Sorry.,my error.....I didn't think about service dogs, I completely understand why they must be allowed into hotels.No worries - just wish I could have given some concrete suggestions to minimize animal presence for you. But now we both know the YWCA rocks even more than before!
We are arriving September 5 to the 8th. On the 8th, we go to the fairmont Hotel Vancouver.p for one night. We are looking at the Holiday Inn Vancouver (Broadway) for the first 3 nights (we have points). We also have 3 nights held at the hotel blu ($827). Any thoughts? We read lots of good reviews on the holiday inn, but still wondered if we would be too far for touring (hop on, hop off, etc).That Holiday Inn is an inefficient location for touring the downtown core. It's between bridges and steeply uphill from the water so there's no really quick way to get across to downtown despite the frequent buses along Broadway and SkyTrain not too far away - at the very least when comparing value, factor in $5.60 for 2 transit tickets daily (unless you already planned to acquite transit day passes) and a half-hour of time. HOHOs don't really get near it - Granville Island is the closest stop - and a cab to the Fairmont with your stuff will likely run $15 even if you go at a quiet, non-rush-hour time of day (if you're not transit people, then budget $35 a day for a cab to and from downtown core as these could easily hit $20 on the meter depending exactly where you're going, and bridges = bottlenecks).
If you were a repeat visitor I'd have no hesitation recommending - the hotel has some superb views across to downtown, there's great dining very close, South Granville/Fairview/Mount Pleasant are nice 'hoods to explore, and if you're into touring local breweries it's pretty handy for that - but if this is your first time and you want to be riding HOHOs, walking around Gastown, Chinatown, Yaletown, West End, Stanley Park etc. then a downtown core hotel would work better for you.
There's another HI downtown - so if you want to burn your points you could stay there. This hotel was part of a really detailed review left recently by someone on NCL Sun - sounds like they really enjoyed their stay, and the location is quite good (just far enough from Granville to have some quiet, and while not right on top of any individual Big Hit item it's a short walk to anywhere around the downtown core as it's quite central).
I watched Blu getting built, but haven't stayed so can't comment re: quality of the rooms. It's very shiny and should be in great condition compared to just about any other hotel downtown (IIRC only Trump is newer). If it's this coming September I'd be inclined to check Expedia etc. to see what sort of non-refundable deals are starting to appear, since a midweek date will have somewhat fewer tourists (especially compared to the weekend immediately after as that's a holiday). Given the specific situation in Vancouver, it's also one of the safest possible blind bid cities - as long as you restrict your choices to downtown and 4* there are literally no bad hotels you could possibly get.
NCL: Gem, Pearl
Edumacational kiddie cruises: SS Uganda