Vancouver is a city that I adore, and why not? It has a beautiful waterfront setting, scenic Stanley Park which I count as one of my favorite running spots in the world and fantastic food. Vij’s, for Indian cuisine, is definitely at the top of the list.
But Vancouver is lacking when it comes to luxury hotels that I’m excited to check into whenever I’m in town.
The new Versante Hotel may finally change that. Located near the airport and about 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver but definitely not an airport hotel, Versante is a locally owned independent boutique property that’s meant for the stylish set.
Designed by the Vancouver-based CHIL Interior Design, it has 100 rooms, all of which have floor-to-ceiling windows with mountain or river views and are decked out with bold colors and designs including patterned carpets, flowered wallpaper and gold accented accessories.
Even the entry level Icon room is a design treat with its mid-century aesthetic that includes an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair and Ms. Poodle lamp.
If you’re splurging, go for the Versante Suite. Spanning close to 2,300 square feet, it has two bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views and a dining table that seats ten.
No matter your room category, every bathroom has a large rainforest shower, heated floor and Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. Most bathrooms also have freestanding tubs.
Then there’s the instantly Instagrammable lobby that’s inspired by a Chinese night market and features pieces from the internationally-famed Vancouver artists Andy Dixon and Marie Khouri.
Now, let’s talk about the dining and imbibing.
Bruno, open for breakfast and dinner (the latter is the time to go for a scene) serves dishes that take inspiration from local farmers and artisan food producers. That translates into dishes such as a truffle lavender duck with foie gras and a candied hazelnut crumb and the roasted seabream and lobster with mussels, pink scallops and saffron cream. Don’t miss the elegant bar cart that comes to your table and presents oysters, caviar and shellfish, along with assorted sauces like a Calabrian chili crunch.
Versante’s other food and beverage outlet, a lounge called Alaia, will open this fall on the 12th floor and offers fantastic views of the city.
Additional highlights of Versante include the 24-hour gym with Peloton bikes, the rooftop pool and the contactless check in/out and room entry through the hotel’s app which you can also use to order room service. Oh, and guests get free airport transfers and bike loans.
Andrew Steinberg, an advisor with the luxury travel company Ovation Vacations, says that Versante is a refreshing and necessary addition to Vancouver’s hotel lineup.
“Vancouver is a great destination for food and art, and now there’s a hotel that mirrors how cool the city is,” he says. “It’s about time.”
The contactless check in/out and the technology overall are also major selling points, says Steinberg. “In the pandemic and post-pandemic world, they’re paramount,” he says.
With more than enough to attract luxury-seeking travelers who want a contemporary hotel with action, Versante is well-poised to become Vancouver’s “it” hotel.