Retreat from the Rain at the Pan Pacific Vancouver
We recently spent a blustery and wet weekend up in Vancouver in February. What better time to escape the USA than on Presidents Day weekend? The weather may not have been perfect but our stay at the Pan Pacific Vancouver took a little bit of the bite out of the cold weather. It was our haven from the wind and a place to simply dry off and unwind after our adventures each day.
In the spirit of our travels these past few months, I once again took advantage of a Groupon Getaway to book this hotel. Normally the Pan Pacific would be way out of our price range. An average night could cost you $300+. Instead I spent just over $500 + parking and taxes for 3 nights. It was still a stretch to our normal trip budget, but I was in the mood to splurge knowing this would be one of our last weekend getaways before the baby came.
Booking the hotel was just as easy as making a phone call to reservations. All of the dates I had in mind were open, so we just booked what was best for us. Five minutes later and I was in a club suite on the top floor. All we had to do was pack and start driving. I love when reservations are easy.
Our check in was just as simple. I actually made it more difficult by not reading my voucher ahead of time. I showed up at general check in, when I could have gone right up to the club lounge for a private check in that ended up taking 5 minutes. I was able to get a parking pass to use the rest of the weekend without having to worry about paying every day. Ten minutes later we were settling into our room.
The 23rd floor had amazing views of the city although it was not always as quiet as you would expect. Starting around 8am seaplanes took off in the harbor right below us. Thankfully I had packed our sound machine so it never woke Dek up. He got up early all on his own much to his exhausted parents delight.
We let Dek have the living room of the suite. It was spacious enough to hold his travel crib at night and push it out of the way so we could play during the day. The mini bar fridge, although very well stocked, could still hold a quart of milk for Dek’s early morning beverage before breakfast.
The bedroom, along with the living room, sported a nice flat screen TV with basic cable. The bed was huge (a King) with enough pillows available to make even the most uncomfortable of pregnant women (that would be me) happy at night. If I needed more pillows it was just a Service One call button away. Unfortunately I pressed that little button a little too late on our first night. The hotel was fully booked and all of the Tempur-Pedic pillows had been checked out. I didn’t have to have one, I was just curious to see how one was to sleep on.
Now lets talk about the bathroom. In my recent travels I’ve realized that it is not hard to impress me when it comes to bathrooms. Every bathroom is bigger than mine. As long as it is clean and in good repair you have pretty much won me over. The bathtub was perfect for Dek to take a swim in before bed. I loved the multilevel shower flow that helped ease a little pregnancy back pain. My favorite feature was that the door to the bathroom could close in the entire bathroom or just the toilet so other family members could shower or throw some make-up while someone else took care of their business.
The room’s entertainment was adequate but it did have a few hiccups. While the TVs were very nice, they only had analog cable TV, no digital. This could just be the tech snob in me coming out, although Mike pointed it out so I guess he is the snob not me. If you weren’t in the mood for the cable channel offerings you could also order a Pay Per View movie for an additional cost.
The Internet connection was fast enough to do some blogging and photo uploads. The most annoying thing was that you could only have one device logged in at a time. Mike would try to access the web on his Kindle while I was searching for our next restaurant on my laptop. One of us would constantly get disconnected and have to log back it. I have seen this set up only once before and it was in Vancouver as well. I’m not sure if this is a universal hotel policy in the city, but it was extremely annoying. Free Wi-Fi and Internet access should be just that. If I am a guest, I want everyone in my room to be able to use it.
Club Lounge. After the comfy bed, the Club Lounge was by far my favorite hotel amenity. There was fresh fruit plus tea and coffee service until 10pm every night. I took full advantage of the hot tea after our mornings out in the rain. The staff got to know me so well they made sure there was always extra honey right next to the tea bags.
The lounge also served up a very nice breakfast. This saved us a considerable amount of money each day. Cereal, bagels, pastries, fresh fruit, meats and cheeses were all available. On top of these offerings there were two hot breakfast items each day. One morning it was mini French toast slices the next there were tiny quiche.
We were not able to take advantage of the Happy Hour hor d’ourves as we were usually headed out for dinner at that time. The offering was not substantial enough to replace a meal. It looked very nice though and several couples were taking full advantage of the lounge before they headed out for a late meal. Alcoholic beverages were not complimentary.
Spa Utopia. The lowest point in our trip was my visit to Spa Utopia. It came across as being much to corporate for my taste. Everything felt so rushed. Luxury and relaxation were not the main focus. I wasn’t even asked if I liked my service when I was checking out. The only saving grace was the nail specialist that chatted away with me during my pedicure. For a full report on my experience you can check out the post I wrote earlier in the week here.
Outdoor Swimming Pool. We did not get to take advantage of the outdoor salt-water swimming pool and jacuzzi on the 8th Floor. It looked wonderful, it was just too darn cold outside to use. Dek sure wanted to give it a try.
The Pan Pacific was centrally located right on the water next to the cruise terminal. The hotel is just above the convention center. This made finding reception a little confusing, but it was a great launching point to tackle the city.
We were within walking distance of Gastown, Stanley Park and the food and shops on Robson Street. A bus stop was just a short walk away and taxis were always close by. A food court is located across the street for any immediate snacking needs. Things did close down after office hours in this area, so be sure to check the restaurant hours before you head out.
Know Before You Go
- Pan Pacific Vancouver, Suite 300-999 Canada Place, Vancouver
- Telephone: 1 800 663 1515 (within Canada) 1 800 937 1515 (within the USA)
- Pets are welcome, don’t be surprised if you hear a little barking in the hallway
- Check in is 4pm and Check out is 12noon