It was valet all the way at OPUS Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia. Once we checked the car in on Friday night, we didn’t touch it again until Sunday afternoon when we departed back home to Seattle. Why would we have needed to? With the proximity of shopping, dining, exploring, and walking paths all along the Seawall right near OPUS Vancouver, our needs were met without the distraction of parallel parking. When we wanted to explore our surroundings, we simply checked out the hotel bikes from the lobby and off we went. It made breakfast that much more enjoyable because we felt like we had to work for it! That left more room in our tummies for our dessert later on, and who could ever argue with that?
OPUS Vancouver is not simply a hotel – it’s a destination. Rated one of the “Top 5 Trendiest Hotels in the World” by TripAdvisor, OPUS boasts the coveted Forbes Four-Star rating. Its lush lobby fits perfectly into the cityscape view of nearby Davie without being overwhelming. In fact, the tranquil feeling is quite intentional the moment you step out of the elevator on your floor. A scent perhaps best described as “clean, fresh laundry” permeates the corridor, while leaving the rooms untouched. Upon entering and exiting the hallway, you are met with instant calm.
Each room has a designation all its own with a unique style to compliment the individuals residing for the night(s). Before you book your room at OPUS Vancouver, consult with the “Lifestyle Concierge” virtual staff. There’s Mike’s OPUS room décor – consisting of a modern and minimalistic design. Mike is a doctor who enjoys the New York gay scene. Next is film actress Dede – a Los Angeles “to see and be seen” type of glamour who enjoys retail therapy and designer jets. Dede’s room décor is daring and dramatic. Not really your type so far? Not an issue, enter Paris food critic Pierre. Pierre is into food, wine, jazz, history, and architecture. His room style is a vibrant and outgoing orange pop of culture. Then there’s fashion exec Susan. Susan hales from Toronto and enjoys yoga, couture, classic music, and adores children. Her room style is contemporary and comfortable. Last but certainly not least, we have Billy. Billy is a rock star based in London who enjoys the underground and after-hours scene. His room style is irreverent and off-the-wall. [All of these profiles are fictional and aimed at helping to ensure your room is the perfect pick for your personality].
The perks are outstanding by any means. OPUS Vancouver was the first hotel in Canada to provide an iPad 2 in every room equipped with complimentary city wide Wi-Fi for on and off property use. The feedback was so positive the hotel is now offering guests in Deluxe King rooms and higher categories a complimentary Samsung Galaxy S3 to use during their stay in Vancouver. Load maps, take snapshots and read about the latest news and sports all while playing with a new phone for which you don’t need to sign a costly contract. Can it get any trendier than that? We think not.
OPUS Vancouver waives Wi-Fi fees and offers your pet a complimentary stay. Need a personal shopper, shoe shine or babysitter for the afternoon? A full list of hotel services are transparently located here. Don’t leave without trying the hotel’s signature Malin & Goetz amenity collection.
OPUS Vancouver Believes in Equality. “At OPUS Vancouver, we not only believe every person should have equal rights, we embrace the opportunity to bring awareness and support to the LGBTQ community,” the website states. “We’re a proud sponsor of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, and a long-standing member of both TAG and IGLTA. We’ve also been awarded Editor’s Choice by Man About World. Read about our commitment to equality here.”
For energy conscious travelers, OPUS Vancouver is a founding member of the Green Table Network, an initiative to reduce waste, recycle, conserve water and energy and use fewer pollutants in hotel and restaurant kitchens. They were the first hotel in Vancouver to use FORTIS renewable natural gas as a green energy source, and even offer complimentary valet parking for all guests driving hybrid vehicles. Additionally, OPUS Vancouver aims to reduce plastics in all guest rooms by offering filtered water in glass carafes as part of turn down service.
For comfort, guests will enjoy the in-room spa bathrooms with heated floors, vibrant décor, Frette bathrobes, and Herman Miller ergonomic chairs.
OPUS Vancouver Gives Back
OPUS Vancouver regularly gives back to the community via charitable contributions to organizations including Covenant House. Covenant House helps youth aged 16-24 who have fled physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, those who have been forced from their homes, or those who have aged out of foster care. OPUS Vancouver is hosting a clothing drive until January 1, 2015 for Covenant House. Items donated may include: Jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, rain jackets, skirts, dresses, belts, hats, or flat-heeled shoes. For a complete list of items Covenent House accepts, click here.
In addition to Covenant House, OPUS Vancouver works with BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children to help provide expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, reaching across the province with vital health services that may not be available anywhere else in B.C.
The following causes are also supported in part by OPUS Vancouver: UNICEF Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, Victoria Hospital Foundation, Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, Vipond Charity Golf Classic, Vancouver Aquarium, St. Anthony’s School, Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, First United Church, UBC United Way Campaign, Island Breaststrokers, BC Women’s Hospital Foundation, Olive Crest, Vancouver Tourism Awards, and Ronald McDonald House BC.
The Yaletown neighborhood is a funky extravaganza of substance. A hip, modern neighborhood situated only a few blocks from just about anything you’d ever need – from posh eateries to distinguished distilleries. Known to many as “Vancouver’s little Soho,” Yaletown sits on the north shore of False Creek and encompasses a 12-block radius. Ferries run throughout the day and evening to points of interest so if water is your muse, you’ll find it here in spades.
Stanley Park (Vancouver’s West End) is a short bike ride away and offers breathtaking views of Vancouver. Experience the rich history of British Columbia while walking the many trails throughout the park. Biking not your thing? Driving is okay, too! There is plenty of parking to be had. Coaches, tour buses and trolleys also stop at Stanley Park, and you can take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage once you’re inside the green as well. Wonderful gardens, restaurants and scenic byways are plentiful. Stanley Park is good for a day trip or a quick stop depending on your taste and timeline.
A lineup you literally have to see to believe, Yaletown boasts a plethora of dining options for every taste and style. Dress to impress, or wear your jeans to be comfortable – whatever impression you choose to represent, you will no doubt find a meal choice to compliment your game. Our favorite stops were positioned between Hamilton and Mainland Streets. They included: Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill (604-688-7466; 1133 Hamilton Street), Bluewater Café and Raw Bar (604-688-8078; 1095 Hamilton Street), Yaletown Brewing Company, and La Pentola (604-642-0557; 350 Davie Street) located inside OPUS Vancouver, our top choice and recommendation.
Choices Market Yaletown (604-633-2392; 1202 Richards Street) is a great alternative to eating out if staying in is more your vibe. Whether you’re gluten-free, meat-free, dairy-free, or none of the above, there are scores of options to select your favorite fare. Word of caution to United States residents: getting cash back may not be an option so you may want to carry cash, use a card, or slide the chip into the machine to pay for your purchases. When in doubt: ask the cashier.
For the Pooches
Our canine friends want to be able to have an enjoyable vacation, too! Bring the pooch with you to Yaletown and enjoy the many boutiques available to make your fur child smile with delight. There’s The Dog and Hydrant (604-633-3845; 1145 Pacific Boulevard), a trendy one stop shop for essentials and pluses. If you’d like to consider a custom pop art portrait to remember your stay, pop into Barking Babies (604-647-2275; 1188 Homer Street).
Dog-friendly walking trails are plentiful and nearby. In fact, it’s a pleasure and a treat to everyone involved to walk along the Seawall and explore the various viewpoints available at any given time. Day or night, the well-lit landscape makes it the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs – all two or four of them.