St. Regis Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Formerly a run-down hotel with a stripper pole in the basement, this 1913 relic (which holds no relation to St. Regis luxury brand) had an $11-million face-lift in 2008. Now it caters to style- and budget-conscious families and business travelers in the core of downtown. The 65 rooms and suites feel larger than their size (under 300 square feet) and are handsomely tailored in shades of gray with dark-brown wood furniture. All that gray can be a bit somber—especially in winter—so book one of the corner rooms (04s and 10s), which have more windows. The drapes aren't heavy enough to defeat the street noise, but on the flip side, you're in the heart of the bustle, close to shopping (chic department store Holt Renfrew is across the street), sporting events, the convention center, and Gastown. You'll give up your expensive waterfront view, but you still have plenty of mod cons, including free local and long-distance calling, Wi-Fi, and iPod docks, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, plus a large work desk with plenty of outlets. Also free is a full daily breakfast—although there's a Starbucks on property. Free passes are available to the Steve Nash Sports Club, one of the city's best gyms.—Kasey Wilson
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