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MAY 2012 |

are now touring destinations such as Whistler and Sun Peaks to further understand how to maximize revenue. “What we have found is that many

Asian buyers come to the resort looking at real estate opportunities, saying, ‘What are the investment opportunities, and what is the return?” continues Nixon.

“Whereas the younger generation are looking at it thinking that yes, a return would be nice, but we want a place that we can go to and play.”

Regardless of whether the hotel and its attached condominium homes are in a resort or urban centre, most people that want to buy are looking at the homes as a usage property - the investment side is secondary to it. Bruce Langereis, president of Delta Land Development who renovated the iconic Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver and constructed a 48-storey residential tower next to it, agrees. “Buyers that come to our presentation centre are very well informed and they’re very top end buyers.” He recalls a recent buyer who purchased a sub-penthouse. “It was an Asian buyer who had lived in Vancouver for some years but still had strong connections to China.” “The buyer in question had done a lot of homework – he heavily scrutinised the fl oor plans, the hotel, and the location - and we came out on top.” “To me, that was the epitome of where the market is and where the market is going.” With prices starting at $2 million, Langereis admits that the larger, more luxurious homes tend to sell more slowly as “people are more into ‘seeing is believing.’” “With that in mind, it was a deliberate decision on the part of the developer to renovate Vancouver’s landmark Hotel Georgia fi rst before starting construction on the residences. We did that intentionally: we wanted to showcase the hotel.”

The refurbishment of the hotel itself took a painstaking fi ve years before the doors re-opened under the mantle of Rosewood Hotel Georgia.

The elegant brick facade and interior has been sensitively renovated, keeping true to the design of the original hotel that was built in 1927. Back then it was known as

Vancouver’s most elegant retreat, and it counted Elvis Presley, Katharine

Downtown luxury | Great views and fi rst class local amenities all add up for buyers


Hepburn and British royalty among its most prestigious guests. “With other hotel residences,” explains Langereis, “you haven’t had a chance to see the hotel before you see the residences – they usually open all at once.”

“However, Rosewood Hotel Georgia opened in July 2011, so people have had a unique chance to see the lifestyle that they’re buying into.” Completion of the Private

“The younger

generation say yes, a return would be nice, but we want a place to go to and play”

Residences is scheduled for late Summer/early Autumn this year. It is already a landmark building with the dynamic glass surfaces of the Private Residences soaring above the hotel to become the second highest tower in the downtown core. Designed by the internationally-

renowned architectural company, IBI Group, it will contain 156 suites with interiors by Vancouver’s premier interior designer, Mitchell Freedland. Both companies excel at providing


meticulous attention to detail which is evident throughout these homes. Over-height mahogany doors, limestone thresholds, and oak-panelled entryways, lead to spacious interiors that transition from entertainment- sized living rooms and open-plan gourmet kitchens to bedrooms and bathrooms with spa-like serenity. All around are fl oor-to-ceiling windows that frame stunning views that stretch from the spectacular Vancouver city skyline to the dramatic North Shore Mountains and beyond. The spacious homes range from one bedroom suites to four bedrooms and a media room. Without doubt, the amenities provided by the Private Residences’ association with Rosewood Hotel Georgia are fi rst class: Valet parking, room service, housekeeping, guest rooms, meeting rooms, full spa and fi tness facilities, a chauffeur-driven Bentley, and immediate access to Hawksworth, the hotel’s restaurant that won “Best New Restaurant in Canada” by Macleans magazine. The introduction of acclaimed chef David Hawksworth’s eponymously-named restaurant has become a beacon for visitors and Vancouverites alike. Hawksworth is one of Canada’s

leading culinary talents with previous positions at some of Britain’s top restaurants including Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, L’Escargot and The Square in London’s Mayfair. Association with Hawksworth means that the owners of the Private Residences can simply call on the services of the restaurant’s kitchen to cater a dinner party, and then engage room service to tidy up afterwards. Unlike some hotels that charge owners to pre-pay for the whole month, Rosewood Hotel Georgia offers residents the ability to ‘pay as they play’. In other words, if the parking valet, maid service or room service are used, residents are charged each time they use them, but not if their services are not utilized. The concept of private homes being

connected to hotels is not a new one, but with the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia, residents are connected to a boutique hotel instead of, as is the case with others in Vancouver, a convention hotel.

Another bonus? Just like Delta Residences’ proximity to Sun Peaks’ recreational highlights, Rosewood Hotel Georgia and its Private Residences reside in the heart of Vancouver amid the spectacular natural environment that surrounds the city. The hotel has re- established itself as a mainstay with a leading position as the social, business and cultural hub in the city. It is located opposite Vancouver’s distinctive art gallery, and within walking distance of all the local amenities including world- class shopping, beaches, entertainment, culture and Stanley Park - at 1,000 acres, one of North America’s largest urban parks.

Another attraction for overseas Asian buyers? Proximity to Vancouver’s International Airport which hosts Canada’s fi rst non-stop fl ights from Vancouver to Asia, including China’s most populous province, Guangdong. Perhaps the main component that both the Delta Residences at Sun Peaks Resort and the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia offer buyers is peace of mind. The “lock and leave” ability ensures that when owners are away from the property, they relax in the knowledge that the home is designed to be safe, secure and well maintained. And when they’re using the property, it’s their home, but it also doubles as a fi rst-class hotel of course.

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