It has been on the radar of city-dwellers for the past few years, especially since its ongoing construction may or may not have caused significant delays for those who drive through its vicinity in downtown Vancouver.
But we’ve finally come to the end of the tunnel (no more annoying traffic congestion)—the massive building that is characterized by its exterior bronze mirrors and peculiar structural shape next to B.C. Place has finally come to completion.
Parq Vancouver (39 Smithe Street) is officially opening its doors tonight, which will introduce a new kind of entertainment-culinary-hospitality experience to the city. To mark its debut, a celebratory roll of the dice on the casino will take place at 11 p.m.
Unlike a global hotel brand that opened in the city this year to a frosty greeting, Parq Vancouver was met with a warm and enthusiastic welcome at its press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning.
Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow was in attendance, and acknowledged that the resort’s artworks by First Nations artists are valuable for maintaining a relationship with the city.
Parq Vancouver’s president Joe Brunini also made a speech, and other key figures who were present include Paragon Gaming co-founder Scott Menke and Diana Bennett, Marriott International Canada area vice president Martin Stitt, and restaurateur Elizabeth Blau of Blau + Associates, among others.
Built to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Standards, the highly-anticipated destination covers a total of 775,000-square-feet.
The complex features two luxury hotels: JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the Douglas, an Autograph Collection Hotel. The former boasts 281 rooms and 48 suites located between the sixth and 25th floors; the latter has 178 rooms and 10 suites situated between the seventh and 17th floors.
Guests who stay at the JW Marriott will find rooms with a sophisticated interior, complete with soft and natural hues and classy furnishings. The Douglas rooms are more edgy, with darker tones and wooden furnishings that give off a well-travelled vibe.
The hotels are connected by the building’s “crown jewel”, which is a 30,000-square-foot outdoor space on the sixth floor. It is home to 200 native pines, a body of water, and pays homage to our province’s natural beauty.
A curated local art collection can be seen throughout the resort, and a stainless steel freestanding public outdoor art sculpture titled “Slow” created by Chinese artist Zhang Huan is located the building’s front entrance.
The relocated Edgewater Casino now makes itself comfortable inside Parq’s second and third floors, which is the only casino in the B.C. to offer natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows.
The gaming levels feature 600 slot machines, 75 gaming tables, a poker room, as well as 11 exclusive gaming salons. The second floor is also directly connected to Gate G at B.C. Place, making it convenient for those who want to seamlessly connect between the two venues.
Companies will probably be eyeing this destination for small and large scale conferences, because it has 60,000-square-feet of accessible and flexible space. There are 13 ballrooms, boardrooms, and meeting rooms, including the 15,603-square-foot Parq grand ballroom—the largest of its kind in town.
As for the food and drink offerings, foodies and the like will be excited. There are eight different restaurant and lounges inside Parq Vancouver, created by restaurateur Elizabeth Blau and Canadian chef Kim Canteenwalla of Blau + Associates.
The husband-and-wife duo drew inspiration from the Pacific Northwest cuisines, as well as their worldly travels, to craft these distinctive culinary and libation spots.
From a Singaporean night market-inspired communal eatery to a comfort food eatery, and a farm-to-table cuisine to a high-end Cantonese restaurant, we have a feeling that anyone who loves a good bite will be flocking here.
Besides the food, there will be three unique bars and lounges inside Parq. Guests will be able to sip on wine, cocktails, whiskey, craft beers, high-end spirits, and tea—which is carefully chosen by a tea sommelier.
The Straight was taken on a private tour around the complex, and our favourite spot in this entire building is the hidden lounge (did someone say speakeasy?) Hint: look for the bookshelf on the sixth floor.
Parq has also partnered with we.org (a worldwide development charity and youth empowerment movement), and the City of Vancouver to allocate $1.5 million to St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation for the research and treatment of addiction disorders.
The mega-resort officially opens to the public at 11 p.m. tonight.
Scroll through the photos below for a peek inside the city’s newest food and entertainment destination.