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Should you be a fan of Downton Abbey and the Crawley’s way of life, a stay at The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa in Vancouver is the vacation of your fantasies.

The picture of Victorian elegance, the lobby of this Relais & Chateau property is as grand as an English earl’s sitting room with its wingback parlour chairs and gilded gold accents, while charmingly characterized by an atmosphere as inviting as your favourite aunt’s den. And, as guests quickly decipher upon check-in, it’s this striking balance between luxury and comfort that defines the family-owned Wedgewood Hotel.

Ideally situated in downtown Vancouver, the hotel is walking distance to the shops on Robson Street, and a stone’s throw from cultural gems including the Vancouver Art Gallery, where there also happens to be parked many a local food truck worth waiting in line to sample.

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Despite the variety of attractions awaiting guests just outside the lobby doors, one may find they must force themselves to venture outside the hotel once settled. Tucked in the opulence of a junior suite, how is one to pull themselves away from the repose of a room that offers a lush king size bed, marble bathroom (complete with soaker tub), a private balcony and…wait for it…fresh baked cookies placed temptingly on the bedside table? The answer is: with much reluctance.

To add to the difficulty, like the accommodations the hotel’s services are befitting of Lady Mary herself. Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or a nightcap, the modern finesse applied to the preparation of classic fare (imagine a duo of duck, direct from Quebec’s Lac-Brome, served with glazed chickory, orange puree and maderia wine sauce) at Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge will leave diners eagerly anticipating their next visit. Similarly, guests who choose to pamper themselves at the hotel’s stellar spa will find the pure bliss derived from treatments such as the The Cinnamon Enzyme Facial — a cleansing, exfoliating and firming non-surgical face lift — is best coupled with one or two more spa accompaniments. For worn travellers hungry for antioxidants and nourishing oils, we suggest the deliciously luxurious Chocolàt Vanilla Decadent Body Treatment.

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The picture of bygone (and much missed) elegance, The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa is more than a place to put your luggage for a few days, it is unique vacation experience and an exercise in luxury awaiting guests tired of big box hotels. Should this be you, next time you’re visiting Vancouver, simply do as the Crawleys do and indulge in a side of romance and restoration, it’s all part of the package at The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa.

Shangri-La Hotel | Vancouver, BC

A recipient of the coveted Five-Diamond Award designation, the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver exists as a meditation on the meaning of opulence.

Designed with the tastes of the modern well-heeled traveller in mind, the downtown hotel is as sleek as the suits belonging to the business men waiting to check-in.

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The 119 rooms here keep to a minimalist palette accented by the Shangri-La’s signature Asian details, and welcome guests with the tranquility of a Zen sanctuary. The contemporary design of rooms such as the hotel’s prized Orchid Suite, boasts the luxury of floor-to-ceiling windows, a 60-inch television in the living room, his-and-hers sinks and, just in case privacy tops your vacation wish-list, a separate butler’s entrance, for staff to unobtrusively tiptoe through while preparing VIP meals to serve in your own dining room.

Downstairs, the culinary delights are bountiful (as is only to be expected of a hotel that plays host to the first Canadian restaurant helmed by the internationally acclaimed three-star Michelin chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten) with our personal favourite originating from the Xi Shi Lounge kitchen, in the form of afternoon tea.

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Set to the sound of a live piano performance, tea service is a heavenly hour marked by the arrival of dainty tea sandwiches and delicate petits fours that seem to begs for a pair of white gloves and a string of pearls to be donned. Both would, after all, perfectly match the classic sophistication of the Blue Willow china the scrumptious treats are enjoyed upon.

Like the hotelier’s other international outposts, the the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver is cherished by guests for its refined elegance and modern luxury. And as it’s loyal clientele suggests, no where else does a suite in a hotel become at once a home away from home and a retreat stamped by seamless VIP service and quiet serenity, quite the way it does when staying at the Shangri-La.