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:
- General Location/Area
- Personal Preferences and Priorities
- Planned Activities
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 is 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. The decor was fresh, nothing pretentious, but with some elements of surprise. Zen, a stickler for cleanliness, 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.