6 luxury hotel brands we'd love to see come to Vancouver

Nov 3 2021, 10:47 pm

Over a year after declaring bankruptcy and closing, a new hotel brand is finally moving into the former Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver.

While the hotel was housed in a stunning building designed by late architectural icon Arthur Erickson, the large Trump sign outside of the building remains an eyesore for many. There’s no word on who could be moving into the building, owned by Holborn Properties.

And there is also still no indication on what “luxury brand” will take over the former Four Seasons Vancouver Hotel tower at CF Pacific Centre. The tower is currently undergoing a major renovation that is anticipated to reach completion in 2022.

Here’s a list of five luxury hotel brands we’d love to see in our city.

The 1 Hotel

When it comes to trendy hotels, no one is doing it better than the Starwood owned 1 brand. The brand got its start on Miami’s ritzy South Beach, and has since opened locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, West Hollywood, and most recently Toronto, to name a few.

The 1 Hotel in Toronto.

Sustainability is what sets the luxe 1 Hotels apart, which is present in their operational decisions, design and construction. Neutral decor and plenty of greenery set the stage at all of the 1 properties, which are super Insta-worthy.

Celebs are huge fans of the 1 Hotels, too: A-Listers like Rihanna are regularly spotted at the Miami property, while Shawn Mendes previously held a birthday at their scenic Brooklyn hotel. Most 1 Hotels operate a rooftop bar and club, which is something Vancouver is seriously lacking — with the exception of the former Drais’ location which already exists inside the former Trump hotel.

toronto hotel

A look inside the rooms at the sustainable 1 hotel in Toronto.

1 could easily renovate the former Trump tower space to become Harriet’s (the concept inside of their WeHo and Toronto locations) or another Watr (their Miami version).

The 1 Hotel would fit perfectly into the downtown Vancouver landscape given the city’s culture around sustainability. Plus, with plenty of TV shows and movies shooting here, this would be a go-to spot for actors in town to stay.

An AMAN Property

AMAN has redefined luxury in the hotel landscape. The chic, Asian-inspired properties are considered some of (if not the) most indulgent in the world. Modern design inspired by each locations’ surroundings make each AMAN property totally unique, reflected in their names.

Wellness resort Amangiri is perhaps their best known North American outpost, and regularly attracts celebs like the Kardashian-Jenner clan who are looking for a spot to unplug (and take gorgeous photos).

The entry of AMAN NYC.

A room inside the new AMAN in NYC.

The company operates 34 stellar properties around the globe, and announced their hotly anticipated NYC location, set to open sometime in 2021. Given Vancouver’s love of all things wellness, an AMAN resort would be a refreshing addition — and elevate our city’s hotel offerings to the next level. Most of all, we’d be looking forward to their spa, all of which are tailored to treatments in the regions they operate.

We would love to see a hybrid downtown hotel and resort combo on a Westin Bayshore like property, creating the ultimate downtown oasis.

A lounge area at AMAN NYC.

The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz is no longer your grandparents’ stuffy high-end hotel chain. While the brand has a number of amazing historic properties in their portfolio (such as the Ritz Paris and London location, both frequented by the late Princess Diana) — the company has opened a number of super modern hotels in recent years.

Fun fact: the Ritz-Carlton was originally set to take over the iconic Hotel Georgia, now a Rosewood, back in 2009. Construction and renovations were well underway ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics but ended up being suspended due to financial reasons. Notably, the historic hotel became a Rosewood in 2011 — which it remains today.

And before it eyed what is now known today as the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the Ritz-Carlton was set to open at the Holborn Properties tower.

The lobby at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto.

A suite inside the Ritz Carlton Toronto.

Ritz-Carlton operates two other properties in Canada, which are in Toronto and Montreal. The downtown Toronto outpost, opened in 2011, is ultra-luxe and modern — and something we would also love to see take over the former Trump space.

It would be especially welcome now that the Four Seasons has shuttered its doors, leaving just the Fairmont’s three locations, Shangri-la and the Rosewood as some of the few luxury hotels in the downtown core.

Vancouver could certainly use a new, splashy downtown luxury hotel, and we think Ritz-Carlton would fill that void perfectly.

Indoor pool at Ritz Carlton Toronto.


One thing Vancouver is seriously lacking in is luxury hotels that are also ultra-trendy. While we love the Opus Hotel, it has been there for a minute — and something hipper and fresher should certainly be in Vancouver’s hotel offerings.

Icon Ian Schrager — best known for being the founder of the one-and-only Studio 54 — is still at it with his EDITION concept.

A room at the West Hollywood Edition.

A room inside their Los Angeles location.

The hotels perfectly blend the luxury and trend worlds together at their thoughtful properties, including the ultra sexy West Hollywood and London outposts.

An EDITION hotel would take Vancouver’s cool factor to a whole new level. The brand considers themselves to be an anti-chain, meaning each location is totally individualized — and we would be curious to see their take on our city.

The pool area in West Hollywood.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons was rumoured to be interested in taking over the former Trump tower and we can see why. The Canadian operated brand (hailing from Toronto, FYI) opened their second-ever hotel in Vancouver with their former CF Pacific Center location which sadly closed in 2020 after 44 years.

Of course, Four Seasons has come a long way since opening the doors to their former location — and we know they’d do wonders with the stellar Arthur Erickson-designed former Trump tower.

The bar at the Four Seasons in Toronto, which opened in 2013.

The spa area of the Four Seasons Toronto.

There’s no word on whether or not Four Seasons is committed to re-opening in the city, but given they’re Canadian and easily one of the top luxury hotel brands in the world, they definitely belong in Vancouver.

We’re dying to see what a second iteration of Four Seasons would look like in the downtown core, especially if they moved into the former Trump building.

A room at the FS Toronto.

The St. Regis

The St. Regis is one of the leading luxury hotel brands on the globe, and could easily slide into the former Trump space. Indulgence meets sophistication is the tagline of the St. Regis, which fits with the building already.

Currently, the Marriott-operated brand has just one Canadian location in Toronto, with 11 others in North America, including the St. Regis San Francisco. The five-star hotel chain, founded in 1904, has a rich history that’s all about timeless tradition.

The St. Regis hotel in Atlanta is one of their most exquisite city locations.

A room at the St. Regis in Atlanta.

While it would be a far cry from the new-money Trump vibe or one of the hipper brands mentioned, sometimes going classic isn’t a bad thing. St. Regis prides themselves on immersive, cultural experiences — and we’d be keen to see how they acknowledge Vancouver’s First Nations background.

Notably, there is a St. Regis Hotel at the southwest corner of the intersection of Dunsmuir Street and Seymour Street — but it’s an independent boutique hotel not associated with the global luxury chain.

The pool area at the St. Regis Atlanta.

Cassandra GillCassandra Gill

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