Vancouver: Top Attractions

Powder Perfect: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia  (Paul Morrison)

Vida Wellness Spa
This atmospheric mountain spa emphasizes holistic healing and treatments tend to be on the exotic side. Try the Utvartana massage, which replaces oil with Indian-style Ayurveda powder. It's a particularly refreshing experience. The spa also offers the usual range of treatments—from facials to body wraps to pedicures—all within the luxurious compounds of one of Canada's top resorts, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Vancouver Opera
International stars like Placido Domingo and Bryn Terfel often perform with this inimitable company. Showcasing everything from new Canadian works to perennial favorites, opera performances at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre are generally packed from October through May. Recent productions include Verdi's classic La Traviata and a one-time only showing of Mozart's lesser-known Abduction from Seraglio.
Vancouver Opera: 604.683.0222, www.vanopera.bc.ca

Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Adjacent to Canada's top golf resort and one of North America's top ski resorts, this majestic 12-story chateau sits at the base of Whistler Blackcomb Resort. The 18-hole Robert Trent Jones, Jr., golf course is one serious golfing experience. Rooms and suites, ever so tasteful and elegant, have sweeping mountain views and loads of high-end alpine charm. Opt for a deluxe room with a sitting area.

The Westin Resort and Spa
Flanked by Whistler and Blackcomb mountains' pristine slopes on one side, and the Arnold Palmer-designed Whistler Golf Club on the other, this is easily one of Canada's top recreation resorts. With nature this transcendent, it's no wonder that the vast lobby is influenced by the fabulous outdoors. The Westin's elegant digs feature super-comfortable beds along with soaker tubs and gas fireplaces. The mountainside ski concierge takes care of slope-side needs, and the resort staff will willingly organize a myriad of year-round outdoor adventures.

Bedwell River Outpost at Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts and Spa
This all-inclusive resort (rates include airfare from Vancouver International Airport, meals, drinks, and activities) represents the ultimate in luxurious-chic wilderness getaways. Nestled in Vancouver Island's serene old-growth rainforest, it exudes rustic charm and offers horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, and whale- and bear-watching. Guests sleep in sumptuous, white-canvas tents filled with antique furnishings, oil lamps, and rugs. If you can ply yourself from the privacy of your tent, a riverside hot tub provides further romantic respite. Spa and lounge tents are perfect for relaxing.

Pacific Palisades Hotel
Chic and contemporary, the tone for this grand hotel is set by its lobby, which features fantastic glass chandeliers and a slick metal fireplace. Guest rooms, located in two extensively renovated towers, are funky and brightly colored affairs with modern, light-wood furniture and giant windows. Hotel guests enjoy complimentary afternoon wine tastings.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
This active orchestra appeals to audiences with a varied repertoire. Except for the summertime (when it takes its show on the road), the symphony performs at the downtown Orpheum Theatre and showcases everything from old classics to modern pieces and ethnic works. Additionally, concerts might highlight single composers or focus on popular show tunes.
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: 604.876.3434, www.vancouversymphony.ca

Arts Club Theatre Company
Offering theater connoisseurs a little bit of everything, this established Canadian company mounts productions on three stages. Dramas, comedies, and musicals are performed on the Granville Island Mainstage, while improv nights and musical revues take place on the more intimate, cabaret-style Arts Club Revue Stage. Longer running plays and musicals are staged in the fabulously renovated Art Deco Stanley Theatre.
Arts Club Theatre Company: 604.687.1644, www.artsclub.com

Avello Spa and Health Club
In a beautifully designed facility inside the Westin Resort and Spa, this luxe place is easily considered one of Canada's most comprehensive spas. It offers more than 75 treatments, including holistic Chinese medicinal therapies. Indulge in a pedicure while sitting in a specially crafted chair, or try a hydrotherapy treatment in an imported Bouvier tub or Vichy shower.

Listel Vancouver
An elegant boutique hotel bursting with contemporary art, the Listel appeals to those fond of both art and luxury. Guest rooms are sleek and modern, featuring world-renowned artists. The place exudes that famous warm Canadian hospitality, and its award-winning restaurant and bar showcases some of Vancouver's hottest live jazz nightly.

Published: 26 Apr 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Vancouver

$146-$177
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#1
L'Hermitage
$523-$598
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#2
Fairmont Pacific Rim
$292-$371
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#3
Pan Pacific Vancouver
$351-$389
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#4
Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver

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