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Need Hotel Advice in Vancouver Downtown

Need Hotel Advice in Vancouver Downtown

Old Mar 2, 11, 2:02 pm
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Need Hotel Advice in Vancouver Downtown

First time to Vancouver for a few days straddling late May - early June for a conference in the Convention Center. I would be most grateful for hotel advice. Are there any obvious best buys or gotcha's? We would be walking back and forth between the hotel and Convention Center several times during the day and evening, so that would be a consideration.

A friend recommended Hotel Vancouver based on one 15-year old visit. It has become a Fairmont and is available for CAD 239 for those nights. Various other hotels - Sheratons, Westins, a Soleil, etc - are in the same price range, bookable via the conference link.

We have a tentative reservation in Century Plaza as it seemed attractive at CAD 160. Others must have thought the same b/c it sold out fast.

However, changes and cancellations are free for now. Also, we have no obligation to go to big chain hotels via the Conference links. We are free to stay wherever we want. Based on past experience, the organizers prefer big chains and wouldn't have bothered listing small, local, or boutique hotels.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 5:55 pm
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I live in Vancouver, so I haven't actually stayed in many hotels (although I've drunk in most of their bars ).

The Hotel Vancouver is Vancouver's "Grand Dame" of hotels. Very traditional, but also very old with everything that comes along with it (smaller rooms etc). It's also about a 10 minute walk from the Convention Centre(s). If you want a true Vancouver experience (and if budget allows) I'd pick a hotel down by the waterfront. Choices in this department include the Pan Pacific, the Fairmont Waterfront, the Fairmont Pacific Rim and the Marriott Pinnacle. All of these are easily walkable to the Convention Centre(s). The Century Plaza used to be fairly tired - I'm not sure if it's seen an update in recent memory. It's also the furthest from the Convention Centre.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 8:07 pm
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Thank you for the feedback. Actually we are in good health, so 10 minute walk is just fine. Even 15 min would be ok. What we want to avoid is a distance that requires transportation, or an area "unpleasant" or unsafe to walk through. Not sure about YVR, but in US cities you have to worry about those issues.

I'll keep an eye on the waterfront hotels. At present they are all full, but that is because there is no fee/penalty for changes and cancellations and people rush to reserve what they can. Later they'll change or cancel, especially as they discover how expensive the airfares to YVR are.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 8:50 pm
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You're welcome

There aren't really any areas of Vancouver that are 'dangerous.' It's VERY unlikely you'll encounter any violent crime whatsoever. However, contrary to Vancouver's image, there is certainly a 'seedy' area. You won't be anywhere near it though, unless to stroll to the very end of the touristy 'gastown' area and then keep going. The main issue you'll encounter is panhandlers - Downtown Vancouver's choc-a-bloc with them, particularly of the 'will you please hear my sad story' variety. There's also quite a bit of property (but not violent) crime (to feed the drug habits of the people living in the seedy area) so keep on eye on your stuff at all times.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by aktchi View Post
First time to Vancouver for a few days straddling late May - early June for a conference in the Convention Center. I would be most grateful for hotel advice. Are there any obvious best buys or gotcha's? We would be walking back and forth between the hotel and Convention Center several times during the day and evening, so that would be a consideration.

A friend recommended Hotel Vancouver based on one 15-year old visit. It has become a Fairmont and is available for CAD 239 for those nights. Various other hotels - Sheratons, Westins, a Soleil, etc - are in the same price range, bookable via the conference link.

We have a tentative reservation in Century Plaza as it seemed attractive at CAD 160. Others must have thought the same b/c it sold out fast.

However, changes and cancellations are free for now. Also, we have no obligation to go to big chain hotels via the Conference links. We are free to stay wherever we want. Based on past experience, the organizers prefer big chains and wouldn't have bothered listing small, local, or boutique hotels.
I would look into booking any of the 3 downtown Fairmonts using the Friends and Family rate code. More information in the Fairmont forum.
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Old Mar 2, 11, 10:06 pm
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A few others nearby include the Coast Coal Harbour, Marriott Pinnacle and Renaissance. There's also the Pan Pacific (right in Canada Place) and Opus.

Century Plaza is a bit of a walk away (bit old but I have never been inside) but just straight up Burrard (Sutton Place is on Burrard too but about 2 blocks closer). They're all fine.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by aktchi View Post
Based on past experience, the organizers prefer big chains and wouldn't have bothered listing small, local, or boutique hotels.
If it's within your budget take a look at the Wedgewood .
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Old Mar 3, 11, 11:17 am
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I'll bet you're going to the NAFSA conference! See you there!
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Old Mar 3, 11, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Guercifgal View Post
I'll bet you're going to the NAFSA conference! See you there!
Good guess. For full disclosure, my wife will be attending the conference and I will be mostly free to enjoy Vancouver.

I hadn't thought of it until your post, but enough FT'ers may be there to get together for a FT lunch or something? I'll post in the community thread and see if there is any traction.

What is your take/choice in the hotels?
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Old Mar 3, 11, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
and Opus.
While Opus is a nice trendy hotel in a great location (although the restaurant is rubbish), it's quite a ways from the convention centre. I'd allow at least 30-35 minutes to walk there. However, if you like the look of the Opus it's very close to the subway (the "Canada Line") which deposits you very close to the convention centre. It's just two stops down the line from the hotel.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 2:10 pm
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Either of the two waterfront Fairmonts get my vote, with Pan Pacific next. Location, location, location. If you are into walking, running or strolling, these hotels are ideally situated. Stanley Park is close enough to reach by foot. You can also walk to Cardero's in Coal Harbour, a relaxed waterfront restaurant close to the Westin Bayshore. They have a very good selection of BC wines on offer.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 6:14 pm
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Thinking of doing a quick trip for the weekend in mid-April from LA to Vancouver for the heck of it. Which of the two Fairmonts by the water is more appealing? Will we need to rent a car or is the Skyline good enough to explore for first timers? Better yet, are we crazy for flying 3 hours just to spend 48 hours in a city we've never been to before?
TIA
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Old Mar 3, 11, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by greg0ire View Post
Which of the two Fairmonts by the water is more appealing?
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/fairm...l-pacific.html

...mostly read the posts later on in thread, as the Fairmont Pacific Rim is down by the water and has only been open a year.

Originally Posted by greg0ire View Post
Will we need to rent a car or is the Skyline good enough to explore for first timers?
No, you won't need a car unless perhaps you want to take the Skyride up Grouse Mountain - And even in that situation it's just as easy to take the SeaBus across the harbour and hop on a bus.

Originally Posted by greg0ire View Post
Better yet, are we crazy for flying 3 hours just to spend 48 hours in a city we've never been to before?
Of course not - Vancouver's beautiful. The flight is 'only' 3 hours and there's no jet lag.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 9:14 pm
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I had a colleague stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim a few weeks ago. Her comment was that it was "fantastic".

Do keep in mind that the Convention Center is in the business core of Vancouver - which means it becomes quite dead after 6 pm. I know as my office is right across from the Fairmont Pacific Rim. However, it's a quick 10-15 min walk to the shopping area of downtown. Or about a 10 min walk to Gastown.
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Old Mar 3, 11, 10:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Braindrain View Post
Do keep in mind that the Convention Center is in the business core of Vancouver - which means it becomes quite dead after 6 pm. I know as my office is right across from the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
That is an interesting point. Waterfront hotels are either unavailable or prohibitively expensive for those dates anyway (although this could change).

Which ones would remain interesting after 6PM? We can get Fairmont Vancouver, Westin Grand, or Soleil among others. Ten to fifteen minutes walk is okay.
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