The innovative Shangri-La Vancouver livens up the city’s downtown scene.
Credit: Janis Nicolay

The Look

Hong Kong–based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ North American debut, the understated 119-room Shangri-La Vancouver (doubles from $270), adopts the mountain-fringed British Columbia city’s easygoing vibe, while adding a touch of Far Eastern style and design. Tucked into the lower 15 floors of the Living Shangri-La multiuse complex downtown (Vancouver’s tallest building), the new hotel features black-lacquer screens and a two-story calligraphy painting—a single brushstroke by Shanghai artist Wang Xuyuan—in its L-shaped lobby. Nearby, beneath Italian crystal chandeliers, are inviting leather sofas and a fireplace, ideal as a refuge on a rainy day or a rest stop while exploring bustling nearby enclaves such as boutique- and bistro-filled Yaletown or the West End waterfront.

The Rooms

Averaging close to 600 square feet, the rooms are done up with a Zen-like mixture of black-and-white brush paintings, dark wood headboards, and B&B Italia furniture. White-marble bathrooms are stocked with L’Occitane amenities and have deep soaking tubs.

The Service

One benefit of a 2-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio is in-suite check-in: greeters escort guests to their rooms and offer tea service. Meanwhile, the hotel’s Chi Spa (treatments from $120) customizes treatments based on the five elements of Chinese medicine (earth, wood, metal, fire, and water) and administers them in suites with fireplaces.

The Scene

Downstairs at Market by Jean-Georges (dinner for two $80), Jean-Georges Vongerichten gives regional ingredients an Asian spin in dishes such as red snapper with a sake-and-ginger reduction. Also worth a visit is the hotel’s pocket-size boutique, By Design, which sells Shanghai Tang’s brightly colored accessories as well as locally made silver jewelry carved with Native Canadian designs.