Civic Hotel Vancouver Review: Great Value SkyTrain Access!

The Civic Hotel is a new and modern boutique hotel located in the Surrey area of Vancouver, British Columbia offering convenient public transit access to the rest of the Vancouver area. It is a part of the Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection.

I recently stayed for a full week in 2023 at the Civic Hotel and was impressed by the property’s modern style, transit-friendly location, solid amenities, and great value. This article covers my personal experience at the hotel with real photos taken by myself.

Location & Transit

While serving the broader Metro Vancouver area, the Civic Hotel is specifically located within the Surrey suburb located a fair distance from the main downtown Vancouver area.

However, the Civic Hotel counters this with an incredible proximity to Surrey Central station on Vancouver’s main metro SkyTrain Expo Line. Surrey Central station is quite literally right across the street from the Civic Hotel and you can be on a train within a couple minutes of leaving your room!

For out-of-town visitors unfamiliar with Vancouver’s public transit, this places the Civic Hotel at a distance from the city’s main attractions, but with fast and frequent light rail access to them. Visitors can reach the New Westminster Quay in 10 minutes, the Metrotown Mall in 20 minutes, and the Downtown Vancouver’s Waterfront in 35 minutes!

Check out the map below and find the Civic Hotel at Surrey Central on the dark blue line towards the bottom right:

On the flip side, it should be noted that there is little for a tourist to see or do in the immediate area surrounding the hotel. Your days will almost certainly begin with hopping on the SkyTrain to head elsewhere.

Given how sky-high room rates can be in downtown Vancouver during peak season — or really any time of year — the Civic Hotel can be a reasonable compromise option allowing some cost savings, while still offering great access with Vancouver’s excellent SkyTrain service.

Room: 2 Queen Beds, City View

I stayed in a standard 2 Queen Beds with City View room at the Civic Hotel. Booked during shoulder season, my daily rate averaged out to about $170 CAD a night.

A centerpiece of the room was a massive window spanning the length and height of the room featuring a beautiful view of Vancouver’s stunning neatby mountains in the distance when viewed on a clear day.

The beds were cozy and comfortable, a large smart TV can be found on the wall, and a small desk with chair is available under the TV. In the corner by the large window, you can find a lounger chair. The bathroom was modern and is separated from the main room by a sliding door.

All of the expected amenities were present including a mini fridge, large closet, safe, and coffee maker with Lily pods. Two complimentary water bottles were refreshed daily. There weren’t any notable omissions or disappointments.

Complete housekeeping was provided daily at the Civic Hotel throughout my stay without any special requests needed. Sadly, this is a service that can no longer be assumed these days at many hotels and worth mentioning!

Finally, I enjoyed the hotel’s overall British Columbia look and feel with each floor featuring artwork near elevators celebrating different parts of the province. Inside the room, province landscape paintings were behind each bed, and a British Columbia map was painted on the side wall.

Breakfast Buffet at Dominion Bar + Kitchen

Breakfast at the Civic Hotel is hosted within the property’s partner restaurant Dominion Bar + Kitchen, which offers an extensive breakfast buffet with both hot and cold items. In particular, the maple glazed smoked bacon was excellent and some of the best bacon I’ve seen served at a hotel breakfast!

Besides the great bacon, pork or beef sausage, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, and either pancakes or waffles were typically served in terms of hot items. A variety of meat and cheese cold cuts, various pastries and breads, plus cut fruit were served as well.

Finally, I made sure to indulge in the Dominion’s plentiful four season fruit smoothies every day, which were delicious! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves beyond this.

I received complimentary full access to the entire breakfast buffet spread at the Civic Hotel for two guests courtesy of my Platinum loyalty status with the Marriott Bonvoy program. This represented an excellent value as the regular rate is $25 per guest, excluding taxes and gratuity. In total, my breakfast was a savings of almost $200 throughout the stay!

For Canadians, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card is a great way to get started with as it comes with free Silver status and 15 qualifying nights toward a higher status that could earn you free breakfast.

Prado Cafe & Rooftop Pool

Beyond the Dominion Bar + Kitchen restaurant, the appetizing Prado Cafe can be found within the hotel’s lobby that also serves apartments in an adjacent tower. I didn’t order anything, but a travel buddy with me was more than satisfied with their morning coffee.

For those visiting during the summer season, the Civic Hotel features an outdoor rooftop pool and hot tub that looks quite appealing for a sunny day! The weather didn’t fare well during my stay though, so I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to check out the rooftop pool for myself. The photos below are official shots from the hotel.

Conclusion

After spending a more than satisfactory week at the Civic Hotel within the Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection, I can confidently say that it’ll be at the top of my list next time I find myself in Vancouver if the price remains right and prime downtown location isn’t necessary for my trip!

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