If there was ever an opportunity to grab your BFF and book a weekend of luxurious pampering, now is that time, and a festive place to celebrate a Galentine’s Day is at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. These challenging days have tested the best of us. Booking sessions of self-care at the spa and fine dining therapy at one (or several) of Parq Vancouver’s excellent restaurants in the company of good friends is just the ticket to restoring mind, body, and soul.
Celebrating Galentine’s Day in Vancouver
Galentine’s Day is a blend of gal and Valentine’s Day and is a day for women to celebrate their female friendships. It’s fair to ask whether one day is really enough for such celebrations, and I’m here to advocate for a full weekend of festivities.
The JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is a luxury hotel property in the city’s entertainment district. Located a few blocks from the Yaletown neighbourhood, the hotel offers 330 rooms and suites, many of which face south to False Creek or northwest to the city and mountains. The JW Marriott includes an expansive full-service spa facility, a large 24-hour fitness studio, and outdoor hot tub with city and water views.
Suites are decorated in a modern style by design house Studio Munge, and include large bathrooms, comfortable beds, an espresso machine, and comfy couch for lounging by the floor-to-ceiling windows. Ask for a room facing False Creek to enjoy the best views.
Spa Life is Divine at the Parq
No Galentine’s Day weekend is complete without a fabulously languorous visit to the spa, and JW Marriott has one of my favourites. The Spa by JW is on the hotel’s 17th floor, across from the outdoor yoga studio and a spacious fitness room fitted with more of those floor-to-ceiling windows.
Spa guests can sip sparkling wine or cucumber water in the sunny lounge while waiting to enjoy luxurious treatments like body massages, facials, and manicures and pedicures. The Spa also has a full-service hair salon and a eucalyptus steam room, and the Aqua Lounge outdoor hot tub is just a few steps away.
Gals can book the large couples massage room for simultaneous body treatments, with a choice of massage styles using fragrant essential oils. Or take turns getting a manicure or pedicure with a fully licensed and experienced esthetician. Afterwards, rest at leisure in the women’s-only lounge, sipping herbal tea or chilled bubbly while watching the False Creek ferries flit across the water that separates the downtown from Granville Island.
Dining at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
The JW Marriott is part of the Parq Vancouver complex, which is one of the Vancouver’s most uique entertainment facilities. In addition to two hotels (the second is the DOUGLAS Autograph Collection Hotel), Parq Vancouver includes a casino, eight restaurants and lounges, and a beautiful 30,000-square-foot rooftop park.
The restaurants and lounges of Parq Vancouver are the collaborative effort of James Beard Award nominees Elizabeth Blau and chef Kim Canteenwalla. Based in Las Vegas, the husband-and-wife team are renowned for their restaurant developments in casino resorts and entertainment complexes.
The variety of dining options at Parq Vancouver includes everything from Chinese dim sum to mac-and-cheese waffles, and torched sushi to perfectly cooked steaks, and everything in between.
For happy hour, take the hotel elevator to the sixth floor and walk outside under the covered outdoor patio canopy to enjoy cocktails at the cool and contemporary D/6 Bar. In summer, the rooftop garden is the place to be seen, but at Galentine time, enjoy a comfortable lounge seat, sipping a French 75 cocktail or taking in a tequila or whiskey flight. See if you can find the Hidden Lounge. Hint: Check the bookcase.
Parq’s Honey Salt restaurant is a sister to its namesake in Las Vegas, and has a similar, comfortable design aesthetic complete with warm wooden tables and plush green velvet booths. Open all day, Honey Salt’s menu brings attention to farm-to-table ingredients that are locally sourced from British Columbia growers and suppliers.
Notable dishes include Tofino Fry (calamari and shrimp), Market Tower (fresh and pickled vegetables, hummus, and salads), hearty burgers and truffle fries, and slabs of banana cake or “brookies” (an irresistible combination of chocolate brownie and cookie) for dessert.
The Victor is Parq’s marquee fine-dining establishment, specializing in steak and seafood, including beautifully crafted sushi and spirit-forward cocktails. Steaks are cooked at 1,200 degrees in the restaurant’s broiler and can be accompanied with a variety of sauces like a zesty chimichurri or traditional béarnaise.
The sushi menu includes nigiri and sashimi, as well as aburi (torched) sushi like the melt-in-your-mouth gringo salmon. Options like roasted beet and pear salad, crispy Brussels sprouts, and truffle risotto ensure that vegetable lovers are included as well. Two house specialties fall squarely into the comfort food category — the mac-and-cheese waffles and the onion-ring stack. Try one or both but prepare to take boxed leftovers back to your suite, the portions are well-sized.
MORE ABOUT JW MARRIOTT PARQ VANCOUVER
Girlfriends Getaway Package: The JW Marriott offer includes a bottle of bubbly, daily credit to the Spa by JW, a 2 p.m. late checkout, and 20% discount when dining at Honey Salt during the stay. When booking, be sure that promotional code ZJO appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation, or call 1-800-228-9290 and ask for promotional code ZJO.