Robson Street and the West End
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A hostel for grownups, the three-story Buchan Hotel (1906 Haro St., 604/685-5354 or 800/668-6654, www.buchanhotel.com, $77–139 s or d) is in a quiet residential area one block from Stanley Park. Built as an apartment hotel in 1926, the atmosphere today is friendly, especially in the evening when guests gather in the main lounge. On the downside, the rooms are small and sparsely decorated, and some share bathrooms.
Overlooking English Bay, the old-style funky
Sylvia Hotel (1154 Gilford St., 604/681-9321, www.sylviahotel.com, $129–329 s or d) sports a brick and terra-cotta exterior covered with Virginia creeper. Built in 1912, today it’s popular with budget travelers looking for something a little more than a hostel. The less expensive rooms are fairly small.
Built in the 1920s, the European-style Barclay Hotel (1348 Robson St., 604/688-8850, www.barclayhotel.com, from $89 s, $109 d) has 80 medium-size rooms, a small lounge, and an intimate restaurant. The rooms are stylish in a slightly old-fashioned way; each holds a comfortable bed, writing desk, couch, and older television. Outside of summer, rates drop to a very reasonable $65–95.
The Greenbrier Hotel (1393 Robson St., 604/683-4558 or 888/355-5888, www.greenbrierhotel.com, $149–229 s or d) looks a bit rough on the outside, but each of the 32 units were refurbished for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and each has a large living area, full kitchen, and separate bedroom.
At the 214-room Blue Horizon Hotel (1225 Robson St., 604/688-1411 or 800/663-1333, www.bluehorizonhotel.com, $159–329 s or d), amenities include an indoor lap pool, a fitness room, a sauna, and a variety of services for business travelers. One quirk of the layout is that every room is a corner room, complete with private balcony. To take advantage of this, you should request a room on the upper floors.
Built at the turn of the 20th century, the West End Guest House (1362 Haro St., 604/681-2889 or 888/546-3327, www.westendguesthouse.com, $140–225 s, $205–225 d including breakfast) has been lovingly refurbished in Victorian-era colors and furnished with stylish antiques to retain its original charm. Each of the eight guest rooms has a brass bed complete with cotton linen and goose-down duvet, an en suite bathroom, a television, and a telephone. Guests have the use of bikes and can relax either in the comfortable lounge or on the outdoor terrace.
Pacific Palisades Hotel (1277 Robson St., 604/688-0461 or 800/663-1815, www.pacificpalisadeshotel.com, $235–285 s or d) is touted as being a cross between “South Beach (Miami) and Stanley Park,” a fairly apt description of this chic Robson Street accommodation. Interior designers have given the entire hotel a “beachy,” ultra-contemporary feel—each of the 233 spacious rooms is decorated with sleek furnishings and a dynamic color scheme. Amenities include a lounge and stylish restaurant, a fitness center, and an 18-meter (59-foot) indoor lap pool.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition