Where to Stay in Vancouver – A Range of Options

pan-pacific-hotel-rooftop

Where to stay in Vancouver?  The search was part of our to-do list when we were planning for our cruise to Alaska last Spring.  As mentioned in our previous post, we arrived a day earlier than our cruise embarkation.

A traveller’s choice for accommodation (particularly for a short stay) could be dependent on several factors.  The more critical ones in our view are the following:

  • General Location/Area
  • Personal Preferences and Priorities
  • Budget
  • Planned Activities

Let us discuss these in more detail below.

General Location/Area

The area you are visiting is an essential consideration when choosing where to stay.  In any major city, there are plenty of options available.  However, if you are in a remote area or a small village, the possibilities will be very different and limited.  Also, the general security and safety situation will be critical.

Personal Preferences and Priorities

Do you prefer to spend the night in style?  Are you willing to pay for 5-star amenities? Worry not.  There is no shortage of luxurious accommodations in most major city destinations. A quick search from hotel booking sites like Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia or Trivago can provide you with the ratings and reviews. Be discerning though of their authenticity.

Do you plan to explore the variety of culinary experiences that the place offers?  Perhaps try out fancy dining available in the area, or grab street food like locals do?  Then choose an accommodation that will provide you the flexibility and convenience to do these.

If you prefer to experience authentic homemade meals of the locality, bed and breakfast will do the trick. Make sure though that you ask what type of breakfast is being served to manage your expectations.

Budget

For many, the budget is a significant influence on the decision where to stay during a vacation.

If cost is not a constraint, and assuming you want the bells and whistles, then go for a luxury hotel/private accommodation.  If you don’t mind scaling-down, maybe a semi-luxury (4 star) hotel will be more to your pocket’s liking.

If you are on a modest budget and plan to experience the local way of life, Airbnb or bed and breakfast would be great options.  As mentioned earlier, your hosts could serve breakfast or provide you access to a kitchen to cook up your own.

With a tighter budget, hostels or rented rooms may be the answer.  A note to consider is that hostels typically offer shared facilities. You can ask if a private bedroom with showers is available, but that will generally mean additional charges.

Your Planned Activities

The activities that you mapped out to do during your stay in the city will be another consideration.

Not an outdoorsy person and spending time in your hotel/accommodation is more your jam?  Amenities and window views might be in your must-have list.  Generally, hotel websites give you options for rooms with street or courtyard views.  The former allows you to witness the hustle and bustle of the place’s daily grind. The latter may be quieter but will be preferred by those who want a more mellowed-down sight after a busy day. The choice is yours, but expect a premium for the most coveted views.

However, if you plan to be outside the whole day exploring the city and you are willing to forego some luxury/amenities, a value-for-money option may be best.

Our Choice

Understandably, every traveller has different priorities and needs.  In our case, we chose an accommodation for our one night in Vancouver that was value-for-money with a  convenient location. It provided us with the right amount of comfort that we needed for our stay and easy access to transport.

After doing our research online, we chose the Hotel Belmont, a boutique hotel in the heart of Downtown Vancouver.  We did not know the hotel beforehand, but the location and price attracted us.

hotel-belmont

Located right in Downtown Vancouver’s entertainment district, it is a 5-minute walk to Granville Street, famous for its nightlife, neon signs, and shopping. Two stations of their rapid train system, Vancouver City Center Station and Granville Station,  are less than 10 minutes by foot.  As such, we had easy access to many of Vancouver’s landmarks and attractions. It was even along the city route of our Hop On/Hop Off tour.

When we stayed there in May, it has just re-opened after an extensive renovation.  With an unassuming facade, a pleasant surprise awaits you inside.  The lobby was modern but cozy, and the receptionists were efficient.  We were greeted with more surprises when we entered our room.  It was spotless and tastefully decorated!  The linens were immaculate white, the bed and pillows comfy,  the furnishings brand new. Decor was fresh, nothing pretentious, but with some elements of surprise. My wife,  a stickler for cleanliness with a very discriminating taste in interior design, was pleased.

For a reasonable additional charge, you may opt to include breakfast. In our case, we headed to a nearby Tim Hortons as we wanted to start early to maximize our day.

The entire hotel staff were friendly; the concierge was exceptional!  They accommodated our many small requests, including safely storing our luggage after we checked out.  We continued to explore the city, and when we came back to claim them, they even offered us water to quench our thirst.

One downside to some is the presence of a few homeless people in the area, but they didn’t bother us. The night scene of the hotel’s location may also not be for everybody – understandable it being the entertainment district.  It was not an issue for us as we retired to the comforts of our room before the night scene started. Our full day exploring left us no time and energy to stay late at night. We did note though that the city monitors well the central entertainment district to ensure that both residents and tourists enjoy their time safely.


There you have it!   We hope that our insights and experiences provide useful ideas into your choice for 1-night accommodation in a city like Vancouver.

If you have any comments, we would like to invite you to share them below.

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(10) Comments

  1. Lisa

    Oh, this is perfect timing! My family and I will be in Vancouver to board a cruise ship next July. I wasn’t sure what to expect in Vancouver as far as accommodations, public transportation, or sightseeing and this article gave me information on all of them! I feel like we will have choices and that makes me happy, there are 8 of us so we have many needs to consider. I feel much better about planning our Vancouver part after stumbling onto your site! Thank you so much for the info in a clear and easy to understand format!

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your comment. Glad to know that you found the article timely and relevant. If you are still in the process of deciding your itinerary while in Vancouver pre/post-cruise, you may find my previous post (referenced above) equally relevant/useful. Have a great stay in Vancouver as well as your cruise.

  2. Max

    I have a friend who lives in Vancouver. I plan to visit her sometime and she will be shocked to know that I now know of some cool places to visit. Thanks for all of the information.

    Where do you personally like to stay? I am young, and while money isn’t too much of a problem for me I tend to migrate more towards hostel style facilities. I really like how easily it is to meet people in those types of places as well as how cheap they are. I will say having shared facilities can be a con when you have stomach poisoning from something bad you ate and you need to use the bathroom ASAP but someone is in there already!

    Also, have you been to Vancouver or have you been there before? Just curious.

    Thanks again for another great post.

    Cheers,

    Max

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Max,

      Thank you for your comments. We do enjoy the benefits we get when we go for hostel-type facilities as you have outlined as well, cognizant of course of some of the negatives. During our last trip to Vancouver (which was actually our third) last Spring, we were in fact considering bread-and-breakfast facility since it was only a 1-night stay prior to our cruise. However, we were a group of five and we were not able to find one that met our requirements. So we opted for the boutique hotel we mentioned in the post.

  3. Irma

    I love Vancouver (I was born there) and I am so glad that you are recommending a hotel in that area of the city. There are so many awesome sights to see from right outside your door.

    There are always many concerts in that area, with the Commodore Ballroom and the Orpheum so close. There are tons of other theaters and the Art Gallery nearby as well.

    Great post! Vancouver is a beautiful city and anyone who has a chance should visit. Yes, I am a fan of Vancouver 🙂

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Irma,

      Thank you for your comments and insights. We do love Vancouver as well. Notwithstanding we have been to the city a few times, we always try to squeeze in some time to stay and explore whenever we can. And we were glad we found and stayed at Hotel Belmont for that visit. My wife and I love arts and culture and wanted to spend more time. But we had to join the cruise ship to Alaska. I guess we have to plan another visit sometime.

  4. Shelley

    I visited Vancouver before but, want to go back very soon with my family. Its nice to have new things to do and tips on how to make the most of my time and cost effective options. Great post. Thank you for the helpful information

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Shelley,

      Welcome and glad you find the post helpful. Have a great time in your forthcoming visit to Vancouver.

  5. Ronald Hubbard

    HI,
    I had a fiancee that came from Vancouver Canada. She Loved It there and lovely surrounding places. Great website and blog. Images and information is of the highest caliber. Keep up the great work.
    Ronald

    1. JRandZen

      Hi Ronald,

      We are from Eastern Canada but equally love Vancouver and have visited it several times. We encourage you to visit the city, more so with your fiancee there and you will surely love it.

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