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August 13, 2007
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The front desk staff was helpful with my check-in and check-out processes, and I received a handy free map of Vancouver too. The tour desk is not staffed all the time, but there are little pocket-sized maps and cards of local restaurants and museums. You will need to use your key card to operate the elevators, a safety concept at many hotels nowadays.
The rooms are like large studio apartments, so each spacious living area contains the bed, a sofa with fold-out queen bed, work desk and coffee table, and a kitchenette. The latter is loaded with a microwave (the first bag of popcorn is free); small, empty refrigerator (not a fully-stocked mini-bar); sink; dishwasher; stove; coffeemaker; toaster; and utensils. The queen bed is next to a totally vacant area that could have easily accommodated a second queen bed, and it is shocking to see such unused space in your typical hotel room (it is a great spot for using the in-room iron and ironing board). As with many moderate properties, the bedboard is merely cosmetically applied to the wall and is not attached to the bedframe. The TV seemed to have a zillion stations on it, and the standard bathroom with hairdryer was fine. The large bank of windows supplied a nice view facing west, and two of them could be slid open for natural ventilation. Some rooms have a balcony.
One of the benefits of a Residence Inn is the complimentary breakfast buffet, served on the second level. The dining lounge was jammed with package tourists (many tour buses stop here), so you were elbow-to-elbow while gathering your selection of pastries, fruit, bagels, cereal, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, and beverages. Most Residence Inns have a waffle iron where you can make your own waffle, but the crowds are so rampant here that they have pre-made waffles that you can toast. The lounge fills up, so grab a table when you can. Staff members are very efficient in clearing off the tables. On most weeknights there is also a free cocktail hour. The second level also contains an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, workout room, coin-operated laundry machines, and an outdoor patio for gatherings or summer barbeques.
The property has parking on the premises. Hornby Street may seem a bit lonely, but, if you need a taxi, there is always one or two driving around, day or night. The standard room rates here are not cheap, but if you get a good deal or have a family who can fill up the room, the Residence Inn is a worthwhile place to stay.
From journal Bill in Canada - VANCOUVER