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Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

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Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

Which hotel or which area should in Vancouver I stay given what I loved in Seattle?

Last year DH and I vacationed in Seattle for a week to escape the heat in Texas. I was thinking about repeating this year because I loved it so much, but I have never been to Vancouver. Reading some of the threads on this forum make me realize I must experience Vancouver. I am the vacation planner of the family, and find the research to be a relaxing diversion before a vacation.

Here are the first 6 things that I loved about Seattle that come to mind:

1. Stayed at Inn At the Market in a room with excellent water views


I could watch the Argosy cruise ships go back and forth, had a great view of the Port of Seattle barges go back and forth and be unloaded at Terminal 46,


, recreational sailboats in the sound, Coast Guard boats doing drills in prep for 9/11/11, and one boat behaving like a whale, shooting a ton of water up like a fountain.

2. Having great views turned out to be important because I have a healing fracture in my left foot that still gives me trouble when I walk long distances, which really annoys me because I enjoy exploring & walking. So I spent significant parts of the last couple days with foot up watching the activity roll by.

3. I loved how close the hotel was to the hustle and bustle of Pike’s Place Market, although if I went on a tour for the day, much of the market was closing by the time I returned. (Things in Seattle seemed to close so early! I needed to buy sunscreen – who would have thought that – and I remember the Walgreens nearest the hotel closing at something like 10:30pm. Shocking (to me) for a major city downtown!)

4. The nearby flower shops with their low cost and beautiful flowers amazed me. Inn at the Market readily provided a flower vase.

5. Macrina Bakery’s delicious “Oat Cakes”. The location had proximity to great restaurants, either walking or close taxi ride.

6. We LOVED the tour I took with Evergreen Escapes to Olympic National Park. http://www.evergreenescapes.com/index.html

This was even when my foot was hurting and we still had a fantastic time. The guide was completely knowledgeable and a true expert. Hurricane ridge was beautiful. The picnic basket was even special. I’m an urban girl, and experiencing a curated view of the beauty of nature was unforgettable.

Given all that, what do you recommend?

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Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

Welcome to the forums MareLuce ~

I think it would be fair to say that Vancouver would offer you its own delights. We couldn't possibly replicate Seattle for you. (We simply do better!!)

1. Hotels that are situated on the harbour are Pan Pacific, Fairmont Waterfront and Fairmont Pacific Rim. Any of them would give you great views of the harbour and all that goes on there. The Westin Bayshore would also give you views if you looked at rooms in the tower portion.

3. Vancouver has Granville Island and the public market there, with many additional shops and some restaurants. It's a 15 min bus or car ride from the hotels mentioned above. The Walgreen's equivalent in the centre of Vancouver closes at 9:00 pm and the location in the West End closes at 10:00 pm. We don't seem to mind. Lots of other options.

4. Lots of flowers, some shops, some street carts.

5. Lots of bakeries. Seattle is 3-4 hours drive away so can't compare with Macrina's.

6. We don't have an equivalent of the Olympic Peninsula, but we do have tours you could take on a day basis. There are day tours (4 hours one way) you could take to Victoria on Vancouver Island. For the rest of the Island, you would need a car. You could take a day tour (2.5 hours) to Whistler.

What would help the local posters here the most would be for you to let us know when you are planning on coming, how many days/weeks you will have, what your hotel budget is, if you will have a car or not (you will not need one at all for visiting Vancouver.) It would probably be best to get out from under the shadow of Seattle and display our own "wares."

I would also suggest that you browse through the "Things to Do" - both attractions and tours tabs in the left sidebar to see what appeals to you. Here's what I like to post for questions like yours:


Stanley Park, including the Aquarium

Gastown - for a self guided walking tour: http://www.gastown.org/history/index.html --> take a self guided walking tour. Otherwise this historic birthplace of Vancouver will just be brick and stone to you.


Robson Street

Bill Reid Gallery at 639 Hornby St. between Dunsmuir and Georgia

Vancouver Art Gallery, with its great Gallery Café

The Marine Building at 355 Burrard St. for the exterior, facade, entrance, foyer and the inside of the brass-doored elevators. Notice the marine and ship themes. Office hours only.


Grouse Mountain

Lynn Canyon Susp Bridge (free)

Capilano Susp Bridge ($$$)



Granville Island and False Creek

Maritime Museum - www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/page216.htm

Van Dusen Gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory


4 Self Guided walks - vancouver.ca/commsvcs/…index.htm


Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Nitobe Memorial Gardens at UBC - http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/nitobe

Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Gardens –


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2. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

Wow, thank you so much!

>> when you are planning on coming,

Last year I had the "I must get out of here" feeling strongest in September. Probably around the same time this year would be good.

Plus, right after school starts prices go down

>> how many days/weeks you will have,

let's say... 4 days - 1 week

>> what your hotel budget is,

$200 - 400 / night

>> if you will have a car or not

I could; probably will.

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3. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

I live in Seattle but work in Vancouver a lot of the summer so I think I can relate. The best views of the harbor were from hotels close to Coal Harbor like the marriott Rennaissance or similar. A lot of the views were diminished when the new convention ctr was built. While the views from that side of downtown are nice there are hotels all around Vancouver with great views. You might consider the Executive Vintage Park which has a condo tower. Its walking distance to the seawall and right across from Granville Market. its a great place for walking. Another nice area to consider would be something like the Sandman on Davies or some of the hotels close to Denman St right on English Bay. Perhaps when you come up with a location a comment would be easier to give. I don't think you can go wrong in Vanc. Its a very urban walkable city surrounded by great beauty.

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4. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

While i love Pike place, and the views are nice, our proximity to the mountains makes the views much more spectacualar than Seattle, it will blow you away

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5. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

With your stated budget range, I have selected that range in the filters for Vancouver Hotels to come up with 36 of 100. To find a hotel that appeals to you, have a look at the reviews of the hotels already mentioned in this thread. There will be mention of views among the other "necessities of life." Even going to the hotel's own website (open a hotel link and find it under the hotel name and address) and checking out what they say about the different room amenities would allow you more control of getting what you would like.


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6. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

Granville Island Hotel gives you the proximity to the market and waterfront views of pleasure boats in False Creek. You can rent a boat for a few hours around there if you want. It isn't the splash of the Pan Paciifc or Pacific Rim nor is it the price. www.granvilleislandhotel.com/…

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7. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle


Granville Island Hotel looks great.

We could be out all day and watch the world go by in the evening. And if the foot pain gets too bad on Day 3 or 4, I could break out the books and veg for several hours in the day.

I called the hotel to see if the "King with balcony" room had chairs on the balcony. They said no, but I could move one out from the room. Could anyone who has stayed there confirm that the "Room with balcony" room is big enough for a chair or 2 ? I don't need it to be huge; just big enough :-).

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8. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

What seafood and produce is in season in September?

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9. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

Hi MareLuce,

Just stayed at the Granville Island Hotel. The room we had had a balcony. The balcony was very small and had, if I am not mistaken, two small aluminum chairs on it. I would swear there were chairs on the balcony. If not you could take one, and only one, of the large chairs in the room out on the balcony. You would need to ensure with the reservations staff that you reserve a very specific room if the view is important as the building has many angles and wee roofs. Overall the hotel was nice to stay in but as Alegre implies it does not have the flash of some of the other waterfront hotels in Vancouver. It was interesting staying at the GIH as we have been to Granville Island hundreds of times but never stayed there. It sure gets quiet when the shops close. Kind of serene walking about there when everything is closed.

One idea you might consider, if you choose the GIH and want two chairs on the balcony would be to go to Canadian Tire (nearby on Cambie and 7th) and buy a couple of inexpensive chairs there for your use whilst you're there.


If the view is important and you liked the hustle and bustle of Puget Sound in Seattle, the GIH will give you some of that (dragonboating centre nearby, sailboats on the water) but the aforementioned waterfront hotels on Coal Harbour will give you more bang for your buck. Guess you need to decide how important that component of your holiday is to you.

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10. Re: Where should I stay given what I loved in Seattle

First, I think you'd love Vancouver.

Second, Vancouver is laid out completely differently than Seattle, so I really must stress that you will have to set you expectations accordingly, or you'll be disappointed. Vancouver is simply not Seattle - it can offer what Seattle has, but not necessarily in the same way.

Basically, there is nowhere in Vancouver that can offer a hotel that puts you next to the market *and* next to a bustling evening neighbourhood *and* next to views of cruise ships *and* next to sailboat traffic.

The good news is that you can find a bustling market, late night shops/restaurants, views of sailboats, and cargo ships, and cruise ships, all within a short distance of one another... but you'll have to forgo staying next to one to have access to the other.

Anyhow... let me try to help you out the best I can.

First, Granville Island is Vancouver's version of Pike Street Market. Granville Island Public Market is the bustling marketplace. You'll love it. The market is just one piece of the puzzle - it's one of the dozens of buildings on Granville Island. The rest of the island is a whimsical cluster of quirky independent shops and art galleries, an art school (Emily Carr University of Art & Design), a hotel (the Granville Island Hotel), a community centre, at least half a dozen small independent theatres, several pubs, and several board yards (consisting of yachts, sailboats, and even houseboats) - all located on a tiny ocean inlet called False Creek.

(False Creek is the tiny waterway separating the downtown Vancouver peninsula from the rest of Vancouver. There are water taxis transporting people to/from Granville Island from downtown, or you can drive or take a bus or taxi there as it's not technically a real island - it's a peninsula.)

So Granville Island will give you the bustling market atmosphere, HOWEVER Granville Island is a morning/afternoon type place. It's also detached from the rest of downtown, so to be quite blunt, the place is absolutely dead by evening in comparison to elsewhere in Vancouver, and knowing that you're seeking somewhere with a little bit more pizzazz by evening, I would not recommend the Granville Island Hotel based on that. The market and the shops close by 7pm. Granville Island is a fun place during the day, but a bore at night... unless you're planning to go to a theatre performance. So I would not recommend you staying *on* Granville Island. Just visit during the day.

Next. You want magnificent views of cruise ships? Great news! Burrard Inlet (the ocean inlet on the north side of downtown) is full of cruise ships! Canada Place is the cruise ship terminal, and the Pan Pacific Hotel is located right on top of the cruise ship terminal.


Burrard Inlet is a transportation/cargo/industrial waterway. It is not a leisure waterway. There are no sailboats or beaches here - just cargo ships, cruise ships, the SeaBus (a part of the public transit system)... but there are also sea planes! So it's exciting... definitely. And the view of the mountains immediately to the north is amazing. However, Burrard Inlet is flanked by Vancouver's financial district, so culturally... it's more of a 9-5 neighbourhood that caters to the office workers.

So do you see what I mean?

If the views are that important to you, I would definitely stay along Burrard Inlet at someplace like the Pan Pacific, the Fairmont Pacific Rim, or the Westin Bayshore.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'd suggest the Westin Bayshore because it feels like you're staying at a resort, it'll give you unobstructed views of yachts moored in the harbour, cruise ships coming and going, sea plane traffic taking off, and a spectacular view of Stanley Park. You'll be within a short walking distance to the neighbourhood of the West End where there are countless late night restaurants open along Robson Street and Denman Street. The Shoppers Drug Market is open until midnight as is the Safeway, which is literally less than a 10 minute stroll from the hotel. And a 10 minute walk further south is English Bay - a western-facing waterfront that looks out over yachts, sailboats, and all kinds of leisure boat traffic.

So I guess that's my verdict! Stay at the Westin Bayshore, and visit Granville Island during the day. When you get back to the Westin Bayshore, you'll be happy to know that you're within close walking proximity to an area that doesn't die at night.

Edited: 19 March 2012, 01:04
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