Rosewood Hotel Georgia is unwrapped
Managing director Steve Halliday (left) with chef David Hawksworth on the roof of Rosewood Hotel Georgia construction site in Vancouver.
VANCOUVER—The wraps have been taken off the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver, and managing director Steve Halliday is planning its opening down to the minute.
Fondly named Canada Corner during the 2010 Olympic Games due to the enormous Canadian flag covering its façade the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is now completing its $120 million renovation with a predicted official opening date of Sat. May 7, 2011 at 11:08.
Halliday says that’s the time on the antique clock above the front door on the lobby side of the hotel’s entrance. The clock stopped at that time, so it’s only fitting that the hotel will re-open at that time too. And the original opening date for the hotel was May 7, 1927.
A soft opening is planned starting in March.
Halliday is enthusiastic, not only about the Rosewood name on the hotel, but about its relationship with celebrity chef David Hawksworth, who will be the executive chef responsible for the hotel’s seven restaurant venues.
“I’m thrilled to open the fabulous Rosewood hotel and work with someone like Dave. In Vancouver, over the past 10 years, the success of hotels has been due to the celebrity chef restaurant. It’s a marriage made in heaven,” Halliday says.
Based in Dallas, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is an upscale hotel chain with properties that include the Carlyle in New York.
“We want to become the Carlyle of Vancouver, i.e., the social and business address for the city,” Halliday notes.
The hotel is being developed by Hotel Georgia Development Ltd, which is part of the Delta Group.
First opened in 1927, the hotel’s storied history includes guests like Bing Crosby, Greta Garbo, Elvis and Nat King Cole. In the ‘30s and ‘40s, when the black community was not welcome in hotels, then GM Bill Hudson welcomed them to the Hotel Georgia.
To accommodate today’s demand for larger rooms, the number of guestrooms has shrunk from 315 in the old hotel to 155 in the new. One of the most striking features of the hotel will be its porte-cochère, featuring dropdown glass crystals that are actually the bottom of the fourth-floor swimming pool. The hotel also has close to $1 million in Canadian art, and 100 crystal chandeliers.
Next to the hotel will be a 47-storey residential tower with 160 homes, priced from $1.39 to $8.9 million, and more than 60 per cent sold, to open in Jan. 2012.
Chef Hawksworth has had a long wait for his restaurant. Hawksworth Restaurant will feature The Pearl Room, done in shades of white with an oval chandelier. Another room will feature a full wall of art by Rodney Graham—wood-framed abstract pieces, covered with fabric. Hawksworth expects people will come to the restaurant just to see these pieces. There will also be a lounge and bar, featuring a Cruvinet machine that will keep open bottles of wine fresh for up to four weeks—great for wines by the glass.
His team is now in place: Brad Stanton, a founder of the Canadian Bartenders Assn. as bar manager; Chad Clark from The Pacific Rim as restaurant manager, Kristian Eligh as chef de cuisine, and Terry Threlfall from London, England as sommelier. At press time, he was accepting applications for front of the house positions.
Regarding the food, Hawksworth gives the same answer he has always given. “It will be contemporary Canadian cuisine.”