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Wedgewood Hotel & Spa-15

I’ve often walked by the elegant façade of Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, wondering what lies inside the row of blue awnings and sand-coloured exterior of this Relais & Chateaux property.

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This family-owned and operated hotel has received numerous awards over the years, from luxury to charm to service. When Travel + Leisure named it the #1 Top City Hotel in Canada last year, I decided it was time to experience this treasure for myself.

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For years, Greek-born founder Elena Skalbania successfully managed the Hotel Georgia but had her heart set on opening her own luxury property. In 1984, she realized that dream by purchasing and redesigning the former Mayfair Apartment Hotel, turning it into the stunning Wedgewood Hotel.

Elena’s youngest daughter Elpie developed a passion for the business and is currently the hotel’s Managing Director.

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Walking through the front door, the inviting lobby and its exquisite chandelier lead you to the check-in counter. I admire the silk fabric-lined walls near the elevators and the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Bacchus, as I get acquainted with this gorgeous detail-oriented interior containing Elena’s art collection.

The hall on our floor feels intimate and is quiet, a lovely break from the busy city outside. I soon feel at home as I prepare to get some work done before a eucalyptus steam bath and dinner.

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Rooms

Each one of the Wedgewood Hotel’s 83 rooms (over half of them suites) are luxuriously appointed with a mix of lighting, wooden desks and furnishings, cozy seating arrangements and flat screen TVs.

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Paintings and framed, hand-tinted vintage postcards grace the walls of our beautiful deluxe suite, adding colour to the dreary autumn day.

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In the next room, our king-sized bed is super comfortable with luxury bedding and linens.

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All rooms have balconies (mine has a great view of Robson Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery). Down below, the trees are starting to get decorated for the holidays.

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The bathroom is large and contains a soaker tub and separate limestone-tiled shower. Plush Egyptian cotton bathrobes in the closet can be worn down to the steam room (free for guest use).

The Wedgewood also uses an in-room heating and cooling system that shuts off automatically when it senses periods of inactivity in the room, saving on the environment.

A short while after checking in, a box of Belgian chocolates arrives as a little treat. Turndown service brings more indulgences: a couple of freshly-baked cookies and bottles of water for the night.

Bacchus Lounge

Dining

Executive Chef Montgomery Lau overseas the French-inspired seasonal menu offerings at Bacchus Restaurant. The room is luxurious yet cozy, containing warm, dark cherry wood, Murano crystal fixtures, white linen-topped tables and elegant upholstered seating throughout.

Bacchus Lounge

Above the piano (where live music greets visitors from 5 pm on) is the room’s showpiece: a large oil painting of Bacchus, appropriate as the restaurant prides itself on a well-curated, international wine list (as well as cocktails, craft beer and spirits).

Private dining at Bacchus Restaurant

Beveled glass panels allow a peek into the busy kitchen in back. The low-lit atmosphere makes for the perfect date night or celebration. Off to the side, a small group of diners are doing just that, perhaps toasting to the holiday season.

Kusshi oysters at Bacchus Restaurant, Vancouver

We order a half dozen dressed-up Kusshi oysters on ice, then eye the waiter walking around the dining room with a large basket of freshly-baked breads. These are lovely with our Northern Divine caviar-topped ginger butternut squash velouté and cinnamon-scented Kabocha squash and pears.

Freshly-baked bread selection

These dishes evoke the changing seasons and are hearty and delicious. A bottle of Sandhill Syrah is chosen for the table, which works well with both my pan-roasted sablefish as well as my husband’s AAA Alberta beef with potato rosti.

AAA Alberta Beef Tenderloin, potato rosti
[AAA Alberta Beef Tenderloin, wild mushrooms, braised celeriac, potato rosti, red wine reduction]

Pan-roasted Sablefish, black kale, potato fondant
[Pan-roasted Sablefish, mussels, black kale, potato fondant, apple celeriac purée]

The flavours are succulent, dishes well-presented and our only gripe are the truffle frites, a bit on the salty side for our taste. Desserts are also inventive thanks to the in-house pastry team.

Carrot Cake with Spice Crémeux
[Carrot Cake with spice crémeux, white chocolate mousse, walnut crumble, condensed milk ice cream]

We indulge in two: carrot cake with spice crémeux accompanied by tiny dollops of white chocolate mousse, walnut crumble and condensed milk ice cream plus Bacchus’ own take on sticky toffee pudding. This one’s got a fun twist with the addition of caramel corn on top and a delicate brandy-infused cookie.

Those who fancy winding down dinner with cheese will be happy to find a selection of artisanal Canadian cheeses (priced by the ounce) on the menu, served with candied walnuts, Rain Coast Crisps and seasonal fruit chutney.

Afternoon tea

Speaking of indulgence, this room is a wonderful spot to enjoy afternoon tea, which I had the pleasure of doing on a particularly rainy afternoon. The fireplace has just been decorated for the holidays and makes for an inviting atmosphere.

A selection of gourmet sweet and savoury goodies arrives with a choice of Tealeaves gourmet loose-leaf teas (Kir Royal or BC’s Blue Mountain Brut are optional add-ons to heighten your tea).

Nutcracker Afternoon Tea

During December, enjoy Wedgewood’s Nutcracker Afternoon tea service (served daily from 2 to 4 pm) and get entered to win a pair of tickets to see Ballet BC’s The Nutcracker.

Bacchus is now taking reservations for holiday parties, Christmas dinner (eight different seating times from 4 pm to 8:30 pm) and a New Year’s Eve Gala (last seating for dinner, (9:30 pm).

Buttermilk waffles with seasonal berries

In the morning, a full breakfast with a wide range of options is available. A nice touch is having the morning newspaper brought to your table.

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Spa

Wedgewood’s Spa opened in 2003 and it too has garnered several awards over the years. Here you can completely unwind and recharge your batteries with seasonal treatments, experience packages, facials, massages, hand and foot therapies and much more. Their relaxation room opens onto a garden terrace.

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[Spa lounge]

The fitness centre contains the same stationery bikes used by the Tour de France trainers. In summer, the trees fully enclose the adjacent patio to give it an oasis-like feeling in the heart of town.

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As guests, we were very well looked after by attentive staff, and wanted for nothing during our stay. This gorgeous property is ideal for a luxury getaway, spa afternoon or overnight with some shopping on Robson Street.

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In fact, the hotel is right across from Robson Square, Vancouver Art Gallery, numerous restaurants, bars and shops, with easy access to Canada Line station and bus lines across town.

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Wedgewood Hotel & Spa is located at 845 Hornby Street in Vancouver. We were guests of the hotel for the purpose of this feature. Opinions, as always, are our own. Non-watermarked images courtesy of Wedgewood Hotel & Spa.

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