The Midas Touch – Sheraton Suites Le Soleil Hotel and Oritalia

Sheraton Suites Le Soleil Hotel & Oritalia Restaurant

Penthouse Suite

Le Soleil Penthouse
courtesy Le Soleil

The noise and rush of the downtown streets faded when I arrived at the door of Sheraton Suites Le Soleil, Vancouver’s newest boutique hotel. Located in the heart of Vancouver’s financial, entertainment and shopping districts, it was just what I needed. Boasting European-style service and decor it seemed to me like a home away from home, a luxurious place to relax at the end of a working day. Shepherded from the front door to my room by friendly staff, I knew I was in for a treat.

The sophisticated lobby was stunning with its thirty-foot high vaulted, gilded ceilings and crystal chandeliers. I felt its intimacy as I cozied up to a gas fireplace surrounded by deep crimson and gold sofas. Designer touches were everywhere. From the brushed metal elevator doors embellished with golden suns to the motif on each suite’s door, Le Soleil’s sun theme permeates the decor. This was a place I could warm up to.

Le Soleil Bedroom

Le Soleil Bedroom
courtesy Le Soleil

I felt truly pampered when I opened the door to my suite where the care and creativity in design continued. Rich crimson satin brocade covered the bed, and gold and cream striped wallpaper added a touch of elegance. The separate living area with its sofa and chair provided a pleasant spot for a long awaited visit with a friend. Surrounded by custom designed maple furnishings, the Midas touch was everywhere – from the original artwork on the walls to the sun art on the coffee table. It was easy to relax in such surroundings. The mini-bar provided all I’d need in the way of entertaining.

It was a treat to unwind at the end of the day with a soak in the beautiful marble bathroom. The granite countertop flecked with gold added to the ambience. I particularly enjoyed using the specialty grooming products. The suite’s amenities were all I could want and more – from the cordless phone, the coffee and tea maker to the iron and hairdryer. In the morning my delicious breakfast arrived exactly when I requested it, along with the Globe and Mail newspaper.

The combination of efficiency and tasteful elegance of Sheraton Suites Le Soleil made it a treat to conduct business amid pleasurable surroundings. But the pleasure didn’t end there.

Sun mural

Oritalia Restaurant Sun Mural
courtesy Le Soleil

Adjacent to the Le Soleil is Oritalia Restaurant. The place is a buzz of conversation and activity. The decor’s star attraction – a two-story mural of the sun rising above the dramatic staircase – is stunning. At the top is a cozy balcony and private dining room. Residing over all this is a gigantic, globed wrought iron chandelier. The warm crimson and gold color theme used in the hotel was repeated in the restaurant with the cherrywoods, plush velvet swagged curtains gracing the booths and the glowing tile accents on the floor. One side of the lower floor hummed with activity where an exhibition kitchen allowed the curious diners to watch meals being prepared. The 21-foot cherrywood bar on the other side of the room is a favorite after work watering hole.

But the real star of this restaurant is the food. The restaurant’s name is a clue to the type of offerings, a blend of Oriental and Mediterranean-Italian ingredients and spices with fresh West Coast fare. My waitress informed me that two favourite starters are the Nori wrapped Dungeness crab cakes with lemongrass cream and the tuna tartare on sticky rice with shiso and Asian pears. I chose the crab cakes. Delicious. For the main I enjoyed a five spice fresh seabass, one of the most mouth-watering entrees I have ever had. I ended the meal with three scoops of homemade fruit sorbet.

Oritalia Restaurant crab cakes

Oritalia Restaurant crab cakes
courtesy Le Soleil

Whichever way you slice it, Oritalia Restaurant, like the adjoining Sheraton Suites Le Soleil Hotel boasts the Midas touch.

Sheraton Le Soleil Hotel
567 Hornby St., Vancouver, B.C.
Canada, V6C 2E8.
Phone: 604-632-3000.
Fax: 604-632-3001.
In Nth America, toll free 1-877-632-3030.

For directions to the hotel via car from the airport or US border visit the web site at Approximate cost from the airport by taxi is $23 (Canadian) or $10 (Canadian) by the airporter bus that stops one block away. Underground valet parking.

Oritalia Restaurant is located at 567 Hornby St. Telephone: (604) 689-8862. Breakfast daily 6:30 to 11a.m.; lunch 11a.m. to 5p.m.; dinner 5 to 11p.m.; late night menu from 11. All major credit cards. Ground floor is wheelchair accessible. Reservations highly recommended.

Conveniently situated adjacent to the hotel, the new YWCA offers an ozonated swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool, indoor track and modern health club facilities. Membership is available for Le Soleil guests.

©2002 by Barbara Ballard. Reproduction of this work in whole or in part and reproduction in electronic media, including images, without documented permission from the author is prohibited.

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If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our North America Insiders page.

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