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Accommodation in Vancouver

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Vancouver, British Columbia.
The largest city on Canada's stunning west coast, Vancouver is a world-class metropolis offering access to mountainous wilderness and glorious beaches all in one destination. Vancouver has long been a favourite destination for tourists, but its role as the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games catapulted it to new levels of stardom on a global stage.

Surrounded by scenic waterfront to the west, thrilling mountains to the north and fertile farmland to the east and south, Vancouver's location makes for a breathtaking, one-of-a-kind vacation spot. But it's not all about nature—Vancouver is a bustling hub of entertainment and culture, offering top-notch venues, restaurants, shopping and more. Greater Vancouver is comprised of many different suburbs, but Vancouver proper is the small portion of the city that wraps itself around False Creek and English Bay.

THE DOWNTOWN CORE

Downtown Vancouver is not just the centrepoint of business—it's also a bustling hotspot for entertainment, dining, sporting events and more. The downtown region is surrounded by water on three sides, meaning that those who stay here are never very far from the waterfront. Downtown Vancouver is one of the most popular areas to stay in because it offers easy access to famous attractions, world-class dining, theatres, music venues and eclectic neighbourhoods like Gastown. Downtown Vancouver has nearly 100 different places to stay, with accommodation options ranging from five-star waterfront hotels to hostels.


Trendy Granville Street is lined with popular shops and bars, as well as several hotels. Farther up in the north waterfront area, classy high-rise hotels offer amazing views of the city and mountains. Yaletown, on the southeast side of the downtown area, has a slightly slower pace than the rest of the core but still has several quality hotels, not to mention easy access to large sporting and concert venues BC Place and Rogers Arena. For those who want more amenities than most hotels have to offer, many apartment-style condos are available to rent in the downtown core for both short and extended stays.

THE WEST END

Wedged between the downtown core and sprawling, lush Stanley Park, the West End of Vancouver is best known for Robson Street, a high-end shopping district populated by trendy retailers and designer stores. To the east, the waterfront along English Bay is a picturesque spot to enjoy a scenic sunset and several hotels in this area capitalize on this view. With such a fantastic location, it's not surprising that most hotels in the West End can be a little pricey, but with easy access to all the things Vancouver is famous for, it just might be worth the cost. Several historic B&Bs operate in the area for those looking for a more personal touch than large hotels can offer.

Halfway across the Granville Bridge towards south Vancouver is Granville Island, a favourite spot for tourists to spend the day browsing markets, enjoying a meal or just taking in the scenery along cobblestone streets. Being relatively small in area, Granville Island offers just one hotel, but is easily accessible to those staying in the downtown core or Kitsilano area.

WESTSIDE

South of English Bay is an area most commonly known as Westside. Trendy communities like Kitsilano and South Granville reside here, as well as popular beaches, parks, stores, cafes and bars. While the downtown region specializes in high-rise hotels, this area is better known for its array of smaller accommodation choices, including several B&Bs and hostels. This largely residential area is a popular place for vacation home and condo rentals, and the western part of the area is dominated by the sprawling University of British Columbia (UBC) campus, where conference facilities and residence accommodations are available at student-friendly prices.

SOUTH VANCOUVER

South Vancouver encompasses the region south of Kitsilano and north of Richmond. Mostly a residential area, this region of Vancouver isn't generally visited by tourists so accommodation options are sparse. No large hotel brands have properties here, but a few B&B and home rental-style accommodations are available. For visitors keen on exploring this area, the nearby airport is a popular location for large hotel chains like Fairmont and Days Inn.

EAST VANCOUVER

Visitors to Vancouver tend to avoid the area east of downtown and for very good reason—where Hastings and Main streets intersect is commonly regarded as the worst street corner in Canada, as it's a hangout for drug abusers. Travellers should fervently avoid any accommodation in this general vicinity and should also be careful about venturing to this area after dark.

However, the scenery brightens a bit once travellers venture south on Main Street towards the Mount Pleasant area. A handful of motels and B&Bs in this area offer easy access to downtown and relatively wallet-friendly rates. Similarly, the area a few kilometers east of Hastings and Main streets offers a more suburban setting, with large chain hotels anchoring Highway 1 and the main street. Hotels located this far from downtown usually offer ample parking, so visitors with wheels will enjoy the convenience of being close to the city centre without staying amidst the bustle.

OTHER AREAS

Vancouver is just one area of the lower mainland; the sprawling Greater Vancouver region is actually made up of several large suburbs, all offering different accommodation choices, from large hotels to intimate B&Bs. Visitors looking to connect with nature at a campground or cabin will have to venture to the outskirts of the city or even out of town.

GETTING AROUND

People staying in downtown Vancouver will have no trouble seeing the major sights of the city, as they'll be within easy walking or cabbing distance from most sites. Parking in downtown Vancouver can be expensive but most hotels offer deals to customers. Those staying in other areas of the city shouldn't be afraid to rely on public transportation—the SkyTrain and extensive bus network make getting around simple and efficient. Vancouver is easily drivable for those with a car, but take heed: Vancouver traffic is infamously slow and often heavy.
The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Vancouver
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Photos of Vancouver  The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Vancouver
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