Hotel Review: The Douglas, Vancouver, Canada
Date of Stay: February 2023
Cost: 42,000 Bonvoy points
OVERALL RATING: 7.6
fitness centers: 8
Bed comfort: 10
Room Cleanliness: 10
Natural Light: 6
Room Size: 7
Bathroom (amenities/size): 8
USB/Charging outlets: 10
For the Business Traveller: 6
Business Centre: 3
Big screen connectivity: 5
USB connectivity: 10
This is a review of The Douglas hotel located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Douglas is part of Marriott's Autograph Collection of hotels.
I booked a one night stay on the Marriott website using Marriott Bonvoy points. The total cost was 42,000 points for a king room. Had I wanted to pay cash, the room price was $429 per night plus taxes. One of the things I like about using Marriott Bonvoy points is that you do not pay any taxes for award stays (there are some rare exceptions to this rule).
For this stay, I redeemed a 35,000 point Marriott Bonvoy points certificate, which I receive as an annual benefit with my American Express Marriot Bonvoy credit card, and added a top up of 7,000 points. In 2022, Marriott began allowing credit card holders to use their points to top up their 35,000 point certificates. A maximum of 15,000 points can be used along with the 35,000 point certificate, thereby allowing redemptions up to 50,000 points per nights to be booked. This opens up the possibility of using the 35,000 point certificate for some more luxurious hotel bookings, such as The Douglas.
In my view, the annual 35,000 points certificate makes the American Express Marriot Bonvoy a keeper card. It represents great value for an annual fee of $125. It would be pretty tough to not be able to break even on the annual fee for this card. As this booking shows, I am usually able to get far greater value than $125 using my 35,000 points certificate.
The Douglas is an upscale and modern hotel located in the heart of Vancouver's entertainment district with Gastown and Yaletown nearby. The hotel itself is located in a complex called Parq Vancouver, which also houses a casino, several restaurants and bars, along with another Marriott property, the JW Marriott Vancouver. Next door you will find BC Place, making it the perfect location if you are in town for a sporting event or concert. While a bit of a further distance from Stanley Park or Canada Place, it is only about a 15 minute walk to the Vancouver Art Gallery and the centre of Vancouver's downtown business district.
The Douglas is located in the modern looking Parq Vancouver entertainment complex. The hotel is set back from the waterfront of False Creek, but is within a three minute walk to Seawall which connects all the way to Stanley Park and beyond.
We arrived by car at The Douglas and skipped the valet parking and headed directly to the underground parkade. The parkade has ample parking so there is no concern about finding a parking spot. Parking is not cheap. You can either pay for parking at a machine in the parkade or upon check-in at the hotel. Either way, the cost is $50 for an overnight stay.
Immediately outside the entrance of The Douglas is a stainless steel sculpture of a mother and baby panda entitled "Slow". It's well worth a closer look.
The Douglas hotel has it's own exterior entrance, though you can reach the hotel through any of the entrances to the Parq Vancouver complex and, of course, from the underground parkade.
Check-in for the The Douglas is located on the 6th floor. That means if you are arriving from the parkade, you must take an elevator up to the main level of the Parq complex and then head to a different bank of elevators to access The Douglas lobby.
However, the banks of elevators are located very close and the main entrance has a bell desk with staff to help with bags before heading up to the 6th floor to check-in.
Upon entering the lobby on the 6th floor, you are greeted by a visually stunning check-in desk made of glass which encloses a Douglas fir tree.
We arrived at the check-in desk about 7pm and our room was ready. The service was very friendly and efficient. We were recognized for our Gold Elite status, which in my experience is becoming something of a rarity at Marriott properties, so it was a nice change. We were also asked at check-in if we would like to have a late check-out which we gratefully accepted. Again, it was nice to have that offered rather than having to request it.
We were given a room on a high floor (15th) as we had requested and were also given a room with a stadium view. I didn't realize it at the time, but a stadium view is actually an upgrade from a standard view room. I have had a standard room before at The Douglas and I can't say that the stadium view is really that much preferable over a standard view. I mean, the stadium lights up at night, which is nice, but I certainly wouldn't pay extra for a stadium view. In any event, given how rare I have found upgrades to be as Gold Elite, it was nice to see an upgrade given even if I was somewhat indifferent toward the enhanced view.
The lobby has a modern and open minimalist design blended with warm natural materials that create a relaxed and comfortable environment. There is lots of light flooding in from the large windows. To the left of the check-in desk is a large table/work space with coffee table books and further to the left is an additional sitting area.
Generally, the lobby was fairly quiet without a lot of people. The only exception was later in the evening when the D/6 Lounge, which is to the right of the check-in desk, became busy resulting in the lobby having more noise and activity. Overall, however, The Douglas is a bit of a refuge from the casino entertainment on the main level of the Parq Vancouver complex.
After check-in we immediately headed up to our room.
The colour pallette in the corridors are dark greys with the use of dark wood, all lending to a rather upscale and luxurious feel.
The design of the room was modern and minimalist with lots of use of warm wood accents. I must say, the entire design quite appealed to me.
Entering the room, there was a short hallway with the bathroom to your left as your enter and a very large mirror on the right.
The king size bed features a wood plank headboard with a modern light design which evokes a sort of warm, cozy cabin feeling. In terms of the bed, it was very comfortable, so no complaints there. Beside the bed is a peek-a-boo window into the shower. No worries, however, there is a blind that can be drawn down should you not want that feature.
Both bedside tables have USB connections to charge devices which I very much appreciate.
There is a relatively small sitting area next to the window.
Across from the bed is a desk and immediately above the desk is the flat screen tv (with some wires hanging from it which didn't go well with the clean lines of the room). The desk itself is quite small, though it did have a handsome leather desk pad and a comfy chair.
The desk had a couple of plugs-ins along with a couple of USB connections.
Next to the desk was an illy coffee maker along with a couple of bottles of water.
One unique feature that I have not seen in a hotel before (and which I had not seen in my previous stays at The Douglas) is a large YETI cooler available for use by guests. This is a great idea! Vancouver is all about the outdoors and nature, so I think it's brilliant to provide guests with a cooler to go pack some drinks and lunch and head out to the many parks and beaches in Vancouver for a picnic. Note, that if you love the cooler, you can take it home with you for a cool $600 (gulp!) which will be applied to your room charge.
The bathroom is sleek and modern with a marble countertop and tile flooring. It features polished chrome fixtures, brass light fixtures and continues the use of wood accents. The bathroom is bright and the lighting is great.
One negative was that my wife did not find the magnifying make-up mirror all that great, preferring the lighted magnified mirrors that some hotels provide.
The bathroom features a large walk-in shower with a rainfall shower head and a glass enclosure. The bathroom is also where you will find your fashionable and plush robe. Each guestroom is provided with only one robe. While hotels used to always provide two robes in a room, I have noticed the one robe in a room set-up becoming increasingly common.
The Douglas provides Australian luxury brand Aesop body care products, which were quite nice.
Located in the Parq Vancouver complex, guests of The Douglas have lots of entertainment and dining options. First, there is the 24 hour casino. The complex also houses several restaurants and bars, such as honey Salt (farm to table cuisine), The Victor (seafood and steak), BC Kitchen (sports bar), D/6 Bar & Lounge, Centre Bar, Lotus Lounge, The Noodle Bar at Koi, and 24/7 Eats.
D/6 Bar & Lounge is a roof top lounge situated off the lobby of The Douglas. It is a trendy nightspot known for their handcrafted cocktails. It also features a year round outdoor seating area complete with heaters and fire pits. Here you can sit and enjoy a cocktail or a friendly game of pool. In addition, there is a little speakeasy hidden behind the bookcase by the pool table, however, in the times I have been to this lounge I have only seen the speakeasy used for private events.
The Douglas has an outdoor rooftop park which you can access from the lobby. This is also where you will find the seafood and steakhouse called "Victor".
The rooftop park is a great place for a little stroll or to simply relax and get some fresh air.
The Victor is situated facing the water feature on the rooftop park.
While I did not eat at Victor on this stay, I have had dinner there on one occasion in the past. Overall, it was fine, the service was hit and miss during that visit, but the food was generally good.
On the ground floor of the Parq complex is probably my favourite restaurant in the Parq complex and my go to place for brunch when staying at the Douglas or the JW Marriott, and that is "Honey Salt". Honey Salt is the Canadian location of James Beard Award nominated Chef Kim Canteenwalla's Summerlin, Nevada restaurant of the same name (fun fact, Canteenwalla also designed the menu at the American Express Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas).
When staying at the Douglas, you have a choice of two gyms, one small fitness centre at The Douglas and a larger fitness centre at the sister property JW Marriott Parq. The gym at The Douglas is quite small, with very little equipment, only a couple of treadmills, one bike and dumbells. Overall, it is a pretty uninspiring space. The JW Marriott's fitness centre, on the other hand, is large and well equipped, so it's nice to have that option.
The Douglas does not have a pool. It does have a rooftop Aqua Lounge which it shares with the JW Marriott Parq, featuring a hydrotherapy tub and chaise lounges. A spa is available at the Spa by JW, again located at the JW Marriott Parq sister property. I did not get a chance to visit either the Aqua Lounge or the spa on my stay.
I enjoyed my stay at the Douglas Hotel. It offers modern luxury nestled in Vancouver's entertainment district adjacent to the vibrant Yaletown neighborhood. The guest rooms are stylish with white marble bathrooms and, most importantly, comfortable beds. The hotel also boasts an impressive array of amenities, including a casino, several restaurants, a great bar and lounge, fitness centres, and a rooftop garden. I have stayed at The Douglas several times in the past, and I will be returning.
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