The Pacific Gateway Hotel recently relaunched what may be the largest restaurant patio in the Lower Mainland. But that’s not the only reason to check into this popular Richmond hotel. From award-winning green initiatives to an annual salmon fishing derby that hooks delighted enthusiasts from around the region, this riverfront hotel has legions of loyal fans.
But if you haven’t yet discovered the charms of this 382-room, pet-friendly hotel—complete with business centre, fitness centre, and seasonal outdoor pool—read on for 10 top reasons to stay at the Pacific Gateway Hotel.
Heated in winter and offering spectacular Fraser River views, the wood-beamed patio at the hotel’s Deck Kitchen + Bar recently reopened after an extensive renovation. The 7,000 square foot area is one of the largest restaurant patios in the region—but size isn’t the only reason to drop by. Whether or not you’re staying at the hotel, there’s also an excellent twice-a-day happy hour (3:00pm to 6:00pm and 10:00pm to 11:30pm) to dive into. Snag a riverside seat and work your way through beer, wine or highball specials—plus tempting food deals that include wings, tacos, and oysters.
The patio at The Deck Kitchen + Bar. | Photo: Pacific Gateway Hotel
Tasty new menus
Pacific Gateway has also been revamping its restaurant menus over the last few months—with the latest iteration hot off the press this week. Fusing lunch and dinner favourites with some intriguing new options, great mains here include salmon burgers, fish and chips, and hearty steaks. Pizza-style flatbreads are also popular—go for the seafood one—while there’s also a wide array of smaller plates that are perfect for sharing, including lamb ribs, and wok-fried squid. Looking to make a night of it? There’s also live music at The Deck Kitchen + Bar on Thursday and Friday evenings.
Dedicated to sustainability
Lots of hotels claim to be environmentally friendly, but the Pacific Gateway—complete with a logo comprised of three tall trees—is seriously committed to the cause. Winner in the Green Business category at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Business Excellence Awards, recent initiatives here have cut the hotel’s greenhouse gas emissions by 11.8 per cent while also reducing water consumption by 24 per cent. Switching from those in-room mini toiletries to zero waste pump amenities has also saved 246,000 plastic bottles annually. The hotel’s chefs have also come on board by sourcing local ingredients—including fresh veggies from their own rooftop garden.
The hotel's rooftop garden. | Photo: Pacific Gateway Hotel
Encouraging greener transportation
The hotel has installed two dedicated Tesla charging stations and its parking lot is also home to a car2go car sharing pick-up and drop-off point. They also have U-bicycles parked on site—part of the city’s recently launched public bike share program. Additional bicycle rentals are also available via the Pacific Gateway’s bell desk from mid-May to mid-October (rates are $7 per hour; $25 per day).
Alongside many Richmond hotels catering to airline travellers, Pacific Gateway offers a free 24-7 shuttle bus to and from Vancouver International Airport. But this hotel goes one step further with its shuttle, offering a quick-hop service to the nearby McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport as well. One of the city’s most popular shopping destinations, the complex is home to dozens of top-notch outlet stores including Coach, Armani, and Polo Ralph Lauren. The shopping shuttle is free for guests—check in with the bell desk for reservations—and it runs throughout the day.
He’s been on-staff at the Pacific Gateway Hotel for 20 years. And in all that time, near-legendary hotel bellman Arif has endeared himself to countless guests by routinely taking his duties to the highest levels of above-and-beyond service. The ever-friendly, five-star fella regularly receives kudos on review sites such as TripAdvisor, with lots of comments mentioning specific acts of dedicated service. “Arif was there for us 100 per cent,” says one reviewer, adding that, “he even loaned us his personal iPhone charger for my 81-year-old Dad to use overnight.”
The lobby of the hotel. | Photo: Pacific Gateway Hotel
Access to trails
Arif and all the lobby staff at the Pacific Gateway have plenty of suggestions for stretching your legs while you’re staying at the hotel. And when you’re staying at a hotel located on the shoreline of the Fraser River, you’re never far from some inviting routes. Along with taking a scenic walk around the area, you can also take a 1.4km stroll to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet (if you don’t want to wait for the free shuttle). Alternatively, you can hit the trails via on a rental bike, available onsite.
Annual salmon derby
One of the region’s most popular fishing events, the annual Vancouver Chinook Classic is co-hosted by the hotel and its adjacent marina facility. The two-day charity fundraising derby is a catch-and-release salmon fishing contest that lures anglers—and their boats—from around British Columbia and beyond. Guides and charter boats can also be supplied, and the event is famous for awarding the largest cash prizes (first prize is $15,000) of any fishing derby in and around Vancouver. You can find out more about this fun event, which runs on August 17 and 18 this year, here.
The celebrated fishing event wouldn’t be held here without the Deckside Marina, a recently renovated Fraser River facility that operates alongside the hotel. With slips for 150+ vessels, you can moor your boat here on monthly or yearly contracts, with all moorage rates including a host of facilities and amenity discounts at the Pacific Gateway Hotel. Planning to sail into the region for a visit? This is the place to dock your boat.
View of the hotel, restaurant, and marina. | Photo: Pacific Gateway Hotel
Special deals and packages
Lots of hotels offer special rates for locals but the Pacific Gateway Hotel goes a little further by extending its ‘local area’ discount to residents of BC, Washington state, and even the Yukon. All receive a 25 per cent discount on regular rates. But that’s not the only way to save on your stay. Other offers include early-bird booking discounts of up to 35 per cent; 20 per cent off if you’re a CAA or AAA member; and a 30 per cent seniors discount—with free breakfast!