With signature boutique charm, I admire a London style cab emblazoned with the hotel’s namesake logo neatly parked outside the hotel. On quiet Melville Street, the Loden hotel is seemingly tucked away. Yet, once inside it’s difficult to overlook the panache of the lobby – inviting, with an air of lightness, punctuated with mirrored glass and splashes of gold. My 800 square foot Aura suite high atop the 12th floor, is glamour personified. From here I can see the green rooftops and glass buildings that surround Coal Harbour. Befitting its name, large gemstone quartz and amethyst crystals are everywhere including inside a serving bowl, and in the dressing room. The suite is so spacious that it feels more like a chic penthouse. I spend late afternoons at the six-person dining area, indulging in more than a few cups of warm Nespresso. Adjacent, in my ‘living room’, a Nintendo Wii rockband set ensures guests feel like rock stars. In the bathroom with waterfall shower, dark wood detail offsets Emperador marble. After my long drive from Chase, I await my masseuse, who picks me up at my room (a nice touch) to head to the second floor spa. My masseuse Adrena uses a variety of techniques to loosen my car sore muscles. The spa, business and Befit studio fitness centre (well equipped and large) are all located on the garden terrace level and have enviable views of the rooftop patio and garden. To tour the city like a local and remain eco-friendly the Loden loans bicycles to guests (on a first come first served basis) – making riding to the nearby sea wall easy. Gourmands will appreciate the cups of Nespresso and other refreshments available in the lobby throughout the day. This is a luxurious yet down to earth hotel.
1177 Melville Street Vancouver,
DINE TABLEAU BISTRO BAR
Dark hard wood floors and a royal blue and gold colour palette recall Lyonnais cuisine with touches of West coast flair. The one year old restaurant declares it is a bistro from the tufted leather seats all the way down to the daily specials written on black chalkboard. Gazing at the open shutter style windows, it’s easy to imagine that you are dining in France. Executive chef Marc-André Choquette formerly of Lumière and
Sooke Harbour House defines his cooking philosophy here as, “seasonal, we use local West Coast ingredients. We try to do everything from the ground up. Every day we force ourselves to come up with something different.” For dinner, I try the ‘mushrooms on brioche toast’: velvety and lush wild mushrooms are made even more decadent with the addition of chili, garlic, Madeira, cream and padano cheese. My foie gras terrine is unctuous. All of the buttery silken textures melt away all too soon. Continuing with seasonal ingredients, I finish my meal with the rhubarb cake with house made ice cream. Tableau is effortless, streamlined French bistro fare, perfected. A simple breakfast is also available (try the delicious house made pastries).
1181 Melville Street,
Read more in the Fall 2012 issue of City Style and Living Magazine