The renovations at the Waldorf Hotel on East Hastings aimed to make it a social hub in the downtown eastside.  With two restaurants, a live music venue, a tiki bar, a hair salon, a liquor store and a hotel crammed into one space, it certainly looks as if it would be the new place to spend your day.

With another year under our belt, my significant other and I decided to celebrate in style.  We booked a room at the Waldorf for Friday night, made reservations at the restaurant, and bought some wine and whiskey just because.

We were lucky to be going that particular Friday, as there was a ton going on.  There was the Love Hotel, a valentine’s shopping extravaganza; Karen’s Room, an installation art project; and the East Van Soul Club at the cabaret that night.  Although we went on a busier-than-normal Friday, there are often a few things going on for you to check out.

The hotel room itself was the perfect amount of kitsch.  Tiki themed but not to an extreme, it was comfortable and clean.  The venue is still finding its footing a bit as a hotel though.  The staff were nice and helpful, but it seemed that not everyone knew what was going on.  Also, don’t go expecting peace and quiet.  You can definitely hear the club below. 

The Leetag Room restaurant has a unique Spanish menu and a warm ambience.  The drinks are tasty and pretty well-priced, and they make a mean Rusty Nail.  Many items have a Basque influence, which I haven’t seen elsewhere in Vancouver.

I’ve been a huge fan of the three club-type rooms since they opened.  A hotel staff member was kind enough to escort us to the cabaret entrance, so we got a stamp and didn’t have to pay cover.  One of the perks of staying at the hotel I guess!

The tiki bar is perfect for a good convo and some wicked cocktails.  I’m talking greyhounds with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice good.  The rec room is often the least busy, so it’s good to go if you want have a quick rest.  Also, there’s bar with less traffic there.  The cabaret is the danciest and largest room, so it can get a little pushy. 

Overall we had a totally amazing time dancing the night away, completely unconcerned about having to get home that night.  Rooms have a winter special price right now, so it’s a perfect time to give it a try.  The Waldorf also has a midnight special: after the clock strikes rooms are only $79.  I can’t think of a smarter way to fill rooms above a club.

~ Meghan Roberts