With a city centre location that’s less then 5km from Vancouver International Airport, it has been one of Richmond’s most popular hotels for years. But if you think you know what this Marriott property looks and feels like, think again.

The Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel has been transformed by a recently completed $14-million renovation, pleasing its loyal regulars while also luring plenty of new guests to try it for the first time. Looking for a reason to check-in on your next visit to Metro Vancouver? Read on for details.

New look

Marriotts around the world once had a cookie-cutter approach that meant they all looked similar wherever you were staying. That approach has been jettisoned in Richmond with a renovation that has completely transformed the property. With a soothing West Coast visual theme, lobby areas and drink and dine spaces are now lined with fresh artwork, wood finishes, and sand and fern hues that reflect the colours of the region.

The hotel’s 236 guestrooms have also been dramatically altered. Their old, dark wood look has been swapped for a lighter feel, creating stylishly modern, apartment-style units that you might want to move into permanently. In-room facilities have also been upgraded, from 55-inch TVs to posh new showers (25 percent of the rooms still have tubs if you’re an old-school bath fan).

A guest room at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel
A recently renovated Executive Suite guestroom at the Marriott. | Photo: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel​

Delicious dining

The Marriott’s central location puts you right in the heart of Richmond’s amazing dining scene. But if you don't want to stray too far from your room, its new 75 West Coast Grill is an eminently inviting place to satiate your appetite. The renovation has transformed the look of this lobby-level corner restaurant—think elegant contemporary furnishings and art-installation light fixtures—while the menu cleverly fuses favourites from its former American Grille incarnation with tempting new offerings.

Pacific Northwest underpins the menu approach and there’s a strong commitment to local ingredients, including Steveston-sourced seafood. Breakfast includes an extensive buffet option (Asian favourites included) while popular later-in-the-day dishes include prawn and avocado salad and blanched halibut with angel hair pasta.

The dining room at 75 West Coast Grill
The breakfast buffet is a popular feature at the hotel’s revamped restaurant. | Photo: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel​

Local beer & more

The new look also spills over into the adjoining lounge bar. A highly sociable gathering place, it serves an extensive array of libations, ranging from BC wines to classic martinis and a tempting menu of high-end bourbons. The focus on local is also key here with seven draft beers from Richmond’s very own Britannia Brewing available to enjoy (delicious Ashore Rye Ale recommended).

Here with a group? Snag the bar’s popular communal table—nicknamed the Party Pit—and make it your own for a night of decadent revelry. And if you’re curious about the hotel’s green credentials, the paper straws served with drinks here are a welcome eco initiative.

Labels on the beer taps at 75 West Coast Grill
The hotel’s lounge bar serves brews from Richmond’s own Britannia Brewing. | Photo: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel​

Fit bits

Hotel stays aren't all about partying of course. The recently-renovated Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel has also tripled the size of its fifth-floor, 24-hour gym by removing a guestroom and adding that space to its existing facilities. There’s a full array of state-of-the-art exercise gadgetry here, while an adjoining door leads to a hidden gem heated outdoor pool that’s perfect for cooling off after a long day of sightseeing or business meetings.

You can hit the pool even faster if you avail yourself of one of the hotel’s other popular features: its 24-hour free airport shuttle means you can be whisked from YVR to the poolside ASAP (just don't forget to change before you dive in).

The Marriott's Fitness Centre
The newly-renovated fitness room has tripled in size. | Photo: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel​

Business excellence

Its unbeatable city centre location—just steps from shops, restaurants, Minoru Park, and the CF Richmond Centre mall—has always made the Marriott a top choice with leisure travellers. But business travellers have traditionally been an even bigger focus here. The property’s 175 one-bedroom suites are particularly popular with corporate guests craving home-away-from-home comforts. There’s also a full menu of business services plus experienced staff that are adept at assisting corporate guests with their specific needs. Meetings can also be hosted onsite for groups of up to 435 people.

Lovely lounge

Many corporate travellers spend their time in the hotel’s dedicated M Club Lounge, a special lobby-level enclave created for elite-level Marriott guests. This private, stylishly-furnished area serves breakfast and dinner for qualified guests, also providing them with all-day access to refreshments. TV’s and browsable magazines (from The Economist to Sports Illustrated) are offered alongside the cozy fireplace here, while the lounge is also an ideal spot to catch-up on work or hold small meetings.

The M Club Lounge
The M Club Lounge is popular with the Marriott’s elite-level guests. | Photo: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel​

For kids

Of course, it’s not all about business travellers at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel. When you’re travelling with your children, this hotel is also an excellent option. Junior guests receive a cool package of goodies when they check in with their adults here, including colouring books, special pillowcases (SpongeBob SquarePants-theme recommended) and kid-sized robes and slippers to use.

Rewarding loyalty

The personal touch is extended even further for those ever-loyal adult guests—and there are many in this group—that love the Marriott brand so much they would never stay anyone else. If you’re the kind of guest that has stayed here dozens of times, you can expect to have your initials embroidered on a personalized pillowcase. You might also find a bottle of your favourite wine in your room and maybe some curated magazines that reflect your personal interests. The Marriott makes a big effort to get-to-know its valued regular guests, making them feel like old friends whenever they check in.

Excellent employees

It’s the staff, of course, that makes this level of exceptional personal service possible. Unusual among hotels—a sector that often has high staff turnover—many of this Marriott location’s employees have been with the property for more than 20 years. That’s helps to foster a climate where regular guests are remembered fondly and new guests are made to feel welcome. Among the stars of Richmond’s Marriott team are barman Donovan—well-known for remembering the favourite drinks of repeat guests for many years—and Jovi, who is famous for singing to customers in the restaurant.

The lounge bar
The hotel’s lounge bar has received a sparkling makeover. | Photo: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel​

Perfect for pooches

Humans aren't the only guests who enjoy the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel's personalized, pampering approach. Some travellers can't hit the road without their beloved pets, which is why the hotel goes further than most to keep these lucky critters happy. Reserve ahead and your  pooch will receive in-room special features such as treats, toys, and a dedicated mat. There’s even a cool grassy area on the hotel’s fifth level where your four-legged family-member can happily nose around.