Eclectic restaurants with heavy Asian influences; sublime, 60-degree weather; and beautiful blue water as far as the eye can see are a few of the reasons tourists from far and wide flock to Vancouver every year. But the phenomenal food and spectacular views are old news compared to the destination’s latest hot spot, Parq Vancouver.
In September 2017, the city’s only casino-resort in downtown opened, right in the middle of the Yaletown and Gastown neighborhoods. Connected to BC Place arena, the luxurious new place has been embraced by locals and savvy visitors alike for its convenient location and varied culinary and recreation options.
Here are just a few of the reasons we can’t get enough of this vivacious venue.
The Seamless Architecture
It takes a special architectural design to blend into the skyline of Vancouver. Parq’s mirrored, curved surface reflects back all the beauty of its surroundings and is free of hard angles, allowing nature and industry to fuse seamlessly. Three main towers symbolize the mountains with a verdant valley between — the urban green space that gives the complex its name.
Inside, a grand staircase is complemented by a three-story, draped chandelier, a nod to the casinos of Las Vegas. But what makes this gaming floor unique from its Sin City counterparts is the abundance of natural light, the addition of clocks and a no-smoking policy property-wide. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.
Two Hotels, Two Experiences
Parq Vancouver offers two distinct stays placed at opposite ends of the casino — Western Canada’s first JW Marriott and a first-to-market Autograph Collection Hotel , The Douglas.
Imagined by Celano Design Studio, the latter appeals to those who want a boutique experience with only 188 units and secluded social spaces, such as the D6 Bar & Lounge, a terrace and a speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase. The rooms’ dark and natural hues call to mind the surrounding forest, providing a cozy respite after a long day (or night) on the gaming floor.
On the other side, JW Marriott Parq Vancouver’s twin towers have the luxury experience that the brand’s evangelists have come to expect. Created by Canada’s Studio Munge, the hotel has 329 rooms and suites decked out in a light and bright color palette, contemporary artwork and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The name Parq isn’t just a moniker, but a way of life at this urban resort. Connecting The Douglas and JW Marriott on the sixth floor, a 30,000-square-foot playground can be enjoyed during all seasons.
Designed by landscape architect Christopher Phillips, the green space maintains soothing water features, more than 200 native pines and 15,000 local flora.
And it’s not just a pretty space — a nod to the building’s commitment to sustainability, the park lowers the property’s carbon footprint by “breathing life back into the city.”
The View from the Spa
At the Spa by JW, the star of the show — besides the well-balanced menu of treatments — is the 17th-floor relaxation room, which affords a hypnotic view of the city. Just sit in the snug, pod-like lounge chairs and stare for a while.
If you’re feeling a bit more active, you can still get a phenomenal vista from the breathtaking outdoor yoga pavilion. A 24-hour indoor fitness center, with walls of windows on three sides, will make you want to work out even if you forgot your sweats.
The Foodie Focus
Crafted by husband-and-wife restaurateur team chef Kim Canteenwalla and Elizabeth Blau, Parq’s collection of eateries is a vibrant mix of Vancouver culture and international food trends. From fine-dining Chinese restaurant 1886 to casual pub BC Kitchen, with its found vintage sports memorabilia and a repurposed bar, dining is one of the most important reasons to visit this entertainment mecca.
In addition to an outpost of the couple’s most famous restaurant (Honey Salt), the venue’s signature eatery might just be Victor. A play on the phrase “to the victor belong the spoils,” the contemporary steakhouse wows with its raw bar, prime cuts and creative presentation of comfort food classics like the mac and cheese waffle.
Boasting magnificent views of the city skyline and the water, the elegant eatery provides the a scenic spot, whether you’re craving a simple martini and sushi or a rich, multi-course bacchanal.