Vancouver is the largest city in Canada's most western province - British Columbia. The Couve is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and urban adventurers.
The bustling west coast seaport is framed by the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains. Renowned for its natural beauty and cultural diversity, for thousands of years the Coast Salish people have called the area home, and their history and their traditions, deep respect for nature, and spirituality are tightly woven into the city’s cultural fabric.
A little peninsula over the bridge from Vancouver’s city centre, Granville Island is known for its brewery and public market. Unwind in the historic neighbourhood of Gastown, established in 1867, has quaint cobblestone streets, late-Victorian architecture and unique First Nations galleries and souvenir shops. Other popular neighbourhoods include the West End, Yaletown, and Chinatown. Science World has hundreds of interactive exhibits inside its interesting geodesic dome exterior. For a wider perspective, Vancouver Lookout offers 360-degree views of the city from its observation deck – the Lookout’s UFO-shaped design is a common feature of Vancouver’s skyline. Vancouver’s mountains offer a variety of outdoor activities and are the perfect place to experience some of the best skiing in North America. Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour are only an hour’s drive away.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best luxury hotels in Vancouver:
Sonora Resort - 10/10
Sonora Resort is located in the heart of the Discovery Island archipelago on the rugged West Coast of British Columbia. The rooms, suites and villas are located in five ocean-facing intimate lodges. All rooms have cedar and stone craftsmanship in shades of sand and slate with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, private lounges and an intimate conservatory facing the Yuculta Rapids and Innes Passage. Each lodge is different but includes communal lounges, stone fireplaces and hot tubs throughout. The primary lodges include Silver, Gold and Diamond rooms. In addition, there is a Presidential Suite and two private villas with expansive decks. Beginning in 1979 as a rustic fishing lodge, Sonora has transformed into a world-renowned luxury wilderness. The Dining Room has a grand piano and an impressive collection of artwork. In the warmer months, dine on the Tyee Patio. From organic meats and locally-caught seafood to tender micro-greens, the team works with local suppliers to source the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients.
Spoil yourself at the Island Currents Spa, enjoy the outdoor heated mineral pools, covered indoor tennis court, movie theatre, nine-hole putting green, fly-fishing ponds, saunas and fitness centre. Hike through ancient rainforests and watch Grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Or take to the alpine and appreciate the views of the fjords and surrounding mountains. It’s not unusual to see Bald eagles, Harbour seals, Steller sea lions and large marine mammals in the nutrient-rich waters. Accessible only by air or sea, this resort is a 50-minute helicopter ride from Vancouver and a 75-minute water taxi ride from Campbell River.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia - 9/10
Rosewood Hotel Georgia in the heart of Vancouver combines the grandeur of the 1920s with modern-day design. Meticulously restored, it first opened as Hotel Georgia in 1927, quickly becoming known as Vancouver's most fashionable retreat. Following the extensive upgrades of 2011, it reopened as Rosewood Hotel Georgia. The hotel has 156 elegant rooms and suites that are a blend of legacy and grandeur with a charm that resonates with the golden age of hotel travel. The rooms include a flat-screen TV, the bathrooms have heated floors, bathrobes and slippers. Home to Canada's only Forbes five-star spa, a sanctuary to rejuvenate.
Make use of the well-equipped fitness centre and the large heated saltwater pool on the fourth floor. Rosewood Hotel Georgia takes dining to new heights with some of the best restaurants in the city. Enjoy baked goods, speciality sandwiches and coffee at Bel Cafe. Reflections Outdoor Lounge serves light meals, while cocktails are available in the 1927 Lobby Lounge. Stylised Canadian dining can be enjoyed at Hawksworth Restaurant. A courtesy car is available for downtown pick-ups and drop-offs. The hotel is across the road from the Vancouver Art Gallery, and a convenient 5-minute walk from the Robson Street Shopping District.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver - 9/10
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver nostalgically referred to as the 'Castle in the City', has symbolised timeless elegance since 1939. Designed to exceed the highest standards, the downtown rooms feature luxury linens, Stearns & Foster beds, spacious spa-like marble bathrooms with television mirrors, a media connectivity panel, as well as wall-mounted LCD televisions with surround sound. The chef’s seasonally inspired menus will satisfy any craving, either in Notch8 Restaurant & Bar – in a setting inspired by the romance of 1930s rail travel – or over Afternoon Tea. Look out for their pre and post-Prohibition cocktails, as well as an extensive wine list.
The Absolute Spa gives access to Relaxation Lounges, Change Rooms, Pools, Saunas, Steam Rooms, and Spa-Themed Meals. The concierge team can assist with any planning or reservations. A highlight for dog lovers will be meeting Elly and Ella, the Labrador canine ambassadors. Guests are welcome to bring their four-legged family members too. 3With its prime location, the hotel is just minutes away from Vancouver's Granville Island, Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver Aquarium, Gastown, and Science World. Overall, the recently completed $75 million dollar renovation has certainly raised the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver into a new era.
Shangri-La Vancouver - 9/10
Shangri-La Vancouver offers excellent views of Vancouver’s glittering city skyline and mountain backdrops. Occupying 15 floors of the tallest building in downtown Vancouver, the 119 spacious rooms and suites blend modern luxury with traditional Asian décor. Floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies (in half the rooms), marble-clad bathrooms with heated floors and a television embedded in the mirror. With zen-like sophistication, this urban sanctuary is quiet and private, even when full. Grand and modern in style, it is designed with the utmost comfort in mind. There's a stylish restaurant serving modern Pacific cuisine, a chic Asian-inspired lounge, and a juice bar.
Chi, The Spa, is where you’ll relax with a unique blend of treatments inspired by Columbia’s indigenous well-being traditions. This is complemented by the 24-hour fitness centre with a yoga studio and an outdoor pool. Venture to nearby Robson Street – home to stores like Burberry, Hermès, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and Gucci for some shopping, step into Stanley Park for a nature fix or while away the night on Granville Street. All are within walking distance.
Fairmont Pacific Rim - 9/10
Fairmont Pacific Rim features touches of art, music and fashion throughout its contemporary style building. The elegant rooms have flat screens and Nespresso machines, as well as minibars. Higher category rooms and suites add soaking or whirlpool baths, patios with fire pits and harbour views. Club-level rooms come with butlers and access to a lounge serving complimentary snacks and drinks. All rooms have luxury linens, spa-like marble bathrooms with television mirrors, a media connectivity panel, as well as wall-mounted LCD televisions with surround sound. There are three upmarket restaurants, including a sushi bar.
Enjoy an immersive cocktail experience at Botanist Bar, indulge in al fresco food truck delights on the patio, browse through the beautiful books in the TASCHEN library, and take time over the internationally recognised art collection. Open from lunch until late, RawBar serves signature dishes, donburi bowls and bento boxes. There’s a rooftop pool with fire pits and a hot tub, and a fleet of BMW cruise bicycles that can be used for exploration. The Willow Stream Spa specialises in energy-enhancing west coast-inspired spa treatments and there’s a 370-square-meter gym to work out in. Just a 5-minute walk from Canada Place and across the road from Vancouver’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, the hotel is committed to reducing the hotel’s carbon and there’s a green theme throughout.
St Regis Hotel Vancouver - 9/10
The St. Regis Hotel Vancouver is close to many of the city’s main attractions, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Harbour, Canada Place, and Gastown, it’s in an ideal location. The independent, 100% Canadian-owned and operated boutique hotel underwent another round of extensive renovations and upgrades during the COVID-19 shutdown – and is looking better than ever. The hotel prides itself on its modern art collection and you’ll spot large abstract paintings in the hallway, hanging next to the reception desk and throughout the property. Originally opened in 1913, the hotel’s rooms have different shapes and sizes given the historic building.
The 65 rooms are spread over six floors, all comfy with a classic look in cool greys and white, dark wooden furniture, patterned fabrics and modern art. The beds come with good mattresses and the smart marble bathrooms have walk-in showers or big modern baths and are stocked with L’Occitane en Provence products. The Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar claims to be Vancouver’s finest steakhouse. The St. Regis Bar and Grill serves pub-style favourites alongside a popular cocktail menu. The hotel’s team can assist with any arrangements and there are bicycles on offer should you want to cycle along Vancouver’s waterfront. This is an independent boutique hotel not associated with The St. Regis Hotel brand.
The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa - 9/10
The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa is a Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. Founded by Greek-born Eleni Skalbania, this family-owned property is now managed by her younger daughter, Elpie Marinakis, who has a great passion for hospitality and attention to detail. With 83 uniquely appointed guestrooms and suites, many with balconies overlooking the gardens on Robson Square. Even the standard rooms are spacious, with good city views from the 12th to 14th floors. Quality is everywhere, from the bed linens and Frette towels to the big tubs in the marble bathrooms. Add in Wi-Fi, iPad docking stations, and Nespresso coffee machines and you have all that you need. The Wedgewood’s Penthouse Suites are favourites for honeymoon couples and special occasions. The rich décor of the suites is complemented by decadent bathrooms, cosy fireplaces, and generous terraces.
With its leather armchairs, dark wood panelling and well-stocked bar, the Bacchus Restaurant has an excellent reputation for inventive, epicurean cuisine. The lounge has an understated luxury, rich fabrics, old-fashioned fireplaces and Venetian light fixtures personally selected by the owner. On the second floor is The Spa at Wedgewood, a private retreat dedicated to health and wellbeing. Fitness enthusiasts appreciate exclusive access to a workout facility, and there’s an invigorating eucalyptus steam room and relaxation lounge. Located on fashionable Robson Square, the hotel is extremely well located.
The DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection, is one of two hotels at Parq Vancouver, a downtown entertainment resort complex that’s home to a casino. For thousands of years, Douglas firs lined the banks of False Creek, towering above what is now Vancouver. The DOUGLAS stands as a visionary legacy to this mighty fir. Conceptualised by Rob Wells from SixteenFifty Creative Intelligence, and designed by Toronto-born Vincent Celano, every element is crafted to a sustainable design with unwavering attention to detail, from the living wall in the entryway to the rooftop park and Douglas-fir-infused gin in the minibars. The Douglas maintains a boutique feel, and the hotel’s 188 guest rooms are sanctuary-like retreats.
The hotel's location within Parq Vancouver gives access to eight restaurants and lounges. D6 is a sophisticated rooftop lounge with artisanal cocktails and incredible views. The Victor serves fresh, locally sourced seafood and steak. Honey Salt restaurant on the ground floor is dedicated to celebrating the best of Vancouver with an emphasis on farm-to-table offerings. BC Kitchen is the place for inventive comfort foods. Indulge in tranquillity at Spa by JW. Located on the 17th floor of the hotel’s sister property, JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, it offers a selection of holistic treatments and includes a fitness studio, Aqua Lounge terrace with a whirlpool, a manicure and pedicure bar, and steam rooms. The DOUGLAS, Autograph Collection is located in the downtown district of Vancouver, just 500m from BC Place Stadium.
Skwachàys Lodge - 9/10
Skwachàys Lodge is the first Indigenous boutique art hotel in Canada and was opened by the Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS) in June 2012. Transformed from a three-and-a-half-story derelict hotel to a unique indigenous social enterprise, this boutique hotel is making a difference with every guest it hosts. The 18 rooms have been uniquely styled by six of Vancouver’s top hotel designers, who partnered with Indigenous artists to create stunning art installations that pay tribute to diverse Indigenous cultures and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Hotel amenities include a lounge with a fireplace, where breakfast, light bites and wine is offered, and a communal kitchen.
The business sustains an Artists in Residence Program, a life-changing housing program for practising Indigenous artists that includes affordable housing, shared artist workshops, and participation in development programs. To date over 100 Indigenous artists have completed the program. There's a rooftop smudge room with hand-painted murals, and a vibrant Aboriginal art gallery. Cultural experiences are offered weekly by the artists in residence, including beading, drum making, rattle making, carving, spoken word, and discussion. Skwachàys Lodge is located at the crossroads of Vancouver’s historic Gastown, Chinatown and Railtown districts in a neighbourhood known as the Downtown Eastside.
Loden Hotel - 9/10
The Loden Hotel is an independently owned property well suited to independent active travellers. Ultra-chic rooms and suites feature all modern amenities and excellent views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Earthy shades are highlighted with soft furnishings. Business-like desks come topped with locally made snacks, and the minibar has a range of Vancouver-brewed beers. Most rooms have deep soaking baths and rain showers. The second-floor rooms have step-out garden patios and yoga props, while the two-bedroom Halo Penthouse Suite spans the entire top floor of the Loden – and is the ultimate in luxury! Dornbracht fixtures and Philippe Starck fittings throughout enhance the sense of style. Subscribing to active west coast living, an in-house activity programme connects guests with local cycling and trekking guides. The impressive BeFit Studio has plenty of natural light, a private waterfall and fitness options that range from strength training, boxing, weights and yoga.
The Spa has been designed for optimal wellness and is available exclusively to Loden guests. The hotel’s fleet of Electra-Townie Cruiser Bikes is a great way to explore the city. Otherwise, hop into the hotel’s branded black London taxi for free drop-off service. Eco-initiatives include free charging for electric vehicles. The Loden is pet-friendly and pets are welcomed with customised amenities, treats and cute fur-baby touches.
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