but since I rely on email for business, and since I prefer a bit of time reading on the 'net before bed to relax instead of TV, I need a reliable connection.

If you are looking for a hotel that is not a "cookie cutter" chain hotel, or one with a wonderful location, I recommend the Sylvia Hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank krp329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2013

Thank-you for your well written review, you have covered almost everything about the hotel that other guests would like to know. I can not add much except to say I hope that you will return soon. The wireless issue has been fixed after that weekend when a part stopped working in that area of the hotel. All great now sorry for the inconvenience.

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Reviewed 22 May 2013

This is a great old hotel (built in 1912, I think) which retains a lot of character that you don't find in most modern hotels. For all that, it is still very comfortable. Our room was on the corner with windows on 2 sides, and gave us a nice breeze on warm afternoons. Even in unseasonably warm weather, we didn't miss the a/c. It was a little on the small side as can often be expected in older hotels, but very comfortable. The location is terrific - right on the beach in English Bay with great sunsets and Stanley Park just around the corner. The staff were very helpful and just plain friendly. Definitely a hotel we will return to!

Room Tip: Rooms on the southwest side may be larger, but be careful in warmer weather as they'll get after...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2013

You are correct the hotel was built in 1912. We are the oldest hotel in Vancouver on English Bay. The location is great with so much with in walking distance. The windows all open wide to help with fresh air and cooling the room on warm days. So many guests love that they do not have to breathe in a/c air. I will post you comments about the staff in the lunch room for them to read. Hope you will be back soon.

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Reviewed 20 May 2013

As former Vancouver residents we prefer to stay at The Sylvia Hotel on our return trips. This is not a modern, clean lines, "Gucci"-like hotel, but rather an opportunity to stay in an older property. Look at the photos on the walls in the lobby and hallways - they give you a glimpse of history. English Bay is right across the street, your views of the Bay are only impeded by the odd tree. Go for a walk, run, or take the paper and your coffee down to the Beach. Famous Stanley Park is a couple of blocks to the West. The rooms are clean, the beds comfortable, there is always an extra blanket and the TV's are flat panel. The hotels main entry way stairs are marble! We have stayed in a one bedroom suite, with separate living room and full kitchen; and a simple one bed room. Don't be surprised if the window in your bathroom is painted over and doesn't open - that is part of the history of the building. WIFi is available. The lounge and restaurant are staffed with friendly, helpful employees and both popular with hotel guests and the savvy local residents. Reception staff are equally friendly and efficient; and parking is convenient and probably the least expensive of any Vancouver hotel. Enjoy!

Room Tip: We like the rooms on the Gilford side of the hotel - sometimes a partial view of the Bay. A Safeway...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank CanadianCruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2013

Thank-you for continuing to stay with us when you visit Vancouver. The location is ideal for tourists and locals with the beach and Stanley Park so close. I hope that you come back soon. I will post your comments and scores for the staff to read.

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Reviewed 18 May 2013

I have stayed at the Sylvia several times over many years and have never been disappointed. The location is prime, the service attentive and personal, and the ambience cosy. This was the first time I took advantage of room service and that was wonderful - the prices are reasonable and meals delivered fairly quickly. Jamie, especially, made my stay feel like I was a guest in someone's home. It may be disconcerting to some that various aspects of the hotel are a bit run-down, and that the windows do not have screens. I had a room overlooking the Bay and Denman Street and was very pleased with it; at all times I felt totally safe. I requested a fridge and one was brought in immediately. (A coffee maker would be handy.) If you like quaint, convenient, and friendly, this is the place for you. I am already looking forward to my next stay at this charming establishment!

Room Tip: I would advise spending a bit extra for a large room overlooking English Bay, on a high floor, with...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank anna320
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2013

Thank-you for writing your review. I will be posting your comments in the lunch room for the crew and will let Jamie know that you enjoyed his service. The food in the restaurant and room service has been getting very good comments since we updated the menu. We hope that we will be able to serve you again soon on your next visit to Vancouver. Our location is great but I think the service is what keeps gusts coming back every year. Thank-you team

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Additional Information about 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:
#9 Best Value Hotel in Vancouver
#33 Family Hotel in Vancouver
#33 Romantic Hotel in Vancouver
#46 Business Hotel in Vancouver
Price Range: £85 - £141 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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