Hotels North America Travel

Vancouver – The Shangri-La Hotel

We spent a few days in Vancouver last week – a city which I hadn’t visited in years, and a new one entirely for Mr. Feather! We enjoyed our time here immensely and I’m looking forward to sharing some of our favorite sights. Today, I’ll be covering our hotel for our short stay in Vancouver – the fantastic Shangri-La.

Shangri La Vancouver outside

I had heard that Vancouver was a good city for “pickier hotel guests,” with a lot of very nice options. We only stayed at one – the Shangri-La – but after our visit I can say that if Vancouver has other options in the same league, it is a great hotel city indeed! We were very happy with our stay.

The beautiful lobby, and some of the Asian themed decor.

Shangri La Vancouver lobby

Shangri La Vancouver lobby scroll

Heading up to our room…we stayed in #907.

Shangri La Vancouver hallway

Our room was an Executive Balcony King room (not a suite), which yes, did have a balcony – two, in fact! It was very spacious and I would compare it to a junior suite at other hotels.

Shangri La Vancouver Executive King 2

Shangri La Vancouver Executive King

Shangri La Vancouver decor

There was a beautiful fruit plate and tea set when we entered our room – a charming touch that we remembered from our last stay at a Shangri-La hotel, in Hong Kong. This fruit plate lasted us the entire stay.

Shangri La Vancouver welcome

My favorite part of the room was the bathroom! It was bright and modern, and in great shape for a five year old hotel.

Shangri La Vancouver Executive King tub

Shangri La Vancouver bathroom

Toiletries were L’Occitane.

Shangri La Vancouver toiletries

Each morning, we had breakfast at the restaurant’s hotel, Market by Jean-Georges.

Shangri La Vancouver market

Shangri La Vancouver market jean georges

Shangri La Vancouver shangri la inside

Can you spy yours truly grouching checking work emails? I always put down the phone by breakfast time though – everything we ate was delicious! My two favorites from Market: the dungeness crab eggs benedict (make sure to ask as they don’t always have the fresh crab available), and the brioche french toast. The perfect meal to start a day.

Shangri La Vancouver benedict

Shangri La Vancouver french toast

One of my favorite indulgences is spending time at the spa, and whenever we have time while traveling, I always like to check out the facilities at our hotel. I love having a massage or treatment while traveling – it’s so relaxing, and plus what could be more convenient than simply going from your room to the spa in your robe in slippers?

Spa days especially at hotels don’t usually come cheap – something I don’t mind as long as the facilities are good. I’m happy to report that the Shangri-La’s facilities at its spa, Chi, were fantastic. I’d happily return any day, and hopefully for longer!

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa entrance

The central waiting room, decor, and mani/pedi areas. Chi had multiple types of skincare and toiletries choices, including Kai and a local, chemical free brand.

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa decor

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa mani pedi

A single treatment room (love the fireplace!).

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa single room

Since Mr. Feather was with me, we opted for a “West Coast Wave” couples massage, which was a mixed massage style using local oils and lotions. My massage was awesome! The therapist was one of the best I’ve had for awhile, and took time to explain to me multiple stretches.

The really impressive part of our massage though – was the couple’s treatment room itself. I was almost speechless when we saw the size. It reminded me a bit of our apartment…maybe because they were probably close to the same size.

The living room – behind the doors was the changing area, vanity sinks and closets.

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa living room

A yoga mat and a huge couple’s soaking tub. We were told this tub takes 90 minutes to fill up.

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa yoga tub

And the actual massage/treatment room itself, with huge showers to the side. Ahh, bliss.

Shangri La Vancouver CHI Spa couples

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Shangri-La. I can’t imagine even the pickiest hotel traveler not being happy with the property. My review summary:

Positives: Honestly, we were more or less completely happy!  Our room, the service, food and spa were all on point. Even for a picky luxury leisure/business traveler, I can’t imagine the Shangri-La disappointing..especially if the right room choice is made. And for a five year old property, the hotel was in great shape. I know that five years doesn’t sound like long…but hotels can start to look dingy way before that. It’s clear that a lot of love (and money) went into the Shangri-La. And if you do find yourself there, I’d highly recommend a meal at Market, and a visit to Chi!

Improvements: I’m just nitpicking here, but I’ve grown a bit tired of the same L’Occitane toiletries. Multiple hotel chains all around the world all seem to use them – I wonder why? I would much prefer a great local brand to check out. Also if you’re a techno-phobe, you might find some aspects of your room confusing – there were a lot of “smart” light switches, and the curtains were all operated electronically. It was all fine and intuitive for me, however.

Thank you very much for reading – next time, I’ll be covering some of our favorite spots and places to eat in Vancouver!

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  • Sonya
    May 27, 2014 at 8:46 am

    One of my favorite cities. Next time you can also try the Rosewood, SL and Fairmont PR are the best here.

    • Katherine
      May 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Thanks Sonya! I’d heard the same…I haven’t always been impressed with Fairmont, is the PR one of the best in the chain as I’ve heard?

    • Barina
      May 28, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Rosewood Hotel Georgia is one the of the best hotels in the world!

  • a
    May 27, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I laughed at your technophobe comments LOL! Tokyo Peninsula had so many tech panels for everything that my friend and I got confused. We tried to turn off the lights but ended up opening the floor-to-ceiling curtains. It took us many attempts before we were able to turn off the lights completely. We succeeded in turning off the lights in the corridor, but then the main lights in the room lit up. Clearly a case when technology complicates rather than improves life.

    • Katherine
      May 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Yes! Some hotels can be very confusing and I’ve had a similar situation where I couldn’t figure out the lighting without either turning the entire room on or off. The Shangri La had a very intuitive system though and it wasn’t “too” techy – just enough for me 🙂

  • Emily
    May 27, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I totally agree with your comment on the L’occitane toiletries! I am at the Four Seasons in Lisbon, Portugal (which is a lovely hotel) and was dismayed to see the L’occitane also. My thought is that they must be the lowest cost faux luxury oprtion for many hotels. Anything would be better, even Bliss products.

    • Katherine
      May 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      I’m not surprised unfortunately – the FS in Budapest which we loved also had L’Occitane. The high level suites had a different brand though. I would way prefer something smaller…and yup I’d take Bliss over L’Occitane any day! Actually if you’re going to give out L’Occitane..I think one of their hand creams would be included, I’d be happy with that 🙂

  • Vivian
    May 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Omg I can’t believe you have come to my city, I hope you and Mr Feather enjoy the beautiful spring here

    • Katherine
      May 27, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you! The weather was gorgeous!

    • Katherine
      May 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Vivian, thank you! The weather was gorgeous!

  • Stephanie
    May 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Woo hoo, belated welcome to my hometown :]
    I’ve always wanted to check out the Shangri-La and actually haven’t since it has opened. Maybe I’ll drop by Market for dinner sometime this summer.

    • Katherine
      May 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      I’d highly recommend it! And maybe afternoon tea? 🙂

  • bisbee
    May 28, 2014 at 4:46 am

    We were in Vancouver for 4 days in the spring of 2012 before an Alaskan cruise. We didn’t stay at such a luxurious hotel, but we were extremely impressed with Vancouver, and would love to go back someday! It’s a beautiful city, I appreciate the pro-environmental attitudes, and there was so much to do – too much for our short visit, which is why I’d love to return and see more!

  • Glenda
    May 28, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for this review! I’ve been to their sister Shangri-La Hotel in Paris and loved it. Have been to Montreal & Toronto, and would like to visit Vancouver. If/when in Vancouver I will stay at the Shangri-La on your recommendation, and also to compare that with the one in Paris. Thanks, again, Katherine.

    • Glenda
      May 28, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Re L’Occitane: I hadn’t thought of it as a luxury brand, faux or otherwise… I thought of it as an acceptable organic/natural brand, though I prefer many other really good sustainable organic/natural brands.

    • Katherine
      May 28, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Did you like SL Paris? I’ve heard great things, I’d love to try it later. Thanks for sharing your experience Glenda!

      • Glenda
        May 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Shangri-La Paris, and will definitely stay there again. Beautifully appointed, discreet attention. It hasn’t been too long ago. I think they restored the palace and converted it into a hotel sometime around 2010 or 2011. It’s sort of tucked away and quiet, just what we like. We stayed there on the advice of a friend. We prefer boutique hotels, and we usually stay in hotels where our family has stayed for years, or get the advice of friends, or look at Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s website: http://www.slh.com/

        • Katherine
          May 29, 2014 at 11:11 am

          Thank you for the review! It’s on my list now 🙂 I like boutique hotels too, especially in Paris!

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I would also recommend Hotel Georgia and check out their restaurant the Hawksworth http://www.hawksworthrestaurant.com/

    Glad you enjoyed Vancouver! Cant wait to read about your favourite places to eat around Vancouver!

    • Katherine
      May 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Hawksworth was on our list but we weren’t able to go – I hope next time we can!

  • Lisa
    May 28, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Oops forgot to leave a name ^^^ the above comment is made by me – Lisa

    http://www.munchzilla.blogspot.com

  • Diva In Me
    May 28, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Spaaaaa……even the sound of it makes me feel at ease already. I love massages and my bf always say I’m such a sucker for that. I truly am! How do you resist from those muscle relief touches and kneading? Such bliss. Chi looks fab! The last good one I went to was Ritz Carlton Hong Kong and I fell in love with the stress relief massage and the service.
    I’ve not been to Canada. Someday I shall go there =D Continue to share with us your travel and hotel posts. I truly enjoy reading your blog =)

    • Katherine
      May 28, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Thanks Diva! If you ever find yourself in Vancouver i highly recommend a visit to Chi 🙂

  • a
    May 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Speaking of toilettries (sp?), Tokyo Peninsula had Oscar de la Renta soaps. I never heard ODLR had cosmetics of any sort but apparently they do. Kind of weird. In a sense L’Occitane is better than ODLR because at least L’Occitane is well-established.

    I think toilettries do matter because we don’t always pack soaps or forget toothbrushes. It would be nice if hotels put in more effort into this detail, and sometimes details make all the difference.

  • Makeup Morsels
    May 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Hotels with fruit plates = instantly sold (so of course, looking forward to that upcoming Vancouver food post). Always love your travel posts, and hahhah I’ve never really thought about the L’Occitane thing, but now that you mention it….

  • Mel
    May 31, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I second Hawksworth!

    Since I live here, I’ve never stayed at the Shangri-La, but I’ve quite enjoyed a few girls’ nights on the patio at Market. So lovely. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay!

  • Petti
    June 1, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Oh welcome to my home town! And I’m glad you enjoy your stay here. I had massage in Chi Spa before and I’m also very impressed. I love the afternoon tea there as well.

    • Katherine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Wasn’t that spa HUGE? Wow!

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