Travel review – The Douglas, an Autograph Hotel in Vancouver, Canada

Last December, I was offered the chance to stay at The Douglas, an Autograph Hotel in Vancouver through L’Oreal Luxe. This hotel is part of Marriott’s family of hotels, part of the Starwood Group, and is a boutique hotel within their brand. The Douglas has 188 guest rooms, 10 suites, and is built to LEEDS standards. The decor inside is super West Coast, i.e. lots of wood, plaid, and almost with a cabin feel. The hotel had just opened in October of last year, so everything was brand new. That being said, for a supposed five-star hotel, I was actually very disappointed with my stay.

Check-in was relatively smooth, the lobby is located on the 6th floor and it was a bit hard to find the front desk but there was a person near the front door who directed me upstairs. There were no issues once I got to the check in desk, and I was quickly given my key cards to the room. The room itself is beautiful – ours had a view of the city which was gorgeous at night with the beautiful city lights. Our room had a king size bed, with a large sofa-bench, a very large flat-screen smart TV, desk, as well as a fully stocked snack bar and mini bar.

The bathroom was absolutely breathtaking, with a very large walk-in shower with a rainfall shower head. There was a separate area with the toilet for increased privacy. There were also marble accents throughout the bathroom that is luxurious and impressive. The best part is that all of the bath and body products used at the hotel are by AESOP, an Australian luxury and natural beauty brand. The shower head had really good water pressure and it was just an enjoyable experience overall.

The bed was super comfortable. It was paired with high thread count sheets which made sleeping there very enjoyable. We had plans to go out in the evening and the boyfriend found it hard to peel himself away from the bed because it was so comfortable. It is a brand new hotel though, so the beds are all new, I can’t say if in a few months if the beds will developed dips.

Both the bedroom and bathroom were immaculately clean. I always wear slippers because I don’t like walking around barefoot, even in my own home, but I felt fine in bare feet at the hotel. TI was very impressed with the room and bathroom and have nothing negative to say.

Now to why I was disappointed with my stay. For a five-star hotel, you not only expect a luxurious environment, but you also expect top service. The service was completely lacking at The Douglas. I was surprised to find, upon check-in, that the room only included a robe and slippers for one guest. I immediately called housekeeping to request a second set, expecting that it would take a while for it to be delivered. We went out for dinner and came back, and a few hours later, still no robe or slippers. I’ve honestly never had this happen at any hotel I stayed at. If I call housekeeping for something, it’s usually delivered within the hour, if not right away.

Secondly, I was surprised there was no bottled water. While we’re not big drinkers of bottled water since we know how clean Vancouver tap water is, this is a hotel so I assume most guests are from out of town. Since that is the case, if they aren’t offering bottled water for environmental, there should be a sign that says the tap water is clean, or offer some kind of service to bring up filtered water. There was no such substitutions offered. Instead they are charging $2 for bottled water through the mini bar.

Additionally, for a five star hotel, it does not offer complimentary Wifi. You actually have to pay for internet. It’s $8 for basic internet or $15 for high speed internet. Honestly if places like Starbucks and McDonalds can offer complimentary internet, hotels should too. It’s too basic an amenity not to have it.

Another thing I noticed was the inconsistency of service. Since we were offered to stay at The Douglas through L’Oreal, other bloggers had booked their stay a few weeks prior to our stay, and I noticed that some of them were offered extra treats upon check in, for example housekeeping would come by with complimentary dessert. I’m not sure if it was just because I stayed closer to Christmas, but this just seems odd that the service is so different between guests.

That being said, I did post on Instagram during my stay that I was disappointed with the lack of robe / slippers, bottled water, and complimentary internet, the front desk manager called our room and said that they will immediately bring up the robe and slippers to be brought up, and also offered us complimentary internet for our stay. We did eventually get the robe and slippers, and they had also brought up some jugs of water, but the complimentary internet didn’t end up working (we still had to go through the payment option, which we ended up not opting for in case there was still a risk of being charged).

Maybe I’m spoiled now because I stayed at the ultra luxury The Adelaide Hotel in Toronto, which is also a Starwood hotel, but I just found the stay at The Douglas to be mediocre at best. The hotel is shiny and new but that’s pretty much all its got going for it at the moment. I surveyed a few other people who had stayed there through L’Oreal and the conclusion was all the same – the hotel is just meh. For $350+ a night, there are better places to stay at in the city, and I likely wouldn’t recommend The Douglas.

P.S. the hallway signs weren’t fantastic, it took us a while to figure out where our room was located because see below… at first it looks like there are no rooms above 1158…

And then we saw it…

That being said, the elevators are super cool and appropriate for this Instagram age.

I was invited for a complimentary stay at the Douglas Hotel after a L’Oreal media event. All opinions are my own.

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