Vancouver is one of the world’s newest international cities, and set within a forest of glass and steel high-rises is one of the city’s most contemporary boutique hotels – The Loden.
This small and custom-designed hotel is located in one of the most sought-after addresses in Downtown Vancouver – Coal Harbour. The rooms have a masculine feel to them; dark colours and a slick angular design dominate, as does the large flatscreen TV. The design follows into the bathroom, which is made of dark-coloured marble, has a deep plunge bath that has just about enough room for two – the shower on the other hand has plenty of room for two to enjoy.
Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows that makes the most of the view over the Burrard Inlet and the mountains. There is also a work desk that has power-points for just about every sort of electrical gadget there is, and the bedside table has an iPod dock – something which should be a staple in every hotel.
The hotel has its own district restaurant, Tableau, which has a completely different feel and design to the hotel. Tableau fuses classic French with West Coast Canadian cuisine – this means a lot of seafood and locally-sourced vegetables. Another aspect of Canadian dining that has filtered through to this restaurant is sports viewing on large TVs – a standard in any Canadian restaurant.
Tableau recently won an award from a popular local newspaper for best bistro in the city, and it’s easy to see why. The service was good and the food was seasonal, local and delicious. I went for the pan-roasted halibut and my dining partner chose the duck. Both were well-cooked, and the seasonal vegetables that accompanied my dish complemented the delicate flavours of the fish. They also have a good selection of Canadian and international wine as well as an old fashioned cocktail menu. The cocktails are inspired from the 1920s and 30s, which works well with the Art Deco design, and is nice a change from the generic cocktail lists you usually get in other establishments.
After dinner you can go and hit the town. The hotel is near to the hipster area of Gastown and just steps away from Granville Street, which is full of shops, bars and clubs – and once you are done, you can use the hotel’s complimentary car service to come and pick you up!
By Cat Hughes