During 2019‘s “Dr. Peter Passions” fundraising event (in keeping with tradition), my girl friend and I bid on a auction item. This year we went on a smaller scale and won our silent bid for a night out. A night out in Vancouver that included a ballet show and a stay at Yaletown’s boutique hotel, “Opus”. So this weekend it was time to cash in the ticket for our hotel stay. Our package was for an executive suite, but we decided to upgrade our one night stay to one of their two penthouse suites. All for what we are calling “BFF Christmas”, a staycation for two, before the end of the year.
Located right by Yaletown’s skytrain station it is easiest to take transit down. Although if you are like us, equipped with a fair bit of luggage, it might but easier to drive. But be warned there isn’t parking out back, and you aren’t able to help yourself into any lot either. Your only option is to either park at one of the meters on the street, or request the hotel’s valet service. We opted for the latter and handed over our keys in exchange for a call tag.
After checking in, we helped ourselves to one of their luggage carts, and found our way up to the 7th floor. Speaking with the clerk behind the desk, “Opus” is known for their themes: coloured rooms and suites that are monochromatic in red, green, or teal (to name a few hues). Our penthouse was fuchsia and black, with cheetah print and velvet accents. The scheme felt posh with a fashionable flair, and definitely more geared towards a feminine aesthetic. Right when you enter, a framed photo of thick red lips hangs above the living area’s black suede couch. It is accented with gold and fuchsia throw pillows and a matching lounger. The leopard spotted chair in the corner plays off the heavily patterned, black and white velvet wallpaper on the feature wall. And instead of a coffee table, three wooden blocks are assembled together, to act as a flat surface in front of the television.
But for something more solid, the desk in the corner with its own telephone and iPod charging on a stand is a better solution. This and the living room are separated from the bed room by a mirrored wall. Although they shared the same fire place, thanks to its dual sided glass panes. And in both rooms, above it, hangs a flat screen television. Although the one in the living room is notably larger.
Our suite also boasted two washrooms. The first, by the study/desk was narrow. It only had enough room for a sink and a toilet. But with the same richly patterned, velvet wallpaper as before, it exuded a sense of regality.
The master bathroom had marble tiles that heated underfoot. A toilet, a sink, a Dyson branded hair dryer, and a large shower stall. The latter comes with a rainfall shower head, and apothecary by the pump from “Malin + Goetz”.
But the highlight, and one of the reasons why we choose this suite, was the tub. The master bath was built around this large soaking tub. It had enough girth to fit two comfortably. It was set up against the window, over looking the city below. And here, the suite’s third television screen was mounted, for further indulgence.
For modesty, you could push a button and lower a set of blinds that shielded the large glass window and the view it provided. But honestly I wanted people to see me enjoying this level of extravagance, and soaking in my pulsating jet tub. If I am going to pay for such a suite I am going to make sure I enjoy it and that everyone else knows I did. Although, truth be told we did do the above in swim suits.
Equally impressive was the four post, king sized bed that we shared. There is just something so regal about the extra glossy metal bars that surround you as you sleep. It felt like a cage, but with more accessibility. You slept in this protective bubble, with faux corners and walls. Resting on fresh and crisp, white hotel sheets. A setting that was accented with pillows and a bolster, that matched the same gold and fuchsia floral pattern in the living room.
Here, you had access to the patio, or rather exterior ledge with railings. It was a little too cold to enjoy the limited space that wrapped around our suite. Although we did venture out in our hotel robes, to take in the city’s lights at night. The patio is a little too narrow to linger on. There isn’t much room to pull out a chair, and very little views if you aren’t standing and leaning off the railing.
Once we settled in and freshened up, we decided to head back down to the lobby to take in their bar/lounge. Not to mention our check-in included a welcome glass of sparkling wine. We would retrieve a couple of glasses from the front desk and enjoy it at their cozy bar.
Normally there would be live music playing on a weekend, but the space was reserved for a private function this night. So we were ushered into their hotel restaurant, “La Pentola” for a few more drinks, instead.
My girl friend kept it light with white wine. Whereas I turned my attention to hard liquor with a couple of cocktails.
The “questi giorni” came recommended for its great balance. My own taste test concurred this to be true, noting the smooth citrus finish especially. Lemongrass infused seventh heaven gin, cocchi americano, liquore strega, lemon, cucumber, and rosewater.
The “Hugo” was tanqueray rangpur gin, st germain elderflower, liquore strega, Prosecco, mint, lime, and celery. The green cocktail was savoury, it had that salty food nuance to it. Which is what I like about Caesars; but here, it comes with much more cucumber and celery flavour.
From there we retreated back to our penthouse for more drinking and some room service. If your suite is this nice, you obviously want to spend time enjoying it. So with two bottles in hand and room service called twice we were living the “suite life”.
The in-suite dining menu differs from that of the hotel restaurant’s, although both are prepared out of the same kitchen. Our dinner from “La Pentola” was delivered, served on cloistered plates.
The cheese platter was pretty rudimentary. Three types of hard cheese, one softer blue, some green apple slices, a couple of raspberries, and two types of crostini to eat it all with. The crispy cracker and salty cheese did pair well with our red wine.
The “orecchiette” had lamb ragu, olives, mint, and pecorino. Gooey cup pasta with plenty of good chew. Topped with filling bits of lamb, and hints of mint, this was a satisfying plate. It was also my guest’s favourite of all that we had, and it came with great authenticity.
Another fulsome dish was the “Steak frites”. A 10oz PEI rib eye steak in a red wine jus, served with a side of crispy and salty French fries. The steak was cooked well to medium rare. Fatty and easy to slice in to.
But it was the “Grilled cheese” sandwich that we tacked on to our order as an afterthought, that really stole the show for me. It was exactly as you’d hope it would be. Golden brown toasted white bread, made extra indulgent with plenty of butter on both slices. Even when it cooled down it still crunched on impact. Dare I say, the best grilled cheese I have had to date? My only critique here is the lack of condiments. Given the amount of fries you get, they don’t give you enough ketchup to enjoy with it. A sauce dish filled 1/3 full, we ended up ordering two more to have enough.
And there our night continued, snacking, drinking, and watching TV on demand.
Next morning we headed downstairs for brunch at “La Pentola”. To continue from the night before, my guest had the “Ciao Bella!” A glass of red wine, spiked with soho lychee, peach nectar, fresh orange juice, and lime. It was not unlike a sangria, but with more punch-like notes. A sweet and tangy, easy to drink juice. I personally would have liked more peach and soho to make it stand out more.
For food, I was drawn to the “Breakfast risotto” for name alone. Basically a regular savoury risotto with peas and Parmesan. Made breakfast-like with the addition of smoked bacon, scallions, and a poached egg. Great on the first bite, but it grew bland by the third. One strip of bacon was not enough to endure the whole serving, so I looked to table salt.
I don’t often need salt, or like using it (I fully believe that dishes at restaurants are served as their chefs intended), but here I was sprinkling 3 pinches of coarse salt over the lot. Overall, the risotto would have been better served as a side. Thanks to the fresh peas, it made for a decent palette cleanser in between more dense bites. The egg on the other hand really didn’t add anything to the mix, I would have been just as happy without it.
I would instead recommend the “Shortrib Benedict” with potato rosti, poached eggs, peas, mushrooms, shallots, and hollandaise. The gooey egg yolk and the rich hollandaise engulfed the Benny in a thick creaminess. The fried onion added a nice crunch over the fattier pieces of beef. But instead of English muffins, here they used crispy hash browns as a base to mount the perfectly poached egg. My only critique would be that this came to us closer to room temperature, where it would have been much better hot.
And as a sweet treat to end on, we had an order of “Zeppole”. These are airy, yet cakey Italian doughnuts, sitting in a bourbon apple butter sauce. This was a mild dessert, not sweet, just on the sweeter side. You could make out the egginess of the dough, and the powdered sugar that dusted it. I did wish that the apple purée was sweeter, to give things a kick when you needed more from it.
After breakfast it was back upstairs to pack and drag our feet in checking out. But first, we ended our adventures at “Opus” with a bang; having fully utilized our coveted tub. We drew a bath with a bounty of bubbles, that only doubled when we switched on the pulsating jets for a back massage.
For a more detailed and whimsical account of our time at “Opus”, check out my latest drinking Vlog, now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.
322 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5Z6