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Downtown Vancouver's urban escape

372 Rooms / 67 Suites

Surrounded by city center office towers, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver settles rather anonymously into the downtown cityscape. Much of urban Vancouver has grown up around this 28-story tower since it was constructed back in 1976, and with its side street entrance behind the busy Pacific Centre mall, it's easy to pass right by the property. Once inside, though, this elegant Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel makes its presence known.

The Setting

A block from the Vancouver Art Gallery and a 10-minute stroll from the Vancouver Convention Centre, the hotel's street-level entry leads to a bustling lower lobby that's worth a pause to check out the changing installations by local artists. From here, the escalator takes you up one flight to the busy main lobby, where the reception area and concierge desk are located amid warm wood paneling, marble pillars and Asian accents.

Also in the lobby, you’ll find the Four-Star Yew Seafood and Bar. The Northwest-style Yew, with high ceilings, wood finishes and a stone fireplace dividing the lounge area from the dining room, emphasizes seafood (as Canada’s first 100 percent Ocean Wise luxury hotel, Four Seasons Vancouver only serves sustainable seafood in all its food service operations) on its seasonally changing menu. Both the restaurant and bar are popular with downtown business people, local couples, and visitors, particularly for midday confabs and after-work cocktails.

The Rooms

The 372 guest rooms at the Vancouver hotel are spacious, with standard units ranging from 329 to 550 square feet. The property's 66 suites start with the comfortable 534-square-foot Executive Suites (with French doors separating the sitting and sleeping areas) and splash out with the grand, two-level Prime Minister's Suite that encompasses 1,725 square feet on the 27th and 28th floors.

Whichever room type you choose, opt for accommodations on the 20th floor or higher for views above the surrounding buildings and glimpses of the North Shore mountains.

In the spacious guest rooms, down pillows stack against the cream-toned headboards, and puffy duvets top the king (or double-double) beds. Overstuffed chairs and dark wood cabinetry enhance the classic ambiance. Standard high-tech amenities include flat-screen TVs, DVD/CD players, iPod docks and complimentary Wi-Fi. Housekeeping freshens the rooms twice daily.

Though the bathrooms run slightly smaller, they're up to date, finished with marble, and stocked with L'Occitane products.

The Amenities

One of the best features of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is its secluded fourth-floor pool and Club 4 fitness facility with a stone deck ensconced in a lush garden just outside. The swimming area is the city’s only indoor-outdoor pool, and as you sip a Vancouver Millionaires Cocktail (gin, blueberry and cranberry juices, local honey water, balsamic vinegar and Phillips Blue Buck pale ale) on the deck surrounded by flowers in the shade of the adjacent towers and a waterfall, you might feel that you've escaped to your private urban pied-à-terre. If you need a more intense workout than lifting a glass, enjoy the pool and garden views as you pedal or run in the well-equipped exercise room.

You won’t find a full spa here, but RedCedar Boutique Massage Suite will take care of your massage needs (everything from Dig Deep, a deep-tissue option, to Ancient Cedar, a Japanese acupressure treatment) or choose to get a rubdown in the privacy of your room. And if you want some help with primping, head to the lobby’s Blo Blow Dry Bar for a quick blowout.

If you're traveling with the family, ask about the hotel's Kids in the City program, offered during the December holidays, spring break and throughout the summer, with games, crafts and other activities to entertain the younger set. Another family program, Kids in the Kitchen, takes youngsters behind the scenes with the hotel's chefs, and, yes, cookies are involved.

As you'd expect from one of the select number of Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star properties in Canada, the staff — with one of the longest average tenures in the Four Seasons chain — works tirelessly to ensure that your stay goes smoothly at this discreet, deluxe downtown hotel.