Review: The DOUGLAS Vancouver, Marriott Autograph Collection
I didn’t have to venture far from home to enjoy a night at The DOUGLAS Vancouver, a Marriott Autograph Collection property, for a spontaneous summer staycation.
Having walked by The DOUGLAS many times during a few previous stays at the neighbouring JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, I recently finally had the chance to give its more boutique sister property a try.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – Booking
I booked this stay using an anniversary Free Night Award worth 50,000 Bonvoy points that was sitting in my partner Jessy’s Marriott Bonvoy account, which had been earned from the Amex US Bonvoy Brilliant Card. The certificate was going to expire on June 30, 2022, so I had to use it up before it went to waste.
Since the Free Night Award had been extended a few times from 2020, I knew there would be little hope of getting it extended further. After multiple unsuccessful calls, I simply decided to book a room for that very evening and make a staycation out of it.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver would’ve otherwise cost 44,000 Bonvoy points for that night, so I felt decently satisfied with the value I was getting out of the Free Night Award, especially since it would have otherwise just gone to waste.
Additionally, the cash rate for the room was over $500 during this busy summer travel season, making this a very palatable use of a 50,000 point Free Night Award given our target valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – Location
Adjacent to BC Place Stadium, The DOUGLAS is housed in the Parq Vancouver facility, which it shared with the adjacent JW Marriott.
Parq is a modern mixed-use facility perched on the southwestern edge of Downtown Vancouver, overlooking the False Creek inlet.
Located about a five-minute walk from Yaletown–Roundhouse station, the DOUGLAS is conveniently connected to the rest of Vancouver via SkyTrain, including Vancouver International Airport.
Of course, you can also take a taxi or Uber to the airport, which would cost you about $30–35.
Cambie Street Bridge is also within walking distance, providing access to the Fairview and Mt. Pleasant neighbourhoods to the south.
Those looking for some more exercise can walk to the popular Gastown district in around 20 minutes, venture across downtown to Stanley Park in 40 minutes, or take Cambie Street Bridge to Granville Island for a longer 45-minute walk.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – Check-in
Packing just a small bag, Jessy and I ventured out from our home at around 7pm, and walked over to the hotel.
Upon arriving at the hotel through the main exterior entrance, we took a short elevator ride to the lobby on the sixth floor.
Upon arriving in the lobby, my eyes were immediately drawn to the unique check-in desk, which was fashioned out of a large Douglas Fir tree enclosed in a 25-foot glass box – presumably with a connection to the hotel’s name.
This West Coast-inspired lobby exuded a perfect blend of nature and sophisticated city life, with wooden features and beautiful light fixtures spread throughout.
Upon checking in, I was informed that the suites were “fully committed” for the evening, even though I had tried to request one as a Platinum Elite member on Jessy’s Marriott Bonvoy account.
I asked again if they were fully sold out, and again I was told, “they are fully committed”.
I had half a mind to continue pushing for the suite upgrade, because I saw that there were suites still available for purchase on the Marriott Bonvoy app. Eventually, I decided that since I didn’t really feel strongly about this staycation anyway, so I was happy with a standard King Room.
As we headed up towards the room, I noticed an illuminated “love is love” art installation that made for an awesome decoration in the elevator.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – King Guest Room
As I entered Room 864, I was equally impressed and appreciative of the West Coast influences as I was in the lobby.
A comfortable carpeted floor filled up the darker wooden-themed room.
Local art was used to contrast the natural wooden decor, as was a striking modern reading light fixed into the very large headboard, which lit up the entire room.
Despite the blended boutique and West Coast-inspired natural look, the room was otherwise pretty basic.
The chair at the desk was quite uncomfortable to work from. This was disappointing, because I was hoping to secure a late checkout the following day and work productively from the room.
I still tried to do so, but it was definitely an uncomfortable seat, and not really a workspace I can recommend.
The desk also played host to a small pantry area with an Illy coffee machine.
Likewise, the hazel-coloured diamond-patterned bench on the far side of the room, while visually pleasing, wasn’t particularly comfortable to sit on.
Thankfully, the king-sized bed broke that trend, and gave me a good night’s rest.
The bathroom was nicely appointed and decorated, and continued the urban and earthly theme with a vanity made of wood and marble.
The shower area was large and well-lit, with marble designs along the walls. It had a window pane between the shower and the bedroom, which I also thought was a creative touch.
Overall, while I loved the look of the DOUGLAS’s guest rooms upon first stepping in, I did find the room to be a little “style over substance” upon actually using some of its features.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – Breakfast
At the time of my stay, The DOUGLAS was only offering in-room dining for the elite breakfast benefit, even though some of the restaurants downstairs were in fact open.
The in-room breakfast menu was accessible via a QR code on the television. It read as follows:
Jessy didn’t actually stay over for the night, but since we still had registered for two guests, I went ahead and ordered two breakfast portions. One of those doubled up as my lunch for the day.
There was a decent selection, and I ended up choosing the traditional breakfast consisting of over-easy eggs, toast, sausage, hash browns, and some tomatoes.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – Breakfast spread
I also ordered some steel-cut oatmeals with accompanying fruit and nut trimmings, as well as coffee, orange juice, and a small fruit salad.
My breakfast sitting (or should I say brunch) was tasty enough, but I’d love to see the meal service in the restaurant be restored for the elite breakfast benefit, instead of just being limited to in-room orders.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – Dining
As previously mentioned, The DOUGLAS is located in the same building as the JW Marriott Parq, and they share some of the same restaurants.
Jessy and I had already eaten prior to our evening arrival, but we still saddled up at The Victor Steakhouse, where we enjoyed some delicious cocktails and stunning scenic views from the hotel’s sixth floor.
In addition to The Victor, the hotels’ shared building grants access to many more dining and drinking options:
- The D/6 Bar and Lounge is a rooftop terrace in the shadow of BC Place with a full-service drink menu, showcasing local craft beer, wine, and cocktails.
- BC Kitchen is a popular sports bar serving classic comfort food, as well as local craft beer.
- There is a whiskey and tea lounge on the 3rd floor, aptly named Lotus Whisky / Tea Lounge.
- The most popular bar, Centre Bar, is located on the 2nd floor and is quite busy when there are events at BC Place, to which the bar provides easy access.
- Honey Salt is a BC-inspired restaurant dedicated to showcasing local cuisine, situated in the ground floor lobby of the JW Marriott.
The DOUGLAS Vancouver – Other Facilities
The DOUGLAS’s fitness centre is located on the 7th floor. I paid a visit to check it out, but didn’t actually use the facility, because I happened to have a workout scheduled at my home fitness centre later that day.
The fitness centre was modest, but still contained a decent range of choices, with some cardio equipment, as well as a weight rack, benches, exercise balls, and other miscellaneous gym equipment.
Overall, I thought the fitness centre’s facilities were fairly good and certainly sufficient for travellers passing through wanting to squeeze in a workout.
In addition to the facilities associated with the DOUGLAS hotel, guests have access to many of the nearby JW Marriott Parq Vancouver’s facilities, including the more impressive fitness centre on the 17th floor of the adjoining building.
There is also a spa and the outdoor jacuzzi on the same 17th floor available for The DOUGLAS guests willing to make the short journey over.
(Previously, guests of The DOUGLAS who were Marriott Platinum Elite members or above could access and use the JW Marriott’s Executive Lounge as well. However, this is no longer the case as of the hotel’s reopening post-pandemic, so unfortunately, I didn’t have access to the Executive Lounge on this stay.)
Spending one night at The DOUGLAS was a decent way of using up my expiring Marriott Free Night Award.
The hotel was visually pleasing throughout, and is well-located for anyone visiting Vancouver.
However, I would’ve gotten more out of my stay with a comfortable workspace in the room, and I’d also love to see the hotel move in a more full-service direction with its offerings, such as the elite breakfast.
It’s also somewhat disappointing to see that access to the nearby JW Marriott’s Executive Lounge has been pulled for Bonvoy elite members staying at The DOUGLAS.
I’d like to see the hotel improve some of its soft services to match the impressive hard product, which I think would help elevate this property closer to Vancouver’s top hotels.