Review: The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, British Columbia, Canada
The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel is the Vancouver Hotel for Marriott Loyalists. It offers a business traveller oriented experience, with amenties such as a concierge lounge, a reasonable location that is well situated to many of Vancouver’s attractions and beautiful Harbour Views. Read on to see how our stay was and whether the Marriott experience delivered.
Hotel Review: The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, British Columbia, Canada
“A Hotel for Marriott Business Traveler Loyalists in Every Way; accented with Harbour Views, an Executive Lounge and Nearby Chain Restaurants making for a convenient stay”
There are several Marriott Hotels in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. If you’re looking for another Vancouver property, please see our reviews of the JW Marriott Parq, The Sheraton Wall Centre and the Westin Bayshore.
Planning and Getting There:
Our travel plans over the Christmas holiday season had us in Vancouver Downtown for a view events. Unfortunately, the events were cancelled as a result of the Omicron Variant virus of COVID 19 that was spreading throughout the continent. With reasonably good health, and having previously travelled during the pandemic, we decided to keep our hotel room to have a little stay – cation, despite our event being cancelled.
On the Marriott Website, I booked a One King Bed City View Room for $198.99 CAD ($156 USD). The room rates in Vancouver vary tremendously in normal times. They can range from a low of approximately $150 USD, all the way up to $500 USD dependent if you hit cruise ship season.
The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel is a Marriott Bonvoy Category 6, meaning that rooms are approximately between 40,000 – 60,000 a night under variable pricing, with 50,000 pints a night as standard. If you value Marriott Bonvoy points at $0.005 a point, you’d have to spend more than $250 USD to come out ahead for a 50,000 point redemption. In the summer, this might represent a better value when the room rates climb beyond $300 USD per night or perhaps if you’ve visiting Vancouver on a cruise ship Friday or Saturday night when hotel inventory in Vancouver completely sells out thanks to those Alaskan cruise ship travellers. However, if you’re visiting in the off season, you’re much better paying cash. As a result, we ended up paying cash for our visit.
Arriving to the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle:
1128 West Hastings Street,Vancouver Canada British Columbia V6E 4R5
The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel is reasonably well situated in Coal Harbour in Downtown Vancouver. It is located two blocks inwards from the water at Coal Harbour, meaning that many of the hotel views are of the “peek a boo” variety.
The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel is among the furthest away of the Marriott properties in Vancouver by distance from the Vancouver International Airport. If you’re coming to this location with a lot of luggage, a car transfer from airport to hotel is probably your best option. It’s possible to take the Skytrain from Vancouver Airport to Waterfront Station and walk 5 blocks (10 minutes) to the hotel. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this unless it was fair weather outside, and you were travelling light.
In our case as local Vancouver residents, we self drove to the hotel. We self parked in the attached and directly under the hotel underground. The hotel parking is below level P3, with the first levels for commercial hourly self parkers.
Self parking a car at this property requires you to fiddle with a parking meter. I entered “Hotel Check In” on the parking meter. That allowed us a limited 10 minutes of free parking. I regularly visit this particular underground parking garage even when I don’t stay at this property, since the parking rates are coded to earn 5 points per dollar on my American Express Bonvoy Credit Card similar to if I were staying at a Marriott Bonvoy hotel. It is also worth mentioning that the parking administration company “Diamond Parking Services” is quite aggressive in monitoring the parking, so I would make sure that you return within your prescribed time or otherwise expect a ticket.
Checking into the Marriott:
We self navigated ourselves up to the ground floor of the hotel. The lobby is what I would describe as functional. It offered a high ceiling with some convention space on the third floors, in addition to a small seating area towards the back of the lobby with the parking elevators. Being the holiday season, the lobby was well decorated making things quite festive.
We went to the front desk and started the check in process. As a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium level member, the terms and conditions of the program allow you to gain access to a better room “We’ll do our best to upgrade your room (including Select Suites), based on availability upon arrival. Upgrades are subject to availability identified by each hotel and limited to your personal guest room”.
I asked at the front desk for the possibility of a suite upgrade and was given a flat out “no – they’re all sold out” response, without even a check of the computer. I was given the “well we’ve already upgraded you to a harbour view room” comment. We would end up being upgraded into a One King Bed Harbour View Room Above Floor 19, a room which was retailing for $500 CAD ($392 USD) on the night of our stay. While this was a reasonable upgrade in terms of available inventory, there’s nothing like a bit of a sour start to the stay when you happen to know there is quite a bit of suite inventory, and it’s not being made available; even if the hotel doesn’t offer all categories of suites available to it’s elite members.
In complete fairness to the hotel, I haven’t been upgraded with Marriott Bonvoy as much as I used to with the Starwood Preferred Guest program. The only hotel that I’ve been consistently upgraded to a suite as a Marriott Platinum as been the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. Most of my room category upgrades have been to an enhanced room within the same room category or slightly larger.
I finished the check in process and selected points as the Marriott Bonvoy welcome amenity. I was explained that the Executive Concierge Lounge was open, although it was offering limited service. I was also given several vouchers for breakfast and complimentary appetizers to be enjoyed in the ground floor lobby Showcase Restaurant.
It’s worth noting that the property was quite generous in terms of offering a full hot breakfast and hot snacks with it’s vouchers. This isn’t always something that I’ve experienced at other Marriott properties in North America.
Lastly, we were offered a 4 PM late check out per the Terms and Conditions of the Marriott Bonvoy program, consistent with a Titanium elite level.
The Room: One King Bed, Harbour View.
Separate Shower and Suite, 19th floor and above. A Panoramic Suite
We navigated ourselves up to a One King Bed Harbour View Room #2220. The hotel has only a eighteen rooms per floor in a tower configuration. Some of these rooms offer ocean harbour views where as some offer city views of other towers in the business district.
The first thing that you notice getting into the room is the magnificant harbour view. On our room on the twenty second floor, it is quite impressive and striking. Large windows that are almost floor to ceiling capture the space quite nicely.
The hotel was built in 2000 with the rooms last renovated in 2009. In line with this, the rest of the room is the usual Marriott space; a room with reds and orange earth tones. While this is a pretty typical colour scheme throughout Marriott properties, I find that the colours are looking quite dated and older. The room featured a comfortable king bed, along with two Marriott red relaxing chairs.
A television and desk rounded out the room. The desk was not super spacious, although it did provide a place to charge phones and devices.
The room was pretty compact at 300 – 350 sq feet. It would have felt much smaller without the large windows. Generally, I find a room of this size to be fine for one business traveller, but when you add another person, it does get a little crowded quite quickly.
The room featured a Keurig Coffee Maker, along with several caffinated and decaffinated coffee pods.
The room did feature a renovated bathroom. The bathroom was in more modern greys and tones. Consistent with a smaller room, it featured a single vanity sink. The bathroom featured a stand up shower that was also fairly tight on space, and a separate bathtub consistent with the configurations of a hotel from the twenty first century era.
The bathroom toiletries were the “thisworks” brand; a brand that I’ve never seen anywhere else other than inside a Marriott hotel.
The best part of the room was the view from the twenty second floor of the harbour. The views were of a peek a boo variety through the residential towers and looking North towards the North Shore Mountains.
Features of the Hotel:
The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Resort offers a concierge club that is available to Concerige Lounge Access level rooms or Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador level members. It is located on the twenty fifth floor on the harbour side of the buildling.
The lounge wasn’t attended to by a reception while we were there. We gained access through a key card at the door. For some reason, the lounge was not accessible twenty four hours, with key card access being shut off during non “access hours”. Access was limited to a restrictive 7 AM – 10 PM on weekdays and 7 AM to 7 PM on weekends.
Inside the Concerige Lounge, the space held seating for approximately 30 -50 people depending on room configuration. The space had great harbour views like our room.
I would imagine that this space would get quite crowded during regular travelling time as it wasn’t too spacious.
With most of the food and beverage being oriented towards the Showcase restaurant, there wasn’t much in the way of food available in the lounge. There were coffee machines, some small snacks in the form of fruit and Kashii bars and available bottled water.
We would end up only visiting this space once during our visit, thanks to the lack of food and limited operating hours.
Showcase Restaurant and Bar:
In lieu of a proper lounge experience, our stay offered complimentary range of appetizers at the hotel’s Showcase Restaurant. This restaurant is always fairly well occupied, despite there being a really good Cactus Club Upscale Casual Dining Restaurant and Tap And Barrel Pub located just two blocks away just north of the hotel at Jack Poole Plaza.
The Showcase Restaurant anchored the lobby in a high ceiling space that occupies the entire front of the hotel.
The hotel was generous in its offering of “concierge appetizers” and allowed guests to pick one hot / cold appetizer from the menu.
For those that are interested, the street pricing for the Concierge Appetizers were pretty standard hotel pricing.
Showcase also offered a regular menu for it’s in hotel dining. It wasn’t anything spectacular or regional, aside from the Sockeye Salmon which doesn’t often feature unless you’re situated on the coast.
There was also an elaborate drink list, with many cocktails available and a decent selection of wine available by the glass.
I ended up ordering the Concierge Appetizer Soy Ginger Chicken Wings. I have to give the hotel credit for this. Although the wings took about twenty minutes to come out at a 5 PM order time, they were a massive portion and much more than I was expecting. There were also pretty tasty.
Nearby the Hotel Property:
Tableau Bar and Bistro:
Although our Marriott Titanium status offered an included breakfast at the Showcase Restaurant and Bar, we ended up taking breakfast off site at the nearby independent Tableau Bar and Bistro adjacent to the Loden Hotel. The Tableau Bar and Bistro is among the nicest spots for breakfast in the city. It’s located only 4 minutes walk away from the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel and is easily bookable on Open Table.
We enjoyed a really decent croque madame with ham mornay sauce, gruyere cheese and a salmon eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce and russet potatoes.
It was an exceptionally brunch and I would easily return to Tableau Bar and Bistro as one of my favourite breakfast spots in Vancouver.
We ended up checking out of the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel along with our 4 PM check out. A few days after the stay, I received an automated survey from Marriott. I completed my comments about the lack of suite upgrade, despite asking for it. I was contacted by hotel management a few days later and was offered an appropriate resolution. I have to give the hotel some credit for attempting to make things right in this case, even if we didn’t get a full suite upgrade for our stay.
My Thoughts on the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel:
The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle is a pretty straight forward Marriott hotel that’s a no nonsense experience geared towards business travellers. It offers a traditional Marriott stay in a hotel that offers a well stocked bar, a concierge lounge and a reasonable location within Vancouver that is convenient to several decent restaurants. On the downside, the rooms are pretty compact for two travellers and they are starting to look quite dated in decor. Between the other properties in the system, I personally prefer the Westin Bayshore, the Sheraton Wall Centre or the more upscale JW Marriott Parq, as an alternative place to stay. While it isn’t the most aspirational property out there, it may completely fit your needs for a stay in Vancouver.