We really wanted to like this hotel, but ultimately it came up short for a lot of reasons. The room itself was pretty spartan, but the bed was comfortable and both the room and the bathroom were clean The staff was very, very friendly. The aboriginal art is very interesting and worth taking some time to browse - maybe purchase if it fits your style. Those are the good things.
Location - not horrible, but I wouldn't stay here again. Far down West Pender - our room was on the back of the hotel facing Hastings. There was a club on Hastings that was easily seen and heard. The club, 'Funky', was quite loud with loud revelers very late into Saturday night/Sunday morning. There is an alley directly behind the hotel. The alley is the access to the reservations only car garage. I would not feel safe in that alley late at night - or in the garage for that matter.
Room, others described their room as spacious, I wouldn't call it spacious, unless you are comparing it to some Paris shoebox hotels. Our room wasn't small, but it certainly wouldn't have been described as spacious. And one feature that is probably not important to everyone, the TV only received one channel. We had one towel in the bathroom. One bath towel. No hand towels, no bath matt, no washcloths. Could we have gotten them? I don't know, the office was closed when we returned early evening (at 8PM). Additionally one of the windows could not be closed at all as it served as the fresh air source for the portable air conditioning/heating unit. Not only couldn't it be closed, there was no way to shutter it. It served as an unwelcome source of noise and light.
Food - As mentioned, food options are rather limited in the neighborhood. There is a McDonalds, a 7/11 and a Tim Horton on the block, and a public house and another restaurant are within two blocks - but all of the good restaurants are a bit of a walk - either toward Water Street, or on Robson, or further. We love walking - so it wasn't an issue - but when we had a few hunger pangs at 8:30PM, the options were pretty limited.
Parking - metered on the street (pretty expensive) and a parking garage - $15.00 reserved + a $35.00 refundable deposit for a key fob.
The neighborhood has its share of street folks - but as others have said, they were not aggressive at all. We were told by the clerk at the front desk however, that we should avoid Hastings when walking. It certainly did not feel carefree - but neither did it feel dangerous.
I hope the area improves and the hotel and resident artists survive and thrive. If you are adventurous and used to spartan downtown hotels in less that optimal neighborhoods, you should consider supporting this hotel and its resident artists by staying a night or two.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Art, Culture, and Exceptional Hospitality Canada's first Aboriginal arts hotel, Skwachays Lodge, combines art and culture with exceptional hospitality. Eighteen one-of-a-kind guest suites, designed by local Aboriginal artists and Vancouver interior designers, tell stunning visual stories about First Nations culture and feature original artwork created by the participating artists. Centrally located in Vancouver's historic Gastown district, Skwachays Lodge is surrounded by acclaimed restaurants and popular attractions, making it an ideal location from which to explore the rest of the city. Offering the highest level of personalized service and premium in-suite amenities, Skwachays Lodge ensures guests enjoy a comfortable and memorable stay. ... more less
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