Hotel BLU opened in June 2014 and is housed in a building that’s a mix of lodging (2nd to 4th floors) and residences (5th to 19th floors). The modern, eco-minded boutique hotel is located close to BC Place, in the heart of Downtown Vancouver.
We recently experienced the hotel’s Touch of Romance package, and were greeted with a bottle of Sumac Ridge’s Steller’s Jay bubbly in the fridge along with four tuxedo-dressed chocolate strawberries. At the moment, BLU is offering the following three lodging packages:
A Touch of Romance: add $75 to room rate; includes parking, chocolate-covered strawberries, bottle of BC champagne, two full breakfasts, late check out
Bed and Breakfast: add $30 to room rate; includes two full breakfasts
Home + Garden Show: add $20 to room rate; includes two tickets to BC H&G Show Feb. 18 to 22
The current rate for a Deluxe King, the type of room we stayed in, is $159.
Outlets, outlets everywhere
We were impressed with how many outlets are available for a room of this size. There’s not only several AC outlets, but an in-wall duo USB port and AC outlet combo on EACH side of the bed!
While travellers often take a lot of tech on travels to stay connected, here you can leave the tablets at home: each room comes equipped with a Samsung Galaxy tablet. Handy to take around, as it’s loaded with a browser, maps, camera, YouTube, Kindle reader, Netflix (although you’ll need to sign into an existing account to use it), Skype, Places NearMe, Facebook, Open Table, Weather, and even Candy Crush. Guests are able to take them out of the room as well.
Check out can be done via the room’s Samsung Smart HDTV, and your audio and video content can be streamed wirelessly from a personal device to the in-room entertainment system.
In keeping with the hotel’s green-mindedness, there’s electric vehicle charging stations for guests.
Other great amenities include a rain/hand-held massage shower combo, high speed fibre-optic internet, cozy and luxurious pillow-top mattresses, and bathrobe and slippers for the pool and sauna. We were impressed by how quiet the hotel got at night considering the downtown location. The wooden floors are very clean and our overall impression is that this hotel is well looked after and adheres to high standards.
Sauna, gym, pool, jacuzzi
The black-rimmed, white tiled swim room is warm and inviting on a cold grey day. While the pool area (including an electric sauna) is open from 6 am to 11 pm, guests can make use of the gym on a 24-hour basis. There’s several cardio machines (treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes), as well as free weights and yoga mats for a good post-workout stretch.
Also open on a 24-hour basis is BLU’s Business Centre, with three work stations, printing, wired and wireless internet access and some comfy chairs near a Nespresso machine. Complimentary bikes for guest use are on offer as well as door-to-door downtown shuttle drop off via shared service (7 am to 7 pm).
BLU also looks after energy consumption via an energy-saving management system that detects non-movement in its rooms for a period of time, then sets the temperature to a more efficient level.
If a sliding door in one of the lofts is left open, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system automatically shuts down, resetting once motion is detected.
Peqish for Brekkie
Breakfast is served on the second floor in the Azure Lounge, catered by Peqish Food Company, a local food shop/caterer offering organic, handmade natural foods that are preservative-free, made fresh and available at their 552 Seymour Street shop.
This was our first foray into their goods and we’re definitely going back for their gluten-free scones and Green Genius smoothie (as well as some of their lunch fare).
We found an ample assortment of goodies including granola, fresh fruit salad, Green Genius vegan, gluten-free smoothie (kale, pineapple, hemp, coconut milk, Agave syrup), smoked salmon and cheeses, eggs, frittatas, grilled cakes, Alderwood smoked bacon rashers, pork sausage links, Belgian waffles and house-made condiments. Several baked items are gluten-free; if the whole grain-topped gluten-free scone is on offer when you’re here, don’t miss it!
A full breakfast is $19.95 plus tax and the continental version (cold items) is $12.95; kids dine for $10 (either option).
Although we don’t own any four-legged friends of our own, BLU has pet-friendly rooms, with a welcome treat at check in plus a bed and bowl. Nearby is a designated off-leash area; the hotel’s also a two-block walk from the seawall.
One space we missed seeing during our stay is the Pacific Boardroom, a floating glass meeting room for up to 14 people. It’s apparently got great views and includes built-in connectivity hubs and high-back ergonomic chairs. As well, a mid-sized conference room (also on the second floor) will accommodate between 30 and 60 people for various events.
Hotel BLU has both valet and self parking at $30 a night. For guests staying awhile, there’s complimentary self-service laundry machines near the gym, also open 24 hours a day.
Hotel BLU is located at 177 Robson Street in Vancouver.