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“Classic & charming”
Review of Sylvia Hotel

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Sylvia Hotel
Ranked #34 of 92 Hotels in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Oregon
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Classic & charming”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Is this a super fancy modern boutique hotel? It is not. If that's what you're looking for (and sometimes it is!) then you may want to look somewhere else. The Sylvia is not fancy, but it is, in my estimation, quite grand. It has history and charm, a gracious staff and rooms that are clean and comfortable. Yes, my door stuck a bit on the carpet and the room was rather small. But from the cozy bed I could see the autumn ivy leaves curling up the windowsill and faintly hear the bustle of the city below and it felt utterly timeless and classic. The history of the Sylvia is fascinating and the hotel seems to carry some magic.

On a more practical note- parking was easy, the staff stored my boyfriend's large surfboard easily, the room was clean, and the whole reservation process was easy-breezy. We got a very warm welcome from the night manager when we checked in late after a long day of driving and felt looked after throughout our stay. I can't wait to return.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank willow_pdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
You are correct in the statement that we are not "super fancy" and we are not trying to be, Vancouver has some great hotels that do meet that need, what the Sylvia offers in my opinion, is, a great location, great service, clean rooms, great beds, and a bit of heritage and charm for good measure. I like to read when guests comment on the service of the crew. I believe they work hard and should be mentioned, so thank-you. We are looking forward to your return visit.
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English first
Seattle, WA
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I have been staying at this hotel every time I visit Vancouver. The hotel was under remodel again. I had reservation for two queen size beds with a view of the English Bay. When we went to our room on 7th floor, the room didn’t have a view of the Bay and the smell from the paint in the hallway was overwhelming. I asked for another room and was given a beautiful corner room with breathtaking view of the English Bay, with small kitchen and sitting area. The “apartment” was very clean. What a lovely surprise! The staff was very friendly and accommodating. My friend from Czech Republic will have wonderful memories on her stay in hotel Sylvia. It is a perfect location with the bus no.5 or 6 to take you to the heart of the city. The walks on the beach at sunset are beyond words.

Room Tip: Corner suite was large and sunny with excellent view of English bay
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Vita O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Thank-you for staying with us every time you come to Vancouver. Yes we are always trying to keep the building in great shape so renovations are needed. We do our best to only do the work when the hotel is slow but something’s just need to be done. I was happy to read that we were able to find you a room to your satisfaction. We are sorry that you were here when that work was being done. We hope that we will see you again soon.
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Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I previously visited the Sylvia in 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience then and was so pleased to find the service, ambience, locality and friendliness of the staff was as good if not better this time. The location is perfect for a tourist being so close to Stanley Park and the transport options for further exploration are very efficient and close by. The meals at the Sylvia and the congeniality in the dining room and bar area makes it feel like a home away from home. Rooms are a little dated but clean and well serviced and did not deter from our overall pleasure in staying there.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny_W1098
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Welcome back, where have you been since 2007, we missed you. Thank-you for your kind words, I know my staff works very hard to offer great service. The dining room and lounge are great places to eat and enjoy the view. You are correct the buses and taxi's and sky train make it very easy to get around the city from the Sylvia Hotel. I hope it will not be 6 years before you return.
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I have wanted to stay here for a long time. I was very excited and booked it for special occasion. I told the managment when I booked about the occasion and that that is why we were coming. I then asked for an oceanview room on an upper floor. I booked over 4 months in advance. What I got was a lower floor room, with a street view. I also half expected that there might be a little something to acknowledge that we had chose to celebtrate our special event at this hotel - a card, some fruit, or wine - flowers? NOTHING. Not even a mention. We stayed at a motel 6 in Seattle once and there was a balloon bouquet left in our room when we mentioned it was our daughter's birthday.

I am on the fence beween the charm and no charm thing. I have stayed in older boutique hotels before. The key is to keep the charm and get rid of the dust, must and dated items. This hotel was a mish mash of old and new without a connecting theme.

Our room was VERY small. Again, I booked early and had read the rooms were large. The bathroom was not updated at all and did have the poor cracked baseboards and old counter - plus the hot and cold water taps were backwards - ouch. Our room was musty. Also as others have mentioned there is no coffee maker, microwave fridge or newspaper. So if you have 2 people in the room you can add another 8 bucks or so to the daily rate to purchase coffee and a paper. But, the bed was very comfortable. I did not appreciate housekeeping vaccuming in the hall outside my door early on a SUnday morning. When she goes into the room she should be reminded to dust the top of the headboard - it was filhy.

The staff we dealt with were very pleasant and the lobby was enjoyable with the old phones and photos of the hotel. The restaurant was good, but the breakfast potatoes were raw and cold inside. And, I found it weird they have live music in the middle of the week in the lounge but not on a Saturday when you would want it.

Anyway all in all it was ok, and for just under $200 not a really great value as expected. I would not choose to stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank coffeechik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
I appreciate your thoughts and observations about your stay and the room you received. We have so many room types and sizes and never guarantee a floor when we book a room because so many of our guests extend their stays and this makes it hard to promise room locations. Everybody requests a top floor with a water view and with limited numbers of rooms that meet that description; we never assign rooms until the day of arrival. I am sorry that you did not get the room location requested but we do our best to meet all requests, we may have had a guests stay longer or they may have booked one of those rooms and arrived before your arrival date and stayed longer, so that room location was not available on your arrival date. As I have mentioned before we have many different room sizes some larger than others. We have never offered news papers and a micro-waves in our rooms and because of the age of the hotel we can not add coffee makers in the rooms because of the electrical requirements, (However with that being said I am looking into the costs to do so, we do offer free coffee in the lobby in the am before the restaurant opens and have room service available until 9:30 at night.) To address your comment about the music offered in the Lounge, we offer the music Wednesday and Thursday nights to support the local entertainers and leave the lounge on Friday and Saturday nights for people to enjoy the view and talk. I am sorry that you had "wished for better" However I did appreciate your comments about the service and lobby, will look into the other issues and follow up. Hope you will be back to enjoy a different room type in the future
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Seattle, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We did and will again---revisit this same wonderful place that is comfortable, in a great location, with very friendly and responsive service. There were moments when it felt like being taken care of in a friend's home, where you haven't been for a long time. They even had a wheelchair available when my husband needed it.

Room Tip: Room size does vary--so ask when making a reservation about size.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MKelley9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Welcome back, happy to see that you enjoyed your stay. We do not always have a wheel chair available but if you inquire in advance we can put it aside if needed. The crew work hard everyday to please our guests and I was happy to read that you mentioned that you felt like family, thank-you for that high praise. We hope to see you again soon and great tip to other guests to ask about room sizes if they need ore space as we have so many room types and sizes of rooms available.
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Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I have read with astonishment the few negative reviews of the Sylvia that appear below. All I can surmise is that the reviewers yearn for the bland and functional modern boxes that make up so much of the North American hotel landscape. The sort of characterless place that when you shut the door of your room you can't tell if you are in Columbus or Cincinnati because they all look the same.

It's that sort of thinking that has lumbered the world with the appalling predictability of McDonald's and Starbucks.

The Sylvia is a gem to be treasured, a hotel that has a history going back more than 100 years. That may be considered old by North American standards but pretty young in Britain. I suggest the critics stay away from the UK as we have hotels that are three times that age.

This is a wonderfully quirky place. The lobby is lined with photographs from the time when the Sylvia was not surrounded by modern apartment blocks. There are great prints by a local artist linking the Sylvia with the Got to Go Cat. Stacks of history.

Our reception was courteous and check in efficient. Our room was clean. Some may consider the decor old fashioned but bland it is not. No, we did not have a fridge, coffee maker or microwave but our stay was none the poorer for that.

We had lunch in the hotel restaurant, good quality food and friendly service. Judging by the number of people eating it is a popular spot.

There are few enough places like this in North America and the management is to be congratulated for resisting calls to "modernise." Judging by the host of positive reviews the hotel is certainly meeting a need.

Lastly, I read the General Manager's replies to the moaners with great pleasure. A man who, quite correctly, believes the ethos of the Sylvia is worth a robust defence.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Trenean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Well not quit sure what to say except thank-you for all your kind words and your opinion of the Hotel and our choice not to become standardized like you mentioned some of the other hotel choices have made. I do try to be fair in all my replies and see all guests point of view as they all spend their hard earned money where they feel they get the best value that is in line with their needs. I try not to take it personally but respect their comments, I do not always agree and in a few occasions when we drop the ball so to speak, and if we do, we work hard to correct the issue and offer a great experience and value. We do not currently offer coffee makers in the room but will be looking into that in the off season, the problem is getting all the required electrical needs met in a 100 year old hotel, when the hotel was built who knew we would need so much power in each room to power the TV’s, hair dryers, radio, and all the personal devices we all travel with today. The microwave and fridges are another challenge. We do offer portable fridges on request if available and we can always heat up anything a guests needs in the kitchen. Thank-you for your support and we truly hope to see you again, please introduce yourself to me on your next visit so I can thank-you in person.
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Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

It's like your favourite shoes - a little worn at the heels, perhaps, but still the best shoes you've ever owned. This hotel has NO pretensions. You get a comfy, clean room with a decent bed in one of the loveliest locations in the city. Oh yeah, and you also get tons of character. It doesn't pretend to lavish you some silly, de-luxe high-toned spa-like, extra special, super pricey experience - it's just warm and homey, and astonishingly inexpensive.

The bar is a great place to meet friends and settle into for the evening.

Room Tip: An ocean view suite can't be beat if you can get it. Last time we stayed we faced into the West...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdyck, General Manager at Sylvia Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Well I can say that we have never been compared to a comfy pair of shoes before, this is a first, but I fully get it, the analogy works for sure and thank-you. We work very hard to stay true to who were are, you are correct, other hotels sometimes try to hard to be something they are not, we do not, we are proud of our heritage and the service and location we can offer and those guests that "get it" love the experience. I love your title and the tip offered to others. Thank-you for your wonderful comments and hurry back soon, the lounge will have a seat waiting for you.
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Additional Information about Sylvia Hotel

Property: Sylvia Hotel
Address: 1154 Gilford St, Vancouver, British Columbia V6G 2P6, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver > West End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Romantic Hotel in Vancouver
#33 Family Hotel in Vancouver
#46 Business Hotel in Vancouver
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sylvia Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 119
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Also Known As:
Sylvia Hotel Vancouver

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