The Streets of YaletownThe Opus beckoned to me with a pulse-pounding bass that I heard from the taxi before I even arrived. As my cab slowed in front of Opus, the music's high notes lilted in and filled the spaces the bass missed as a parade of people made their way through the Yaletown streets. As for me, I noticed first the light drizzle and the slightly fogged window-covered façade of the Opus, which seemed to refuse to dampen the spirits of this weekend vibe.

I was greeted at the door by a young, clean-cut doorman and giggling party-goers wearing lots of hair gel and smelling of vanilla. The weekend party was well under way by the time I made it through the Opus' doorway. Colorful drinks flowed and glasses clinked rhythmically to the music that filled the ground floor lounge and I felt officially introduced to a vibrant Vancouver party scene.

For those unfamiliar, the Opus Hotel is ideally situated in the middle of Yale Town, which is a burgeoning former warehouse district that is now filled with great restaurants, interesting stores, and loads of the fashionable elite of British Columbia.

My rolling luggage squeaked behind me as I made my way to the reservation desk, which felt more like a cozying up to an upscale bar than my usual hotel check-in experience of rigid spines and starched collars. No one seemed to mind my squeaky wheels. I was immediately invited to relax as a bell hop hurried my luggage upstairs.

Left standing with instructions to unwind, I allowed my shoulders to drop away from my ears several inches. While I have to admit The Faces of the Opus HotelI expected to feel out of place being over thirty in such a swinging setting, I met the faces of a diverse crowd, not dominated by the under-25 starlet scene I might expect to find at home in Los Angeles. I hung out in the lounge with some of Vancouver's finest before a minor dose of jet lag got the better of me.

As I went up to my room, I swayed to the elevator's piped-in house music with mood enhancing black light. My room was tasteful in dark blue, although I would find out later that room colors vary like the choices in a package of Skittles candies: orange, lemon, burgundy and lime. Although there was still a slight buzz in my ears left over from downstairs, it quickly faded to complete silence and everything went dark.

I have heard the Opus described as a "boutique" hotel. I do not know what that means. The word "boutique," to me, describes a secret room where only ladies are allowed. The Opus Hotel is far from that. During the day its punchy charm promotes a professional and businesslike environment. On the weekends, the Opus becomes one of Vancouver’s most happening, and apparently exclusive nightspots.

In the morning, the hotel was back to punchy charm "“ I barely recognized the place. The morning helped my appreciation move into high gear. I loved its central location. I easily walked to Gastown, West End, to happening Robson Street, the groovy shops on Pender and Main Streets, the harbor "“ for a short Aquabus (water taxi) to my favorite hangout in Vancouver, Granville Island, and of course Yaletown. Yaletown reminds me a bit of 1930's New York complete with aesthetic steaming vents and some great modern restaurants peppered in. I highly recommend Opus' Elixir Bar & Restaurant and Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar located just a couple of blocks away.

The Lobby at the Opus HotelI rarely have much to say about hotels. However, I liked the Opus. It had a natural way of being trendy without being pretentious. As a self-proclaimed non-hipster, I felt comfortable. My room was elegant and clean and I love the proximity to loads of Yaletown spots. The staff was polite and allowed me to use the business center at 2AM to check email and stowed my bags after I checked out, and decided to hit Chinatown before I left. I never even had to throw a hissy fit to get these extras. It was still drizzling, but never dampened my spirits. More importantly, I left the Opus, even though my luggage still rolled squeaking behind me, feeling like I had a vacation.

Apparently I am not alone. Opus Hotel was named as one of the 100 Best of the Best by Condé Nast in November '05

Opus Hotel
322 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC

Written by Devin Galaudet