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Pillow Fight Club

In our books, the only kind of acceptable fights involve pillows. Soft, feathery, plush pillows primed for combat. Here are the rules of pillow fight club to make your cushion clash worthy…

1. Always talk about pillow fight club.

2. The confines of your bed are the boundaries of the ring. Don’t fall off.

3. Clear your side table of any breakables. There should be no casualties in pillow fight club.

4. Pile your bed with cushions of all sizes and shapes for an assortment of weaponry.

5. For optimal good times, pajamas or underwear only.

See if you can reach the penultimate state of a pillow fight – that moment the fabric seams rip and feathers rain down like treats from a piñata.  

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

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

Decorate your body

If you’re not dressing up during the holiday season, you’re doing it wrong. Snow flurries and rain downpours are no match for the sparkling dresses, twirling skirts, dapper suits, and shiny shoes showing off in houses, restaurants, and hotel ballrooms across the city.

Get inspired with some of our favourite holiday looks that have blown through holidays past and present.

Where will you find your holiday threads this year?

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Free People dress 2013; Anthropologie dress 2013; Vogue Spain December 2012; Vogue December 1997; Dolce & Gabbana FW14; Vogue Russia December 2010

Read me your erotica

Sex. Just the word, one word, can physically alter a state. Eyes squint, tongues moisten, lips swell, and skin trembles.

And that’s just one word to describe the act that’s on our minds several times a day (or all day). Imagine what pages of words can do. Pages and pages. All describing, outlining, drawing, and mapping desire, lust, and love.

Books like 50 Shades of Grey may have brought erotica into the modern mainstream but the genre has been turning people on since the reign of the Greek gods. Sappho, a poet in the 500s BC, wrote lyrical lines of lesbianism and Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland, published in 1748, was the first pornography written as a novel.

Here’s some more erotic books all libidinous souls should have under their belts:

1. Delta of Venus by Anais Nin

“When she closed her eyes she felt he had many hands, which touched her everywhere, and many mouths, which passed so swiftly over her, and with a wolflike sharpness, his teeth sank into her fleshiest parts. Naked now, he lay his full length over her. She enjoyed his weight on her, enjoyed being crushed under his body. She wanted him soldered to her, from mouth to feet. Shivers passed through her body.”

2. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure (aka Anne Rice – yes, that one)

“Just the two of us in my bedchamber, where I should envelop her naked soul in rituals and ordeals beyond our past experiences, our dreams. No one to save her from me. No one to save me from her.”

3. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

“Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect, and amounted to the same thing.”

4. Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl by Brooke Magnanti

“Why fantasize about what you already experience? I go to the written word for places and faces that I don’t get at home. Hot people in hot climates. Sex acts I can hardly imagine. Porn is about the unachievable … and, therefore, the inherently desirable.”

5. Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane DiPrima

“There are as many kinds of kisses as there are people on the earth, as there are permutations and combinations of those people.”

Forget your discrete eReaders, we dare you to read these in paperback form. And even better, find someone to read them to.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Why walk when you could strut?

Some boots are built for snow drifts. Others for puddle jumping. Many for sidewalk strutting. And a few for merely gazing upon with wonder. We’ve found a selection of boots that make us wish for winter year round.

Which ones do you desire?

Boots (from left to right, top to bottom): Pucci, Theyskens’ Theory, Chloe, DSquared2, Lucchese, Rag & Bone, Unknown girls’ boots

~ 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

In conversation with James Franco

In case you didn’t know, James Franco’s been in and out of Vancouver over the past few weeks filming the latest Seth Rogen picture, The Interview. He’s an actor, author, scholar, director, producer, screenwriter, art curator, musician, teacher, artist – have I forgotten anything? If you happen to find yourself on a bar stool next to the guy, who can pretty much do anything, here are some conversation points:

1. The book on his bedside. The man reads. And is often snapped with a book firmly clasped in his hand. Franco recently adapted William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and also portrayed Allen Ginsberg in Howl.

2. Cats. He’s into them. So much so, that during a recent interview with Ellen Degeneres, she presented Franco with a calendar featuring his head on various bodies posing with cats.

3. Writing techniques. Franco recently published his first novel, Actors Anonymous. He’s also penned a book of short stories, Palo Alto, and frequently scrawls for such publications as Huffington Post and VICE.

4. Rapping. For his epic role as Alien in Spring Breakers, Franco studied rapper Dangeruss. They performed together on stage for the film and Franco later produced a music video for the local rapper.

5. Diverting paparazzi. He staged a series of “scandalous” scenes to bait the gossip sites into thinking they were real. Hook. Line. Sinker.

6. The evolution of the selfie and its recent declaration of Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary. Franco’s Instagram is littered with these camera close-ups.

7. Sleep. Does he have time to do it?

~ 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