The Burrard is one of those places that you always read about in magazines but maybe don't expect to stay in. Tastefully modernised in a retro 60s style, the hotel is deservedly proud of its image and design, and it is pervasive throughout the hotel, without getting in the way of modern convenience.
Located just a few steps away between most downtown locations its position is really ideal on Burrard Street, next to the Sheraton (it's keeping good company!). Go North to the main commercial areas, Vancouver Art Gallery and continue onto Canada Square. Or South to Davie and onto False Creek and the ferry to Granville Island. Or East to Yaletown. Or West to the relative tranquility of the West end.
However the hotel's location does offer a drawback in that it's opposite the main downtown St Pauls hospital which does receive its fair share of ambulances with sirens bearing emergency patients (it was nicely lit up for Christmas). The hotel is effectively a rectangle designed around a courtyard. Being located on a street corner, rooms on two sides of the hotel face the street and based upon previous reviews we had noted that others had been disturbed by the noise of the ambulances, and as my partner is a relatively light sleeper we had requested on the booking a quiet room at the back of the hotel, which we were duly given. Rooms such as ours on the other two sides of the hotel therefore face the central courtyard, and the windows overlook the courtyard but are equally overlooked by other guests walking past on the walkways around the courtyard, but there are both net curtains and a blackout blind for privacy.
Another point to note is that at the time of our visit (Dec 2013) the building next to the hotel is currently under construction. Without being totally aware of the project, the main structural work is complete and the building is being fitted out. We were aware of noise from the construction site just a couple of times over the course of 5 days, mainly due to deliveries to/from the site at the rear. However this didn't disturb us. The project seems to be reasonably well advanced and I suspect that it might not be ongoing for too much longer, and didn't cause us any problem for us during our stay.
We had a Queen Plus room - as we were staying for 4 days we wanted a room that had a bit more space but didn't opt for twin beds. However the bed for us was the real disappointment for us - it was just too soft.
Although the hotel makes the point on its website that "Having extra people in your room is fun. Also just, $30/night + tax. No judgement." the mattress was quite soft to start off with and was exhibiting a saggy middle, perhaps too many extras in this bed previously? We raised this with reception after the first night and asked if they had any other rooms with firmer mattresses but they stated that there was little that they could do to improve matters and all the mattresses were the same throughout the hotel. If you like a firm mattress this might not be the place for you. We were able to get the relatively big fluffy pillows swapped out for smaller ones which were more to our liking. The staff are very approachable and accommodating.
In the room there was desk, luggage stand, wardrobe, two bedside tables with big table lamps, and a 32" flat panel TV with a very good selection of local, international and a few premium movie channels. The desk had a nespresso machine on it (you could get extra coffee capsules from reception if you needed them) and table top power sockets. The wifi was available throughout the hotel, and was stable, strong wignal and quick. The decor and furniture (predominately white) continues to blend the modern and retro theme.
In the bathroom which was small but adequate there was a toilet, washbasin and bath with shower over, and ample towels and toiletries.
Being winter guests, we were more concerned with the heating rather than aircon, and the heating was effective.
The nice touch are the little extras you can make use of - we didn't do the free brollys cos coming from a similar temperate climate we're not scared of a little rain! But the location of the hotel is such that you're not that far from anywhere! But we really did enjoy the free use of the bikes. I don't think we would have considered renting bikes separately, but as they were available with no additional cost or paperwork we thought what the hell, and took them out one afternoon. The hotel is actually adjacent to cycle paths and you can easily escape the hustle and bustle of the downtown area in safety. Despite not being regular cyclists, doing a circuit of the seawall in Stanley Park was an experience we were not expecting to enjoy as much as we did, and thankfully the weather allowed us to do this in closing days of December with a fantastic sunset over the sea. Well worth doing.
We didn't use Bettys (the cafe) for breakfast and opted to take our chances at the many places around the hotel, and we were not disappointed finding a different breakfast option every day.
The hotel is a destination in itself in Vancouver and comes highly recommended. We would have scored it 5 out 5 if it hadn't been for the soft and saggy bed, and if you're a light sleeper ask for a quieter room.
Ask for rooms away from the street to avoid the noise from ambulances going to/from the hospital opp...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.