Friday, April 17, 2009

LOVE the Loden Vancouver

When it opened last year, Loden Vancouver was set to rival Opus for trend-setting chic. Well, Loden has just won a greatly coveted International Star Diamond Award so it's mission accomplished!

The Award is the most prestigious emblem of achievement offered by New York based American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS). Loden Vancouver is the only hotel in Western Canada to receive this award, and joins the Diamond ranks of worldwide properties including: Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York; Le Place D'Armes Hotel & Suites, Montreal; The Dorchester, London; The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong. That’s pretty good company by anyone’s standards.

Congratulations to the Loden Vancouver team; I know them to be among the most professional in the business. The award is well deserved. Check them out the next time you’re in Vancouver (604-669 5060 or toll free 866- 332 1673).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Vancouver's new convention centre has WOW factor

If you're looking for WOW factor, the just-opened, phenomenally designed, expansion of the Vancouver Conference and Exhibition Centre has it in spades! The "sails" of the original centre are still an iconic city landmark, but its sparkling new, all-glass sister takes your breath away.
It may have arrived on the scene waaaay over budget and almost 10 years later than first planned, but Vancouverites should be deservedly proud of this spectacular addition to an already beautiful city.

The building rises three storeys high, topped with a living garden, complete with beehives, and floor to ceiling walls that are angled so that the views of the water below are as dramatic as the mountains beyond. The interior design features natural BC woods, the best of high-tech gadgetry and one enormous reflective orb, representing the earth, that spins slowly above the exhibition foyer. Oh yes, did we mention we're talking about one million square feet of event space?

An adjoining tunnel links the two centers and outside, each structure has a perimeter promenade that either takes you almost half a mile out into the harbour or down and around to the water's edge, and continues on all the way to Stanley Park. So even if you're not delegate at an official meeting, both buildings invite exploration, especially if you're a photographer.

It's little wonder that the various world media are already bargaining hard for broadcast spots when they arrive to cover the 2010 Winter Olympics. Every one of them wants that mountain skyline as a backdrop to interviews.

With the waterfront so much more accessible, you'll need to add a couple of hours wandering time to any itinerary you might have been planning. But, with the new Canada Line (rapid transit) set to open in September, three months earlier than anticipated, you'll probably want to add at least a day to your visit because more of the city will be so much more accessible. Check out for places to stay in Vancouver, and beyond.