Vancouver doesn’t have a shortage of good luxury hotels big and small. There’s the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Fairmont Waterfront, Shangri-la, Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Metropolitan Hotel, Four Seasons, Trump International and Pan Pacific to the 83 room Wedgewood Hotel & Spa. Recently, the western Canadian city got two more hotels in the 5-and near 5-star category – both part of a new $500 million development Parq Vancouver located between the fashionable neighborhoods of Yaletown and Gastown.
Parq Vancouver’s vertical multi-tower design is adjacent to BC Place, a multipurpose stadium used for football, soccer and concerts, Rogers Arena, home of the NHL Canucks, and downtown’s energetic entertainment district. The development features a 72,000-square-foot casino gaming floor, eight diverse restaurants and lounges conceived by award-winning restaurateur Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla, a 30,000-square-foot rooftop park for both relaxing and events, including the ability to bring automobiles and oversize displays, a spa, more than 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and the city’s largest hotel ballroom.
The two hotels are JW Marriott and The DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection Hotel (also part of Marriott International), and provide a total of 517 rooms and suites. Both hotels provide guests access to Parq Vancouver’s range of amenities. The DOUGLAS is named for botanist David Douglas, who provided the first scientific reports about what we now know as the Douglas firs, located throughout British Columbia. Parq Holdings Limited Partnership, the owner, is a joint venture between Paragon Development Ltd., Dundee Corporation and PBC VUR Limited Partnership. The project is British Columbia’s largest private development.
In terms of the hotels, the JW Marriott Parq features 329 guest rooms, including 44 suites, 3 luxury suites and a two-floor. The DOUGLAS offers 188 rooms and 10 suites (details below). Of 65 reviews on TripAdvisor, 97% are Excellent/Very Good for the JW with none in the Poor or Terrible categories. The DOUGLAS only has 31 reviews, four of which were negative, two about being denied access to the lobby bar that is operated separately by Blau, in one case because the hotel guest was wearing sneakers. Hotel management responded in both cases they would pass comments along, but it does highlight an issue that needs to be fixed.
With two hotels, we look at the top suites in both the DOUGLAS and JW Marriott Parq. All suites and rooms in both hotels are non-smoking. In terms of vibe, while the hallways of the JW are lighter and more modern, The DOUGLAS is led by dark woods and a clubby feel, yet the suites provide a diverse approach with outdoor spaces, grand pianos, pool tables and even foosball.
The DOUGLAS has a total of 10 suites, three duplex suites, each a bit different, one with an elevator. Two have large outdoor patios. Additionally there are seven one-bedroom suites as detailed below.
The Den (1)
The Den is a 2,200 sq. ft. duplex with two bedrooms and three bathrooms. There are separate living and dining room, like other suites, floor to ceiling windows are soundproof. There are no connecting rooms. You have a table for four, bar with three stools a pool table plus separate living room with large semi-circular couch.
The Loft (1)
The Loft is a one-bedroom, 2,200 sq. ft. duplex suite with its own private elevator between floors, as well as entrance to the suite from both floors. It has a total of four bathrooms – a powder room downstairs, another upstairs and then his and her bathrooms in the bedroom, one with walk-in shower, the other with an oversize tub. Features include a fireplace, grand piano, living and sitting area, dining table seating six both inside and outside on the 400 sq. ft. terrace. Floor to ceiling windows are soundproof.
Apartment 108 (1)
If you get tired of the foosball downstairs, go upstairs and try the pool table or kill some time on your 500 sq. ft. private patio. There is a large wet bar with countertop wood countertop if you want to play bartender for your guests. There are three bathrooms, one on each floor for guests and then a full bath for the one bedroom, albeit with walk-in shower only, no tub. Large 55-inch flat screen TVs provide easy viewing and a gas fireplace is good for those cold days that come as easily in the summer as winter in Vancouver. You have hallway access from both levels. The duplex is 1,850 sq. ft. with connecting room option to make it into a two-bedroom suite.
One Bedroom Suite (7)
The standard one-bedroom suites are a generous 1,200 sq. ft. with 1.5 bathrooms and include a large living and and dining area, floor to ceiling windows and walk-in closet. The suites run from the seventh through 15th floors (Suites 777 to 1577) with views over BC Place. The best views are from the highest floor suites while the lower floor suites look to the side of the stadium.
JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
Sky Suite (3)
There are three 1,985 sq. ft. two-bedroom Sky Suites, each with 2.5 baths, located on the 24th, 23rd and 22nd floors. There are no connecting rooms. There is a living/sitting area with six seat dining table and the nose shaped layout of the living room provides 180 degree views of Vancouver from the floor to ceiling soundproof windows. There is also a small media room with 70 inch TV and a butler room. There’s a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, which features an oversized bathtub and walk-in shower.
Parq Villa with Patio (1)
The 1,934 sq. ft. Parq Villa, located on the 6th and 7th floors, is a duplex one bedroom Villa with a King bed and 1.5 bathrooms, plus an outdoor patio. The signature feature is a grand piano.
Ivy Suite (2)
The Ivy Suites are 1,100 sq. ft. with one bedroom, featuring a King bed and 1.5 baths. There is a separate dining and living area, but no connecting room options. Like all suites, there are floor to ceiling soundproof windows.
Other Suites (Multiple)
The JW Marriott features three different one-bedroom suite types – the 948 sq. ft. Executive Suite, a 656 sq. ft. one-bedroom type with mountain views and 548 sq. type with water views. Each features a separate living room from the bedroom.
Restaurants and Bars
The complex offers an array of restaurants and bars in the complex tha provide very good venues whether it’s a team dinner, large group or even a date. Service during my stay was friendly and relaxed with an informal take on luxury. The various restaurants and bars have been planned out with a number of oversize tables and high tables that seat as many as 20, providing nice venues that provide groups intimacy but without being cut off from the overall vibe as is often the case with private rooms.
For lunch or dinner, serving chef-driven, farm to table cuisine with an emphasis on locally and regionally sourced ingredients that highlight the bounty of British Columbia in an approachable and comfortable setting. Kids are welcome at Honey Salt.
Serving dinner, featuring a contemporary and seasonally inspired menu highlighting a wide array of Pacific Northwest seafood and a tiered selection of specialty steaks, Victor boasts a lively bar scene and provides a fun venue for business or private dinners. On the sixth-floor rooftop it offers views of the False Creek and the downtown skyline, this fine-dining destination evolves into a nightlife destination, serving premium libations, cutting edge cocktails, and an extensive selection of champagnes and sparkling wines. Kids are welcome at Victor.
Serving lunch and dinner, the premier casino social destination pre and post events, BC Kitchen, offers an innovative and high-quality interpretation of classic bar “comfort” foods and craft beers on tap paired with a sophisticated, contemporary, lounge inspired ambiance. Enjoy a sit-down meal or casual favorites from the 24-hour pickup window. BC Kitchen is located on the casino floor, therefore guests must be 19+ years old.
For dinner and late night, authentic Cantonese cuisine with Szechuan, Hunan, and Shanghainese elements. An exclusive dining experience featuring impeccable live seafood highlighted by immaculate preparation and seamless service. 1886 is located on the casino floor, therefore guests must be 19+ years old.
Singapore night markets inspire an inventive and energetic alternative to the traditional restaurant. MRKT EAST features classic, traditional presentations along with modern twists and familiar favorites. MRKT EAST is located on the casino floor, therefore guests must be 19+ years.
D/6 Bar & Lounge
A hip nightlife option perched above the city, this indoor/outdoor rooftop space makes for a great cocktail destination. Featuring dramatic views of the city, D6 is a rooftop lounge. Enjoy handcrafted cocktails, selected chosen wines, and small bites.
Located in the epicenter of Parq Vancouver Casino’s floor, the Centre Bar is the social hub and main cocktail/gathering spot for the 2nd-floor casino and BC events. Featuring a full selection of signature cocktails, craft beers, wines by the glass, and high-end premium spirits.
Lotus Whiskey / Tea Lounge
Enjoy a wide variety of teas teas during the day and an impressive selection of reserved whiskeys in the evening. Lotus Whiskey / Tea Lounge is an elegant space serving a selection of brewed loose leaf teas from around the world, as well as a large array of whiskey, scotch, cognac, and bourbon.
Meetings and Events
Meeting and event space is located principally on a single floor connected to the guest elevators of both the JW and DOUGLAS as well as the hotel lobbies, meaning there is easy street access and whichever hotel you stay or your attendees stay in, the meeting space is easy to access. If you have ever hated those long walks between guest rooms and the meeting area, you won’t have a problem here. There are 12 event rooms with 57,039 sq. ft. of total event space with the largest room having a capacity to nearly 1,800 guests in theatre configuration. For banquets, you can seat up to 1,200. There is also outdoor space for hospitality and oversize elevators make it possible to bring in automobile displays both indoors or on the outside decks.
Fitness and Spa
While The DOUGLAS has a small gym with cardio and limited weights, on the 17th floor of the JW, the two hotels share an extensive gym (both are 24 hours) with a wide variety of bikes, treadmills, free weights and weight machines. There is also an outdoors hot tub and there will be light snacks and healthy drinks served on the terrace during warmer months, providing a nice venue to relax after your workout.
Located on the 17th floor of the JW, Spa by JW serves both hotels with six treatment rooms while The Glamoury delivers a professional makeup and a blow dry bar.
The heart of Parq Vancouver is the 30,000 square foot, sixth-floor park designed by renowned landscape artist Christopher Phillips of PFS Studio. Creating a one-of-a-kind, communal experience for guests and locals, this elevated green space rises to greet Vancouver’s natural skyline, offering views of the city. It is also available for meeting and events.
There are over 75 table games on two levels, including baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, Sic Bo, and poker. Live poker action is available daily with a variety of games, limits, and tournaments to accommodate all players. If you prefer high limit slot action in a private setting, The Fortune High Limit Slot Lounge provides the most popular games with luxury upgrades including maximum comfort seating and individual amenity cabinets. For high stakes action VIP Salons offering private gaming with in-Salon or lounge dining, casino cage, restrooms, and full-service VIP hosts are also available.