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Pan Pacific Hotel at Canada Place

Seacruise

Deckhand
Many of you are considering a Alaska cruise. Most cruises leave from Canada Place.

One of the questions I get often where is the best place to stay prior to my cruise. I have often pointed people towards the Pan Pacific at Canada Place or the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel due to their location.

During the last 2 years I have taken advantage of specials and tried to stay at some of the hotels downtown as a weekend away. I live about 1 hour from downtown Vancouver and it can make a nice get away for a weekend. So far I have stayed at the Hyatt and the Marriott Pinnacle.

Last week the Pan Pacific had a 20th anniversary special for BC residents. The offer was $86 per night and food in the restaurants was back to 1986 pricing. I only heard about it a two days before I decided to stay there. Pan Pacific has been rated 5 stars by AAA for most of it's 20 years. I am told it has been 5 stars for the last 15.
I arrived with Sandra last Thursday January 12 at about 5 PM and decided to valet park the car. The doorman came over right away and took the keys and luggage and we were told the luggage would be delivered to our room once we checked in. Upstairs we went to check-in. This was a painless process and Pan pacific tried to move us up from the 8th floor but there were no non smoking rooms with a king bed. We elected to stay with our room.
We went upstairs to the bellman was already there with our luggage. After a small problem with trying our keys we were able to get into the room. The bellman turned on several lights and showed and set out our luggage and asked if we wanted the ice bucket filled. he then asked if we had reservations to eat and I said no. (I had tried to make reservations when I booked but was told all was reserved.) The bellman took down our room number and asked us for a time (7:00)and said consider it done. We decided to eat in the Cafe Pacifica.
We went out for a quick walk over to the mall across the street and a snack before dinner.
We arrived back in the room about 630 and I wanted to shave before dinner. This was made difficult because the lack of hot water. As most know this is rather annoying when trying to shave. After waiting a bit I was forced to shave with luke warm water.
While dressing I sat on the couch and noticed these bits of broken plastic on the floor and the table that had not been cleaned up.
Sandra also need to iron her slacks and pulled the iron out with the ironing board. The plug was by the bar. After Sandra was finished I went to unplug the iron and move it out of the way. I put my hand on the bar and noticed something sticky all over the bar. I now wasn't happy. I went to the bathroom to clean my hand and get a wet cloth to clean up the mess.
We left the room at about 710 for our trip downstairs because we had waited for hot water. Upon arrival at the Cafe Pacifica we had to wait further while the Host was on the phone for a good 5 minutes. When he got off the phone we were informed that our reservation was no longer valid as it was only held for only 30 minutes. It was pointed out that our 30 minutes was not up. We were then told to wait while a table was prepared for us. We sat down at about 720.
The waitress came over and took our drink orders and dinner orders. Drinks arrived rather quickly. I had ordered a drink which was deliver from the bar and Sandra's came from the back area. When Sandra's came she noticed when she went to drink from it that there was a green line around the inside of the glass about 1/2 inch wide. She took her straw and checked it out and it appeared to be like algae. After waiting about 10 minutes for a server to appear the drink was sent back and a new one returned. About 20 minutes goes by and our soup and salad arrives at the table.
The soup and salad were presented very nicely and tasted fine.
I was looking for a refill of our drinks and began to look for a waitress and she was no where to be found. We began to notice that there were no other servers on the floor. This went on about 30 minutes. We soon noticed others were looking for their servers. There were 2 ladies at a table across from us trying to pay their bill with no luck. The lady finally got up and went into the kitchen to find someone. The Manager came out and dealt with them. Sandra and talked and decided that it had almost been 2 hours since we arrived and needed to get going as we had plans for the evening. Dinner was no where in site. There was a table for 4 also on one side of us and they were wondering what was going on.
When the Manager finished with the ladies I called her over and asked what was going on. Why was service non existent? I said we have been waiting almost 2 hours for our food why was there such a wait? She had no idea why other than the dinning room was running at capacity. I further asked why I couldn't get a drink for the last 30 minutes and she again had no idea.
Sandra at this point felt we were not getting any where with her and told her that we were going to leave and cut our losses. The manager said she would like us to stay on her. After some discussion we decided to try it. The Manager got our drinks filled again and checked on our food which arrived about 15 minutes later. I had ordered the New York sirloin steak and Sandra the Rigatoni with Chorizo sausage. I can say the steak was like leather (even though ordered med rare) and Sandra's pasta had no taste and her sausage was like leather as well.
I ate mine while Sandra picked at hers and finally gave up.
Ahh let's try the cheesecake after dinner we thought. Another disappointment.
We bailed on this place very quickly rather than put up with any more pain.

Off we went for the evening to return about midnight to our room. I went to the bar to get 2 glasses for something to drink for the both of us. Picked up the first glass to find it cracked right down one side. The 2nd glass was without incident.

This is one of the first times I have filled out the comment card for a hotel.

When I checked out I handed in the comment card and they opened it. To say the Front Desk clerk was not happy with what I was saying was a under statement. She was not happy to see the remark about the plastic or the cracked glass or the spilled drink or the lack of hot water. Then to see the mess in the restaurant really sent her into a tail spin. At that point she said all I was going to pay was for the parking and that was only because that was a city parking lot. I was further told I would get a call from the Manager next week.
We further discussed what was expected at a 5 star hotel and they admitted that nothing should go wrong. They said normally things are very detail orientated. To find the plastic, broken glass and the mess on the bar was unacceptable.

Yes it was a cheap weekend away but at this point would I recommend this hotel. The answer is no, if I were paying what one pays during cruise ship season. I found that the 2 tables near us at dinner had as many problems as we did and thus it could not be considered a isolated incident. No telling what other rooms were like. What are the chances of having problems with drinking glasses twice in one night in a place that bills itself as detailed orientated. I don't think we were being picky at all. The front desk clerk asked why we didn't ask for another room when we started to find the plastic and the sticky bar. I said were trying to get to dinner and didn't have time to deal with this. We were trying to roll with this rather than let it spoil our weekend.
As Sandra and I have discussed we have had better service at 3 star places than we did tonight. This is a very nice location but not worth the money at this point.

I will update things if we get the call from the Manager.


Phil
Seacruise
 

Jackie

Deckhand
We stayed at the Airport Delta( free transport from the airport) for a cost of $80 per room ( 3*)in July 2003. We ate at an English pub ( on English bay?)which we walked to. We then had a taxi to Canada Place which took about 20 mins through rush hour traffic. We were highly satisfied.
 

Dani

Deckhand
Phil,

You should do a post to Trip Advisor concerning your experience with this hotel.

Many of us read and do take seriously the advice on Trip Advisor. It is a big help.

Dani
 

Seacruise

Deckhand
Dani:

I have posted there before and will post this there. Just trying to get caught up on things and watch the QE2 today ;)

Thanks,

Phil
 

Liz

Deckhand
Phil, mystery solved....they just forgot to mention that the hotel had been sold, and, I guess, the new sign wasn't up yet, when you were there
panpacific.jpg
 

sealegs

Deckhand
:roll:
Liz said:
Phil, mystery solved....they just forgot to mention that the hotel had been sold, and, I guess, the new sign wasn't up yet, when you were there
Oh Liz....Really now.......LOL ROFL.....That's a good talkback if I've ever seen one....
Really, from what Phil is saying, that place has really gone to pots....Surprising, really...I live nearby, and work at the pier during the cruise season...and often treat myself to a drink or a quick meal at the two cafes in the hotel.Never did I suffer thru what Phil & Sandra did, and I can't recall negative comments from cruise ships guests either embarking or debarking about that hotel..and yes, it is heavily used both by '' independents'' and cruise companies.
There has been some rumblings during the recent year about a '' slight'' softening of the standards.....but, really..to reach the points described by Phil...Shameful.

Phil: I beleive everyword of what you said; you're certainly not the type who whines for whine's sake. It is indeed sad that a once sterling establishment allows this sort of slip-up....and all around the place. Thanks for the post.
I'll discreetly mention it to one of the brokerage cruises houses in town as they heavily ( and justifiably...) push pre/post cruises stays, and both Hotels you've mentionned are naturals....

Liz....like a poster from NZ says....who the heck are we to tell you '' take it easy on the ol'eye balls......then give you a 14 million pages posting to read....
Keep well
Cheers\
CG
 

Seacruise

Deckhand
I had asked about a restaurant that used to be in the hotel and was told it was closed the moment the hotel was sold a year or so back.

The manager of the Pan pacific is till the same Steve Haliday that has been there since opening. I was further told that they just got their 5 star award again last week.

If I wanted to be picky I would have called the front desk every time that I noticed these things. That in my opinion only makes you look like a complainer to the front desk rightly or wrongly. I know things aren't perfect but when you look at the over all context of what happened then I think the commenets are justified.

Phil
Seacruise
 

sealegs

Deckhand
Seacruise said:
I know things aren't perfect but when you look at the over all context of what happened then I think the commenets are justified.

Phil
Seacruise
:D Hi, Phil,
they certainly are. !! Thanks for posting them.

Cheers
CG
;)
 

Seacruise

Deckhand
I have received a letter from Mr. Steve Halliday the Manager of the Pan Pacific Hotel.

The letter appears to be a bit of a "form letter" but offers a apology and a 1 night stay valued up to $500.00.

I have till April 30th to take this offer up.

I will report back again.

Phil
Seacruise
 

Dani

Deckhand
Phil,

A $500 credit ? Wow ? Or do the rooms usually run very, very high ?

For that amount you should get a huge room with jacczi or something...
hot and cold running maids ?

It would be worth it just to see how you are treated this time.
 

Seacruise

Deckhand
I would like to report back after having just taken the Pan Pacific up on their offer to stay with them again this past Saturday April 8th.

I called the Executive Assistant Lori as was requested by the Pan in the letter they sent me about 1 week prior to make this reservation. This in itself concerned me because this would mean my reservation would be "flagged" and I had no doubt that my room would be perfect within a inch of it's life. I had thought of changing my room upon check-in just to throw a wrench into the works. I did not do this when I checked in.

I asked exactly what my $500.00 voucher included, I was told just the room. I was a little unhappy with this because this past week they are offering rooms for $225.00 with a $25 voucher for food. I was told the $500.00 was for the "rack rate". This would mean we would not be offered dinner like the last time to see if things had in fact changed in the Pacifica Restaurant. I choose to not make dinner plans in the Pan Pacific. As their website says this "Café Pacifica changes into an authentic Italian bistro on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring an Italian Opera Buffet." At $45.00 per person, I was not going to chance another bad meal.

We arrived at about 4:30 PM to check-in and check-in was very short. This time we were offered a free pass to their fitness centre, something we were not the first time. I was also asked to make dinner reservations and told them we were not sure at this point.

We went up to the room and were surprised to find our room was about 1/3 the size of our last room. Not exactly sure why the difference but their was. Our understanding it was to be the same type of room just higher up. It was nice to be on the 19th floor looking over Stanley Park and the inner Harbour. This room offered something different in the bathroom. The bathroom had a tub/shower with a window on the overlooking Stanley Park from the top edge of the tub to the ceiling. While they did offer a blind to pull down there was no point as who the heck was going to see you from Stanley park. The room also offered almost floor to ceiling windows on the 2 walls surrounding the king size bed.
There was also a very small box of chocolates on the desk welcoming us back along with a letter to us. This made it very clear to us that this room in fact had been prepared within a inch of it's life.

We left about 7:15 and headed to Gastown to find dinner. We choose our old favourite of the Steamworks Pub. Steamworks had the Hockey game on the TV and we managed to get a table near a TV. We paced our dinner to last till the end of the game. For those of you that enjoy beer Steamworks brews their own brand on site in the basement. One can go downstairs and see the beer brewing.

As we left for dinner we ran onto the maid who was just arriving to turn down our bed, something that was not done during our last visit. We were also left 2 chocolates on the bed as well.

We checked out about 11:00 AM on Sunday and all went quickly. The only complaint I would have was the Valet didn't help load our luggage like the previous time.

Upon reflection I have mixed thoughts on this stay. Was this a true picture of the Pan Pacific and what to expect? I have no idea because of the vast difference in the service we received from one stay to the next. Because of this room being pre set-up for our stay was this normal? While yes we did enjoy our stay this time, I truly hope this is the way the Pan Pacific would treat all it's guests. After all they are rated 5 Stars. We did comment on how our room would have been perfect if we were going on a cruise and able to watch our ship sail under Lions Gate Bridge and into Canada Place. It is knowing which side of Canada Place your ship will dock and if it is docking there at all.

When we left we noticed the first cruise ship of the season docked at Canada Place. Cruise West's Spirit of Endeavour was docked on the east side.

Please note there is still a lot of construction going on around Canada Place. The new bridge is not finished on the Burrard Street entrance and upon asking at the hotel they have no idea when it is slated to open. Also the new convention Centre is 3 months behind on pile driving on the inner harbour. This is a problem for those taking a harbour view room because they start pile driving at 7:00 AM 6 days a week Monday to Saturday.

Any questions?

Phil
Seacruise
 

Dani

Deckhand
Phil,

I think they could have given you the special that included dinner.

Almost nobody pays Rack Rate.

I always look on back of room door ( or wherever ) to see the Rack Rate.

It is usually laughable.

Maybe they were trying to impress you by charging $500.00 for the room.

But I think you would have been more impressed with the special rate and a bottle of bubbly thrown in.

Managers have so much discretion in offering the WOW factor in customer service. So few choose to use it.:(
 
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