Christmas Day Masai Mara

Christmas Day Masai Mara
visiting with the Masai women

Welcome to my world!

i love to travel and i love to help others do the same.

whether it's a quick trip to Anguilla for sun and sand, a honeymoon in Tahiti, a safari on the Serengeti, a small ship luxury or expedition cruise to a remote corner of the world - I am here to help you realize your dream vacation!

what a wonderful world we live in and I am so lucky to be working in a field that let's me explore it.

why not come along with me?



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

Shangri-La Hotel -  Vancouver 

Earlier in the Spring I had the opportunity to stay at the two Shangri-La properties in Canada. My first stay was in March at the Shangri-La Vancouver and I must say I was very impressed. The hotel is stunning and it sits in the heart of the city accessible to pretty much everything. It is a shared building - 15 floors of hotel topped with privately owned condominiums.

The staff is professional and discreet - always there when you need them but never obviously waiting for you or on you. When arriving by car the access is not straightforward and there is some construction in the area, facts that can be annoying to some.  A quick call ahead can help alleviate any potential confusion. The hotel provides Mercedes car service for guests within a certain radius of the hotel – I love this amenity and am glad to see more luxury hotels offering it.

There are nine categories of  the 119 rooms and suites. Even the entry level rooms are large at 400 s.f. and some come with balconies. They are comfortable with subdued décor and provide everything a business or leisure traveller needs in a hotel room and some things often forgotten – like a toothbrush. Heat, air conditioning, lighting and drapery is controlled at the door and bedside and is designed to be energy efficient- operates with your key card and shuts off when you leave the room. There are thoughtful design features like individual lights on the headboard, so one person can read without waking their partner.

The rooms have a large main TV and one in the mirror in the bathroom. The desk is large, well lighted and equipped. The plugs are plentiful and accessible. The hotel incorporated many environmental design features in the building to lessen their carbon footprint and although they currently provide individual plastic water and bath amenity bottles they are working on a water filtration system and biodegradable packaging for amenities.

The bathrooms are luxurious marble rooms with private toilet, rain shower, a large tub and vanity with double sinks. In the closet there is a laptop size safe, umbrellas, shoeshine kit, iron and board and lots of good hangers. There is a Nespresso coffee machine with three coffee roast options and good quality teas – cream/milk is in the bar fridge which is not the kind that charges you as soon as you move something!

The hotel offers a well-equipped fitness room (open 24 hours) with a certified trainer on staff and a variety of daily classes for guests at no charge. There is a small outdoor pool and whirlpool with deck and chairs; the change rooms are large and comfortable with sauna, steam and shower facilities. There is also a snack and juice bar.

I did not get a chance to try the spa – Chi - open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It looked and smelled heavenly; I think there will have to be a visit next time!

The hotel entrance and check-in is on the lower level where you would drive in. It is a small, subdued comfortable space. I entered one level above this from the street – this is where the main lobby and concierge desk are and up a few stairs is the bar and restaurant ‘Market’ by Jean Georges. It is all very beautiful space - unfortunately, I did not have time to linger and enjoy the food and service.

I would highly recommend this Virtuoso hotel to my clients for their next stay in Vancouver.

Toronto review coming.

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