Right before Christmas we got to celebrate Sam’s 30th birthday. She wrote about what 30 feels like to her in this post. I had been planning this night for months and certain things I would need other people to come through on to make it happen. One of those “people” was Best Western. More specifically, the Georgian Court Hotel (GCH) in Vancouver. Unfortunately, they didn’t.
I started planning this birthday back in October and was super excited because it would be a night that would never happen unless it was a truly special occasion, like a 30th birthday. I invited 2 other couples that we are very close with to come down and celebrate with us. I booked each couple a room at the Georgian Court Hotel and paid with points during Best Western’s 10,000 points promo. The GCH is marketed as a Best Western Premier hotel, their top category of hotels meant to be their version of luxury.
I hold Diamond Select status with Best Western, their highest category of status which comes with a complimentary upgrade if availability allows, thank you gift or bonus points upon arrival amongst other things. Neither of those were offered to us unfortunately even though there was availability. I did end up getting the points well after the night though.
I had emailed the hotel, called corporate and called the hotel ahead of time to remind them it was a special occasion and see if they could do anything special for us. When we arrived and checked in and I noticed none of the benefits for Diamond Select members were being offered to us I knew right away they had dropped the ball. Most places when you tell them it is a special occasion will leave chocolates, a fruit basket, bottle of wine or something. A card at minimum. As we opened the door to our room I eagerly looked to the bed to see what they had left us. Nothing. Nope, not even a card. I was really disappointed because I was hoping to surprise Sam with some gift right off the bat but unfortunately Best Western didn’t come through for me. Now if you feel like I’m being a snobby status-holder please understand I’m well aware that there is no obligation on the part of Best Western to do anything. I get that. That being said, most places usually do something. As you will read about in a future post, I took Sam downtown the following weekend just the two of us and that other hotel chain really knows luxury and how to serve their guests right. Best Western just isn’t in the same class of service.
The room itself was fine. It had been updated and modernized, that much was apparent. The bathroom was a decent size with a rather large shower that could easily fit two people. The shower was my favourite as it had good water pressure and one shower head and then a detachable shower head. I spent way too much time in there. In the room was also a desk and nice office chair and a chaise under the window. Our room looked right at BC Place which I think was the only nice “view” the hotel could offer because the backside faced an alley.
The robes were cheap and it was obvious. They were thin and scratchy which were not comfortable to wear down to the hot tub. There is no pool at this hotel but they do have both a steam room and a sauna.
One rather disturbing thing we found was that when cleaning the rooms at GCH, housekeeping definitely cuts corners. We moved one of the ottomans that was beside to the TV closer to the bed to play a game and behind it we found an old pen, tons of dust and garbage. Obviously it hasn’t been moved and cleaned behind in a while and that was somewhat disturbing.
One nice gesture was that every room had a Nespresso machine and water that were complimentary. Unfortunately, one of our rooms had no coffee available. After calling down to the front desk to request some it took forever so that couple never got their coffee and just came to our room.
All in all, the hard product (the actual hotel itself) was fine. Nicely updated and mostly clean with an amazing shower. The soft product (service, food, etc) left lots to desired as it was way below par with empty coffee machines and nothing done for the special occasion.
Would I come back? Not if I was paying for it. Our room that night would have cost $281. For that amount of money you can go somewhere way nicer and get much better service. Luckily I paid with points but even still I’m upset at what those points actually got us. My advice is to go elsewhere and get something that is actually luxury. Next week we will write about our actual luxury experience at another downtown Vancouver hotel.
Never stop adventuring!