My room at The Opus Hotel in Vancouver was painted a deep blue
that in certain lights took on a purple hue. It was a bold choice,
especially when contrasted with the rose-red chaise. But when I
peeked into my neighbors’ rooms with walls of electric lime and
deep burgundy, I decided that my blue room wasn’t so startling,
“We aren’t shy about color here,” admits general manager, Daniel
Craig, who explained that I was in the “Susan room.”
Susan is a 30-something Toronto fashionista. She’s sexy, hip,
high-end and totally fictional, existing only as a concept. But her
sophisticated sense of style permeates the space.
Other rooms are named for other equally fashionable and equally
fabricated guests. There’s Billy the London
partyboy/rocker/filmmaker, who inhabits the electric-green room.
Bob and Carol are the tony and traditional San Francisco yuppy
couple. Their cozy, conservative room is yellow. Mike the gay New
York doctor has a “modern and minimalist” style, while Dede the
L.A. drama queen’s room resembles a trendy beach bungalow,
decorated with a funky mix of faux fur and sensual leopard-skin
coverings. Each room takes on its character’s personality, from
books on the nightstand to CD collections.
Craig explained that the hotel’s 96 rooms have been designed
around distinct personalities who resemble typical Opus guests that
is, cool, creative and self-confident. The hotel takes the
make-believe personas a step further, with its new “lifestyle
concierge” program. Guests decide which character most resembles
them, and appropriate activities, restaurants, and nightlife are
accordingly recommended from spas (for stylish Susan types) to
nudist beaches (for free-spirited Billy), gay lounges and
nightclubs (if you’re like Mike), the best boutiques (Dede shops
here) and live jazz (Bob and Carol’s choice).
The concept kooky as it seems works well at The Opus. The only
modern boutique hotel in trendy Yaletown, it’s known as a sleek,
sexy and nontraditional hotspot, from its “see and be seen” bar,
which is packed late at night with a young, attractive crowd; to
its mood-setting elevator with red or turquoise overhead lights and
glittering fabric behind glass walls; to its penthouse corner
suites, which are more often than not booked by celebrities.
Even the hotel’s smaller rooms boast luxe, yet hip, features. Some
have fireplaces; others open to private courtyards. Bathrooms are
stocked with yummy L’Occitane products, plus a personal canister of
Oxia Oxygen, in case you need a quick hit. A clear glass wall
separates the scrumptious fluffy bed from the deep-soaking tub with
ceiling rain-shower heads. The demure can draw the curtains, but
somehow I think it’s doubtful that many guests at the Opus are
Room rates range from $239-$499, 10 percent commission.
|WHAT'S FOR DINNER?|
Here’s a fun way to get acquainted with BC’s finest and freshest
The Opus Hotel’s two-night Epicurean Experience includes a
three-hour culinary tour in and around Yaletown and the nearby
Granville Island Market. The hotel’s personable and talented
executive chef, Don Letendre, helps guests choose their dinner
ingredients, from artisan cheese to chanterelle mushrooms and BC
wines. That night, Letendre whips up a four-course feast at the
hotel’s French brasserie-style Elixir restaurant.
The tour’s first stop is likely to be Les Amis du Fromage on West
2nd Avenue. The spectacularly stocked (but overwhelmingly pungent)
shop carries up to 500 different kinds of cheese from Quebec,
France, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland and Portugal, as well as
gourmet items such as chianti vinegar and white truffle
Next door there’s the irresistible Patisserie Lebeau, a bakery
that sells fresh-baked, fist-sized Belgium Waffles topped with
everything from cranberries to mangoes.
Barbara-jos Books to Cooks, also on 2nd Avenue, boasts an
inventory of 30,000 titles, ranging from memoirs, to history to
health all with food as the main subject.
Letendre then leads the way to Granville Island Market, where
hundreds of vendors hawk produce, baked goods, organic coffee, tea,
ethnic foods, sweets and more in a colorful, chaotic setting. The
tour winds its way through the market’s stalls and stands,
culminating at Edible BC, a store that sells the province’s best,
from Okanagan wines to Fraser Valley cheeses.
Then it’s back to The Opus via water taxi and time to get ready
Price for the Epicurean Experience starts at $479, including
two-night stay, three-hour tour, and four-course dinner. Commission
is 10 percent.