Not Your Average Boutique Hotel

Vancouver's new Opus Hotel blends funkiness with comfort

By: Joanne Blain

VANCOUVER, B.C. If the room’s apple-green walls and faux-fur banquette have somehow failed to convince you that the Opus Hotel is not your average place to park a suitcase the bathroom leaves no room for doubt.

Behind the raised steel sink and the wedge-shaped polished granite countertop are floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto a busy street in Yaletown Vancouver’s answer to New York’s SoHo district.

If you’re not an exhibitionist, don’t worry: A privacy screen or a blackout shade can be pulled down to keep out prying eyes, as they can in another room where the bathtub is separated from the bedroom by only a glass wall.

The 97-room Opus, which opened last September, is one of the few places that can lay a claim on the “boutique” label. From the moment you walk into the lobby bar, dotted with an eclectic mix of furniture ranging from rococo settees to futuristic, egg-shaped ottomans you know this is no cookie-cutter chain hotel.

“More and more travelers are looking for a property that reflects the city they’re in, that’s full of surprises,” says Daniel Craig, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

For that reason, its designers came up with 16 different room layouts and five decors based on the personalities of fictitious guests.

“Susan,” a fashion analyst, is at home with deep periwinkle-blue walls and sleek, contemporary furnishings; while “Bob and Carol,” a professional couple, prefer a more conservative, earth-toned suite, which opens onto an inner courtyard with a Japanese garden. All rooms have wireless Internet access and a portable stereo with a selection of CDs.

Details, Details

Address: 322 Davie St., Yaletown

Phone: (866) 642-6787

Restaurants: In addition to the hotel’s Elixir, a 96-seat French brasserie, the Yaletown area is home to some of Vancouver’s best restaurants. Try the Yaletown Brewing Co. at 1111 Mainland St., for its casual atmosphere, good thin-crust pizzas and an interesting selection of microbrew beers; or the more upscale Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill at 1133 Hamilton St., for high-end Italian fare.

Facilities: Fitness room.

Web site:

Nearby attractions: A minute’s walk away is the False Creek seawall, a walking and cycling trail, which leads to some of Vancouver’s best beaches and the 1,000-acre Stanley Park.