You want to get away, but you can’t totally get away. Maybe it’s a budget issue, or maybe you can’t nab a week of vacation days from work. But taking a break from the everyday isn’t totally off-limits just because you can’t hit the road, catch a ferry, or jet off from YVR. And when we’re talking about time, sometimes quality far surpasses quantity.
Enter the staycation. The humble keep-it-local approach to checking out of your regularly scheduled programming and checking in to somewhere in your own city for some R&R.
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Whether your staycation means you’re packing for you and your sweetheart, your kid(s), or your four-legged friend, or if you’re flying solo or with girlfriends, there are lots of places where you can take a great escape for a night or two in Vancouver. Here are five kinds of luxury staycations you can have in downtown Vancouver.
1. The Girlfriends’ Staycation
Built ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the Fairmont Pacific Rim is a stunning showpiece hotel situated right on Coal Harbour. And all it takes is to step into the epic lobby to feel like you are super chic. This is the absolute best spot to hit up if you are doing a girls’ night in the city.
If you can resist the lure of their tricked out ultra-modern rooms (you can control the lights from an iPad, for example), get dressed up and head down to the RawBar and Lobby Lounge for sexy drinks and OceanWise sushi, and kick back and enjoy the live entertainment.
Thanks to Fairmont Pacific Rim’s ongoing programming that highlights art, fashion, and style (take their recent Japan Unlayered event as a prime example) you can expect to feel immersed in all things luxe and cool. Take it to the next level and book treatments at their posh Willow Stream Spa, and go for a plunge in their outdoor pool. While we’re awaiting the debut of their new bar/restaurant concept, Botanist, you’ll do well eating at RawBar or their on-site cafe, Giovane. When you hit up the latter, plan to spend some time and money there thanks to their thoughtfully-curated and Vancouver-centric food and goods.
Address: 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver
2. The Four-Legged Friends Staycation
Sometimes you have to bring your furry friend along for the night, and if that is how you roll, The Loden Hotel is a smart destination. This award-winning boutique hotel is super pet-friendly, offering rooms and amenities aimed at dog lovers (and cat lovers, too).
Request one of their designated pet-friendly rooms, and you and your pet can enjoy a stay with all of your needs met. For dog owners this means you’ll get special housemade dog treats, a dog walking map of the area, a copy of Modern Dog Magazine, a sanitary kit, and a plush pet bed. (For a cat, the Loden provides the pet bed, and a tray for the litter; you’ll need to BYO litter and call to housekeeping to get food dishes.)
The Loden is known for their high-quality hospitality and boutique style. If you can sneak down to their restaurant, the always-delicious Tableau, be sure you make a reservation for dinner, and take note that brunch service doesn’t start until 10:30 am (they have a small breakfast bar service in the earlier hours). However, if you and your furry pal are holing up in your room, Tableau has a limited menu available at all hours for room service.
The Loden charges $45 per pet per stay, and they request that pets not be left alone in the rooms. They can also arrange dog sitting services if you need to get out and don’t mind the additional charge.
Address: 1177 Melville Street, Vancouver
3. The Family-Friendly Staycation
Sometimes parents do understand…how hard it is to leave the kids behind. Luckily Vancouver’s Four Seasons happens to treat kids like honoured guests, and if you time it right, they have stuff planned to keep your kids occupied so you don’t have to come up with heaps of activities on your own. You can always take a dip in their unique indoor-outdoor pool (and seeing your tot in a tiny Four Seasons bathrobe is a bonus).
Hospitality is on point at the Four Seasons Vancouver, and it extends to ever corner of their longstanding downtown property. Make sure you give your kids’ names with your reservation, and they will find special amenities upon check-in. Where FSV really shines is in their restaurant, YEW, where kids get first class treatment, from a healthy fruit plate served up as soon as they are seated to a menu featuring affordable–but not dumbed down–entrees.
Families who are planning their stays at FSV during Spring Break or during Christmas will want to make note of the hotel’s stellar Kids in the City program, where they turn a ballroom into a hang-out and activities zone for crafts and “cooking” (like decorating cookies). If you need a break, the hotel has 24-hour babysitting services, and if you need to get out and about, they can help connect your with fun local family-friendly activities.
Address: 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
4. The “Me Time” Staycation
There’s a reason why “Treat Yo’Self” is a popular trope: Treating yourself is awesome. When you are looking for pampering, great food, and the chance to slip away from the day-to-day drudgery, Vancouver’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia is a divine escape.
Favoured by all sorts of celebs, the hotel’s retro chic vibe lets you really sink into another world of luxury, from the gently lit lounge and lobby area to the more full-blown cocktail experience on offer downstairs at their speakeasy-styled Prohibition bar. If we’re talking about all their dining options, it’s hard to do better for prime culinary exploration than at the eponymous Hawksworth restaurant, where you can truly treat yourself to some of Vancouver’s best fine dining.
If you want to grab some eats and go hide out in your room, hit up Bel Café for their sweet treats, delectable sandwiches, and soothing coffee and tea drinks. Treating yourself in patio season? You’ve got one more option for indulging when their swank Reflections garden terrace is open.
The Sense spa at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia may well be Vancouver’s best-kept secret. It’s more of a boutique-style spa, but if you are looking for high-quality spa services and some quiet you time, this is an ideal retreat. Make sure to plan to spend time zen-ing out in their spa waiting area, where post-treatment you can sink into a cozy chair with a warm neck pillow, blanket, and cup of tea.
Address: 801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
5. The Romantic Staycation
Pack your bags for destination: Romance at Vancouver’s “Castle in the City,” aka the historic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. This happens to be one of the hotels in town that has a special “romance” package for couples.
The hotel’s basic sexy stay is the Champagne & Chantilly Lace package, where you and your love are greeted with a bottle of bubbles, strawberries, and a Chantilly Lace mask created by Vancouver-based designer Christine Lingerie. Luckily, this particular package also includes in-room breakfast and a late check out of 3 pm, which means you can spend more time in bed. Don’t rush! Don’t even leave your room!
Kick it up one very cinematic notch by booking the hotel’s Mr. Grey Package for your own Vancouver 50 Shades of staycation. You’ll get all the amenities of the romance package, but in the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite, which was used in the film. Plus, enjoy a private weekday shopping experience at Christine Lingerie, and BMW car transfers to and from the boutique. If you do venture out of your room, the hotel’s Notch 8 bar and restaurant is a pretty sexy destination for food and drink, too.
Address: 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver