Canada is known for natural beauty, but British Columbia is a whole other level of Instagram perfection. Think majestic mountains in Whistler, sparkling blue sea in Vancouver and scatterings of coastal islands for kayaking or wildlife spotting. The westerly province is also home to some of the country’s finest hotels, from swish city stays to remote retreats. Whatever kind of crash pad you’re looking for, this province has something to suit your adventure. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in British Columbia; book yours now with Culture Trip.
Whistler, North America’s largest ski resort, is one of British Columbia’s must-sees, whether you visit in winter or summer. When you arrive, there are few stays as luxurious as the Four Seasons. The vibe is upmarket Canadian lodge, but with spacious, contemporary bedrooms, bubbling outdoor hot tubs and epic fine-dining at the onsite steak restaurant. After a day on the slopes, rest your weary muscles in the excellent spa, or unwind over a local craft beer in the atmospheric Braidwood Tavern bar.
Some of the swankiest hotels in British Columbia can be found in the waterside city of Vancouver. That includes Fairmont Pacific Rim, overlooking the sweeping blue harbour. Slick and contemporary, with floor-to-ceiling windows and art mimicking the wilds of British Columbia’s forests, the upmarket rooms will make travellers feel very much at home. Don’t miss a visit to the Willow Stream Spa, where, after a glow-boosting facial, you can recoup on an alfresco daybed terrace, gazing across to the city.
Blue, blue and more blue – that’s the view from this pristine waterside hotel on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, near the provincial capital of Victoria. Classic-chic guest rooms, with fireplaces and chandeliers, attract families seeking an outdoor escape; the marina is a five-minute walk away for bike rides or waterside cycles. Meanwhile, the atmospheric Dining Room has romantic meals stuffed with local produce, perfect for holidaying couples. Don’t miss the outdoor mineral pools, open for late-night dips in front of the moonlit ocean waves.
When it comes to fine dining in Vancouver, a stop at Sutton Place is a must. Its Boulevard restaurant dishes up seafood towers with snow crab and local oysters, wagyu beef carpaccio and caramel apricot mousse. But, the cuisine isn’t the only reason to book in. Elegant rooms with marble fireplaces and soft throws, an onsite wine merchant and an exclusive spa carry on the feeling of indulgence. If you’ve overdone it in the restaurant, a fitness centre with ellipticals, bikes and Bosu balls is on hand to undo the damage.
Epic surfing, ancient woodlands, cute towns – Vancouver Island is one of British Columbia’s most idyllic corners and, north of capital Victoria, the Brentwood Bay Resort is the gateway to its beauty. Of course, with plenty to do at the hotel, you might find it rather tempting to stay put. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are offered on tap, while a sushi menu will appease hungry bellies and massages at the spa will melt tense muscles. You can even take in the island scenery from a lounger by the outdoor pool, so there’s no need to leave at all.
Boutique and swanky, the Loden feels like the kind of hotel where you’d find celebrities hiding away, if this were, say, London or New York. But, instead, this downtown spot picks up influences from the earthy tones of British Columbia’s nature. The bistro, meanwhile, is a favourite with locals, dishing up delectable meals; think steak tartare and steak frites. Travelling with a pooch in tow? The Loden hosts pets with aplomb, welcoming them with their own plush bed, leash and food bowl.
A lot of hotels at the ski resort of Whistler are designed after Swiss-style wood-panelled lodges, but Summit has taken a decidedly more modern approach. The rooms’ greys, blues and whites – with contemporary art pieces and quirky printed wallpaper – wouldn’t feel out of place in a hip city centre. Fuel your mornings with lattes from the Drop Coffee Bar, then cap off evenings in the Elements tapas bar. You’re right in the heart of Whistler’s centre – packed with shops, galleries and restaurants – too.
The heated saltwater pool, perched on the rooftop, is the highlight of a stay at the Pan Pacific Vancouver. This waterside hotel is a great pick for wellness lovers, as it also has the largest spa in British Columbia, with glassy waters looking out to mountain tops. If you’re not one for swimming, the onsite Coal Harbour Bar has just as epic a view, as well as martinis to match. The rooms, meanwhile, are dressed in creamy hues and have plush beds. Some even come with their own private balconies with sun loungers.
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