Vancouver: The Luxury Lifestyle Magazine city guide
Need to know where to stay, eat and drink in Vancouver? Look no further
Regularly nearing the top of the list of the happiest place to live in the world, Vancouver is a city that invites you to immerse yourself in its diverse culture and enjoy the sheer beauty of its location.
Sheltered from extreme weather and the Pacific by Vancouver Island, the stylish West Coast city is nestled between the ocean and Coastal Mountain range, which gives it the most beautiful backdrop and a rather mild climate compared to much of Canada. With more than half a million residents from all over, this young and lively city with enthral you at every turn. Take a piece of the happy pie for yourself, if only for a short while.
With a sizeable selection of 5 star and highly rated hotels to choose from you can live the life of luxury during your stay. Expect to find a spa, top class restaurant and even a big name shop in these hotels. The Rosewood Hotel Georgia, built in the twenties (and lavishly renovated in 2011), reflects the charm and glamour of the era with a 5 star spa, cocktail bar and fine dining restaurant serving contemporary Canadian cuisine.
Incorporating music, art and fashion, a stay in a luxury suite at the 5 star Fairmont Pacific Rim is a must. Chill out in the spa, enjoy a botany inspired dining experience or sip a cocktail in the lounge while listening to some live music – this on trend hotel has it all.
Alternatively you can head on over to the tallest building in the city for a stay at the Shangri-La. Floor to ceiling windows and contemporary interiors greet you – yes there’s a spa with a rooftop pool and yes there’s a restaurant with a menu crafted by a three Michelin star chef.
Fine diners everywhere never fear, the selection of restaurants in Vancouver is fantastic. For lovers of Japanese cuisine and seafood you will not be disappointed and the steakhouses are something else. There are vegan and vegetarian options galore and Canadian cuisine too. For brunch head over to Cafe Medina for the Belgian waffles and lunch at Hawksworth – Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s eatery – will not disappoint.
For the best seafood you’ll be hard-pushed to find anywhere better than Blue Water Cafe in the historic and lively Yaletown neighbourhood. Sustainable fish is presented in the most divine way – try the sablefish with miso sake glaze, baby bok choy, endamame, quinoa and shitake mushrooms.
If you’re dying to dine with a view try Five Sails, which looks out over Vancouver’s inner harbour, Coastal mountains and Stanley Park. This fine dining restaurant serves up dishes including classic caviar, lobster bisque, lamb rack and saddle, and apple strudel, while a tempting wine paired tasting menu also awaits.
Described as having a ‘minimalistic urban Bauhaus-style design,’ Bauhaus Restaurant, owned by German film director Uwe Boll modernises classic German cuisine. The six course tasting menu includes elk with red cabbage, celeriac and chestnut and the unique selection of cocktails offers delights such as ‘raisin to believe’ with raisin infused rum, pear, benedictine, lemon and angostura.
Saunter on over to the Alberni Street area to immerse yourself in the best of the very best in luxury shopping. Designer brands and high-end jewellers have put their stamp on the place ensuring your shopping experience is a blissful one. Look out for the likes of Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Van Cleef & Arpels, Christian Dior, Gucci and Hermes. If you don’t need to splash quite so much cash, the Pacific Centre Mall one block away should also be on your list. Nestled underground with a glass dome entrance, the all-weather centre hosts brands such as Michael Kors, Ted Baker London, Sephora, Hollister, Harry Rosen and much more.
As with any large city there are a plethora of sights to see, attractions to visit and activities to do and the quality in Vancouver is high. For the armchair adventurer try FlyOver Canada – a flight simulator that showcases the best of the vast lands of Canada or get outdoors and cross the 70 metre high and 140 metre long Capilano suspension bridge. Grouse mountain is certainly not to be missed with something for all to do all year round such as skiing, helicopter sightseeing and lumberjack shows.
There’s also Stanley Park, a 400 hectare public park that is almost entirely surrounded by water. Enjoy scenic views of the water, mountains and surrounding area, walk the trails, discover natural wildlife and historical landmarks.
For the culture vultures out there the Museum of Anthropology and Vancouver Art Gallery are excellent and Van Busen Botanical Garden, Vancouver Aquarium and Science World should really make it to your list. Let’s not forget the location, which lends itself to a wide range of water sports and the world famous Whistler is a few hours away too. Enjoy!
Casinos are big here – have a flutter, take a gamble and embody a Bond character while letting your hair down at one of the following.
River Rock Casino Resort features a 24 hour, 70,000 sq ft casino with 900 slot machines, a 25 table poker room and table games with live entertainment alongside a restaurant, hotel and spa. Or there’s Parq Vancouver, an entertainment hub, which holds the only downtown casino, and with 600 slot machines, 75 table games including blackjack, craps, poker and roulette and VIP treatment to include private gaming with full-service hosts, it’s worth a visit for sure. Alternatively you could always opt for a spot of online gaming from the comfort of your 5 star suite at Red Flush Casino, Canada’s most luxurious online casino with top rated entertainment.
Back out into the world and, for those cocktails and dancing until the wee hours, the nightlife scene is bustling.
The Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, as mentioned has live music and a great selection of cocktails to choose from and Prohibition at The Rosewood Hotel Georgia offers socialising with a stylish with a sophisticated atmosphere. The Keefer Bar serves up Asian inspired small plates alongside award-winning apothecary style seasonal cocktails as well as a full bar of wine, champagne, beer and spirits with live music and DJs.
Cabana lounge is stylish nightspot hosting DJ shows, while Studio Lounge and Nightclub gives you the chance to flex your vocal cords with a spot of karaoke. Celebrities nightclub has hosted the likes of David Guetta and Boy George, the music has been playing here since the 80’s and continues to be one of the more progressive and popular nightspots today.
The list goes on and on and that applies to the nightlife, hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops and attractions – that’s the beauty of Vancouver and it shows just how diverse and popular this city is. The above is just a taster so book your tickets, pack your bags, discover the city and grab a piece of that happiness for yourself.