What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “airport hotel”? Usually, I think: boring, corporate, nothing around, noisy, and just plain ew. It always seemed to me like they’re just a popular destination for those who are travelling for business or who are only looking for something convenient while they spend one night in a city. Well, I made a pretty lame assumption, and figured that out quite quickly, when I travelled to Vancouver and stayed at a hotel right by the airport! Spoiler alert, I actually loved it.
First off, the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel is close to the airport, obviously. But it’s also close to so many other things in a bustling area in Richmond, not far from the Olympic Oval, Golden Village and Minoru Park. And it’s so easy to get around the area, including a quick hop onto the sky train to head right into downtown Vancouver within just 25 minutes.
I opted for a stay in the executive suite, which was the perfect space for me to get a bit of work done while on the go (because, why shut off right?!). With a big balcony, a living area and a separate bedroom, it felt like I was right at home – rather than in a stuffy hotel room. The hotel also features a great fitness zone and an outdoor pool for the summer with a hot tub. Other features include use of their boardrooms, which are well-equipped for the business traveller. But their event space options are next level, and actually a large part of their business!
So, I mentioned the surrounding area actually not being in the middle of nowhere like a lot of other airport hotels I’ve visited before. Well, this one is right across the street from the CF Richmond Centre Shopping Mall, which I visited in an attempt to stuff my suitcase full of more clothing (because priorities, right?). Well, attempt succeeded.
The Vancouver Marriott Airport Hotel is also located on a strip with a lot of different local restaurants, but the one that stands out the most is the one in the hotel itself! The American Grille is well-known by locals in the area as a hot spot to grab a quality and tasty meal. It’s a unique venue marked by the two elephant statues out front – who have a special story of their own, called “Peace, Hope and Love” written on a placard between them, created by a local young student from Westwind Elementary.
It’s all of the personal touches that really make this such a unique property amidst the standard airport hotels that I’ve visited before. With the surrounding area being so vibrant, the accessibility to the airport and to downtown, as well as the food and abundant amenities – what more could you want really in a hotel? On top of all of this, the staff was so wonderful and helpful. You can really feel the sense of family and friendship between them and it truly shows in their work. I can’t wait to head back as soon as possible!
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Catherine Sugrue, CNP
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Photos by Catherine Sugrue