Heading to Vancouver for the first time? Stroll around the Vancouver Art Gallery in Robson Square, before tucking into seriously good street food outside. Meanwhile, Gastown is the place for boutique shopping and sophisticated cocktails before hitting the clubs on Granville Street.
A vibrant, cosmopolitan arts and culture district, ringed by a seawall buzzing with bike riders and joggers, downtown Vancouver pleases nature lovers and sophisticated urbanites alike. Cycle through Stanley Park, lunch on Granville Island and watch the sunset at English Bay Beach. Here are the best hotels close to all the action in downtown Vancouver.
Guestrooms at Pinnacle direct your eyes to the skies above Coal Harbour. Bold striped carpets point the way and floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the bright city lights, or the north shore mountains. Ask for a fourth-floor room with a balcony where you can sniff the sea breezes or sink into a plush velvet sofa. Need more terrace? Peer through the telescope in the penthouse for a wraparound view of the nearby seawall, Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, and all of downtown.
Take things one step at a time at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. Friendly staff will get you started in one of 644 rooms and suites, including 45 Regency Club rooms with private lounge, complimentary breakfast, and evening hors d’oeuvres. Get a little higher in the bilevel suite on the 32nd and 33rd floors where a waterfall of navy curtains opens onto a view of the mountains. Take it to the limit with the Nature Hike Challenge, a 34-floor staircase route lined with woodland murals. Elevator shortcuts are optional.
Good breeding always shines through. Take the Victorian Hotel, for example. The current owners of this 1898 property kept its “good bones”; the hardwood floors and exposed brick walls, and added sleek, modern baths with soaker tubs and marble tile. The result is a pleasing mix of contemporary and Edwardian style. Value seekers will find several Euro-Rooms with a shared bath but never fear, the hotel’s high standards of cleanliness never falter. Find more Euro flavour at the Italian inspired restaurant, Autostrada Osteria. It’s a guest favourite.
Vancouver’s hippest hotel refers to itself as your perfect city basecamp. The Burrard was converted from a 1956 motor hotel, so it oozes with character and retro vibes. Its excellent downtown location is minutes away from the bars and restaurants of Davies Street and Robson Street’s upscale shopping. Perks like in-room Nespresso machines, free bike rentals, Steve Nash gym passes and umbrellas for rainy days, makes it one of the coolest places to stay. The tropical courtyard alone is worth a visit.
Skwachàys Lodge, Canada’s first Aboriginal arts hotel is where culture meets hospitality. The boutique hotel features eighteen one-of-a-kind guest suites, all of them are designed by local Aboriginal artists and Vancouver interior designers. Every detail in this hotel – from the rooms to the public spaces – tells a visual story about First Nations culture. Centrally located in the historic Gastown district, you’ll be close to hip eateries and edge fashion boutiques.
A registered heritage building and architectural landmark, the renaissance-inspired Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is often called the “Castle in the City”. You can’t miss the hotel’s charming, chateau-style green copper roof in their prime downtown location. If you love designer labels and won’t leave your dog at home, then you’ll enjoy staying here, especially with boutiques like Dior, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton on the lobby level and canine pet ambassadors waiting to welcome you.
Located on a quiet street in the very heart of Vancouver’s shopping, financial and entertainment district, and steps from Canada Place, L’Hermitage is considered one of the city’s most stylish places to stay. The hotel is part Parisian chic and part West Coast sophistication. You can expect to be greeted by your name as well as complimentary valet car service. After a day of sightseeing, there’s no better way to kick back than by taking a dip in their saltwater pool or enjoying a beer on the outdoor terrace.
Oput Hotel’s colorful statement rooms are conveniently located in Yaletown, one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. Luxury touches include Frette bathrobes, Malin + Goetz toiletries plus JBL Bluetooth speakers. Cheerful suites aren’t the only thing happening here. This chic property is bang in the middle of Vancouver’s nightlife scene, but before you head out for the night, enjoy a bourbon on the rocks at onsite The Spritz Bar.
Debra Smith contributed additional reporting to this article.
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