Century Plaza, Vancouver

After having a great customer service experience in Verona at Christmas, Century Plaza is now officially the best hotel experience I have ever had. Whereas Hotel Siena was all about the five star service and great location, Century Plaza has all that and more. I’d stayed there before in 1998 but only for 2 nights, enough to make me go back for more. As far as luxury is concerned, that’s still with Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans (also still standing I’m pleased to report) but this old school gem at the northern end of downtown Vancouver is perfection in every way.

4 things I love about Century Plaza


For a start, it’s perfectly located, if you’re like me and likes to be on the peripheral rather than in the middle of the action. Having said that, it’s just two blocks from the main shops but just one block from the delightful Davie Village. I’m pretty sure this gay town wasn’t here on my last stay(!) but not only does it have everything you need on your doorstep; restaurants and coffee shops a-plenty, books, grocery stores, a few clothing shops and  home ware stores which confirms this place is residential, just the way I like it. What’s more, a few minutes past Davie Village and you’re in the West End leading onto the English Bay.

The area is surrounded by beach walks anyway so I’m only 10-15 minutes away for a stroll along the beach wall on a sunny – or indeed any other type of day!

The hotel itself has coffee shop to watch the world go-buy in, a spa to wash away the world and a comedy club to kick start your laughing gear.

Ordinarily I never eat in the hotel but I was given gift card to spend so I take advantage and have the most perfect Eggs Benedict topped with the now inevitable fantastic service.

View from the top

It’s the glorious view of the Rockies that bought me back here and the view from the 28th floor is spectacular, despite or because of the ever increasing sky scrapers that are being built.

Green credentials

Whilst Century Plaza’s great service is what’s expected (but my no means always delivered, see Watt Tredici Hotel, Milan) what blew me away is the hotel’s green policy. All over the world (well where I’ve travelled) we’ve started seeing notices that say ‘please re-use your towels’ etc. I always hang up my towels to signal they don’t need changing but low and behold, fresh one’s inevitably arrive.

At Century Plaza, they really mean it. As if I needed an incentive, they give me $5 for each day I decline housekeeping, which I happily spend in the coffee shop each evening.

$5 is really not a lot when we think how much housekeeping time is saved and the system clearly works as the coffee shop staff were fully aware of the little $5 gift cards.

Add to this, the kitchen has a recycle bin, the first I have seen in a hotel.

Five star Service

What impresses me more now that I have spent an entire week living at Century Plaza is that the door men/bell boys (haven’t met any females yet) have a cheery greeting no matter how often I pass or what time of day it is, the reception are ready to serve and the concierge... well the concierge do their job, which is to learn everything and impart their local knowledge to you, their guest.

And a guest is how you are treated, all the time by everyone. Even the other visitors I encounter in the lift are jovial; in part I’m sure because they are made to feel so very welcome.

Housekeeping greeted me each time I passed or even if they simply heard me coming out of my room, there’ll be a ‘good morning’ shouted from somewhere on the floor.

In all, Century Plaza knows service, they know what guests want and make it look effortless.

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