Ok, I'm not going to have a full review of the hotels that I stayed in for TBEX mainly because I was too tired when visiting (see my crazy weekend for why), and because quite honestly, neither of the properties stood out to me.
Holiday Inn Express Vancouver Metrotown
Check-in was fairly straightforward, upgrade to the executive floor, and the room was a standard Holiday Inn Express room, except for the fact that there were bathrobes in the closet area, with the old HIX logo. The breakfast was the same HIX breakfast that you can find anywhere in the states, except for one major difference.
Yes, that is a pancake machine and the pancake that it produced. Surprising to see since usually the only option for a bread you get other than the standard cinnamon roll is a biscuit. While the pancake was nothing special, it is nice to see a little variety from the standard HIX.
The real selling point of this property is the skytrain. It is right across the street from the hotel, and the crosswalk in front of the hotel goes directly to the elevator entrance to the metrotown station. This is the entrance to use if at all possible, as you have to go through a slightly convoluted travel plan to get to the main entrance either through Station Square, or crossing the bus circle to go up the escilator at Metrotown.
Overall, a decent property, and definitely worth the stay if the price is reasonable.
Hilton Vancouver Burnaby
Quite honestly, this was a hotel I was extremely disappointed in. I checked in after the final day of TBEX, so I was extremely tired, and wanted to get some rest for a busy day the next day. No real upgrade, and was given a room that looked directly at the air conditioning unit for the attached mall. In addition, I could not access wi-fi from my iPad (which I had been using as my computer for the weekend). The room itself was quite nice and modern, but nothing real special.
The executive lounge is quite nice and open even on Sunday nights. during breakfast and Dinner there is a nice spread of food, and it is quite easy to save money by eating in the lounge for these meals (that way you can afford the drinks at the honor bar in the lounge). One thing you should be aware of is that the host pushes really hard for all guests to sign-in.
The location of the hotel is convenient if you want to visit the Crystal Mall right at the hotel, and it is not too hard to go to the grocery store across the street, but for anything else, it is quite a hike.
Overall, decent facilities with some issues. Based on my experience, I would not stay here again, but then it is also obvious that Vancouver is not a market that Hilton is putting any real focus on.