OPUS opened in 2002 in Vancouver’s funky Yaletown district, just across the street from the Canada Line station to the airport (25 minutes door to door). Although it’s surrounded by some of the city’s best bars, restaurants, and boutiques, the seawall—with its joggers, in-line skaters, and strolling couples—is only a block away. Independently owned, OPUS is a genuine boutique hotel, with a modern glass-and-brick exterior and a decidedly sexy interior. The bathrooms—with their perfect-for-voyeurs windows and huge soaker tubs—cheekily face the front of the hotel; the lighting is subtle; and the color palate, from the lobby through to the rooms and even the elevators, shimmers with hot jewel-box shades. All suites and rooms got a full refresh in 2014, with bold color schemes that match one of five different "room muses." The hotel is packed with high-tech toys such as in-room iPads and Galaxy cell phones (which can also be taken off the premises) and complimentary PressReader app access (2,300 newspapers in 55 languages), along with a raft of freebies, from arrival drinks and free Wi-Fi to complimentary town car service.
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OPUS is in Yaletown, which blends historic 19th-century red-brick warehouses with shining glass-and-steel residential high-rises. Home to Vancouver’s most fashion-conscious residents and their pocket-sized pet dogs, the streets teem with galleries, restaurants, cocktail bars, and designer stores. Like most of downtown Vancouver, being in the heart of the city also means being a stone’s throw from the water. Guests can ride the Aquabus to nearby Granville Island, or cruise False Creek and admire the gleaming architecture with its mountain backdrop. In a neighborhood full of cool restaurants, one of the more unusual is Minami; it's an aburi sushi joint, which means the chef torches the fish and rice with a charcoal flame.
Need to Know
Rooms: 85 rooms, 11 suites; from $220. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch (the Kaiserschmarrn pancakes with pine nuts, cream, and house-made jam are a must-try), La Pentola serves a menu of classic northern Italian–inspired cuisine. The restaurant offers a popular alla famiglia style of shared dining: seven or ten courses comprised of the day’s freshest catch accompanied by seasonal produce. Local chain Caffe Artigiano has a small branch next to the lobby; their lemon-ricotta muffins are rightly legendary. The OPUS Bar was refurbished in October 2014 and serves an extensive selection of local and international wines and beers, with cocktails that change to reflect the season. The featured bottled cocktails are especially tempting. Spa and gym details: There is no spa, but in-room treatments can be arranged. The gym is open 24 hours with cardio, weights machines, and free weights, plus fresh fruit to snack on.
Who's it for: Savvy business travelers seeking something unique; romantic getaways; group and solo travelers who want to connect with an independent neighborhood. Our favorite rooms: The OPUS Signature Suites have deep soaker tubs, fireplaces, and love seats. The rooms on the seventh floor all have Juliet balconies. Pedal power: Guests should book one of the complimentary full-suspension mountain bikes and join the locals cycling along the seawall.