It has become apparent from reading other reviews and viewing the professional photos that there are 2 different classes of room in this hotel. There are apparently updated, modern rooms which are shown in the photos and many reviewers obviously were lucky enough to experience. Then there are the 1970's area rooms with ratty, stained furniture, outdated appliances, and moldy bathrooms. We had the misfortune of staying in one of the latter (#709).
Upon entering the hotel lobby, we were optimistic as it had a clean, modern look and had obviously been renovated. The illusion ended as soon as we entered the elevators, however. They were small, cramped, and looked very outdated, as did the hallways on our floor. Upon arriving at our room, we discovered we had been given 2 double beds instead of the king bed we requested when making the reservation. I immediately called the front desk and requested that we be moved to a king room, in accordance with our original booking, but was told (quite rudely) by the gentleman at the front desk that there were no other rooms available and that by booking from Expedia, we are only assured of a room - the room type is not guaranteed. When I responded that I had not booked through Expedia, he said "Expedia, Hotels.com, whatever. They're all owned by the same company now anyway. Either way, you're getting what's called a 'front of house room' which is limited to current availability." Based on his comments and condescending tone, I was left with the impression that the hotel purposely gives the worst available rooms to guests booking a discounted rate through an online travel site and are not the least bit concerned with the quality of stay for those guests.
Looking more closely at the room, we noticed that the couch looked as if it had come from a yard sale. The fabric was frayed and ratty in several places and had numerous dark stains of unknown origin. The tiny kitchenette had a white & brown McClary stove that looked like it was, at best, from the early 1970s. The bathroom appeared to be slightly more modern (early 80's), but was still several decades past its prime. The grout between the pink hued shower tile had visible mold and mildew, and the lighting bar over the mirror had a layer of rust. The only closet in the room was located not by the door, but rather in the corner next to the bed and only about 2 feet wide. This left us feeling as though we had been the victim of a bait-and-switch. They showed photos of recently updated rooms when we made the reservation, and then stuck us in a severely dated, sub-standard room upon check in. It is clear that whoever classified this hotel as 3.5 stars was only given access to the newly refurbished rooms, as our room did not warrant so much as 1.5 stars.
When we finally laid down for the night, we were treated to constant mechanical noise. Apparently the old pipes in the building have a hard time meeting the demand, as we heard constant loud squealing and banging, presumably as other guests turned their water on & off. It sounded like someone was repeatedly pushing a heavy wooden chair across a hardwood floor directly above our room, all night long.
Upon returning to the room the second day, we discovered that someone (presumably the housekeeping staff) had turned off the heat on the room's thermostat and the temperature had dropped below 60F (the high temp that day was in the mid 30's F).
Finally, as if to ensure our stay was truly miserable, we were awoken by a building-wide fire alarm at 2:45 am our final night, forced to get dressed and stand outside in the below freezing temps until the fire department arrived and confirmed it was a false alarm. Other than a brief announcement over the hotel intercom around 3:15am to confirm it was a false alarm, the hotel management made no visible effort to apologize for the inconvenience, nor did they reception staff show any concern over the quality of our stay (or lack thereof) upon check out.
In summary, despite it's favorable location, I would absolutely NOT recommend this hotel to anyone. This room in which we stayed was outdated, decrepit and in serious need of renovation. The staff showed no interest or concern for making our stay a pleasant one and were, on at least one occasion, quite rude.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Century Plaza Hotel & Spa is a landmark destination hot spot right in the centre of downtown Vancouver. From its award winning amenities including a world class spa and comedy club, to the kitchen equipped suites featuring spectacular ocean, mountain and city views, the family owned and operated Century-Plaza Hotel & Spa has implemented sustainable practices such as its 'Green Initiative' Program as well as the 100% Chemical Free Commercial Cleaning System reducing our carbon footprint to provide guests with the wonderful home away from home ambiance. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Century Plaza Vancouver