Although the hospitality industry is amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new mid-market hotel property is pushing forward by opening its doors, in preparation for the eventual economic and tourism rebound.
Sonder announced this week it has opened its first hotel property in Vancouver within the lower floors of the former Coast Plaza Hotel tower at 1771 Comox Street in downtown’s West End neighbourhood.
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Sonder at Revival occupies the lower floors of the 1969-built, 32-storey tower. The 269-room Coast Plaza Hotel permanently closed in November 2017.
The new hotel has renovated the old hotel space into 66 new suites, which are all fully equipped with kitchens and extra room, making these units suitable for both short and extended stays. Many of the suites also offer balconies on the podium of the tower.
However, unlike traditional hotels, Sonder has introduced the same digital hoteling features that are found at its other properties across the world, including mobile check-in, no front desk, and 24/7 digital concierge services. The company is practicing enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols.
Sonder is operating in the tower under a long-term lease.
“We’re thrilled to introduce Sonder at Revival to our growing portfolio,” said Louise Cooperstorm, general manager of the Pacific Northwest for Sonder, in a statement.
“We’re incredibly grateful to have already received such a warm welcome by the city, long before we ever opened our doors. We’re optimistic that the introduction of this fresh, new hospitality option in Vancouver is something that will be well-received by both residents and travelers.”
Additionally, separate from Sonder’s operations, the tower includes the 65,000-sq-ft Denman Mall — renovated retail space below facing Denman Street — and 316 market rental homes, named as The Shoreline West End, within the renovated upper levels of the former Coast Plaza Hotel.
Prior to the pandemic, the Montreal-founded digital short-term rental company, now based in San Francisco, had plans to open at least two additional hotel properties in Vancouver.
This includes the conversion of the old Arts and Crafts Building at 576 Seymour Street (across from BCIT) into a 36-suite boutique hotel property, and the conversion of a yet-to-be-built, six-storey condominium building at 1940 Main Street into a 49-suite Sonder hotel property.
When inquired on the status of these additional hotel locations, Sonder offered this statement: “We’re exploring leases for a number of new locations at this time.”
Sonder has over 12,000 units across more than 35 cities around the world.