I was in Vancouver last week for a couple of quick meetings so I took the opportunity to check out one of the newest JW Marriott’s in the world, the Parq Vancouver. This particular JW only opened its doors to the public in September of 2017 so I was looking forward to that new hotel smell.
The Parq Vancouver has a sister hotel next door called The Douglas, which is an Autograph Collection hotel. It shares many of the same design cues as the Parq but feels more like a boutique hotel than a Marriott. Sandwiched in between the two hotels is a small casino, which is a fun, if not expensive, convenience.
The hotel is located in the Yaletown section of Vancouver at 39 Smithe Street, right next door to BC Place. While not as centrally located as some other hotels in Vancouver, I wouldn’t say that it’s out of the way so don’t let that dissuade you from staying. I will say that without Uber or other rideshare services in Vancouver, it can be a bit of challenge, especially if the smoke from the BC forest fires make downtown Vancouver feel like Beijing.
The hotel is absolutely stunning. It is very indicative of the modern and beautiful design of other JW Marriott’s and certainly exudes luxury. I could go on and on but I think pictures might do it more justice.
Usually, I don’t really care much about the check-in process as it’s your standard, hand over the credit card and driver’s license, get your keys, “thanks for being a valued member”, blah blah blah, so these things don’t really stick out in my mind at all.
The Parq was different. I was checked in by a young man named Paul and it was hands down, the most thorough check-in possible. He hit all the high notes and gave me a bit of history about the hotel and recommended a couple of restaurants in the area – he even walked me to the elevator to make sure I got to the right floor. There was nothing that special about the information but the friendliness, genuineness, and absolute joy he had for his job was very apparent.
We were off to a great start.
As a Platinum member, I always ask for a suite upgrade. Marriott is supposed to offer these things to you but I find that by preemptively asking, you tend to have better luck in securing those sometimes elusive suites. Paul hooked me up with a beautiful suite with a nice, if not a smokey view of the harbour. The room was gigantic and beautiful in almost every way except one – there was no desk to set up my laptop. I’m not sure if it was just my suite or not but to me, this was a major miss. but one I got over pretty quickly as the rest of my stay was fantastic.
If you are a Platinum or Platinum Elite member (as of August 18, 2018), you have access to lounges and the JW Marriott’s are by far the nicest lounges of all the Marriott brands I have tried, and I have tried a LOT.
The lounge at the Parq Vancouver did not disappoint. You could tell that the hotel was new as there were very few people in the lounge (that will change) so there was a lot of one on one service, which was nice.
If I’m being honest, the food was just okay. Nothing as spectacular as what you see in Asia and the Middle East but not bad at all. One of highlights was the freshly squeezed and bottled juices, they were so refreshing and delicious. I managed to check out the lounge both in the afternoon and in the morning for breakfast. In the afternoon, you got some snacks and sweets. The one thing I love about JWs is that they don’t skimp, as demonstrated by the full-sized Mars bars for snacks. Sure it’s a bit odd that they were out of their wrappers but who am I to judge?
Breakfast was your standard fare of eggs, bacon and sausages but the fruit, cheese and cold cuts were a nice add on.
After consuming about 15,000 calories, I decided to check out the gym and pool area of the hotel and again, they did not disappoint.
The Fitness Area
First off, the area is gargantuan – simply HUGE. Stationary bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, a full set of circuit training machines and all the free weights one would need. I’m not sure about the exact floor space in square feet but it felt very, very large. The equipment is, of course, all new so it felt like I was in before the grand opening of a Gold’s Gym or something.
The JW Parq Vancouver does not have a pool, which is a shame, but it does have a whirlpool. I found it odd that it was placed outside, given that this is Canada and we have this thing called winter 🙂
The JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is a big win in my books. The service was excellent, the hotel beautiful, the suites well appointed and the lounge spot on. I had a few knitpicky things that I disliked, like the lack of a desk in the room and the somewhat basic food in the lounge but these were minor gripes and not something that would ever hold me back from staying here again. If you have a chance, I would highly recommend that you give the Parq a try before more people find out about it and make it a hectic hotel.