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ErLee

Hotel Question

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We'll be staying in Vancouver 2 nights pre cruise next June and are looking at hotels. I really don't want to spend more than around $300/night, so I'm looking at Blue Horizon, Hotel Blu, and Residence Inn by Marriott - this last one after seeing it pop up favorably in several recent trip reports.

 

Any input from those in the know that would help me decide between these or another better suggestion?

 

Thanks!

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The blue horizon is recommended by many visitors to Vancouver . Very good downtown location An older property but well maintained, the prices are very good but reserve early as it is popular in cruise season

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Hotel Blu is a newer hotel, a few years old. Good location close to town center and closer to the pier than Marriott.

If taking the Canada Line train from YVR Blu is downhill walk from the Van. Center Station. Blue Horizon is a good location on Robson St. too and a walk as well from the train station. Both a downhill walk to them.

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I think we need to know what you want out of a hotel, rather than just a maximum price, in order to make any useful recommendations OP. Firstly - USD or CAD? if the former, you can probably stay in any hotel in the city (it's far too far ahead to get deals for next June right now). Do you collect points, if so which chains and do you have enough that you may be able to cash them in? What's the plan for how you will use the hotel room - literally a bed for the night as you'll be out and about? Are you 'hang out in the hotel room and relax' people, so a room with a nice view, a couch, big TV is worth a premium for you? Are you willing to slum it, and to what degree? Just 'clean and safe' as your only criteria makes a huge difference compared to 'I demand 24/7 room service with good restaurant quality food, turndown service, and heads will roll if the chocolate on my pillow is a mainstream brand instead of a hand-made local truffle';-)

 

In terms of location, there's no such thing as an inconvenient hotel in the downtown core. Since you're here 2 nights, you may want to consider which downtown activities and tourist sites are most important to visit if you plan to walk everywhere - but since the entire downtown core is barely 2 miles end to end, and less than that across, even a hotel right at one end is not difficult or expensive to take a cab to the other ($10 should get you anywhere to anywhere downtown, except to the pier on cruise morning as traffic bottleneck entering can easily add a few bucks to the meter). This means that it really is down to what you demand your hotel offer more than anything else.

 

FWIW, you could save well over half your budget by booking the YWCA Hotel - which is almost next-door to Blu but only costs about US$125 a night all in with taxes for a private en suite double room (i.e. a normal hotel room, not a dorm). It's no frills in terms of luxury inclusions, but they have fully-equipped shared kitchens and laundries so you can even save some cash if you prefer a simple breakfast or even making your own picnic lunch (several supermarkets within easy walk).

 

Overall you will also get much more accurate data (i.e. much larger sample sizes) by checking TripAdvisor, Expedia, and other general travel/hotel booking site reviews. One or even a handful of nice trip reports do not tell you that all the rooms except the one renovated wing of the hotel suck for example, whereas a whole bunch of reviews in aggregate where 75% complain about room standards can shed light on that sort of thing...

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Blue Horizon gets my vote...

  • Capilano shuttle service
  • Robson street amenities
  • Signature liquor store around the corner
  • $31 cab ride from the airport (USD$24)

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What is the best way to get from Airport to YWCA? US dollars.

Taxi or walk from Vancouver City Center Station downhill a few blocks.

 

No idea on US$ depends on the exchange rate on the day you want to use it.

Cab is $31 CDN Flat Rate for 4 people, 5 if you can squeeze in or get a Van I guess?

Train depends on the time of day and the day of the week. If you are Sr or not.

$5 added by Transit at YVR for each fare.

 

https://www.translink.ca/Fares-and-Passes/Canada-Line-YVR-AddFare.aspx

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What is the best way to get from Airport to YWCA? US dollars.

I agree with CVU that cab or SkyTrain are your practical ways to the Y, but since you asked for 'best' and we have no idea what that means to you, fixed-rate limos are also an option (different price for different vehicle sizes, all found here, with the relevant line being Zone 200 - NB: that 5% tax applies on top, and drivers expect a 15% tip in limos).

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Thank you for your reply. Best = cheapest and we are two adults ages 66 and 61. we arrive on Sunday, Sept 16 at 12:30 pm.

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Thank you for your reply. Best = cheapest and we are two adults ages 66 and 61. we arrive on Sunday, Sept 16 at 12:30 pm.

One is SR rate on train and one Adult for the Canada Line train to the city from YVR on a Sunday. 65 yr is Sr. here.

$7.95 for Adult CDN

$6.90 for Sr CDN

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What is the best way to get from Airport to YWCA? US dollars.
With luggage... I vote the $31 (USD$24) cab ride to save the half mile 6 block luggage drag.

 

I should add the cab is more scenic as you avoid the tunnel through the city.

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With luggage... I vote the $31 (USD$24) cab ride to save the half mile 6 block luggage drag.

 

I should add the cab is more scenic as you avoid the tunnel through the city.

 

I would second that.

 

On google map you can search for Vancouver City Centre station to the hotel for a feel. It is do able, sidewalks everywhere. However It is probably best to pay the extra $15 and not have to worry about luggage.

 

Going back from downtown to the airport, the train does not have the $5 surcharge. So it is quite a bit cheaper. The train is also more predictable as it is not subject to traffic delays.

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I would second that.

 

On google map you can search for Vancouver City Centre station to the hotel for a feel. It is do able, sidewalks everywhere. However It is probably best to pay the extra $15 and not have to worry about luggage.

 

Going back from downtown to the airport, the train does not have the $5 surcharge. So it is quite a bit cheaper. The train is also more predictable as it is not subject to traffic delays.

All sidewalk corners are accessible friendly. No curbs at the crosswalks.

The Cab is great but depends on the line up at YVR, it can be very lengthly. No Uber etc. offered here........yet.

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Do cabs in Vancouver take credit cards? We will probably op for the cab with luggage

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Do cabs in Vancouver take credit cards? We will probably op for the cab with luggage

Yes they do.

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Hi Erlee

We stayed a few nights at the Blue Horizon before our cruise in 2016.

Good price for Vancouver but book early as it fills up fast and shop around on the net for the best price as there is a bit of a difference on the various booking sites. I think I paid around $350 pn.Location is excellent and good eating spots just over the road and well priced.

Great little cafe over road on corner to your right after leaving hotel for great bacon eggs sausage etc for breakfast and Chonqing chinese restaurant for Asian meals to yourleft on other side of road after leaving hotel. Taxi to cruise terminal around $15 ( canadian).taxi rank outside hotel andalways a few cabs there which is a plus.Hotel is not as flash as some of the newer more exxy ones but is comfortable and clean and the customer service is very good. I would have no hesitation in staying here again if I went to Vancouver again.

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Anyone have feedback on Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier? We're booked for 1 night pre-cruise but can cancel.

It's a nice hotel, in a location with ample restos around it. On Friday night summer stays you have a farmers market, food trucks, and live music almost on your doorstep and Lonsdale Quay (a permanent indoor market) always available in the daytime. The big downside is that it's not in Vancouver!

 

Unless you can schlep all your own bags onto the SeaBus you can add at least $60 extra for cab fare over the bridges and back. If you can manage your bags, then Seabus is a short ride of ~15mins with some pretty nice views, and ~US$3pp or less (discounts on weekends and evenings). If it's a short overnight, I'd have no problem - but if you arrive early enough to have planned some sightseeing, unless you wanted to visit Capilano Bridge/Grouse Mountain you'll have to factor in another Seabus RT to get to Vancouver (and frankly both of these sights, despite being over on the north shore, are easier to visit for tourists from Vancouver as there are free shuttles whereas a transit bus ride or a cab is required to and from your hotel).

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Thank you so much. Things I did not know or consider. I’ll be looking at different hotel in a better location. Any suggestions?

 

Peggy

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Thank you so much. Things I did not know or consider. I’ll be looking at different hotel in a better location. Any suggestions?

 

Peggy

Personally I always suggest the YWCA Hotel - assuming you can find a room for your dates of course, as it's very popular. Despite the name, while it is lacking in luxury it's not a hostel but a proper hotel, with regular en suite rooms (as well as singles and larger rooms for up to five, but no 'book a bed inside a big dorm' setup).

 

If you can't bring yourself to 'stay at the Y' or they are booked, then I suggest TripAdvisor to give you a range of hotels within your price range, then further research on the shortlist using sites like Expedia where only actual guests can leave reviews (places where TA gives an excellent rating but Expedia is middling tend to mean some 'good review buying' is going on).

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Thanks for the input on this! I’m going to look into the YWCA based on these recommendations and see what’s available and if I think it’ll suit us. I’m also going to look again at Blue Horizon. This will be the first two nights of a two week 25th anniversary trip so one of my main things was to start off on the right foot and not end up in a sketchy place by my own ignorance of Vancouver.

 

In answer to your question, martincath, we will not be hanging around the hotel wanting room service and luxurious amenities. But I do want to start our big trip in a comfortable bed and a nice room after a long flight! If I can do that and spend less, that just leaves more of my Vancouver budget for other things.

 

We’ll have a day and a half to see a few sights in what I’ve heard is a lovely city. I’d like to rent bikes and ride around Stanley park if the weather is nice, go to Granville Island, explore a bit of downtown on foot, not sure what else yet, but I’m certainly looking on these boards for recommendations for that too and some restaurants that are unique to Vancouver. I’d love to enjoy a really fabulous seafood dinner somewhere before we leave on the cruise where the food is often hit or miss!

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Thanks for the input on this! I’m going to look into the YWCA based on these recommendations and see what’s available and if I think it’ll suit us. I’m also going to look again at Blue Horizon. This will be the first two nights of a two week 25th anniversary trip so one of my main things was to start off on the right foot and not end up in a sketchy place by my own ignorance of Vancouver.

 

In answer to your question, martincath, we will not be hanging around the hotel wanting room service and luxurious amenities. But I do want to start our big trip in a comfortable bed and a nice room after a long flight! If I can do that and spend less, that just leaves more of my Vancouver budget for other things.

 

We’ll have a day and a half to see a few sights in what I’ve heard is a lovely city. I’d like to rent bikes and ride around Stanley park if the weather is nice, go to Granville Island, explore a bit of downtown on foot, not sure what else yet, but I’m certainly looking on these boards for recommendations for that too and some restaurants that are unique to Vancouver. I’d love to enjoy a really fabulous seafood dinner somewhere before we leave on the cruise where the food is often hit or miss!

The beds at the Y should be comfy, but if you sleep in a Queen or King they'll be small and the rooms are plain - if you're looking for something perhaps at least a little romantic, I'd look elsewhere given the circumstances. The good news is that as long as you cheek Google Maps to make sure you don't accidentally book a hotel in the wrong Vancouver (there are three Pinnacles for example, one of which is over the water in North Van), any downtown hotel with 3.5* or better is definitely not in a sketchy area.

 

We have bumped Coquille into our regular seafood dinner spot in Vancouver (considering how often we eat out and the fact they've only been open a few months this is the highest praise we can offer!) While there are a couple of kitchens that do an even better job, the price differential is large for a minimal quality improvement.

 

Start off in Happy Hour (3-6pm daily) as there are a couple of different dishes on that menu you cannot get on the regular dinner menu (and generous discounts on some others), then move on to the full menu. Their house white is very affordable and a great seafood match, and I enjoy their draft Negroni so much I got the recipe and now make it this way at home (50/50 Aperol/Campari instead of all the latter - bumps the refreshment factor up a notch as well as helping it not overpower the lighter dishes). If money is no object for a real splurge meal though, Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown remains the best across-the-board seafood kitchen in the city.

 

Granville Island is popular - some quirky buildings, the public market, tons of artisanal independent shops, and is also a good spot to dine local (either assembling a picnic from the market or grabbing some pre-prepared food from the many 'food court' stalls, then eating outside to watch the buskers - or hitting a proper sitdown resto for a meal. If the latter, Edible Canada is the go-to place for the best food in or around GI, and is probably the most 'Canadian' resto in the city with almost everything on the menu seasonally and sourced from somewhere in the Great White North).

 

Bike rental is definitely the best way to see the park and Seawall - you can get anywhere you can on foot but faster with less effort. If you will have data on your phones, consider using MobiBike - the local bikeshare scheme. There are now multiple stations inside the park. While the base daily rate only allows limited periods of use at a time, you can quite feasibly ride to a park station, lock up the bike, walk around, grab another bike and move on then lather, rinse, repeat and not pay a penny extra (rides over 30mins get hit with an overage charge, these days billed at $5 per 30mins after lobbying by local bike rental places to not completely destroy their business!)

 

As to walking, there are free guided tours - check tourguys for their schedule - that offer a good intro to various parts of downtown, and the city has some suggested walking routes to see some of our public artworks. My own 'hood of Mount Pleasant has now had three consecutive years of 'mural fest' so there are tons of large scale artworks, as well as lots of new restos and the highest concentration of brewery tasting rooms in the city, making it well worth considering a trip just outside the downtown core - it's still relatively tourist-free though;-)

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Thank you roving rabbit for the resto rec and thank you martincath for the great advice and detailed input on eats and a bit of touring! All super helpful!

 

I went ahead and booked the YWCA to hold a room while I decide what we want to do since you advised that it fills up. Does anyone know if they have 24 hr check in? We’ll be arriving very late, and i’ve noticed some hotels don’t. Wherever we stay I want to make sure it’s not an issue if we get hung up.

 

I may have more questions as I get closer, and you’re such a great source of info. I’m really looking forward to Vancouver and know we’ll only get a taste of all there is to do. Atlanta - Vancouver isn’t too expensive to fly so I’m sure we’ll be back for a proper visit!

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