I arrive in Vancouver for my two-night stay at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver with loose plans: see some nature, eat my weight in sushi and go out somewhere trendy at night. I just didn’t realize that I wouldn’t have to leave the hotel to make it all happen. Opened late last year, Parq Vancouver is the city’s answer to an upscale destination resort. The sprawling complex in downtown Vancouver includes two hotels—the aforementioned Marriott (Oprah reportedly stayed in one of its well-appointed suites) and The Douglas, a boutique hotel with a distinctly woodsy vibe—a two-floor casino, five restaurants and enough event space to host multiple Italian weddings simultaneously.
The overall design is decidedly Vancouver. Case in point: The casino and spa, both places that are traditionally known for having dim lighting and a cocooning effect that make you forget there is an outside world, are gloriously bright thanks to natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows that also offer city and mountain views. Connecting the two hotels is a sixth-floor, 2,787-square-metre park complete with a small forest of 200 pine trees.
After dinner at The Victor (where the specialty is seafood in all its delectable forms), I cross the park to D/6, the rooftop bar at The Douglas, for a nightcap. By the time I leave, the lineup for a seat snakes all the way from the entrance to the hotel elevators. I’ll be planning another trip soon; I hear there are one or two things to do outside the hotel as well.
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