The Rosewood Hotel Georgia is something of an adult playground. From bottom to top, the luxury property offers an array of refined amusements for the travelling cosmopolitan. Whether coming from East Vancouver or Eastern Europe, guests who stay here will find themselves with fantastic service, food, libations, and comfort.
Starting, as one must, at the bottom: the basement is the hotel’s greatest nod to its history, to a time long since gone but not forgotten. At Prohibition, a moody, dark, lush cocktail bar, guests are whisked back to 1920s-style speakeasies; a light that turns on when the bar is open even sits above the separate outdoor entrance, instantly setting the mood. Inside, velvet and leather give the feel of a secret luxury members’ club, as does the Absinthe Experience that really everyone should try at least once.
Next, the property has two food establishments right at street level, where diners can watch the people rush along West Georgia and stare out at the pillars of the Vancouver Art Gallery. First is Bel Café, a small space perfect for coffee, fresh-baked pastries, and a small selection of takeaway dry goods such as Grain. Sit in or take to-go—you can’t go wrong. And just across the hall is the famed Hawksworth Restaurant, helmed by chef David Hawksworth and boasting one of the best burgers in town. But the entire menu is worthy of perusal; the full fine food experience can be had in the dining room, or a more laidback vibe and simple culinary offering exists in the adjoining lounge. At both places, the focus is on fresh ingredients, and all one has to do to believe it is take a taste.
Slightly higher in altitude is the 1927 Lobby Lounge (named for the year of the hotel’s founding), a cozy place to grab a light snack and a cocktail, with alcohol or without—both are good here. Be sure to check out the art on the walls, as a lot of care and attention was placed in curating the most suitable pieces, and each one holds special meaning—such as the original Fred Herzog photos and shots of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra (both who once upon a time visited the hotel). There is even an original recording from when The Beatles played Empire Stadium in 1964. The bar at the lounge has great views of the hotel’s majestic staircase, which wraps around to pop guests out at the ballroom and event space.
Going up even more, one can enter the guest elevators, complete with rustic tickers that indicate which floor the lift is currently on, and head up to the fourth for Sense, A Rosewood Spa. Here, a beautiful Art Deco-inspired salt water pool is made for serene swims, and private rooms can be used for an array of spa treatments. The fitness centre is here too, even with room for yoga.
Also on the fourth floor? The popular Reflections bar, an outdoor terrace unlike any other spot in the city. Serving up Canadian fare and festive summer cocktails, this is a place for socializing, for spending the night under the stars. Soft lounge chairs give the feel of California, and yet, it still remains artfully West Coast.
There are rooms on the second and third floors, sure, but today you are on the fifth, in a beautiful 466-square-foot Deluxe Room. A modest living area with couch, armchair, desk with Bose docking station, and flat-screen television gives way to a lush king bed with Rivolta Carmignani linens, and then, the showstopper: a large marble washroom with heated floors, two sinks, a waterfall shower, and a curved standalone tub. At night, turndown service is made charming by eschewing the typical chocolates or mints in favour of shortbread cookies.
Like climbing a jungle gym, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia offers multiple levels of fun. From the sultry Prohibition to the sunny Reflections, it’s a multi-tiered operation perfect for visitors but also appealing to locals. It hearkens back to the property’s history, combining classic Rosewood elegance with Vancouver’s distinct lifestyle. It is a place to relax, to retreat, to indulge, and to play.