The experience at the EXchange begins with a classy black awning over a revolving door. A porter meets you on the other side and promptly directs you to the correct floor. The Exchange Hotel Vancouver is a historical building so the reception desk is on the second. This building was originally the Stock Exchange tower (hence the name) and is now Vancouver’s first LEED Platinum Heritage conversion. When thinking about where to stay in the city, EXchange Hotel Vancouver is now definitely at the top of my list.
The property is very elegantly designed, highlighting the historical details while mixing in modern design twists throughout. For this visit, I had an opportunity to stay in the Dividend Junior Corner Suite. This particular room is called the Pender King Suite Suite.
The location of the EXchange Hotel Vancouver is very convenient: a short walk away from Canada Place, shopping, dining, Chinatown, and Gaston. Being so close to the city’s many favourite spots has been definitely helpful.
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The stay was sponsored by the hotel, which did not review or approve the story.
The Vibe & Shared Spaces
The hotel lobby is quite small: a porter desk followed by a hall with elevators that go to your specific floor only. The old Stock Exchange architecture is notable in the fine details of the elevator design and the decorative arch sealing that I could not stop staring at.
The check-in desk is located on the second floor, directly across from the elevator. This space has a lovely sitting area on the right and a small bridge to the hotel restaurant on the left. We only stayed here for one night so I haven’t had the time to wonder about this floor. The hotel certainly has a modern, vibrant feel, something that welcomes you upon entry, in that cool and classy kind of way.
Inside the Suite
Pender King Suite Suite wraps around the building’s corner occupying well over 400 square feet of space. At the entrance is a coat rack with some storage and a bar sync with an ice bucket. Not being able to see the full room upon entry certainly created a bit of mystique.
Once you turn the corner you see a long hallway, windows on one side and a door on the other. The door leads into a full-size bathroom suite. Single sync, toilet with a privacy door, and on the left soaker tub and a large shower. This side of the bathroom is all glass. The tub is surprisingly comfortable (I often slide down uncomfortably but not here) and offers a shaded view of the city, you can read, watch TV, tease your partner through the glass, or just stare out in the window.
Past the bathroom, the space widens to its fullest. Baroque King bed on the left, framed by two side tables with mirrors. The entire back wall is a wall mural, dark with splashes of bright colours, contrasting the black and white photo art on the walls. A small desk across the bed hosts a coffee maker, a welcome tray with Mission Hill wine, and of course a television. Past the bedroom area is a sitting corner with a lush velvet pull-out sofa, a glass coffee table, and another storage cabinet.
The floor-to-ceiling windows are shaded by two layers of automated curtains: transparent and dark. You simply pull on one end and they spread apart like magic. Or technology, if you choose to use the remote control near the bed, whatever sparks your fancy. The 11th-floor city view looks at a couple of office buildings and the street. This seemed rather dull at first but then we kept finding ourselves staring out the window, decoding the lives of the people we saw on the other side. In that “Rare Window” kind of way.
Knowing that the room would be impressive we checked in on time and took full advantage of its amenities: the bath, the view, the wine, and the open space. I can certainly get used to this life in Vancouver.
See this Insta reel for a full walkthrough.
Dining & Entertainment
Hydra is a full-service restaurant and bar located on the second floor. The resultant focus is on Mediterranean cuisine. The design of the space is stunning and the menu looks exciting and robust. For this stay, I did not have an opportunity to dine at Hydra though so you’ll have to let me know how it was :).
I have visited a range of other restaurants nearby but that will have to be a whole other story. For now, though, I highly recommend visiting the historic Marine Building around the corner and Nightingale Restaurant. It is a stunning piece of architecture and the restaurant menu is filled with tasty delicious farm-to-table plates. Note that the entrance to the restaurant is a separate door around the corner.
Wellness & Fitness
There is a state-of-the-art fitness center located on the premises open from 6 AM to 9 PM daily. To access it you will need to grab a pass card from guest services. There is a pretty good selection of equipment including treadmills, spin bikes, ellipticals, recumbent bikes, a rowing machine, free weights, and resistance training pieces. The cool thing, however, is there is a fitness training study where you can stream workout videos on a SmartTV so you can keep up with your at-home routine. Personally for the apps while on the road, I’ve tried Nike Training, Alo Moves*, and MyFitness Pall*.
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It is worth noting that this is a Four Diamond, Executive Hotel property. Executive Hotels and Resorts may seem boutique in comparison to the massive hotel chains we are all familiar with but they do own 17 properties across North America. All of these properties are strategically located in the heart of the city offering “quality workmanship, excellent customer service, and attention to detail”. I certainly witnessed this at the EXchange.
EXchange Hotel Vancouver
475 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2B3
Book directly on exchangehotelvan.com or via booking.com* for a genius discount.
The hotel offers “better-than-the-best-rate” and free parking for locals if booked directly. Knowing me I would still compare with multiple other sites to see where I get the best deal.
Rooms start at $198/night for The Boutique Studio Queen, personally, I find that room way too small.
Dividend Junior corner suites, Pender King Suite is seen in this article, start at $429/night.
In the gear bag: Fujifilm X-T100 with an XF50mmF2 R WR and Fuji XF 23mm f/2 R WR lenses. To see the trip on Instagram lookup #xoBC2022.