Wedgewood Hotel's a Winner
By Chris McBeath
It started the moment we got out of the taxi and in spite of the winter rains, the valet ushered us beneath his umbrella and under a palisade of navy and gold awnings that greet all guests to the Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver.
And although such great first impressions can sometimes fall short of expectations, we quickly discovered that these gestures were only the start of an impeccable getaway weekend.
It's this attention to detail that has earned the Wedgewood Hotel the reputation of being one of the most elegant small hotels in Vancouver and, for successful hotelier, Eleni Skalbania, the Wedgewood has been a labour of love since the day it opened in 1984. Originally Vancouver's Mayfair Apartments, Eleni followed her dream by purchasing, transforming and opening the building as the Wedgewood Hotel in just six months. And she's never looked back. Savvy business travelers choose this locale for its sophisticate, personal service while couples gravitate to its charm and pampered privacy.
You also know you're somewhere special when you enter the lobby because you actually want to linger there a while, listening to the soft music, cosying up to the flickering fire, lounging in its exquisite furnishings, and perusing the huge bouquets of flowers and impressive works of art. It's an atmosphere of welcome that Eleni has extended to all 89 rooms, each of which has been professionally decorated and come equipped with mini bar, TV ironing necessities, an in-room safe and private balcony.
Some even have fireplaces and the four penthouse suites have their own garden terrace and Jacuzzi tub.
Bacchus Lounge and Restaurant, a popular haven for private tete-a-tetes all day long, is the hotel's piece de resistance. Breakfast is busy with barristers heading for the lawcourts across the way; lunch serves a lively business crowd and dinner is usually for the romantics. And in between? Relax in the lounges' wing-back chairs, or velvet-cushioned sofas to enjoy refreshments such as afternoon tea and olive-laden martinis. Brunch, on the weekends is an epic affair.
But that should b of no surprise because Bacchus was the Greek God of wine and merriment (there's a massive canvas of him residing over the restaurant and lounge) so you would expect him namesake to live up to such a reputation. Consequently, the Bacchus Lounge and Restaurant are hot destinations for connoisseurs of fine vintage wines and exquisite modern French cuisine.
While menu items change frequently, you can expect to see listings such as Tomato & Truffled Artichoke Salad flavoured with Black Olive Vinaigrette and Boursin Cheese, Glazed Almond Goat Cheese with Leek Risotto, and the special Bacchus antipasto for two. These are just the appetizers. Gastronomic excellence continues with entrees like Roast Cornish Game Hen, and Oven-baked Sea Bass with Dungeness Crab and a Shitake Mushroom Crust. As for desserts, try these: Chocolate Hazelnut Torte, White Chocolate Banana Ravioli, and Calvados Creme Burlee, although if you find these sorts of decisions too hard to make, go for the 'assorted dessert selection for two - a sensational solution!
In addition to so many winning attributes, The Wedgewood Hotel has one more that sets it apart: a location that's one of the most convenient in the city for visitors who want to experience Vancouver at its fullest. Everything the city has to offer is virtually on your doorstep. Robson Street is within a few steps, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Robson Square complex lie opposite and the Canadian Craft Museum is only moments away.
Culture buffs will also appreciate the hotel's proximity to the Orpheum Theatre, home to the Vancouver Symphony; the Playhouse and Queen Elizabeth Theatres. In fact, The Wedgewood offers several great packages, which include these activities as part of your stay.
So, if you're looking for a getaway in the very heart of Vancouver, few places offer such luxurious intimacy alongside such cosmopolitan appeal. The Wedgewood Hotel is a real winner.
If You Go:
845 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
web site: www.wedgewoodhotel.com
Vancouver and Lower Mainland travelers: enter Vancouver's downtown core
From Stateside: Travel through Blaine, taking either the Douglas or Pacific Border crossing
Follow Vancouver signs and enter Vancouver's downtown core
Hornby runs parallel to Granville and Burrard Streets; the hotel is one-half block off Georgia Street
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