Sandy beaches, ringed by blue and white surf. Dense forest, thick with ancient trees. Sparkling bays, spilling out to Pacific Ocean straits – Vancouver is one of Canada’s prettiest cities, and any visit here demands a lot of active exploring time. But after you’ve finished hiking through Capilano Canyon, kayaking past English Bay Beach and hopping between the outlying islands by boat, you’ll probably want to unwind. And where better to do it than a hotel with an amazing pool? Here are the best ones to book in Vancouver – through Culture Trip, of course.
Luxurious and stylish, L’Hermitage is primely placed right in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown, ideal for shoppers and business travelers alike. One- and two-bedroom suites have a classically elegant feel with thoughtful touches – think roaring fireplaces, marble bathrooms and golden-hued throw cushions – and the L’Orangerie serves up a decadent high tea. But the highlight? That’ll be the 15m (49ft) outdoor heated saltwater lap pool, fed theatrically by fountains. Enjoy a dip here, or in the adjoining whirlpool tub, then hit the muscle-melting steam room.
The location already is tops for water lovers: you’re steps from Coal Harbour and an easy hop from beach-lined Stanley Park. But when it comes to actually taking the plunge, you’ll want to head for the hotel’s heated outdoor pool – open year-round. Dips are especially enticing first thing in the morning, after you’ve woken up to a view over Vancouver’s glittering harbour from your floor-to-ceiling bedroom windows. Travelers with pooches in tow will love that the hotel is pet-friendly, while everyone will love the crab cakes and chicken burgers in Prestons restaurant.
Steps from Vancouver Art Gallery, Sutton Place is a no-brainer for weekending culture vultures. All self-respecting sophisticated types will also appreciate the on-site oyster bar, Boulevard Kitchen, and the hotel wine merchant stocked with A-grade local bottles. But there’s no missing the spa either – complete with an indoor pool lined in windows spilling out to a greenery-fringed patio where you can read or nap post-dip. Once you’ve had your fill of splashing, book in for a spa treatment: Ayurvedic massage is a speciality.
This is a glassy hotel pool with a difference: it peers right over Vancouver Harbour in spectacular fashion, with big windows letting the British Columbian sun pour through. It’s just one of the feel-good amenities that comes with a stay at the Pinnacle, which also includes a gym, electric-assist bikes for rent and a bistro serving up healthy picks such as tuna poke salad (and not-so-healthy ones like truffle fries and roast prime rib sandwiches). Rooms? Like the pool, the best overlook the sparkling coastal waters.
The free weekly yoga classes are only one reason why guests book into this stay near Yaletown, Vancouver’s trendy old warehouse district. The pool, hot tub, sauna and gym are others – they simply max-up the general feel-good vibe that pervades throughout. You’re welcome to sip a glass of wine poolside in between dips, before carrying on to the Black Rice izakaya (Japanese-pub-style) restaurant for dinner, feasting on contemporary takes on sushi. Save room for breakfast, though: healthy porridges, smoothies and pastries set you up for a day’s exploring before you head back for an afternoon swim.
If you’re looking for a pool area where you can stretch out, the Rosedale on Robson is a solid pick – its indoor lap pool has not only lounge chairs, but tables and chairs where you can sit as a family to catch up between visits to the hot tub or sauna. With big floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to lush greenery, there’s an indoor-outdoor vibe that makes you forget you’re only steps from downtown Vancouver. Simple and comfy rooms provide a perfect base for exploring the city.
Moments from downtown, moments from the harbour – you have it all at Auberge Vancouver, including a mirror-like 25m (82ft) indoor pool, perfect for your morning front crawl sessions. Lounge chairs by the windows invite you to take in the view to the city beyond at your leisure, while a glass ceiling encourages sunlight to pour theatrically in. Are you an active type? You’ll appreciate the exercise area and the four squash courts. Beauty bunnies can use the sauna and steam room or book in for muscle-melting massages.
Set in a striking 1920s downtown building, Rosewood is the pinnacle of luxury in Vancouver. And its pool lives up to the same standards: a 15m (52ft) indoor saltwater beauty flecked in natural light, adjoining the hotel’s outdoor restaurant. Follow up your dip with lunch in the sun – beet and burrata salad, anyone? – then return for a pampering in the Sense spa, one of the city’s finest. You’ll never feel better than you have after a “deep relief” massage, targeting muscle stiffness and trigger points.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.