When you and your gal pals seek a fun getaway, look no further than Vancouver, B.C. For spectacular scenery, outdoor recreation, fine dining, endless shopping and, let’s not forget, spa pampering, this vibrant, cosmopolitan city can’t be beat. Here are a few tips to make the most of your stay.
PICK A HOTEL THEME
Vancouver has a variety of accommodations, from upscale waterfront venues to cozy downtown boutiques, designed to fit the mood, style and budget of every traveler. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts offers four unique sites, each with its own flavor of exceptional hospitality. If you’re missing Fido at home, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (also known as “Castle in the City”), with its luxe, old-world vibe, welcomes guests with its own canine pet ambassadors eager for your hug or scratch behind the ears.
Looking for an authentic Canadian spa journey? Sign up for 90 minutes of pure bliss with a Nature’s Indulgence or Coastal Mountain Retreat treatment at Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Willow Stream Spa. Fairmont Pacific Rim sits near the waterfront with harbor views and offers the ultimate in contemporary luxury with electronic window shades and Japanese soaking tubs in the guest rooms. The hotel’s lobby bar becomes a lively gathering place in the evening, perfect for people watching and meeting Vancouverites over a craft cocktail and what may be the city’s best sushi.
When you want an intimate setting surrounded by art and culture, check out The Listel Hotel in the West End of Vancouver. The hotel celebrates the arts in all forms, including B.C. First Nations culture, retro designs and curated collections in deluxe galleries and museum floors. Its award-winning Forage Restaurant, under the culinary mastery of chef Chris Wittaker, showcases creative, sustainable farm-to-table cuisine, an art in itself.
If your getaway calls for a hip, contemporary vibe, head to the Opus Hotel and be greeted with a cool glass of bubbly upon check in. The location in the lively Yaletown district on False Creek boasts a plethora of great restaurants and bars just out the door.
KICK OFF WITH A COOL COCKTAIL
Celebrate the occasion of your great escape with a signature cocktail or mocktail (alcohol not required). Find elegance, sophistication and a nod to history at Prohibition in Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Feeling feisty? How about a Mango Lore or El Flamenco to fan the flames? If classic is more your style, spring for the Prohibition or Hotel Georgia Cocktail. More effervescent than subdued? Opt for a glass of B.C. bubbles from the Okanagan Valley.
For Asian-inspired drinks, Vancouver’s legendary Keefer Bar in Chinatown prescribes unique, apothecary-style cocktails designed to balance your mood. Ask for the Happy Hour Weeknight Specials, Summer Throwbacks or Alumni Cocktails, with selections ranging from sweet and smoky to tart and spicy.
EXPLORE VANCOUVER’S FOOD SCENE
Food trucks, brewery tours and award-winning restaurants top Vancouver’s dynamic culinary scene. Be sure to check out Japadog, winner of the “2016 Best Food Cart” in the Where to Dine Awards, along with any one of these fan favorites: Nightingale for simple, seasonal fare; Blue Water Café + Raw Bar for scrumptious sushi and seafood; Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio for a unique blend of Peruvian and Japanese cultures in Northwest surroundings.
HAVE AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE
Vancouver’s coastal setting is a virtual playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Water sports, whale watching, boating and cruising are among favorite local activities. Take a short hop on a water taxi, enjoy a sunset dinner with Harbour Cruises or get up close and personal—and maybe even wet—with kayaking, paddleboarding or windsurfing.
As Vancouver’s most accessible landmark, Stanley Park Seawall shares its relatively flat, 5.5-mile route around Stanley Park with walkers and joggers, cyclists and in-line skaters. Since its original design, the Seawall has expanded to connect the park with downtown Vancouver for a total of 14 miles, offering an ideal way to combine sightseeing with outdoor exercise for all ages and abilities.
SEE THE SIGHTS
Sure, it might sound touristy, but Vancouver visitors choose to hop on and off The Vancouver Trolley Company’s trolleys for a good reason: It’s the best way to see the best attractions in this busy, cosmopolitan city without the hassle of parking. You get easy access to Stanley Park, Gastown, Granville Island and other landmarks, and you can even get a 24-hour pass for two at a discount.
SHOP FOR FASHION
Failure to shop while visiting Vancouver—especially with the presently favorable exchange rate for American visitors—might make one question their sanity. For clothes, shoes and accessories, savvy fashionistas head to Robson Street to shop Canadian and international retailers or to nearby Alberni Street for luxury brands. Rather browse in a clothing boutique? Check out Gastown’s LYNNsteven, known for its clothing, beauty products and artful change room constructed with 6,000 books. Locals also frequent Nicole Bridger’s pop-up shop that bills itself as “Ethical Fashion for Women,” avoiding trendy clothing in favor of simple, sustainable and timeless classics.
|WHEN YOU GO
>> Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, fairmont.com/hotel-vancouver
>> Fairmont Pacific Rim, fairmont.com/pacific-rim-vancouver
>> The Listel Hotel, thelistelhotel.com
>> Opus Vancouver, vancouver.opushotel.com
>> The Vancouver Trolley Company, vancouvertrolley.com
>> Harbour Cruises, boatcruises.com
>> Tourism Vancouver, tourismvancouver.com