A few days ago, we were invited to the Grand Opening of Residence Inn by the Marriott Vancouver Downtown and SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts. Located at 1234 Hornby Street, the hotel has undergone a $25 million transformation and now boasts 201 suites, with rooms going up to over 800 sq ft (Sigh, that's bigger than my condo!). All the rooms have a full kitchen, including a dishwasher (who wants to do dishes while on vacation!?), WiFi and great work stations. They even offer grocery delivery services! This is the amazing lobby nice street view as well as workstations for your use. It's nice when the "business centre" isn't tucked away on a secluded floor. It's bad enough to have to work on your vacation, but even worse when you feel like you're being sequestered. Here is a view of Cavino, it's a coffee bar by day and a wine bar at night. This concept is quite popular amongst hotels now, and rightly so. The space is there, so you might as well make the best of it, right? This is the King Suite we visited on our tour. Featuring a king bed, a working station and a large patio, it's easy to imagine yourself calling this place home away from home. And as mentioned before, here is the fully equipped kitchen, available in the Penthouse Suite on the 22nd floor. The suite takes up the entire floor and boasts two patios. Now I can see why their tagline is: It's not a room, It's a Residence. Catering for the night was supplied by SilverBirch's restaurant, the Fish House in Stanley Park. The spread was impressive! There was lots of seafood on the tables, like these gigantic crab legs! I wanted to, but just didn't see how I could delicately wrestle the shells while holding a glass of zinfandel. But not to fear, there were lots of other one-handed items available too! The oysters were amazing, and it took a lot of self-restraint to not just park myself here all night, slurping and sipping away. Looking to my left, I saw beautifully displayed sushi ranging from Tai, Tuna, Tako, Uni, Salmon and some Ebi nigiri pieces too. I loved the presentation and the little decoration of the sushi to make them stand out a little, those little details just make such a difference. Oh, and there's more! Ebi popular choice here, and salmon with the little ponzu caviar was lovely too. What I really like was the way the Surf Clam (Hokkigai;北寄貝) was presented. Most places half this and place it atop the sushi rice. This was different, they butterflied the clam and used it to envelope the rice. So great!
Attention was paid to every detail, even the pretty wasabi! (Note: It was nice that they served the sushi with wasabi and soy, but they forgot to put out little saucers to actually mix the two together).
In addition to the seafood buffet, there were lots of cooked food as well. One thing I gravitated to was a lovely container of Lamp Lollipops. There were a touch well done for my taste, but to be expected in a buffet setting.
Another staple at buffets is the Pork Gyoza...and these were a good rendition on a classic. The skin was nicely fried to a light sear and the pork filling was aplenty. The sauce was a little tangy and made the dish even better.
There were also an abundance of fruits and cheeses on offer, this being one of three different platters.
They also had some signature cocktails, with cute names such as Check in and Check out. I went for the first one, since I prefer vodka over Havana Club.
And then, onto the desserts! There were freshly made smores! These looked amazing and from comments of those who actually sampled these, they were as decadent as they appeared.
These little white chocolate popsicles were fun and paired well with the fresh berries. The crunchy bits on top were a fun touch too!
More sweets to tempt you with! Strawberry Mousse and some mini Lemon Tarts! I resisted the mousse but fell for the lemony goodness....loved it! Perfect mixture of tart and sweet.
Although I didn't try this cake, I couldn't resist taking a picture of it, for some reason, I reminded me of a hotel bed...doesn't it? And lastly, there is a gorgeous outdoor terrace. Although the hotel is in the heart of downtown, you'd never know it sitting in this outdoor oasis.