Exploring Vancouver

By Paul Horne for PASSPORT Magazine

When choosing your accommodations, the Opus Hotel is an acclaimed high-end boutique hotel, centrally located within a short walk to Davie Village. The rooms are modern, warm, and comfortable, with huge tubs, separate showers, L'Occitane bath products, and surprising amenities at every turn. Mini bar items include an "intimacy kit" and a $10 can of oxygen, which I of course had to buy and suck down just because it was weird (I did feel a head rush but it may have just been hyper-ventilation). Room service delivered the best fries I've ever had, and the lobby serves delicious globally inspired tapas like pork spare ribs, yam chips, and crispy fried olives, as well as trendy drinks (try the Opus 97, the blood orange and passion fruit house martini). At night the lobby transforms into "Vancouver's Most Popular Nightspot" according to Zagat, with local DJs spinning at the Opus Bar. It's the place I'll choose to stay when I return.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Palisades is a beachy, high-rise hotel in the trendy Robson shopping area, with an indoor pool, aromatherapy in the lobby, and a chalkboard that welcomes your dog to the hotel by name (nice touch!). The hotel is also home to the innovative Zin Restaurant and Lounge, featuring world cuisine, super-size booths, and an impressive selection of Zintinis.On the higher end, there is the Pan Pacific Vancouver attached to the convention center, featuring luxury suites and spectacular views of the North Shore mountains. On the lower end ($90–$120/night), check out the landmark Sylvia Hotel located right on the English Bay with beachside lounge and dining.

If you're a dog owner, Vancouver is a dream city. Even the high-end hotels are welcoming of dogs. A dog mascot literally greets you in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and guests can "borrow" the dog and take him for a walk if they're missing their own. You can skate with your canine companion along the seawall, play Frisbee with him at Stanley Park, or romp in the water on the beaches along False Creek. Drinking fountains in the city even have an upper fountain for humans and a lower fountain for dogs.

Published: 2 Nov 2008 | Last Updated: 1 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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