Location? It's bang on the water.
Check-in experience? The doormen are hip Vancouverites in trilbies. Nice dudes, too. Walk into the foyer and there's a cool bar with live music playing and a good smattering of the North American Beautiful People Crowd. Some are staff, some guests, some are just hanging out. If Jay Gatsby were around today, he'd drop in here on his way to Whistler.
Room? I'm in 1410. It's a very slick corner suite with the bathroom - and it's glorious stand-up tub with jet bubbles - occupying the prime corner spot. The suite is fully wired: using the room's iPad, I can order room service, open the curtains and operate the two televisions.
Something to eat? I've had a lot of sushi in my life and I can't recall better than this. Sushi boss Taka was brought in from Japan and now runs the excellent RawBar in the Lobby Lounge. I had the Omakase - pretty much a chef's table.Taka ran the show, bringing us exquisite portions and explaining what each would do to our taste buds and how they matched one another and the sake. Also, how the locally sourced fish fitted into all that saving-the-planet stuff. A sushi genius serving perfect sushi with a story behind it. More please.
Something to drink? In the evening, the all-female and all-gorgeous serving staff in the Lobby Lounge are clad in flowing, blue ballgowns. Sweetheart, I should be bringing you a drink. The hotel's barman Grant Sceney - an Aussie - has recently been crowned the 2014 Canadian Bartender of the Year, so whether you're a guest or not it's a bar worth visiting. On my visit, there were plenty of drinkers in there who weren't guests.
While sampling their bloody Caesar for Bar/fly research purposes, I noticed messages on the bar mats. Mine read: "My life has a superb cast. I just need to figure out the plot." Not true: my life has way too many goofy sidekicks and not enough femmes fatales.
What's in the neighbourhood? A 12-minute walk south gets you to the city's excellent art gallery. Go 12 minutes east and you're in Gastown where many of Vancouver's hottest breweries and eateries are based. Going east, a 15-minute waterside stroll puts you in the fabulous Stanley Park, one of the world's greatest public parks.
Exercise? I didn't hit the facilities. Instead I got a sweat up by borrowing one of the hotel's free bikes for a ride in Stanley Park.
Minibar? Not extensive - though I still managed to nail two decent West Coast pale ales in the bathtub. There's a (free) Nespresso in the room, if that's your kind of thing.
The bed? Goldilocks.
A room with a view? A cracking angle on the harbour. Between the hotel and the water is a low convention centre with grass all over its roof. Just off to the side is the Digital Orca, a fantastic sculpture by Generation X author Douglas Coupland which takes the form of a Lego-ish killer whale breaching water. Just in case you'd forgotten for a moment how cool Vancouver is. (If you've got hip-art envy, don't fret: we'll soon have a mock state house on our waterfront to match the orca.)
Bathroom? Big tub. Big telly. Twenty-odd channels of sport. You know where to find me.
Toiletries? They looked, felt and smelt pretty high end. As did I after my bath.
Would I return? Love to.
Read the full story online at The New Zealand Herald.