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Vancouver History: The Hotel Georgia

January 24th, 2011 @ 10:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This morning it was announced that the Rosewood Hotel Georgia will officially open its doors on Saturday May 7th 2011, exactly 84 years to the day that the hotel first opened its doors in 1927. While it has been under construction and major renovations for the last few years, it was still an icon during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics with its larger-than-life 15-storey Canadian flag wrap.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Georgia Large Canada Flag
Photo credit: Rodefeld, Tyler Ingram on Flickr

1930 – Hotel Georgia. Photographer: Leonard Frank. Vancouver Archives Item #Hot P2

Over the last century the Hotel Georgia hosted everything from Board of Trade meetings to guest like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Rolling Stones. However it was not only accommodation for dignitaries and Hollywood’s glitz and glamour crowd; the pub was also a favourite hangout for UBC students who even protested its closing in 1962.



1945 – Hotel Georgia (Top Right) 1945 – alcove VPL#: 26741, (Top Left) elevator lobby VPL#: 26308
(Bottom Right) lounge VPL#: 26314, (Bottom Left) ballroom VPL#: 26315

The new Rosewood Hotel Georgia will feature close to 10,000 square feet of deluxe banquet and meeting facilities, the Rosewood Spa, a fitness centre, and a 54’ indoor salt water lap pool. There will be 155 rooms and two Penthouse Suites, the Lord Stanley Suite and the signature Rosewood Suite, both featuring a private rooftop terrace complete with city skyline views, outdoor hot tub and fireplace.


Hotel Georgia writing room VPL Accession #: 26310

Chef David Hawksworth will also open the 2,800 square foot ‘Hawksworth’ Restaurant including a seated bar and lounge area and a first floor private dining room, overlooking the Art Gallery.

With TripAdvisor recently announcing the “Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Canada” and 8 of them being in BC, it sounds like the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is poised to fit right back into the legacy of luxury accommodation that it created in Vancouver.

For more history, check out The Hotel Georgia: A Vancouver Tradition by Sean Rossiter that was published in 1998.

My weekly history series has been rebranded for “Vancouver 125” with a focus on specific dates, landmarks, and events throughout Vancouver’s history. This series is dedicated to the tremendous life and work of Chuck Davis.

Update May 2011: I had a preview of the hotel today.

Update July 15, 2011: The Rosewood Hotel Georgia welcomed its first guests this morning.

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3 comments

  1. That hotel really was a highlight of the Olympics. Almost everyone had at least one photo of it in their Olympics albums. It really brought out the spirit of the occasion.

  2. Bill says:

    I went in there when they were auctioning off everything in the hotel a few years ago. All the linens were stacked in mountains in the rooms, all the furniture was for sale. Got to walk into the kitchens and back rooms. Unfortunately that was before i got into photography :(

  3. Athena Kollias says:

    This hotel holds many memories in my family history. My father was a pastry chef in the hotel in the early 1960′s. I remember many times as a 3 or 4 yr. old my mum taking my sister and me down a side street to the kitchens which were on the ground (or maybe basement) of the hotel to see my daddy before going to the beach (we lived in the west end). I remember my dad giving me a Napolean slice. I loved this hotel. My Uncle worked in the Vancouver Hotel at the same time. They were immigrants from Greece, just starting out.

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