Checking In: Parq and Play
Game On! That was the predominant vibe in and around the JW Marriott hotel a couple of hours before the Vancouver Whitecaps kicked off against Los Angeles FC right next door at BC Place.
The match would be the first to be played with fans in attendance in 539 days, and the lobby was buzzing with blue and white-attired supporters as we checked in for a staycation night at Parq, which opened in 2017 and bills itself as ‘Vancouver’s premier entertainment destination.’
The property includes two hotels, a two-level casino, a large outdoor park, a full-service spa and a number of restaurants and bars. That in itself makes it a bit of a one-stop staycation location, but its proximity to both BC Place and Rogers Arena also make Parq an ideal base of operations for taking in one of the city’s three professional teams. That was our plan, and clearly we weren’t the only ones who were keen to catch a Whitecaps game and spend overnight downtown.
As mentioned, we stayed at the JW Marriott, which is located at the south end of the Parq complex, and as such many of its guest rooms offer great water views overlooking False Creek and Olympic Village. At the other end is The Douglas, with equally impressive city and mountain views. However, it is closed until early 2022. The scenery out the floor-to-ceiling guest rooms isn’t the only thing that differentiates the two hotels: the JW Marriott features a cool, luxurious and contemporary colour palette, while The Douglas is all rich earth tones and back-to-nature aesthetics. Even if you don’t stay at The Douglas you have to check out its lobby and the giant, horizontal Douglas Fir that serves as the check-in counter.