This article is part of a guide to Vancouver from FT Globetrotter

Wedgewood is rather a rarity in Vancouver. One of the few independent luxury hotels in the city (it is Vancouver’s only Relais & Châteaux member), it was opened in 1984 by Greece-born businesswoman Eleni Skalbania, a previous owner of the Hotel Georgia. It remains family-owned and women-run today, with her two daughters, Elpie Marinakis and Marousa Dumaresq, at the helm.

Skalbania sought to conjure the ambience of a country-house hotel at Wedgewood, from installing elegant, arched awnings to displaying her personal collection of art and antiques, commissioning custom-designed furniture and appointing tails and top hat-donning doormen. The moody, wood-panelled lobby and lounge, with thick patterned carpets, a fireplace and large chandelier, offers a dose of old world charm. In the heart of a city centre largely defined by glimmering glass skyscrapers, Wedgewood, I observed, has more in common with a hotel like The Stafford in London than any of its local counterparts. 

One of the few independent luxury hotels in Vancouver, Wedgewood is the city’s only Relais & Châteaux member

The guest rooms and suites similarly offer old-school luxury, each smartly furnished and exceptionally comfortable (though with plenty of brown and beige tones throughout, some could use an update). My vast, metre-high bed with a thick, heavy duvet and many, many pillows made me grateful to have landed at Wedgewood following a long-haul flight from London. Toiletries too lean classic and come from the Provençal purveyor L’Occitane. 

The bedroom in the hotel’s Balcony Penthouse Suite, with dark-green striped wallpaper, a floral yellow armchair and a terrace looking over downtown
The bedroom in the hotel’s Balcony Penthouse Suite

Those in need of a deeper clean, a eucalyptus steam or a jet-lag-busting massage can head to the hotel’s spa, which offers an array of facials alongside body treatments and aesthetic services. The gym is surprisingly modern and well equipped, with plenty of cardio and strength-training equipment and a Peloton spin bike. 

Guests have plenty to do on their doorstep too. Wedgewood is right next to the Vancouver Art Gallery and is well located for exploring the downtown peninsula on foot or by bicycle. (Location-wise, it’s also very easy to get to and from the airport: a 25-minute journey from YVR on the metro, called the SkyTrain, to Vancouver City Centre station, and a five-minute walk from there.) 

A creamy fish and potato dish at the hotel’s restaurant, Bacchus
‘Classic technique is applied to British Columbia’s wealth of produce’: the hotel’s restaurant, Bacchus . . . 
Gilt-framed velvet seats and a bronze-coloured banquette around a set table at Bacchus
 . . . which recently welcomed Michelin-approved Stefan Hartmann as its executive chef © PFuoco images

However, visitors should certainly make time to have a drink at the hotel’s excellent cocktail bar, popular with both locals and tourists. The Bacchus Lounge, with its gentlemen’s club decor, is a cosy spot come winter, while warmer weather brings the opening of its floor-to-ceiling windows and a relaxed, alfresco feel. The attached Bacchus restaurant is also one of the city’s best and is under the purview of executive chef Stefan Hartmann, who previously ran the (now closed) one-Michelin-star Hartmanns in Berlin. Here classic technique is applied to British Columbia’s wealth of produce, particularly Pacific coast fish and seafood, from enormous local oysters to big, buttery halibut. It’s not to be missed.

At a glance:

  • Good for: Traditionalists. Wedgewood is an old-school luxury hotel

  • Not so good for: Seekers of modern design

  • FYI: The attached restaurant, Bacchus, is helmed by chef Stefan Hartmann, who moved to Vancouver in 2014 following stints at Michelin-approved restaurants in Europe, including his own — the eponymous Hartmanns in Berlin

  • Rooms and suites: 83 

  • Spa: Yes

  • Gym: Yes

  • Double: From C$495 (about $370/£292)

  • Address: 845 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1V1

  • Website; Directions

Niki Blasina was a guest of Wedgewood Hotel & Spa

Tell us about your favourite Vancouver stays in the comments below. And follow FT Globetrotter on Instagram at @FTGlobetrotter

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