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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Rosewood Hotel Georgia - Luxury in Vancouver

Like most people I like a nice hotel and I'm happy to report I loved the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver - where we  spent three nights in February. I was particularly happy that we enjoyed the hotel as this was my first stay at one of Rosewood's properties and based on the extraordinary service I'll certainly be seeking them out again.

The Hotel Georgia is located in downtown Vancouver across from the Vancouver Art Museum - a beautiful classical building we could see  from our room window. It's a good location for a first time visitor, though I wouldn't recommend February as the best month to visit. It was almost entirely grey throughout the  time we were there! Thankfully the hotel proved a suitable antidote to the weather. 
When we arrived I ordered a small plate which was beautifully presented by room service. At every turn the staff exceeded my expectations which is  astonishing given that I can be a demanding customer. The Head Concierge Matthew Wu talked me through various dining options before we checked in and the other concierges went out of their way to be helpful. Housekeeping did what they're supposed to do, gliding in and out of the room when we weren't there and leaving small gifts on our pillow at night, including a charming heart shaped macaron for Valentines Day!
The bathroom was spacious and luxurious with a separate bath and shower and a heated stone floor.
I greatly appreciated that there was tea and coffee in the room and they were happy to provide fresh milk on request. When you drink as much tea as I do this really matters! One of my pet peeves about hotels is that they generally provide only one luggage rack and the first thing I do when I arrive is call down for one more, or ask the Bellman to sort it out. I didn't have to do this at the Rosewood because they get it - there are two luggage racks in each room, not to mention plenty of wardrobe space, which you can see on the right below. 

And so it went, over and over I looked for something and there it was; a magazine, a separate bath and shower, bath salts and postcards to send to my mother, etc. This is a well thought out luxury hotel run to the highest standard. As you can see our Deluxe room had lts of space and light.
The facilities at the hotel were great, there's a lovely spa and a gorgeous indoor pool which was fabulous right up until five very noisy kids and their parents showed up, but I can't hold  the bad manners of the guests against the hotel. 
We had breakfast every morning in Hawksworth , above. I recommend booking  through Amex Platinum (Fine Hotels and Resorts) or a Virtuoso travel agent like Whatahotel.com, in order to get both a $100 credit and  breakfast included daily. The breakfast was very lavish - just what you'd expect if a high end restaurant produced your breakfast every morning, delicious.
They have several bars including a basement "speakeasy" with live music which was rather glam and lots of space to relax in the lobby. Another feature which they don't seem to advertise is the complimentary use of the hotel car (including a Bentley) within the downtown area. We used a car to take us to dinner one evening and they took the white Bentley to drop us at Stanley Park which was fun, see below. We even managed to walk back to the hotel before the next rain storm set in. It's these kinds of small "extras" that really distinguish a hotel like this, once again we were impressed. Though I have to say the backseat of the Bentley reminded me of traveling in two First Class  seats from the 1970s - not sure if anyone remembers but they often had  a huge console between them!
Overall I'd give the hotel the highest marks for the facilities, the staff and consistent service. After we left I got the usual generic request for feedback and I filled it out because it's nice to say something when you have something good to say - I can be a demanding customer so this isn't always the case!  However, what was unusual is that I received a follow up email from the General Manager. Rather than the generic thank you I  expected, it was a sincere note responding directly to my comments. Clearly this place is well run right from the top - and it has my highest recommendation.

Comments

Kavey said…
A hotel that is consistently excellent not just in its physical attributes but in service and extra touches really is a thing to applaud, not many get it right across the board.
Thanks Kavey, I agree it's rare to find. I'm curious too whether this is consistent across the brand or just this hotel, clearly I need to stay in some more Rosewood properties !
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