Towering above the Vancouver skyline is the 5-Star Shangri-La Hotel. The tallest building in Vancouver, with its unique triangular patios and iconic penthouse, is an architectural marvel. The finishings of the hotel match its impressive exterior with their opulence.
The chandeliers, all half dozen of them, line the lobby like twinkling foot soldiers in perfect alignment. A grand piano occupies a bright corner beside a very comfortable conversation pit with deep, soft chairs.
As soon as you exit the elevator onto your floor you're greeted with by a myriad of assorted, gilded, Asian artifacts. A beautifully framed collection of colourful, antique Japanese fans gazed at us from the wall right beside our door as we fumbled through our pockets for our key cards.
When you enter your suite the gleam from the flawless Italian marble, that covers the entire dream bathroom, draws your gaze and, in true Pavlovian style, your feet follow. You enter the bathroom and cannot find an aspect you don't covet with the fervour of Gollum and his beloved ring. Double sinks, private toilet enclosure, full glass shower and soaker tub with a lovely view of Alberni Street; Vancouver's Rodeo Drive.
Across from the bathroom is a large, his and hers dressing room that lights up when you open the doors. All the amenities are there for you with an iron, a shoe shine fit and lint brush.
The king sized bed has one of those mattresses, you know the ones, that you simply don't want to leave; a pillow topped, fluffy cloud, marshmallow layered slice of heaven. A well appointed sofa and coffee table alongside a beautiful desk, facing the floor to ceiling windows, fill out the room. With a touch of a button the drapes close and with the touch of another the entire suite hoes dark. Convenience and elegance at its best.
When you get served a hearty English breakfast nestled in 1,500 thread count sheets, with gentle rays of sunshine cascading through floor to ceiling windows, you get a warm feeling in your stomach.
Is it the contentment of eggs cooked to perfection? Crispy bacon? Is it the feeling of a full stomach and a day still laid out before you? Yes, it is those things, but it is so, so much more. It's success. It's a life well lived. It's pride. It's a feeling that you're treating yourself. So treat yourself.
A stay at the Shangri-La, or Shang to the locals, is a convenient, luxurious way to treat yourself if your visiting Vancouver. Its central location, its incredible pool, spa and fitness club and its marvellous finishings make this a must stay!
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan