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45-room Quality Inn opens in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

Architect says Nanaimo needs more small hotels in and around the downtown
The Quality Inn, a 45-room boutique hotel, has opened on Selby Street in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

A new hotel has opened in Nanaimo for the first time in more than a decade.

The Quality Inn, at 440 Selby St., has just been completed and adds 45 rooms in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter, a short walk from Commercial Street, Victoria Crescent and the downtown waterfront.

The hotel offers rooms with queen- and king-size beds and rooms with features for people with various accessibility needs. All rooms are equipped with premium bedding, irons and ironing boards, hair dryers and desks with ergonomic chairs. Kitchenette suites with inductive cook tops are also available.

The four-storey hotel also supplies free wi-fi throughout the building, a fitness centre and two meeting rooms with outlets for computers and video equipment. The meeting rooms can also be combined to host socially distanced meetings, according to a hotel press release.

There are 25 spaces of underground parking and electric vehicle charging stations.

The Quality Inn also features the Hub City Grill, which is licensed and open to the public. Deep-fried jalapenos, burgers and breakfasts are a few of the menu items on offer.

The hotel is the first built in Nanaimo since the Ramada by Wyndham opened at the corner of Terminal Avenue and Rosehill Street in 2008.

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Design and construction of the Quality Inn was a challenge because of limited land space, said Ian Niamath, the hotel’s architect. The structure was built on a single city lot, but the inn fits in the neighbourhood as a boutique hotel, something he said the city should have more of to meet Nanaimo’s accommodation needs and to take advantage of the steady urbanization of downtown and the Old City Quarter.

“The city needs a lot of little hotels like this,” Niamath said. “If you went to any typical European city, they don’t depend on huge massive hotels unless you’re right downtown, like if you’re in Paris or Barcelona or something. Otherwise, it’s a sprinkling of little hotels everywhere. Every block would have a hotel on it and that’s kind of what you need because people get a feeling for what the city’s about because they get to see the neighbourhoods and they understand and take in the whole city.”
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Linda Choy, server, left, and Gurmail Saroya, hotel general manager, listen as Taylor Johnson, chef for the Hub City Grill restaurant, gives a description of some of the items on the licensed dining room’s menu during a tour of the hotel Thursday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rooms are available with queen and king beds, kitchenettes and with accessibility features for people with mobility issues. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
The Hub City Grill in the Quality Inn is a licensed dining room serving pub-style menu items and is open to the public. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo artist Paul Fudge was commissioned to create paintings for the hotel’s lobby. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Gurmail Saroya, hotel general manager, left, and Ravmeet Chandi, guest services manager, consult in the hotel’s lobby. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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