Granville Island, worth the $$
On a whim, we decided to stay at the Granville Island Hotel. We thought it may be a little out of our pricerange, but wound up being only $20 more. This hotel was beautiful with amazing views off the balcony and it's very own brewery, it was worth every penny.
The local chain restaurant, Jack Peppers had beautiful waitresses (good for guys), but lacked any good food.
The best part of Granville Island was the Granville Market. It was the best array of produce and meat that I have seen in a long time. A great place to grab a coffee and some fruit before going out on a long day.
Great Hotel, Great Location
We loved the Granville Island Hotel - great, kinda funky area with good restaurants. We were car-less but it was easily accessible to the downtown area by bus or (even better) the Aquabus. Our room had no view but, who cares? The view from the patio restaurant was wonderful (and the food was pretty good too)! Would definitely stay there again.
Just had to send mini report
We have just arrived in Vancouver for 4 days, and Checked into the Granville Island Hotel. All the traveller reviews so far are spot on. Have only been here for 7 hours and booked in at 8.30am and while our room wasn't ready" UNDERSTANDABLE" as check out isn't till 12 and then they have to clean them.... they looked after all our luggage and supplied a security box. Came back at 12.30 and our room was ready with all our luggage up there. Good size room for the 3 of us, even though we have asked for a 1br suite when one is avail, which they will then transfer all our luggage for us. Staff really friendly, helpfull and has a nice "feel" to it. Hope the rest of our time here is as good as the start .Also,Free computer to access anytime in the front foyer or free internet hook-up in your room if you have a laptop of your own.
Will report later
We sadly only had a one night stay, the best thing was the view our room over looking False Creek. The room was of a very high standard. As others have said Granville Island is a great location to see the best of this lovely city.
Nice location, nice hotel
We stayed here while touring the Rockies and BC and enjoyed our time here. The rooms weren't massive, but were fairly well appointed and kept clean. Staff were friendly and helpful, and Granville Island itself is a great location (the market is excellent and it's easy to get into the main part of Vancouver).
I'd certainly stay here again - it was good value for money and interesting (and it had it's own pretty good micro-brewery!).
Only downers - the rooms were a little warm and parking was difficult (but free).
Great location, good price
We stayed one night at the Granville as a stop on our way home from British Columbia. What a great location! Views of the yachts and harbor from our room were wonderful. Because we had already stayed in Vancouver, we didn't want to drive around and had all our meals at the hotel. Prices were very reasonable, food was good, and we had a relaxing time just playing cards and nursing drinks in the bar at sunset. The market on Granville Island would be reason enough to move to Vancouver. Soup at the Stock Pot is a must. Hotel room was fine, a little tight for the three of us and our suitcases, but the beds were good here, as everywhere we've stayed in British Columbia.
BC Fall October 2006
"Part 1: Airports and Big Cars"
Along with my wife, Nadia, and her folks, I spent early October 2006 in BC, arriving in Vancouver, travelling the Sunshine Coast then over to Vancouver Island with a few stops and a final few days back in Vancouver to relax.
I’ve tried to blend my pages with the highlights of my trip and those eagle- eyed of you will quickly pick up there is a strong theme of food, beer and pubs running through this ramble. Rather than do a cut and paste job for the BC Tourist Board, I hope I’ve put my own personal insight into the people and places that I encountered… warts and all. It’s likely that most travel writers will sleep soundly as the chances of The Guardian or Conde Nast beating a path to my door is extremely unlikely. It will probably be a ‘trial and error’ approach to getting my ramblings into some sort of sense so pleas be patient while I try and build up this travelogue.
I usually consider the journey to be part of the holiday. A connecting flight from Newcastle to Gatwick was quite uneventful and, to be perfectly honest, you can’t fault British Airways with their domestic schedule. I booked the whole trip separately over the internet (all flights, accommodation, car hire etc) and after a couple of hours layover at Gatwick we flew on a My Travel flight to Vancouver, booked through Canadian Affair (I could go off on a rant about the hassles we had with Canadian Affair prior to our trip but that’s for another time). In all honesty, the flight was painless. I would suggest that paying the extra cost for the ‘enhanced economy’ is worth it as the extra seating space does make a difference to your comfort. If you fly this far west there are two things that add to the flight; passing over the Rockies gives you a wonderful view if it’s a clear day, and then the descent towards Vancouver takes in both the Cascades and the Coast Mountains… quite stunning. I’ve flown into Vancouver a few times in recent years but I don’t remember having a daytime flight that showcased so much of British Columbia.
Our approach into Vancouver sent my heart racing with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. It had been almost three years to the day that we had flown out of Vancouver on a wet and gloomy evening, returning to the UK after living there for a while. Would there be many changes? Would I have developed a rose tinted view of the people and places? Is ‘going back’ a good thing?
Getting through immigration did predictably consist of many travellers getting to the desk and then look for their passports and visas (often not filled in) that they had packed away in their hand luggage. What is it about us ‘Brits abroad’ that we are embarrassed by the conduct of other ‘Brits abroad’? But of course, we are too polite and just stand in the queue muttering to ourselves.
First action on collecting our bags was to collect our hire car. Booking directly over the internet gave us the best deal. I found that using the websites in the host countries gives you a bigger choice of models than the UK sites. Just remember that Canadian prices don’t always include taxes in the price (a handy tip for any first timers to this wonderful country). Friends in Vancouver had posted us some discount vouchers from the ‘Entertainment Book’ and we used them to get an upgrade. I have to admit that my green eco credentials took a back seat as we took the keys to a Lincoln Navigator. Even by North American standards this is a totally overpriced, oversized, uneconomic SUV but heh… we were on holiday!
"Part2: One night in Vancouver"
Our hotel for the first night was the Granville Island Hotel. Although Nadia and I quickly got our bearings back in the City, I played navigator to her driver to get there. As we drove the sixty odd blocks up Granville Street is was both fun and scary to see just how bad Vancouver drivers are, weaving in and out of each other just to get to the next set of red lights. I’m sure it’s part of the driver training that you just fix your gaze straight ahead to avoid any eye contact with other drivers when you cut them up. Road rage doesn’t exist as everyone is too polite or embarrassed to acknowledge each other! Currently, Granville Street is the main route towards downtown from the airport as Cambie Street is currently gridlocked due to the underground skytrain line that is being built for the 2010 Olympics. It’s best avoided for the next couple of years if you’re travelling by car.
The Granville Island Hotel is in a fantastic location. With a great view across False Creek to Yaletown and the Downtown core, these are all within easy reach but also there is enough on the south side of the Creek to keep any visitor busy. Then there is the Island itself, offering so much for both visitors and locals alike. The hotel itself is pleasant, and the staff are helpful and friendly. Our room was functional but Nadia’s folks were on the 3rd floor in a much larger suite which was very nice. I’ll come back to the hotel later as it provided our base at the end of our trip.
It’s important to know that there are charges for parking on the Island. Although the hotel can’t guarantee you a space, a daily permit will cost you $8cdn. I know I shouldn’t make direct comparisons but I think this is quite reasonable considering I’ve paid a pound an hour to park in Newcastle. Don’t try and chance it as the parking wardens are very committed and I witnessed a number of cars being towed during our stay.
Jetlagged but hungry, we reacquainted ourselves with False Creek and the Seawall. About 15 mins east along the Seawall you come to Stamps Landing, a small, friendly pub I have fond memories of. The intimate atmosphere gives Stamps a good vibe so finding a table, ordering some beer and food (in that order!) quickly immersed us back into the West Coast culture, topped off with a bit of hockey on the tv. The menu is simple, a bit like a British pub, and I definitely recommend the halibut and chips. If you can get a seat in the window, you have a pleasant view of the water’s edge but going upstairs and sitting on the deck gives you a panoramic view back towards the Granville Bridge. It’s a lovely setting if there’s a sunset going down on the horizon.
Our first morning consisted of breakfast at a BC tradition; White Spot. It always fascinated me that no matter what time of day you went in, it was always busy. On the West Coast, people plan their business and leisure time around food! At 12th and Cambie the parking is limited and you have to be careful as many of the surrounding residential streets are residents only parking. I’ve always found that White Spot’s restaurants reinforce the British view of the ‘North American Diner’ with its booths and multitude of egg options on the menu. This one on Cambie has obviously had a refurbishment in the last 3 years and, although very nice, I much preferred the traditional look.
This area of Cambie and Broadway is undergoing some major changes, with a lot of new developments being built that contrast with the imposing art deco style of Vancouver City Hall. Oh, and although I didn’t get a chance to visit, opposite White Spot is a great little pub called the Jolly Alderman. It looks unappealing from the outside but I always enjoyed a few beers in here, and it has a huge screen showing the hockey games (and football if you can find a channel).
Granville Island is a multi-usage area in the center of Vancouver. It's a fun place to visit - for a few hours or an entire day.
If you'd like see a panoramic photo taken from one of the highest points on the island then click here.
These ferries take you back & forth across the water known as False Creek. They're not expensive and a very convenient way to get to/from Granville Island.
Final Reminder about VT meeting on Sunday August 22nd
This is a last reminder about the Vancouver VT meeting on Sunday August 22nd at the Dockside Brewing Company Restaurant (Granville Island Hotel) from 1 pm onwards. I will be making a reservation under the name "Virtual Tourist". If you are planning on attending, please email me.
Hope to see you all there!
Re: Final Reminder about VT meeting on Sunday August 22nd
See you there
Re: Final Reminder about VT meeting on Sunday August 22nd
So, how was it? Where are the pictures??