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Hotel hints for Vancouver, BC and Dallas


swallows22
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AS far as Dallas is concerned...

 

If you're not going to be driving, I would stick to the Downtown area. Some good choices of 4* hotels in the area are:

 

W Victory Park

Hotel Zaza

Ritz-Carlton

Hotel Magnolia

Adolphus

 

Also, the Warwick Melrose is in the Oak Lawn area and would be a great choice if you aren't driving as well.

 

Hope that helps! :)

 

- Jason Carter - Dallas, TX

- jasoncarter53@hotmail.com

- (972) 365-0120

 

>G'day!

>Venturing to YVR and DFW this year and have no idea about

>hotels. Possibly a 4*. Hoping to keep the rate below $200.

>Will not have a car. Hate driving. Any help much appreciated.

>Thanks and cheers!

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>G'day!

>Venturing to YVR and DFW this year and have no idea about

>hotels. Possibly a 4*. Hoping to keep the rate below $200.

>Will not have a car. Hate driving. Any help much appreciated.

>Thanks and cheers!

 

Make a bid on Priceline. The last 3 times spread over the past 6 months I have got the Hilton Anatole for $60-$75 per night...An excellent hotel 4 star and at a great price. Right in the Oaklawn area!!

 

Check winning Priceline bids for the area you want to stay in on a website called 'biddingfortravel.com"

 

Hope this helps

 

RickinOC

:-)

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Vancouver is my favorite city in North America. Fortunately I have business that takes me there several times a year at present. Actually, I'll be there in mid August for a few days. :-)

 

Here's a list of hotels you should consider:

 

Westin Bayshore - recently rehabed a few years ago. Located next to Stanley Park and right on the water. Hotel was owned by Howard Hughes at one time. Service is good and has a nice atmosphere. Get a room with a harbor view if you can.

 

Pan Pacific - connected to the old convention center. Very nice rooms with a Asian bent since this chain is based in Singapore. This hotel may have the best suites in the city from my perspective. The staff is helpful and attentive to details. Since its part of the convention center complex there's a lot of foot traffic around the lower levels. Hotel complex starts on the third floor of the buidling. Heavy crusie ship business since Canada Place is the docking terminal.

 

Fairmont Waterfront - across the street from the Pan Pac. Nice luxury property but needs a touch up on the rooms and public spaces from my persepective. Staff could stand to be a bit more service oriented. Have felt it was overpriced at times for service levels offerd.

 

Fairmont Vancouver - beautiful historic property. Service levels slightly better than waterfront.

 

Marriott Pinnacle - what can I say, its a Marriott - that chain has achieved a level of mediocrity that is unsurpassed. Room lay out a bit funky at times due to the design of the building.

 

The Renaissance - sister hotel to the Marriott Pinnacle and across the street. Both hotels are owned by the same investment compnay. Currently undergoing a serious remodeling for the Olympics. Believe me it was needed. This used to be a Holiday Inn if I recall correctly. Has one of those revolving restaurants on the top which I think they are turing into meeting space.

 

Hyatt Regency - nice downtown location and close to shopping. Was remolded about 18 months ago. Rooms are minimalist in decor for new Hyatt standard. I hope they fixed the showers though. They chose to install the overhead ceiling showers. Lets just say if you wake up with a hangover and turn the water it hits you right in the head without warning. I hope they reworked this design flaw.

 

The Metropolitan - hotel was owned by an Asian based chain at one time. Rooms have a distinctly European/Asian design to them. Moderately priced but has a strange atmosphere when I visited. Lots of airline crews stay there. Could use a remodeling in my opinion.

 

Sheraton Wall Centere - right downtown. Has a minimalist room decor as well. Had nice fancy glass shelves in the washrooms. Looked nice but you could not put your stuff anywhere which is a nightmare for this frequent flyer. Hotel was planning some tweaks for the Olympics.

 

Pacific Palisades Hotel - a Kimpton property. I have a love/hate relationship with Kimpton. They are famous for taking old buildings and repurposing them into hotels or rehab old hotels into new trendy locations. Service levels are clearly lacking at many of their hotels - inconsistent is the word to describe them. Also Kimpton dumps a lot of their inventory on the various hotel web search sites. Don't pay rack if you can find a better rate on the internet. This hotel was an apartment building at one time.

 

I'd call this my short list of options. These are places I've stayed or inspected related to my line of work with the hospitality industry. Usually when i visit I stay at the Pan Pac, Fairmont Waterfront, Hyatt, or Bayshore.

 

Now if its hiring escorts -- I'd strongly recommend Kevin. :9

 

Good luck and I hope this is helpful.

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Guest zipperzone

>Westin Bayshore - recently rehabed a few years ago. Located

>next to Stanley Park and right on the water. Hotel was owned

>by Howard Hughes at one time. Service is good and has a nice

>atmosphere. Get a room with a harbor view if you can.

 

Great location right on the water at Coal Harbor and has a 5 star restaurant "Lift"

 

Close to Stanley Park for after dark cruising (or during the day, for that matter)

 

But..... I don't think Howard Hughes ever owned it. He did stay there for a lengthy period back in the '70s. Rented an entire floor as he was being compulsive about security/privacy. This was the period when he was going nuts - never cut his fingernails and had phobias about germs etc.

 

Another hotel worthy of consideration is the Sylvia (even closer to Stanley Park) - an old Vancouver landmark in the West End and right on English Bay. More funky than fancy but in the heart of the gay area. Prices should be resonable compared to the biggies further down town.

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Lift is one of my favorite restaurnts in Vancouver. Great food, great atmosphere and hot staff both male and female. Reservations are a must and call early because the place books up by mid afternoon especially on weekends.

 

On the HH story I can only cite my source as being the hotel sales department. The director of sales made this claim that Hughes bought it when the managment threatend to evict him. He was pulling that stunt at numerous places he camped out in for several years before he died. As to its veracity I cannot fully attest sales people will say anything to close a sale with a client.

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I've always liked the Sutton. The suites are well appointed and the restaurant is excellent. I also like the bar, which is frequented by actors who are working in Vancouver. It books up quickly since most of the studios use it for housing talent and execs. With the potential for an actor's strike it may not be as busy as usual. Unfortunately on my last visit Justin Timberlake and his entourage were in the suite next to mine and they were quite noisy. Fortunately they checked out after one night. The hotel is downtown and within walking distance to the main shopping street (Robson), several gay bars, walking distance to the gay street Davie, and the harbor. I've stayed at most of the hotels in Vancouver, but always come back to the Sutton, which is nicknamed the Slutton :-) I had many fun evenings with Juan when he lived in Vancouver at the Sutton.:p

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Guest zipperzone

>On the HH story I can only cite my source as being the hotel

>sales department. The director of sales made this claim that

>Hughes bought it when the managment threatend to evict him.

>He was pulling that stunt at numerous places he camped out in

>for several years before he died. As to its veracity I cannot

>fully attest sales people will say anything to close a sale

>with a client.

 

Well it could be true but I highly doubt it. Such a transaction would be sure to be reported in the press and I don't recall ever hearing of it. Sounds like sales dept BS to me.

 

Why would the hotel want to evict him? He occupied a full floor and presumably paid his bill on time. How much better could the hotel have it? Zero vacancy and a minimum of housekeeping as most of the rooms would be unused. They should be so lucky!

 

They played up the publicity of having HH in residence, big time. It was a draw for tourists who liked to brag that they slept under HH.

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The top floor in the Tower where he stayed is no longer one whole suite. I think it's now in two pieces. I stayed in the suite on the water side, overlooking the park, a few years ago. It's quite nice, running across the entire back side of the tower and encompassing windows and -- if I recall correctly -- balconies on the sides as well as the back.

 

The Bayshore is a good hotel. I've stayed there many times. I've also stayed at both Marriotts and have found service and facilities to be just fine. The put me in the Presidential Suite at the Renaissance once while I was there for seven or eight days. That was comfortable and, again, service was just fine.

 

I tend to stay over 125 nights a year in various Marriott-branded hotels around the world. I don't think it's accurate to say that they provide or have earned a reputation for providing poor service. In fact, I think they won whatever that contest is for hotel service this year.

 

I do find, however, that people who complain about service in hotels and airports and in the air tend to be people who I would personally not want to spend much time with. Being nice to those who are trying to help you goes a long way toward ensuring respectful, courteous and prompt service.

 

If someone is looking for a less-expensive hotel for a longer term stay in Vancouver, the Residence Inn (also a Marriott brand) is usually quite a bit cheaper than the other hotels that have been mentioned. I stayed there once and it was ok but nothing special. The restaurant was somewhat better than just ok and probably qualified for "pretty good to good". I think there's also a large suites hotel near Denman Street called something like the Coast Plaza. It has a great location and would be another hotel to consider if looking for something a step below the top tier hotels.

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Great to have you back Boston Guy, read any good books lately? I've always enjoyed your recommendations.

 

My perspective on Marriott comes from my experience inside the hospitality industry. I work with all the major chains Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood and others booking multimillion dollar contracts for various conferences and such.

 

Consequently I've seen many of these chains from the inside out. A number of my colleagues have seen the same issues with particular chains over and over again. Recently Marriott changed many of its procedures for client services and back operations to "maximize efficiencies".

 

There's a reason Marriott has been the most profitable chain of late, there's been of ton of cut backs, staff consolidations, changes in operations and more talk about enhancing client experience while actually making it more difficult to get problems solved. If there's not a sop on it they can't do it, or in other words they'll gladly tell you what they can't do but can't tell you what they can do related to various service issues.

 

Take centralized billing for example, its proven to be a disaster. It took months for me to straighten out an invoice for a conference that was a $1.1 million piece of business. It nearly resulted in litigation but Marriott finally conceded my group was in the right. Its competitors have adopted some of the same structure but none of them have created the mess Marriott has in this area.

 

Further David Marriott was recently kicked upstairs to a new position within the company. Wall Street speculated it was to prepare this young scion for eventual take over from his father as head of company. The real reason was due to the disaster he created in the international sales structure of the company. (See previous about "maximize efficiencies".)

 

The new structure was his baby and it has led to a revolt amongst larger clients about declining services and poorly trained sales people. A new executive has been named for the division with the task of cleaning up the mess and taking the fall for the young heir so he could not be blamed for the issues.

 

Hence for those reasons and more I, and many of my colleagues in the industry, find that Marriott is not the company it was just a few short years ago.

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Thanks! :)

 

An insider's perspective is always different from someone who is not on the inside. I only experience Marriott as a customer. I used to split my time between Starwood and Marriott but decided a few years ago to mainly stick with Marriott. I get more benefits that way.

 

I tend not to run into problems at Marriott hotels. Many of them are hotels that I stay at frequently, so the staff gets to know me and my foibles. That can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes be a bad thing. I'm certain that there are some hotels where they must see me walking in with yet another young man and think ("Not again!!!"). :7

 

But I find the hotels to offer reasonable value (except, perhaps in NYC), good (not extraordinary) facilities and knowledgeable, friendly staffs. I'm pretty friendly with hotel staff, usually, and will often stop to chat for a moment. Perhaps that helps but, honestly, I can't think of the last time that I was annoyed at anything at a Marriott. Except for still closing the concierge lounges at some hotels on weekends.

 

Edit: I stayed at a Marriott in Honolulu last December. I was in that hotel for 5 nights and was disappointed in my experience. I wrote a letter to the manager of the hotel. He wrote back a nice note and sent me a certificate for a free 5-night stay at the hotel, along with a request that I let him know personally when I was coming back so he could make sure everything was ok. So that was one complaint that I did have and I felt Marriott's response, through that hotel manager, was quite good.

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>G'day!

>

>Thanks, men. As usual, you blokes come good. Will follow up on

>your recommendations.

>

>Hotels seem to be my quandary.

>

>ArVaGuy, thanks. Kevin is why I am going to YVR. Can you guess

>the reason for DFW?

>

>All the best. Richard.

 

 

As a reply to your (possibly rhetorical) question --if you are referring to escorts, then my answer to you as a native Dallasite is, "No I can't". The pickings in Dallas have shrunk since 10 years ago when there were literally pages and pages on the escort sites of hunky looking guys. I didn't hire back then--but boy, do I wish I had.

 

Jason who replied to your post is probably the most famous escort left in Dallas aside from Tom Chase--who must get most of his clientele by word of mouth since I never see any current ads for him.

 

And I am going to presume you want a top--since you are meeting Kevin from Vancouver. Well then your choices are slightly larger than mine--who is looking for either a versatile guy or a bottom--but even then not by much.

 

As for hotels, if you don't have a car--then I think the Melrose is the best choice. Downtown Dallas is usually dead at night. The Melrose--even though a little on the shabby side (but still nice) is right in the middle of the gay district--and there are multiple places to eat wihin walking distance.

 

Gman

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Although you asked about hotels, I do not have any recommendations, but I'd like to invite you to check out "Chorch" while you're in Dallas. He's back in the States until November. He'll give you a fantastic and memorable time if you seek his services!

 

When I was in Buenos Aires recently, he and his partner Esteban Leon gave me a fantastic, fantastic highly memorable time. I hope to have a repeat performance when I return to Buenos Aires in 2009. (Check out his/their most recent review at this site!)

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RE: Sutton Place

 

I loved Sutton Place when I visited recently, it's the nicest hotel I'd ever stayed at.

 

BUT, in hindsight they really nickel and dime you. $39/night for parking, $10/day for crappy internet, over $30 for a simple breakfast in the morning, and now I discover they didn't credit me back something they were supposed to *and* that their restaurant double charged me.

 

So I'm a lot less enthusiastic about them all of the sudden...

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RE: Sutton Place

 

>I loved Sutton Place when I visited recently, it's the nicest

>hotel I'd ever stayed at.

>

>BUT, in hindsight they really nickel and dime you. $39/night

>for parking, $10/day for crappy internet, over $30 for a

>simple breakfast in the morning, and now I discover they

>didn't credit me back something they were supposed to *and*

>that their restaurant double charged me.

>

>So I'm a lot less enthusiastic about them all of the

>sudden...

 

Sorry to hear about your problems with the Sutton. So many hotels try and nickel and dime customers. That's why, as you did, it is so important to review the bill before payment. My experience with the Sutton, when there were bill problems, is that they were always willing to make adjustments, and usually provided an upgrade or amenity on a subsequent visit. Granted, at the time I stayed there several times a month for almost 6 years. Before the collapse of the dollar the $39 dollar parking in US dollars was closer to $20. In fact, Canada use to be a bargain. No longer.

 

Not to stereotype, but Canadadian's are pretty straight forward and very polite. So polite sometimes I think they're yanking my chain. I guess I lived in L.A. for too long

:-)

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RE: Sutton Place

 

G'day!

 

Wanted to thank you all again for your help.

 

It will be the Wedgewood in YVR, a place Kevin suggested.

 

And in Dallas, I think the Warwick Melrose as I appreciate the suggestion that downtown Dallas is dead at night. It was also a recommendation of Jason's as well as GMan's.

 

Many thanks. Cheers!

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Guest zipperzone

RE: Sutton Place

 

>G'day!

>

>Wanted to thank you all again for your help.

>

>It will be the Wedgewood in YVR, a place Kevin suggested.

>

>And in Dallas, I think the Warwick Melrose as I appreciate the

>suggestion that downtown Dallas is dead at night. It was also

>a recommendation of Jason's as well as GMan's.

>

>Many thanks. Cheers!

 

Good choice. Don't forget to have dinner in their main dining room, "Bacchus". IMO one of the best in town.

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I just returned from Vancouver, which is a beautiful city, so you should enjoy your stay. Unlike one of the reviewers below, I found the Fairmount Waterside to be wonderful, with great service. It IS pricey though at $350 +. However, I noticed that there are a number of Bed and Breakfast places in the center of the city, some of them with the rainbow flag out front. Vancouver is a major gay center, with Davie Street the ground zero area. Look for b&bs in the West End or Downtown west of Burrard Street.

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