A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending a weekend at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. This was my first weekend away from home since the start of the pandemic and while the hotel is only located approximately 50 miles from my home base of Victoria, BC, stepping into the airy lobby hotel felt like I was being whisked away to another universe.
This is no accident. Located amidst the glass skyscapers of downtown Vancouver on the edge of the False Creek waterway, the JW Marriott Parq is designed to evoke both the unique energy of Vancouver within a resort-like setting reminiscent of a luxe Vegas hotel (the property is attached to a 72,000 square-foot world class casino, which is currently closed due to the pandemic.)
“Some people will come here for the weekend and forget to leave the property,” says Jorin McSween, JW Marriott Parq’s Catering Executive.
It’s easy to see why. Within the sprawling 5-star Parq resort complex, guests have access to multiple places to eat, drink and relax, including the Spa by JW and a rooftop aqua lounge with stunning views of the city. While the ability to stay inside is perfect for perpetually rainy Vancouver winters, guests who decide to venture outside are mere steps away from a romantic walk along the seawall and the world class restaurants and shopping of nearby Gastown and Yaletown.
JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is also conveniently connected to the DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection hotel inside of Parq Vancouver resort which offers 188 guest rooms and suites (as shown in the photos below).
It’s for these reasons the JW Marriott Parq has become a popular choice for couples who are craving an intimate wedding and honeymoon in the time of Covid-19.
As McSween shares, “we’re a destination wedding at home.”
Whether you’re looking to tie the knot or simply have a romantic weekend away from home, JW Marriott has everything couples need to safely make the most of their time together in a beautiful setting.
Self-care is made easy at the Spa by JW which features 10,000 square feet of space dedicated to healing, restoration and rejuvenation. The on-site spa is perfect for couples who want to book a luxurious treatment (or two) either before the wedding or as part of their honeymoon.
For brides, there’s a fully stocked Glamoury, an onsite luxury professional makeup and hair salon that offers a range of services from full makeup applications and blow outs to touch ups on the go.
During my stay, I indulged in a relaxing aromatherapy massage followed by some quiet time in the spa’s stunning relaxation area with floor to ceiling windows overlooking False Creek. The next morning, I took advantage of the roof-top aqua lounge which includes a whirlpool with stunning views of the city.
For brides and grooms who’ve had to adapt their wedding plans in 2020, the JW Marriott Parq is currently offering intimate and elegant weddings.
At the time of my visit the JW Marriott Parq was able to accommodate up to 50 guests* (cocktail style or seated) in their outdoor “parq” area and their event spaces, which include gorgeous terrace options (see below).
(*As the situation continues to evolve, brides and grooms should check with the venue to get updated guest number allowances based on current restrictions.)
The JW Marriott Parq also has several luxury suites available for smaller nuptials. This includes the Parq Villa with Patio, a two-level luxury suite that features a handcrafted staircase to the loft-style bath and bedroom and a sweeping wall of floor-to-ceiling windows.
Also available is the Sky Suite, a 2,000 square foot, two bedroom suite with breath-taking mountain, city and water views. Nicknamed the “Oprah suite,” Winfrey stayed in the Sky Suite when she visited Vancouver.
Gorgeous guest rooms.
From the unique locally inspired artwork and design elements to beds that are so comfortable you’ll never want to leave, guests are sure to find themselves surrounded in elegant luxury.
Inspired local cuisine.
From the innovative fusion-driven wedding cuisine of Executive sous Chef Kunal Dighe to the innovative local cuisine that’s available at the hotel’s on-site restaurants, guests are never far away from their next favourite meal.
Couples looking to sweeten the honeymoon experience should add brunch at Honey Salt to their bucket list. With dishes like Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes (pumpkin spice, almond butter, oat crumble, pumpkin seeds) and Pacific Shrimp and Grits (white hominy grits, oyama andouille sausage, mascarpone, tomatoes, sweet peppers, garlic chives), this adorable, locally sourced and regionally inspired restaurant is perfect for a relaxing brunch or intimate dinner.
With strict safety protocols in place, guests can expect a relaxing stay that allows them to focus on what’s important: safely enjoying their time together. Following the stringent guidelines set up by the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council, a group of experts dedicated to ensuring the comfort and safety of guests, the JW Marriott Parq has reduced touchpoints, increased cleaning practices, and tailored guest experiences, capacities and event space layouts to ensure the utmost safety of their guests.
From the bounty of wipes and hand sanitizer readily available near every high-touch surface within the hotel to the conscientious staff that made every effort possible to make me feel as safe and comfortable as possible during my stay, I really appreciate how the JW Marriott Parq takes the health of their guests seriously.
As Jorin McSween explains, “love isn’t cancelled. People are ready to celebrate. It’s nice to have to have a space where you can do that safely and comfortably.”
Simone Paget is a food, travel and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast of Canada. She’s a nationally syndicated sex and relationship columnist for the Toronto Sun and the author of the blog SkinnyDip.ca. Her work has appeared in/on publications such as the Washington Post, Elle Canada, and The Toronto Star.