Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown Review: An Excellent Hotel

If your travels bring you to Vancouver, BC, be sure to check out the Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown. The hotel opened in July 2012 after an extensive 10-month renovation. It’s a centrally located hotel with lots of updates, plenty of amenities, and a focus on sustainability. Here’s why it’s a great accommodation option.

residence inn vancouver downtown

residence inn vancouver downtown

Residence Inn Vancouver Central Location

The hotel is walking distance to dozens of great restaurants, the shops on Robson (if high-end shopping is your thing), and even a park with a playground if you’re traveling with kids. It’s an easy walk to Yaletown, Downtown, the West End, and Davie Village, and a slightly longer walk to Stanley Park and Gastown. On a nice day, you could even walk to Granville Island, home to shops, an awesome market, and a fun brewery.

residence-inn-downtown-vancouver-view

Great for Families or Business Travelers

When we were there, most of the guests were business travelers, but the hotel’s amenities make it a great place for families to stay. There’s an indoor pool (great for rainy day entertainment), a hot tub, and one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve seen in a hotel (free for guests). Another perk is that the hotel hosts complimentary events for guests like barbecues on the terrace and wine and appetizer receptions in the attached restaurant.

residence-inn-downtown-vancouver-breakfast-buffet

The Residence Inn Downtown Vancouver has an amazing, free breakfast buffet.

Sustainable Choice

Travelers concerned about their environmental impact can rest easy: the Residence Inn Downtown Vancouver is a sustainable choice. The hotel is one of only four Vancouver hotels that has been awarded a 5 Green Keys rating by Green Key Global. It has a zero waste system, in-room recycling and composting, and uses reusable silverware and plates at its breakfast buffet. The Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown is the only hotel I’ve stayed at that offers in-room composting — a very cool, green feature. The hotel also donates its used toiletries to the nonprofit Mission Possible, which cleans the soaps and shampoos to help prevent disease in developing countries.

residence-inn-downtown-vancouver-rooftop-terrace

View of the rooftop terrace, which is available to all guests.

Whether you’re a business traveler in town for a quick trip or a family exploring Vancouver for the first time, the Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown is an excellent accommodation option.

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Pacific Palisades Hotel in Vancouver (a Kimpton Hotel)

Editor’s Note: Sadly, the Pacific Palisades Hotel no longer exists. Fortunately, you can still find dozens of excellent Kimpton Hotels across the US. 

Frequently listed as one of the greenest of hotel chains, Kimpton is our hotel of choice when we opt for the cushy hotel life over a hostel or camping.  Recently, we spent 4 nights at Kimpton’s Pacific Palisades Hotel in Vancouver.  

Since Vancouver is an extra green city, it’s fitting that the Pacific Palisades was an extra green Kimpton Hotel.  In fact, the Hotel Association of Canada gave it a 4 Green Key ECOmmodation rating for its commitment to protecting the environment.

Kimpton strives for environmentally-friendly options in all of their hotels.  Here are some of Kimpton EarthCare’s efforts:

  • Cleaning Supplies: All rooms cleaned with environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
  • Soy Inks: All corporate collateral is printed on recycled paper using soy based ink.
  • Recycled Paper: Property-wide printing on recycled paper.
  • Organic Beverages: All complimentary lobby coffee is organic, shade grown and/or fair trade.
  • Towel/Linen Reuse: Guests have the opportunity to do their part to reduce energy and detergents required for daily washings.
  • Recycling: Back of house recycling programs address glass, bottles, paper, cardboard, etc.
  • Energy Conservation: Back of house lighting is retrofitted and audited to ensure energy efficient bulbs are in place.
  • Water Conservation: Implementation and auditing of low flow systems for faucets, toilets, and showers.
  • Best Practices: At any hotel you may find environmental activities such as recycling of coat hangers, elimination of Styrofoam cups, paperless check-ins/outs, organic flowers, and more.
  • In-room designer recycling bins: Guests are encouraged to participate in reducing our environmental impact.
  • Honor bar with organic food and beverage options: Honor bars include organic snacks and beverages.
  • Donation programs: Instead of being thrown away, unused amenity bottles are donated and used by local charities.

So, what did we find during our stay at the Pacific Palisades?

Besides being a hotel with a lot of character, comfortable beds, friendly staff, a nice workout room, and everything else you would want from a place where you lay your head and plan your next adventure, the Pacific Palisades had several excellent green features:

  • Recycling bins in room- I wish every hotel had these!
  • Aveda toiletries
  • Zin Restaurant & Lounge, the restaurant on the first floor of the hotel, has a cool vibe and uses local ingredients and sustainably fished fish (the resturant food and catering was also excellent)

Another plus to the Pacific Palisades is that it’s located downtown on Robson Street- which means your stay can be even greener since you won’t need no need to take cabs or drive.  Stanley Park is super close so you can jog or take a leisurely bike ride, and there are lots of bus lines within walking distance. Pacific Palisades provided a nice touch by leaving a Stanley Park jogging map in the room. And if you like to take your dog along on your green adventures, you’re in luck – Pacific Palisades is a pet-friendly hotel.

Of course, there were a few ways I thought the hotel up their level of eco-consciousness:

  • The bottles of Aveda toiletries were quite large.  Perfect for 2 people on a 5 day stay, but any shorter and a lot would go to waste.
  • Housekeeping took the hung towels (despite the sign saying they wouldn’t).  I guess next time I’ll need my trusty green hotel don’t change my towels sign!
  • Like almost all hotels, the stairs were dingy and closed off.  I can’t wait for the hotel with a staircase that invites me to walk up or down countless flights.

Some of the rooms also have full-size fridges, which are great for storing leftovers, but waste electricity if you’re not using them. We used them, though, so I can’t complain.

Overall, we definitely enjoyed our stay at the Pacific Palisades and would stay there again next time we’re in Vancouver.  They strive to be a green hotel and in my opinion, succeed.

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