Tuesday 12th December, 2017

The Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver, Canada

This spectacularly located waterfront hotel backs on to the CBD and the Gas Light district at Canada Place, adjoining the World Trade Centre, and the Convention and Exhibition Centre. As I arrived I could see the complex also hosted a number of boutique shops and the local Imax Theatre. The hotel I learned has 504 rooms and 39 suites. It opened in January 1986 and that year had as guests Prince Charles and Princess Dianna, who visited for the opening of EXPO 1986. Other guests have included Margaret Thatcher, the Sultan of Brunei, Rajiv Gandhi, Corazon Aquino, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Royal Family members from Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

At the entrance to the hotel I was directed to escalators which took me up two levels to the lobby. There I was efficiently checked in to Room 1611 on the 16th floor. I was then directed to a bank of elevators a little way down. I took the lift up and ventured down to 1611. When I opened the door it was to a hallway with a large wardrobe to the left, which had mirror doors, and contained white and yellow pages telephone directories, a safe, spare blanket, iron and ironing board. To the right was the bathroom, which had great lighting, although the down-light above the basin was not working. There was quite sufficient bench space and in a separate cubicle was the toilet. Interestingly the door to the bathroom also served as the door to the separate toilet. There was a hair dryer in a small bag hanging from the base. There was a bath shower combined, and later found the shower full bodied and refreshing to use.

I then ventured into the bedroom, and to my delight I was treated to a spectacular view of the harbour and parts of the city. Two very large picture windows took up almost all the wall facing the water. The furnishings, which extended to the bathroom, were all light colour timber, with a feature straw-backed bedhead, one side table with a digital CD disc player/clock/radio. There was a work desk facing the wall and a mirror with a separate lamp, and a connection point for high speed Internet access ($15.99 a day) which worked admirably. There were two arm chairs and a small table, a staning lamp, a number of attractive prints, and large timber cabinet which housed a very large screen stereo television. All cable and local channels were available, plus a pay-per-view movie selection. The room was a reasonable size, with the main highlight being the outlook.

I later went to investigate the lounge and restaurants, however as it was a public holiday all but the Five Sails Restaurant, one level up from the lobby, was closed. The Five Sails, which opened out onto the harbour looked to be a fine dining room. It was where then US President Clinton and Russian President Yeltsin had their first summit meeting in 1993. It unfortunately was booked out. I asked if there were any alternative restaurants available in or near the hotel. The only suggestion was to try the restaurant at the Waterfront Hotel which is immediately opposite the Pan Pacific. I did but a notice at the entrance said the restaurant was open for hotel guests only. I then ventured back to the room, however I couldn't access it, the key wasn't working. I went to reception and the key was re-swiped and I went upstairs again, and this time the key worked. I selected an order from the room service menu, but interestingly the room service number appeared nowehere on the menu pages, nor in the compendium. I eventually found it on the phone and made the order. They said it would take 30 minutes, and true enough in 30 minutes the order arrived on a table trolley with in-built heating. The quality of meal, the presentation and the service was a treat. It was disappointing however not to have been told there would be no food or beverage outlets open in the hotel, or one that required advance booking, at the time of reservation, and especially at the time of check-in. In all other respects the hotel was fine, and measured up to its AAA Five Diamond award rating. The hotel I discovered mainly caters to attendees of conferences and exhibitions in the hotel and adjoining complexes. It does have a number of resort facilities including an 11,000 square foot health club and spa, an outdoor heated lap pool and jacuzzi, a whirlpool, steam and sauna, indoor jogging track, sqash court, massage and aesthetic service. I could see a sea-plane port from my window, only 100 metres from the hotel, and adjoining the complex is the Alaska cruise ship terminal.

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