The above may sound like quite an undertaking – especially from such an intimate setting — but the Wedgewood operates with the grace and style of any boutique European establishment (it's a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux hotel collective, after all). “What makes the hotel unique are its intimate size and the personal attention we lavish on our guests,” explains co-owner and managing director, Elpie Jackson.
Wedgewood’s emphasis on curating guest experiences is apparent in the details — from knowledgable and friendly front desk staff (who are happy to arrange concert bookings, transportation or ice cream recommendations), to private balconies off each suite (a rarity in Vancouver), to countless personal touches including homemade cookies at each evening’s turndown, climate control features, maid visits twice daily, and more.
“Every day is a different day,” explains Elpie of her staff’s enduring attention to detail. “I love being able to help create memorable and unique visits for our guests,” she says.
The Wedgewood’s reputation may be world-renowned, but visitors may not know its fascinating history —namely, that it was brought into being by two formidable (and closely related) women. Founded in 1984 by Elpie’s mother, Greece-born Eleni Skalbania — a talented hotelier known for her work with the Devonshire and Hotel Georgia — the Wedgewood was led by the mother-daughter duo for more than two decades.
“I worked and trained under my mother’s strong tutelage since I was a teenager,” explains Elpie, who departed from a budding career in law to follow in Eleni's footsteps. “She made sure that I was trained extensively in every department, from back to front of the house,” she continues.
For a time, the pair even worked in the same office, often at desks facing each other. “We rarely fought, and if we did, we would resolve it by the time we went home,” explains Elpie. “We had the same vision, and we were both perfectionists in everything we did,” she says.
Clearly inheriting her mother’s flair for hotel management, while cultivating her own tastes, Elpie’s recent upgrades (from crisp linens to the latest in-room decor and technology) ensure the hotel remains a leader in the industry. “Through the years, the hotel has evolved from traditional luxury to a contemporary, Euro-chic luxury,” says Elpie.
“It's a home away from home,” she continues, but the Wedgewood is no average home. Throughout the hotel, polished wood paneling, antique wallpapers, lamps and furnishings, gorgeous fireplaces, fresh flowers and impeccable lighting set the tone for an unforgettable business trip or vacation.
Rooms offer guests a calm space to unwind and relax — and get a good night’s sleep, of course. Plush, high-quality bedding, L’Occitane bath products, HD flat screens, and more luxury bells and whistles enhance each antique room. Penthouse suites come with garden terraces (complete with round tables for tea) and fireplaces, and all guests have access to the on-site fitness centre, spa and a gorgeous piano lounge, among other services.
“I want everyone to leave the hotel thinking, ‘Wow, that was an amazing experience, I’ll definitely return!’” says Elpie. With more than 30 years passed since the beloved hotel first opened, and thousands of happy visitors, one might assume that Elpie’s guests will be returning for many more years to come." >