Travel

Showing 22 posts tagged Travel

OPUS Profile: Camilla Jadhav

With over a decade spent in the hospitality industry, Camilla now contributes to the OPUS Hotel team as Duty Manager. This true Canadian (Caesars are her cocktail of choice) and North Vancouver native makes her days all about ensuring guests are creating incredible memories. And her smile will get you. Every. Single. Time.

Ask her about…

21 Jump Street. She wanted to be an undercover cop when she was younger.

Favourite OPUS Lifestyle Concierge?

Billy – but that’s probably because I love musicians.

Who would you like to see stay at OPUS?

Michael Fassbender, Nathan Followill, Charlie Hunnam, Ryan Gosling… Oh sorry, you meant just one ;)

Best experience you’ve had with a guest?

Too many to choose just one! It’s a bit dorky just how much I truly enjoy making sure every guest has an amazing experience with us. If I had to narrow it down, I would consider my best guest experiences are when I get to chat with guests beyond the standard greetings and find out about them and their life!

Got a secret of Vancouver?

There are a few small beaches around the seawall. More often than not, if I get there early enough, I can claim my own private beach for the day!

What will get you dancing?

Live music… and a couple drinks!

Money’s no object… where are you traveling to next?

Bora Bora

Favourite Canadian personality?

Fictional – Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables

Non Fictional – George Stroumboulopoulos

Tell me something quirky about you that the average person may not know.

I’m a pretty open book once you know me. However, I loved pickles so much when I was a little girl (and “may” have even drunk pickle juice on occasion), that in turn, I obviously named my cat, Pickles…  RIP Pickles Jadhav.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

The Sant’Angelo at OPUS Bar

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It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean chilled treats should be ignored. Inspired by a Roman sweet sold by street vendors, OPUS Bar’s Sant’Angelo is bartender Martin Corriveau’s newest cocktail on the December menu.

A fragrant balance of Amaro Averna, Marsala, Tamarind Syrup, and Grappa trickle through hand-crushed ice to produce a festive and richly coloured beverage. The flavourful drink writes love notes of orange, rose, chocolate, and raisin on the palette as it journeys through the mouth.

That night, I dreamed of the cobbled streets of Rome.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

We’ve been lucky this winter. Vancouver has shown us her blue-eyed sky for so many days in a row we’ve lost count. But when Vancouver drizzles and drips as she often does, we can’t help but dream of other destinations to get a dose of a winter wonderland. Here are a few to fantasize about…

  • In the far reaches of the United Kingdom lie the craggy hills and grand castles of Scotland. Get there in time for their New Year Hogmanay celebration that traipses through the mystical streets of Edinburgh.
  • Deep in the north of Sweden is the Sápmi  region – home of glistening lakes, powdery snow, towering mountains, and regal reindeer.
  • The Carpathian mountain range blocks out any apprehensive travelers to Transylvania. Take a daring trip into the heart of Dracula’s origins.
  • Turn any monotonous Vancouver rain into snow with just a short trip out of town. OPUS Hotel’s Ski-Scape package combines city lights with the thrills on Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour, and Cypress Mountain. We’ll even throw a fireplace in for good measure.

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Cypress Mountain (source), Sweden, Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, New York, Wintery road, Snow River in Finland, Transylvania.

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

OPUS Profile: Nathan Penner

Acting as Bell Service Agent, Nathan Penner may be the first face you see when arriving at OPUS Hotel. He adds to a guest’s OPUS experience by taking care of bags and vehicles, making reservations, and driving the hotel car to downtown destinations. Originally from Prince George, Nathan began his hotel life at the Four Seasons Hotel Whistler after working as a lift operator. Meet Nathan… 

Ask him about…

Film production and SPFX. He went to school for it. 

Favourite OPUS Lifestyle Concierge?
 
Mike because I like the red rooms the most! 
 
Who would you like to see stay at OPUS?
 
Kate Upton.
 
Best experience you’ve had with a guest?
 
Helping this one group of ladies for a bachelorette party. It was nothing but laughs from the beginning to the end of their trip. Nothing is better than helping people and seeing them enjoy themselves.
 
What cocktail are you usually drinking?
 
A Caesar.
 
Best kept secret of Vancouver?
 

Shebeen Whisk(e)y House. (Shhh… Don’t tell anybody!)
  
What will get you dancing?
 
A pretty girl. A good tune. Five beers.
 
Money’s no object… where are you traveling to next?
 
Barbados.
 
Favourite Canadian personality?
 
Bob and Doug Mackenzie.
 
Something people may not know about you?
 
I love frisbee golf and will probably drag you to the course to show you how fun it is.

 ~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Winter cocktail at OPUS Bar

There is temptation in the crisp air this time of year – the anticipation of holiday parties and soirees bubbles slowly to the surface. It’s a period of time when we succumb to luxurious consumption. We welcome hot chocolate, hearty soup, rich fondue, and bold Barolo to warm the coldest corners of our bodies.

Bartender Martin Corriveau has concocted another indulgence to appeal to decadent tastes and desires. The Hot Butter Rum has been molded and manipulated from a traditional cocktail into one with a rich twist unique to OPUS Bar.

The drink is a mixture of Oakheart Bacardi, Goslings Black Seal Rum, a splash of lemon, and a velvety syrup of butter and Tonka Bean ice cream devised by Pastry Chef Matt Wilson. The glass is topped with fresh cream that delightfully threatens to linger on noses, asking to be licked off by your neighbour.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Let’s Elope

Running away with a lover is the epitome of romance. It’s wildly spontaneous, beautifully intimate, scandalously private, and succulently exhilarating. An elopement is a delicious secret held captive until after the “I do’s” have been declared and a pair of rings wrap fingers. It’s a monumental affair whispered to only a fortunate few.

We’re excited to be one of those privy to your celebration of love with the new Steal My Heart Elopement Package at OPUS Hotel. We’ll greet you with sparkly champagne and soft macarons in your stunning Signature Suite, drive you to dinner in our Jaguar, and leave you on your wedding eve to enjoy a jetted bath, movie, popcorn, and the divine four-post bed.

On your wedding day, have your mind and muscles relaxed with an in-suite couples massage. We’ll take care of ceremony details. Pick your preferred time to profess your love and we’ll provide flowers, champagne, a marriage commissioner, and witnesses… all in the comfort of your suite. Celebrate over a 4-course dinner - either behind your closed door or downstairs in La Pentola - before you make use of that four-poster again.

For those without a care for exorbitant centrepieces, political table charts, and competitive bouquet tosses. No worries. No stresses. No in-laws. Just you and your beloved.

Find more details of the Steal My Heart Elopement Package here.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

IMAGES (left to right): Read Between the Lines, Pinterest - original source unknown, Pinterest - original source unknown.

Street Notoriety

Banksy’s speciality is creating a stir – not only with his meaningful graffiti art but with his much criticized opinion piece on the World Trade Center that got denied by the New York Times. Few know who the mysterious artist truly is, but his anonymity only adds to the appeal. It’s when the mask comes off and all is revealed when we may lose interest, proving, once again, that mystery holds attention.

Here’s a few reasons why we still love Banksy:

1. He’s influenced by the stars and sprays his art in the quiet of night.

2. He takes risks with his creativity, providing art that evokes thought and debate.

3. Under anonymity, he set up a stand in Central Park and sold his pieces for $60 each - works of art that usually sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

4. Commercialization and money aren’t his bag. He just wants to tell his message through art.

5. After learning that a homeless man was living in a water tank he had covered with graffiti, Banksy gave him enough money to get an apartment and support himself for a year.

6. He does what he loves. The ultimate rule to life.

Now, will Banksy ever be lured to Vancouver?

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

OPUS Profile : John deC. Evans

We’re taking you further inside our hotel to introduce you to a few of the people who have made it a reality. I sat down with John deC. Evans, visionary, developer, co-owner and president of OPUS Hotels Corporation, to talk about his vision, favourite rooms, and his perfect day in Vancouver.

Tell us about the OPUS revamp.

In the life of a hotel, there is always the requirement for a makeover. The vision needed to evolve like people, fashion, and music. They all change with time. The energy and spirit of the original vision had been well received globally. We always wanted a residential look and feel, which was expressed in light fixtures, fabric selections and colour choices. We worked collaboratively with Robert Bailey, the interior designer, to continue that approach in the revamp. The goal was to stay true to character – neither more conservative nor more outlandish.

What’s your favourite room and muse?

From a colour perspective, I’ve always liked the muse Mike. I liked the vibrancy of the original, bold red. With the revamp, the colour has softened and brightened but is still a favourite. We retired the golden colour and, hence, the muse couple called Bob and Carol. Frankly, they were dated. They left with their harvest gold colour, which was kind of done. And in came an Hermés orange with our Pierre muse. Love it. If I had to pick, I’d say I like those, Mike and Pierre.

The vision in the rooms and suites was that they would have all of the essential pieces – even in the smallest rooms. There would be the same excitement for guests staying in the standard room as in any other. I’ve stayed in that room. I like that room - the feeling, quality, coziness - as much as the signature penthouse suite.

With each visit, you might be in a different state of mind. If you’re in an introspective mood, you would perhaps choose to stay in Susan’s blue room because it makes you feel restful. Or if you want to have a party weekend – try some things you’ve never tried before – you may stay in Billy’s green room.

Once a guest has stayed with us, they’ll know our muses and colours, and will know upon returning which room to select for their mood. The nice thing about that is a guest will never have the same experience twice.

As a traveler, how would you spend a day in Vancouver?

Get to bed early, get up early. Wake up refreshed when the sun rises (or to sheets of rain). You have the choice to exercise first or go to breakfast. The day is very much about being outside and being active, absorbing the beauty of the city rain or shine. Spend the afternoon at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

There’s amazing dining in the city, including lots of chef owned and operated restaurants, such as Lucais Syme’s La Pentola and Pino Posteraro’s Cioppino’s - both brilliant dining experiences. And there’s a little sushi restaurant on Pacific Boulevard called Ki-Isu – it’s great and always packed.

What are your favourite dishes on the menu at La Pentola?

The soufflé di parmigiano with zucchini crudo and the lemon cream dessert. They have similar textures and they both melt in your mouth. If I never ate another thing, I would be happy.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

On Two Wheels

Just because fall has arrived, doesn’t mean it’s time to lock up your bicycles. In fact, the crunchy, crispy sound of leaves under wheels is just as enchanting as when heard underfoot.

When you stay at OPUS Hotel, take a spin on one of our complimentary bikes. There’s something freeing and fanciful about the fall wind slipping its fingers through your hair when winding along the seawall.

Find more cycling inspiration at Cycle EXIF.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images from left to right, top to bottom: Kenevans at Pony Bikes in Melbourne via Cycle EXIF; Annie Leibovitz featuring Cate Blanchett for Vogue 2004; Kinfolk via Cycle EXIF; Steven Meisel for Vogue 1999; Steven Meisel for Vogue 1998; Sman Wooden Cruiser via Cycle EXIF; Steven Meisel for Vogue 2009.

 

Ghosts from Paris

Long before Helmut Newton shocked eyes with his salacious images of women in various states of undress and compromise, Brassaï, a Hungarian photographer, captured the inner workings of Paris in the 1920s and 30s. Often seductive, sometimes raw, frequently haunting. He used photography “in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night.”

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider