Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver Rating: 5.0 Pearls
The Shangri-La offers uber-luxe digs in Downtown Vancouver. Catering to the business traveler (mainly due to its location), the hotel's large rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with DVR, bedside controls for curtains and lights, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown. But the massive granite-and-marble bathrooms are the real highlight, featuring separate showers and tubs, as well as flat-screen TVs. The hotel also has a Jean Georges restaurant and a hip spa, both of which are extremely pricey and only add to the hype.
Auberge Vancouver Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Terminal City is a 60-room property located in the northeastern side of Downtown Vancouver, close to the waterfront and the Convention Center. Rooms have modern amenities (like flat-screen TVs and iPod docks), fully-equipped kitchenettes, and in many cases, stunning views. The decor features a few contemporary touches, but overall it's more run-of-the-mill than one might expect from a property that advertises itself as a luxury boutique. The high points of the hotel are the rooftop terrace with beautiful mountain and city views, the bright fitness center, and a wonderful indoor pool with sweeping views and a skylight.
Loden Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This 77-room luxury boutique has a modern, stylish feel, with a glam lobby (think: velvet couches, dark wood ceilings, and a stunning black-and-white granite fireplace surround) and a popular French bistro. The large, sleek rooms may be the highlight, with subtle earth tones, floor-to-ceiling windows, and decadent marble bathrooms, and the Downtown Vancouver location, near the Vancouver Convention Center, is convenient for business travelers. The only real downsides are the extra fees for valet parking and Wi-Fi.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This elegant 557-room hotel is housed in a historic building across from the Vancouver Art Gallery, in the heart of Downtown. The gorgeous indoor pool, the excellent Griffins Restaurant, and the big, modern fitness center make this property a reliable upscale pick. But some rooms are dated, bathrooms are nothing special, and guests might feel nickel-and-dimed due to the number of extra charges, including the fees for water bottles in the rooms, parking, and Wi-Fi.