Today (July 4, 2018): Review of Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver (Canada).
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: Rosewood Hotel Georgia
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
First opened in 1927, the legendary Hotel Georgia became quickly known as the city’s most fashionable retreat and one of the best hotels in Vancouver. The hotel underwent an extensive renovation and was unveiled as Rosewood Hotel Georgia in 2011. Imbued with a sense of grandeur and elegance, the hotel now features 156 rooms and suites that flawlessly combine legacy with luxury. For generations, guests have indulged in Hotel Georgia’s charming ambience, remarkable service and landmark location.
In this review (more info below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
*** Get the most out of your (luxury) trip to Vancouver with my online West Canada travel guide ***
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Conveniently positioned at the corner of Georgia and Howe Street, Rosewood Hotel Georgia offers an central location in downtown Vancouver that suits both business and leisure travelers. With a plethora of easily accessible urban and outdoor activities, guests of the property are within walking distance of Stanley Park, the seawall and Vancouver’s premier restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, museums and theaters. The hotel is around the corner from a Skytrain stop and Vancouver International Airport is located 8.5 miles (14 km) away, around 30 minutes by car.
- The hotel is housed in a 12 story historic building that counts as a registered cultural heritage site in Canada. Following its grand debut in the roaring ‘20s, Hotel Georgia came to be known as a Vancouver legend for bringing unheard-of luxuries to the young city and Canada’s West Coast. When it debuted in 1927, the hotel was the very definition of innovation, from its all-electric kitchen to its extra-long beds for guests of tall stature and the introduction of late-night room service. Unfortunately, in the late 1970s, the property lost a lot of its glamor – despite its stellar reputation – until it remained a shabby shadow of its former self, under the management of Crown Plaza Hotels.
- In 2007, the property was acquired by the world-famous Rosewood hotel group and underwent a 5 year long, multibillion dollar renovation under the supervision of Toronto-based design firm Munge Leung. It reopened in 2011 as Rosewood Hotel Georgia, retaking its place among the best hotels in the city, offering an unmatched combination of legacy and luxury. The public areas retain an old world feel and transport guests back in time to the Roaring Twenties. This is especially true in the dark Art Deco lobby, which features wood paneling, high ceilings, Italian marble floors, deep moldings, a sweeping staircase, a gorgeous fireplace, and an impressive clock, all original remnants of 1927 when the hotel first opened.
- Although the public spaces feel dark, opulent and majestic, an impressive modern art collection lends them a colorful and youthful feel. Working with Vancouver-based art consultants Farmboy Fine Arts, the hotel’s collection of modern art is a celebration of the Canadian art scene and a complement to the unique mix of elegant décor seen throughout the property. The collection includes sculptures and paintings by well-known names such as Jack Shadbolt, Douglas Coupland, Karin Bubas, and Takao Tanabe. A real eye-popper is “Internity” by Patrick Hughes, an 3D acrylic on wood painting located across from the reception desk, which shifts perspective as you move in front of it.
- When you stay at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, you will follow in the footsteps of the rich and famous. Over the decades, the legendary Hotel Georgia played host to a long list of Hollywood and royalty, from John and Ethel Barrymore, Marlene Dietrich (and her 40 suitcases) and Errol Flynn to Sir Laurence Olivier, John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Katharine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. But the red carpet was literally rolled out for two of the hotel’s earliest guests – British royalty, indeed. His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales and his brother George, the Duke of Kent stayed in 1927 while in Vancouver for the Seaforth Highlander’s Ball, a gala event celebrated at the hotel. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have also stayed at the property.
- The hotel’s 156 rooms and suites feature a contemporary decor with palettes of light blues, ivory and chocolate completed with sleek furnishings and spa-inspired bathrooms for ultimate luxury. During my visit, I stayed in a deluxe room, which featured a king sized bed draped in Pratesi linens, a separate seating area centered around a marble-topped coffee table, and a five-fixture bathroom, with a fully tiled walk-in rain forest shower, a large luxurious soaker tub, dual sink vanities and a separate toilet area. The hotel’s premier accommodation are the Lord Stanley Suite and the Rosewood Suite, which both feature a private rooftop terrace with stunning city skyline views, plunge pool and private garden.
- Guests can enjoy an invigorating splash or take a warm dip at the hotel’s heated indoor saltwater lap pool, located on the fourth floor of the hotel. Bathed in natural sunlight from the adjacent outdoor rooftop (more on that below), this elegant and high-ceilinged space is complemented by art deco inspirations. The pool’s floor features geometric panels – mirroring panels in the ceiling above which gradually change colors from pink and yellow to blue and green, making a swim an altogether more sensory experience than usual.
- Although it lacks the usual hot tubs, steam rooms and sauna space, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia features a small spa, which represents a luxury retreat and an escape from Vancouver’s busy streets. This intimate and elegant hotel spa offers a full range of therapies, treatments, massages and facials from a highly trained staff and has 5 treatment rooms as well as a manicure/pedicure room. Next to the spa is a well-appointed fitness center, which features state-of-the-art equipment, including cardiovascular machines, weight machines, free weights and a Kinesis machine. A separate mirrored area is dedicated to yoga and stretching.
- Besides hosting the spa and indoor swimming pool, the hotel’s fourth floor also features an outdoor courtyard with a lounge area and sophisticated cocktail bar. Set amid a waterfall feature and greenery, this rooftop space delivers a laid back vibe more reminiscent of Miami or Los Angeles than Vancouver. The lounge is called ‘Reflections: The Garden Terrace’ and it offers a variety of light tapas-inspired dishes. Heaters and lush, warm blankets are available on cool evenings.
- The hotel is home to one of Canada’s most celebrated fine dining venues, the multiple-award-winning Hawksworth Restaurant and Bar. Using a range of culinary techniques drawn from the diverse heritage of British Columbia, Chef David Hawksworth and his skilled team transform the freshest ingredients into renowned dishes. Combined with the restaurant’s warm and exemplary service, the Hawksworth dining experience is one to savor. Breakfast is also served à la carte at Hawksworth Restaurant, although you can also have a grab&go breakfast (or lunch) at the more casual Bel Cafe next door, which offers a selection of freshly baked pastries, gourmet sandwiches, nourishing soups, salads, beautiful tarts, cakes and exquisite macaroons.
- Downstairs in the basement, the jazz bar ‘Prohibition offers up live music from Thursday to Saturday. The live musical entertainment and sleek interiors create an intimate, sophisticated ambiance reminiscent of the era when the hotel first opened. Innovative cocktail creations challenge convention while vintage cocktails honor the history of the craft of bartending. The menu has been meticulously curated including an impressive champagne selection, diverse offering of wines, spirits and craft beers alongside some of the rarest finds that the world has to offer.
- Service is impeccable, as you would expect from Rosewood, one of the most exclusive hotels brands in the world. The Rosewood story began in 1979 when a historic mansion in Dallas, Texas, was transformed into an acclaimed, world-class restaurant and hotel – The Mansion on Turtle Creek – whose success was the blueprint for all subsequent Rosewood hotels and resorts. Today, Rosewood manages a distinctive collection of highly individual, luxurious, residential-style hotels across the globe, including world-famous properties such as The Carlyle in New York and Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. Each property delivers a one-of-a-kind ambience and style, in which location, culture, history and geography are part of the fabric of the hotel, reflecting the company’s “Sense of Place” philosophy.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
Rosewood Hotel Georgia is one of the finest hotels in Vancouver. It’s hard to beat its central location, stellar service, refined decor, and world-class facilities. Yet, it’s not perfect, and here’s why:
- Although the decor is impressive, you need to know that the hotel is a historic property and the design will throw you back to the golden era of travel, with abundant use of wooden panels, grey marble, and gold moldings in the rather dark public areas. If you prefer a contemporary, airy design (and there are plenty of hotels offering that in Vancouver), you’ll be disappointed here.
- Rosewood Hotel Georgia features a great indoor pool with adjacent spa. Given Vancouver’s rainy climate, you may think that is a good thing (and it is). However, I personally prefer the outdoor heated swimming pool decks with jacuzzis of more modern hotels in the city, such as the Shangri-La and the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
- All parking at the hotel is by valet; no self parking is available, and unfortunately, valet parking is very expensive. Overnight valet parking is $55 CND including all taxes. Day use parking is $28 CND including all taxes.
- The majority of the rooms do not enjoy a great view, despite the Rosewood website stating the rooms offer “stunning cityscape view”. To give you an idea, my room featured small windows looking out over the skyscrapers across the street.
- In most rooms, you can hear a bit of noise from the traffic outside or the courtyard lounge below, but that’s to be expected from an urban hotel.
- Although delicious, the à la carte breakfast is rather pricey. Of course, you can always have a cheaper breakfast at the Deli Cafe, or book via Virtuoso, which includes daily continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests.
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 8/10
- Pool (indoor): 8/10
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 9/10
- Breakfast: 8/10
- Service: 10/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8,5/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Rosewood Hotel Georgia (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks at Rosewood Hotel Georgia when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upagrade, daily breakfast for 2, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD hotel credit).
- Room tip: book or request a room on a higher floor since these rooms suffer less from street noise and come with slightly better views.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Vancouver is notorious for its abundance of rainfall in autumn, winter and spring, so try to visit between June and September for the most reliable and driest weather.
HOW TO GET THERE
Vancouver International Airport is located 12 km (7.5 mi) from Downtown Vancouver and is served by many full-service and low cost carriers (click here for a direct link to their websites). Check the Wikipedia page of Vancouver International Airport for an updated list of airlines that have direct flights to Canada’s most beautiful city.