Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver

I love staycations. This becomes especially appealing when work consumes my life and it has been difficult for me to leave the city for a while. So just a night or a weekend "away", sleeping on a thousand fluffy pillows, and order room service, is a great way to relax. 

This time we chose Pan Pacific Hotel located in Coal Harbour, Vancouver.

I'm going to be very fair and honest about my review, so I'll write about both the good and the bad, from start to end. 

I called the hotel at around noon asking if our room was ready because we'd love to check in earlier if we could (since the check in time listed is at 4pm). I assumed they were very busy, so the staff waved me off by telling me quickly that I can go in whenever to check with the front desk. She hung up before I could tell her my name, for her to ACTUALLY check if my room was ready. 

Oh well, that actually didn't bother me at all. I was still excited about our little getaway so we packed our bags and decided to try our luck at the front desk as told.

We arrived around 2pm. They were in fact quite busy with a couple families in front of us. When it was our turn, we were told that our room won't be ready until 4pm, which was completely understandable and fair because that was undeniably our supposed time. And the service at the check in counter was great so we had nothing to complain about. 

We waited until 4pm when I excitedly went to the front desk again, trying to check in. But our room was still unavailable. 

It wasn't until 20 minutes after 4pm that we finally got our room.

Our room was nice. I liked the grey and white color combo and I especially like a bed with fluffy big pillows ! We also have a great view of the water and the harbour. 

However, we were soon to find that many of the amenities in the room were either broken or out-dated.

There were water on the "amenity table". This could be just me, but I personally couldn't bring myself to pay $8 for a bottle of water. And I felt that for such a high-end hotel, it should either offer complimentary water, or not hang the price tag like that - the big font of the price was a little tasteless for my liking. But again, just me.

So I decided to use the water boiler provided but it wasn't turning on at all, and I know how to use that particular water boiler because we use the exact same one at work. 

Our washroom was okay - standard but I would be happier with a double sink. The toiletries are from Spa Utopia, which I like !

The bed was very comfortable but the TV was SO OUTDATED that I literally had to sit up straight and move myself closer to the TV, and point the remote DIRECTLY at the TV, and press the buttons a couple times for it to sensor and change channel EVERY SINGLE TIME.

There was an iPhone dock on the night stand, but the charging port was the old long, horizontal type, that was for iphone FOUR :(

Pan Pacific also does not offer free wifi and its internet service was rather expensive. My cellular data was also extremely slow in our room due to poor reception. So that was a difficult night for me, staring at loading pages and pending messages : (

Then at around dinner time, we decided to order room service. I was connected with the room service staff but we could barely hear each other even with the volume turned to max. After a couple frustrating exchanges, the staff told me there was a problem with the hand held phone and asked me to put him on speaker instead. The method worked. So it seemed to be that this had been a familiar problem but no one cared to fix ?

All these electronic failures just screams OUT-DATED. I truly believe Pan Pacific, with an image of a luxurious hotel, really shouldn't be so behind on all these essentials, or at least fix broken things !

Our dinner arrived and the food was decent. It wasn't impressive but I could say that it wasn't bad for room service. 

Then it was bed time and we turned on air conditioning because it got a little cold in the room. We were expecting a reasonable noise level from the machine, but NOOoooooo, the air con was SO LOUD. It was like an old machine grinding vigorously trying to make its parts work. I am not a light sleeper and I grew up in Singapore so I am very used to sleeping with the sound of air conditioners. But this air con was non-exaggeratedly loud. It took us a while to get used to the noise.

Before I move on to more unpleasant things, I'll mention some of the goods. It was wonderful that Pan Pacific is a dog friendly hotel because I wouldn't leave my fluffy one alone at home for the night. This fur ball certainly didn't mind the air con noise and made herself very comfy. 

BUT, I've stayed at countless dog friendly hotels before, and most of them provided complimentary dog bed or at least a water bowl for the room. Pan Pacific had none. I would think that would be something really sweet for them to include for guests with pets, not much of an added cost too ! 

The next morning we ordered room service for breakfast again. We had two breakfast combos and a french toast for dessert. The french toast didn't arrive but was charged to our bill. I had to call the Front Desk with the half broken phone again to have them cancel that order.

While all of the complaints I have above are minor flaws and mistakes here and there, I believe these shouldn't belong in a 5 star hotel like Pan Pacific. Even in a budget motel I would expect the room amenities to work properly. So that was actually quite disappointing and a big contrast from what we were anticipating. 


We checked out on time, went to the door and handed the bell man our valet ticket. The bell man told us that they were a little busy that morning and asked us to wait a little bit. 


The valet service costed 40 bucks, and for 40 bucks I could have taken a taxi and I'd be home before I got my car !

I kept going back to check with the bell man and he kept saying it's not ready yet. So my mom and I literally just sat by the door for 40 freaking minutes waiting for our car IN FREEZING COLD. 

Please explain to me what was the reason people choose to valet ? It was for convenience and speed I assume ???

So after 40 minutes of waiting time, I finally saw my car driven pass the front door and it was just PARKED THERE. No one came to tell me that my car has arrived even though I was just by the front door and they knew I was waiting because I asked ! 

I told the door man that my car was driven out and pointed to him where the car was. It was a bit of a walk from where we stood. THEN HE JUST HANDED ME THE KEY AND WALKED AWAY without any help with our suitcases.


I can conclude that I was rather disappointed by many things Pan Pacific offered. But it is still one of Vancouver's landmarks and a reputable hotel. I hope they do improve on the quality of their hospitality.


Thank you :)