Anniversary Dinner
July 11, 2003

We treated ourselves to a fancier hotel for the remainder of the trip. We had an early lunch at the Mediterranean cafe near the Howard Johnson - enjoying some wine and great food at an outdoors table. Then, we packed up our stuff and took a taxi down the street (about 10 blocks) to the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Here's some stories of the Pan Pacific Hotel from our travel guide - Vancouver - Secrets of the City, by Shawn Blare, page 34.

"The Dome of Doom: The Dome of Doom on top of the five-diamond Pan Pacific Hotel exerts a powerful influence on the city of Vancouver. Coming into the city along the Stanley Park causeway, it's the first thing that appears: 12 metres high, 19 metres around, a great green hemisphere riding high above the sails. When the recent Cola Harbour development was designed, entire skyscrapers were moved about just to preserve this corridor unobstructed. So what's inside the dome to make it worth such a fuss? Dust, elevator equipment, and a fully functional but now incomprehensible computer that used to run the light show that used to blaze out from the dome across the city. Oh, and some pigeons.

The Pan Pacific gets its fair share of the beautiful people..... For its greatest examples of customer service, the hotel prepares little anecdotes for internal circulation. The following are actual examples, given in the hotels own words:

Groupie Care: A woman friend of a professional athlete who'd been staying at the hotel thought her room had been taken care of by her friend for another night. It had not. When she realized she was alone in the city with nowhere to go she had a meltdown in the lobby. Unfortunately, the Pan Pacific was fully occupied, as it often is. So, the hotel booked her into another hotel.. and paid for it.

Grumpy Care: One night a VIP decided his pillow was not fluffy enough and became quite agitated. Unfortunately, the in-house seamstress had gone home. So a young woman employee took apart a pillow, stuffed extra feathers in - despite her allergy to feathers - and got the VIP his fluffier pillow. She ended up puffy-eyed with allergies. The VIP never knew what it had taken to make him happy."

Here's thew lobby of the Pan Pacific. The check in, shops, buffet restaurant, and outdoor bar are on the second floor. The Five Sails restaurant is on the third floor. Our room was on the 22nd floor.
Pan Pacific Lobby

We were impressed with the room...
Pan Pacific Hotel Room Pan Pacific Hotel Room Pan Pacific Hotel Room

... and even more impressed with the view it had of the harbor!

Looking north:
View from Pan Pacific Hotel Room

Looking west, toward Stanley Park (the tree-covered island) and the ocean:
View from Pan Pacific Hotel Room

I spent much of the time fascinated by the comings and goings of the sea planes and the floating Chevron station.
View from Pan Pacific Hotel Room

That evening, we got ready for dinner at the Five Sails Restaurant. As described on the Pan Pacific's web site:

"Winner of the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award, The Five Sails Restaurant delights diners with an unbeatable combination of spectacular views and savoury menu selections. Executive Chef Ernst Dorfler creates his own unique cuisine with a touch of West Coast, European and Asian influences. An expansive wine list perfectly complements the menu and is expertly advised by our Maitre d'. The Chef's weekly tasting menu offers the best of the season and our popular favourites in delightful sampling courses! Fine food, five diamond service and a magnificent view of the Vancouver Waterfront await you at The Five Sails! "
We took some pictures before going to dinner:
Mike Kari

The dinner lasted over two hours, and it was everything we had hoped for. We had a table right next to the window - overlooking the Island Pricess, mostly. We watched as they prepared the ship for the evening's festivities. A chatty couple at the table next to us informed us that the Island Princess was a brand new cruise ship, and they were preparing for a gala to celebrate its first cruise. The couple was not invited to the gala, but they did have tickets for the maiden voyage the following day.

The most memorable part of the dinner was dessert. We were treated to sherbet bon bons (chocolate covered sherbet balls, served cold) a very artful display. The bon bons were served on a cold dish atop a pretty glass bowl/vase filled with dry ice. For decoration, fresh flowers had been added around the bowl and plate. To top it all off, the bon bons were delicious.