I had several days by myself to spend in Vancouver in between skiing at Whistler. While hotel costs were not really that expensive in the winter season, the StayVancouver deals usually provides a free gift card with the stay. Offers can range from between a C$50-100 gift card for every night booked. With this offer, I booked The Listel Hotel located right in downtown close to shops and restaurants. The cost per night was around C$120++, though with the free C$50 gift card, it brought down the cost to just around C$90 after taxes.
Located along Robson Street, this hotel has its own porch and parking (at a fee) but because I did not need a rental car when in downtown Vancouver, I could park by the porch a short while to unload my luggage and then return the car to the rental company afterwards. This hotel is a low-rise with only 6 storeys so it might not be easily recognizable when driving in downtown.
The reception lobby has plenty of natural light when the sun is out and that makes it very nice. Even booking through the third party website, there was no problem during check-in and no other guests in line meant I was processed immediately. While breakfast was not included, I was able to request for a late check out until 1pm on the day of departure.
One interesting note about the hotel is the museum themed rooms that it has. There was abstract paintings and sculptures located in the walkways to the elevator and this should appeal to guests who seek a boutique hotel to stay in.
Room No: 427 Category: Museum King Bedroom
I was assigned a room on the 4th floor facing Robson Street, though they have rooms facing the back alley and the residential area. The latter would be preferred if guests seek a room that is quieter in the day.
On the right side of the room by the entryway, there is the bathroom. However one difference is that the sink and vanity area is outside with the door separating the toilet and the bathtub in its own chamber.
While this design allows the sink to be used by another guest sharing the room when one is using the shower, it does make bathroom feels smaller and the dim lighting does not help either.
Bath amenities in the room are from wall-mounted communal dispensers which is usually fitted in lower end hotel rooms. Though the pushback on plastic use means that more hotels are heading in this direction. Not my favourite solution but it just means that travellers like me are just more likely to bring my own bath amenities.
The bathroom countertop is very basic and across from it there was another console that holds the coffee and tea along with an electric kettle and an ice bucket.
Glass bottles were provided in the room with instructions for guests on the water policy. Since Vancouver has some of the cleanest tap waters in the world, there was a filtered and sparkling water refilling station on every floor, with housekeeping assisting in refilling the bottles after they clean the room.
In the bedroom area, guests would find a soft King-sized bed. More floor space seems to be allocated to the bedroom as it felt spacious with a chaise lounge chair at the end beside the wall and an armchair beside the bed.
Along the wall, there was a decent sized work desk with a basic chair for guests who needs to do some work. Above the desk there was a standard flatscreen TV, and the in-room minibar is placed on the right side of the desk. The furnishings inside the room can be considered as classic and I have no issue with them as they are practical and pleasant enough on the eyes.
Bedside tables on the sides of the bed contains an alarm clock on one side and an older generation iPhone/iPod dock on the other. Larger lights on the bedside table occupies much of the space but it made the room bright enough at night. A reading light is provided beside the armchair.
While breakfast is not included in the basic room rate here, there was a complimentary coffee service leaflet that was set beside the in-room breakfast menu and it was a very good morning cup of coffee for travellers in a rush. Milk and honey can even be ordered complimentary with the coffee, or lemon and honey provided if tea is what guests prefer.
For facilities, there was some meeting spaces in the lobby level of the hotel and a fitness centre. Entry to the fitness centre is though the 2nd floor but equipments are located on the bottom of the stairs. Equipments seems pretty basic but it should do the job for a quick workout while travelling. However I would not call the space the nicest since it can be a bit dark and the layout was not very good either.
Aside from the fitness centre, there was a restaurant in the hotel premises. Forage restaurant located in the ground floor is actually pretty good for weekend brunches and having dined there before, I do recommend it for meals.
For a boutique hotel, the hotel was well maintained and it served its purpose for a city stay. While the facilities might be limited, the location of the hotel is very good for sightseeing, dining out and shopping since all these are just in proximity. With the Stay Vancouver deals, the price is fair for a stay in Vancouver, and I would recommend this for visitors that do not have any status at the larger hotel chains.