Ending a busy work week with sparkling wine, a view of twinkling city lights, and a multi-course meal at a three-star Michelin chef’s restaurant sounds like a dream but it was a much-enjoyed reality a few weeks ago when John and I spent the night at the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver.
Always up for a quick “staycation” to try out the best our city has to offer — and so that I can accurately offer suggestions and recommendations to visitors — we checked into our posh executive suite on the 14th floor (of 62) in Vancouver’s tallest tower to experience the Romance Package.
This $525 offer for a luxurious date night at Shangri-La’s AAA 5 Diamond accommodations includes:
- One night accommodation with a complimentary one category upgrade (subject to availability)
- Five-course tasting menu dinner for two at MARKET By Jean-Georges
- Romantic arrival amenity of sparkling wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries
- Daily valet parking for one vehicle
- Daily a-la-carte breakfast for two at MARKET By Jean-Georges or in-room dining
- Complimentary in-room high-speed internet access
- Complimentary local and toll free phone calls
I checked in on a Friday afternoon during a week that was so busy I had only seen John for about one waking hour each day as he completed a big project at work. Usually when I walk into a hotel room I drop my bag near the door then run to the windows to see what the view is like. However, I had to spend a few minutes soaking in the inspired decor before finding the automatic switches for the shades and curtains. I then took to one balcony, followed by the other, to get a view of my city that I had never previously seen from that angle.
Our room was on the north east corner of the tower, looking out on Thurlow and Georgia, with one balcony off the bathroom along Georgia and the other just outside the living room area along Thurlow.
Once I was done taking photo documentation of the room, finding one thoughtful touch followed by the other, I logged onto the complimentary WiFi to get some work done — as I tried not to let the views distract me too much. The WiFi was easy to log into and I really liked that once I was in I didn’t have to go through the process again every time I changed rooms, went to the lobby, or went to the restaurant. It was a simple convenience appreciated by a ‘connected’ traveler like me.
In the evening John arrived as did our welcome amenity with sparkling wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries, it was a decadent way to unwind and settle in for the night before heading downstairs to MARKET by Jean-Georges for the five-course meal included in the Romance Package.
Tasting Menu at MARKET
MARKET’s lounge was hopping as usual, serving up its signature cocktails, as we took to a booth in the main dining room. We ordered the wine pairings to accompany our five-course menu ($55) and were very happy with that choice since they were spot on in terms of complimenting each unique dish, bringing out bold flavours and tongue-tickling nuances.
We cozied up in our warm, candle-lit booth and began our tasting menu with a Parmesan Pannacotta followed by Madai Sashimi with Black Truffle paired with Terre di Talamo ‘Vento’ Vermentino Maremma Toscana, Tuscany, Italy. The meal started out with a bang because I still dream of the soft and delicate sashimi weeks later. Topping it off with black truffle was like adding a diamond to a gold ring — sending your taste buds over the top but not overwhelming them. This dish set the pace for the evening of opulence on our plates.
We went back up to our room to enjoy the city lights while we finished off our sparkling wine and soaked up the downtime we had together, while it lasted. John had to work the next day (Saturday) but not before we had breakfast in bed followed by a couples massage down at CHI, The Spa. Our West Coast Wave Massages were not included in the Romance Package but they were a great addition to the theme of being together, relaxing, and slowing things down.
CHI, The Spa
The side-by-side massages were rejuvenating and the couples’ area at CHI had a fireplace, changing area with robes, and more square footage than our own home. The only downside was that we were unable to sit in that area in our robes with our tea and lounge for a bit once our treatment was over. We felt a bit rushed to get dressed and head out to the main entrance lounge, where we could then hang out for a bit in our street clothes with our beverages. I think if you’re staying in the hotel it might be worth changing into your own robe, from your room, and coming down with flip flops on (you just need to share the elevator with any other guests). That way you get fully into a ‘spa mode’ and can relax there and also once you get back upstairs.
Overall, we had a very successful date night in the city at the Shangri-La with their Romance Package topped off with a couples massage. We were spoiled with a beautiful room, treats delivered to our door, five courses of rich and succulent seasonal dishes, and I haven’t even mentioned the marble bathtub, pillowy soft king-size bed, iPhone chargers, and giant flat-screen television with a pumping subwoofer.
Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver offers a variety of packages for overnight stays, dining, and spa treatments. Follow the hotel on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about these packages and to plan your own Date Night in the City.