Review: Shangri La Vancouver

By Devon Holly •  Updated: 07/17/23 •  5 min read
Room Type
One Bedroom Balcony Suite
Date
June 2023
Elite Status
None

I made my way to Vancouver for the first time in preparation of catching a flight out on JAL Business Class the following day. I took this opportunity to leverage some benefits from my American Express Platinum card & book a higher-end hotel for roughly the same price as most lower-tier options in the area.


In this post:


Booking- Shangri-La Vancouver

Hotels in this area of Vancouver were going for high $300’s-$500’s during my short stay & I wanted to find a way to maximize my cost. As a Hyatt Globalist, I naturally looked at their options, but I was not thrilled on price for the value of the hotel; I also did not want to spend any points at the moment. I remembered a nice benefit that I have on my AMEX Platinum, the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program. The Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program is Available to American Express Platinum cardholders and give you a host of benefits when booking directly through the Amex Travel Portal. When you make a pre-paid booking through their hotel as selected Hotels, you will receive a $200 statement credit yearly. The other benefits that make this type of booking worthwhile are; One category room upgrade upon arrival, when available, noon check-in when available, Daily breakfast for two people, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, and $100 property credit.

The hotel determines what the property can be used for, but it typical covers Dining (minus alcohol) Spa treatment, parking, and other options. As you can see, when used correctly, an FHR booking can really elevate your hotel stay while minimizing your out-of-pocket cost. One night at the Shangri-La Vancouver cost $586.70 after taxes. When considering the $200 statement credit, my effective out of pocket cost is $386.70, which is in line with the other properties in the area. You could argue that the true value of the stay was even less than $386 since I had a “free” $100 to spend on property, and a free breakfast.

Location

The Shangri-La is located in downtown Vancouver; as short ride on the train from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to the city center, followed by a quick 5 minute walk will put you at the doorstep of the hotel. The hotel is in the quintessential downtown area with many stores to shop, eat & drink.

Check-In & Lobby

I checked in at the Lobby shortly after 1pm and was welcome & thanked immediately for staying at the Shangri-la. The agent acknowledged my FHR booking & gave me the rundown of the benefits included. He told me that not only had I been upgraded, but I had received an upgrade four levels to their One Bedroom Balcony Suite! You can imagine the surprise I had on my face, I went in thinking at most I’d receive would be to a room on a higher level or a deluxe room type; I never thought I’d receive this type of upgrade. He continued by explaining the complimentary breakfast was in their restaurant Carlino and that I could use the $100 property credit on anything besides alcohol. He also noted that I had 4pm late checkout and gave me directions to reach my room.

Room- One Bedroom Balcony Suite

The suite was located on a high floor and was very spacious. Upon entering there is a small end table near the entrance; Moving forward to the living room there is a full sized desk, a large couch and separates chairs. Behind the couch is a fairly well stocked bar, a Nespresso machine and a fridge stocked with the typical amenities. From the living room, you can make you way out to the balcony that is the length of the whole suite. I really liked the balcony as it was spacious and offered some great views of the city. The Bedroom is separated with a sliding pocket door and has a TV in here in addition to the one in the dining room. The bathroom was pretty large with a separate bathtub shower and toilet. The One bedroom suite had plenty of space to spread out and I thoroughly enjoyed the complimentary upgrade.

Dining

I had breakfast the morning of checkout since it was complimentary, breakfast was served in the restaurant Carlino. I went soon after opening, and there was a few minute wait before any personnel came to the hostess stand. It seemed like they were short staffed and moving a little slow this morning. After the hostess came up front, it was still another few minutes before being seated. Once seated I looked at the complimentary menu and decided on the baked eggs item. It’s very similar to a shakshuka which has become one of my favorites since travelling to the middle east semi-frequently. I also ordered a juice and a cappuccino. Service was friendly, but still slow and took a bit before my simple order came out. It was worth the wait in the end because I really enjoyed it. I had one more cappuccino & people watched in the restaurant for a bit before heading back to my room to check out.

Conclusion

I had a very nice, albeit short stay in Vancouver for the first time that was capped off by a great stay at the Luxurious Shangri-La Hotel. Although I am unsure if I would ever pay the full price for a room here, I do believe there is some justification in regards to the premium rates they charge. The hotel is in a great area & the rooms are well furnished & taken care of. The Shangri-La Vancouver was certainly a great introduction to the brand and I look forward to staying a other properties in the future.

Devon Holly

A Points & Miles enthusiast searching for my next destination!