Hotel Online Special Report

Entirely Innovative and  Ultra-Contemporary 
"The Westin Grand in Vancouver", B.C. - Opens 
Under GM Victoria Edwards
VANCOUVER, B.C., April 12 -  The Westin Grand in Vancouver, B.C., a $46-million, newly-built, all-suite hotel, opened April 1, 1999 in Vancouver's downtown entertainment district. Built for business and leisure travellers who are looking for a non-traditional hotel experience, the upscale, Westin Grand is designed to be hip and ultra-contemporary -- an attraction itself. Home, the hotel's bar designed by one of L.A.'s top new designers, is positioned to be the hottest in the city and Aria, the hotel's restaurant and lounge will feature international cuisine by renowned chef David Griffiths.

"The Westin Grand Vancouver will be a showcase product," said Victoria Edwards, general manager, The Westin Grand, Vancouver.

"It is different from traditional hotels in so many ways -- from the 110 recently-hired staff we hand-picked and trained, to the urban interior design and creative use of space. We are confident it will be a success in Vancouver." As a new player in the Vancouver community, The Westin Grand is supporting Vancouver's Arts Umbrella by raising and donating $20,000 in 1999 making Arts Umbrella's Head Start, Art Start outreach program possible. This program brings visual and performing arts to pre-school children in Vancouver's lowest-income neighbourhoods.

Although hotel demand in Vancouver is relatively flat and there has been a considerable growth in supply, The Westin Grand is confident it will carve a strong niche among the growing market of young world-conquering professionals. Predominantly an independent traveller hotel, The Westin Grand also has six meeting rooms with the largest accommodating 100 people. The hotel is on Vancouver's famous Robson Street in the heart of the entertainment district, across from the Vancouver Public Library and is walking distance from the shopping and financial districts. The hotel has 207 suites on 26 floors; each with a fully-equipped executive kitchenette, two televisions, living room in the deluxe and superior suites, luxury soaker tubs, two phone lines, in-room safe, a cordless phone, speaker phone, and dataports. A landscaped outdoor garden with lap pool and whirlpool/hot tub is also available, plus a fitness centre, and business centre with secretarial support. Westin's Guest Office(R) suites are designed for business travellers and feature a laser printer, fax and photocopy capability, business amenities, an ergonomically-designed desk chair, and special task lamps.

The hotel is entirely innovative:


The hotel features minimalist decor.  The image is stylish, contemporary, angular, and warm.  The furniture in the hotel is funky with such choices askidney-shaped banquettes with high backs in the restaurant Aria, and chairs in sculptural forms.

"The hotel's design can be compared to Armani fashion designs," said Jay Brook, senior interior designer at Robert H. Ledingham Inc. who was instrumental in the hotel's interior design. "The Westin Grand is simple, intelligent, cool and classic."


The Westin Grand is very proud of its new service concept named "Service Surround" which is taking Westin's Service Express(R) to the next level. Service Express puts the guest in control of their stay by making all services available by reaching staff through one button on their phone.  Service Surround at the Westin Grand is taking the same concept to the floor.  The hotel has cross-trained its front-line staff enabling them to recognize guests' needs and making it possible for them to take care of requirements quickly.  Staff are wired with radios hidden under their uniforms allowing them to be called into action at any time to service any guest need, and to update supervisors on their activities.

"We have designed our guest service structure to enable our employees to provide any service to any guest at any time," said Victoria Edwards, general manager, The Westin Grand Vancouver. "It's a great system; it will keep our staff empowered and motivated and will provide the services our research shows our target market wants."


The building itself is in the shape of a grand piano which complements the amphitheater-shaped library it faces, and maximizes the number of guestrooms with views of False Creek, Library Square, Burrard Inlet, English Bay and the city.


HOME is designed to be the swankiest after-work lounge and nightclub in Vancouver.  Designed by renowned L.A. designer Dodd Mitchell, the bar is unconventional, yet stylish and modern.  In the bar, Dodd is mixing the natural elements of rock, wood, water and fire in his trademark eco-friendly design, using a strictly minimalist style.  The bar opens in June 1999.

The Westin Grand Vancouver is designed for the tourist who wants to be in the centre of the action and the business traveller wanting to work hard, and play harder. The hotel is managed by CHIP Hospitality, a newly formed subsidiary of Canadian Hotel Income Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CHIP REIT), with Westin providing sales and marketing support through a franchise agreement. CHIP REIT is a publicly traded company on the TSE, based in Vancouver. CHIP REIT also manages The Westin Resort, Whistler opening in December 1999. Both properties are operated by O'Neill Hotels Resorts, a privately held Vancouver based
company. Westin Hotels Resorts, with more than 105 properties in 23 countries, is owned by Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood, through its St. Regis/Luxury Collection, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, W and Caesars subsidiaries, is one of the leading hotel and gaming operating companies in the world with more than 712 hotels in 72 countries and 125,000 employees.

Sandra Merkin 
of Westin Hotels Resorts, 
206-443-5058; or 
Marilotte Bloeman of National PR, 
604-684-6655, for Westin
Also See: Westin Century Plaza Creates Ronald Reagan Suite - 8,000-sq ft Suite Occupies Entire 30th Floor / Jan 1999 
Westin and Tishman Announce Plans for an 860-Room Hotel in Times Square / Dec 1998 

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