By Patricia Keegan
There could be no better match for visitors to the lovely city of Vancouver than a stay at the Wedgewood Hotel. Stepping into the small, intimate, elegant lobby, with its dark paneled walls, silk oriental rugs, marble floors, antiques and original artwork, I experienced an immediate connection to this refined, European-style, boutique hotel. The Wedgewood, a unique 89-room hotel, enjoys not only a great location on Hornby Street, in the heart of downtown's fashionable Robeson's Square, but it houses the Bacchus Restaurant, ranked as one of Vancouver's top ten.
After a five hour flight from Washington, enjoying lunch in the Bacchus was one of the memorable highlights of my entire trip. Hotels are not generally promoted for their great restaurants, but this one is the exception. Bacchus, with its contemporary French cuisine, would alone be an added reason for choosing the Wedgewood on subsequent trips to Vancouver. The entire presentation is exquisite, enhanced by attention to detail that is immediately apparent. Bacchus guests are surrounded by richly upholstered furniture, warm, dark wood and Venetian light fixtures. In warm weather, large French doors open to a lovely sidewalk, and the pleasant atmosphere could compete with any in Paris. The menu is creative and original, the masterpiece of Canadian-born, executive chef Robert Sulatycky, who is part of a new generation of solid, entrepreneurial talent leading a cooking renaissance in Canada. Acclaimed by critics as a 'culinary superstar,' the secret of his success, he says, is that he and his brigade search the world for the very best ingredients and celebrate their natural forms and essential flavors on the plate. I enjoyed an outstanding fish soup, followed by delicate, lightly crisped halibut, with sauteed vegetables, ending with a raspberry cheesecake so fluffy and light, it was angelic!
The portion of the restaurant overlooking the quiet street serves as an attractive bar lounge with its inviting decor, carved limestone fireplace, silk and burgundy velvet fabrics. It serves afternoon tea and becomes one of the city's most elegant cocktail lounges in the evening. Greek-born owner Eleni Skalbania, born in Santorini and raised in Athens, bought the old Mayfair Hotel, gutted it and built the Wedgewood according to her own specifications. Carrying out the hotel's interior design with ideas garnered from her extensive world travels, she added her private art collection to adorn its walls. The hotel opened to rave reviews in June 1984.
Rooms are spacious, with large windows overlooking the quiet, tree-lined street. The decor is pleasing to the senses with top quality bedding, fluffy duvets, terry bathrobes, and each room has its own balcony. One of the most appealing qualities of this hotel is that it is female friendly with the softer touch in lighting, coziness, and accessories you don't find in larger hotels. For a business trip, or a romantic getaway, the Wedgewood has accommodations ranging from Deluxe and Executive rooms to Junior One Bedroom and Penthouse suites. Prices (in Canadian dollars) for a Deluxe Suite, double occupancy, run $220, for an Executive Suite, double occupancy, about $380, a for a one Bedroom Suite, $480.
The competent General Manager, Philip Meyer, a native of England, came to the hotel business after three years on the QE2 Luxury Cruise Liner. From the high seas he worked in some of Sussex's finest hotels before moving to Canada. Meyer and his efficient team extend a warm, personal welcome to visitors, making this home away from home an enjoyable, hassle free experience.
Cover photo courtesy wedgewoodhotel.com