As you may imagine, the only downtown accommodations in this price range are backpacker lodges. HI-Vancouver Downtown (1114 Burnaby St., 604/684-4565 or 888/203-4302, www.hihostels.ca ) is typical of the new-look facilities operated by Hostelling International, the world’s largest and longest-running network of backpacker accommodations. The complex offers a large kitchen, library, game room, free wireless Internet access, a travel agency, bike rentals, bag storage, and a laundry. The dormitories hold a maximum of four beds but are small. For these beds members of Hostelling International pay $31.50, nonmembers $34.50; private rooms range $68–82 s or d.
Housed in the old Royal Hotel, HI–Vancouver Central (1025 Granville St., 604/685-5335 or 888/203-8333, www.hihostels.ca ) is closer to the nighttime action of the entertainment district and also has its own downstairs bar with nightly drink and food specials. Rates are similar to HI–Vancouver Downtown.
Privately owned backpacker lodges in Vancouver  come and go with predictable regularity. A favorite is Samesun Vancouver (1018 Granville St., 604/682-8226 or 877/972-6378, www.samesun.com , $30–35 dorms, $70–85 s or d), which is excellent in all respects. The rooms in this old four-story building are small, but each has been tastefully decorated, and the communal lounge and kitchen areas serve guests well. Other facilities include a street-side restaurant, separate TV room, public Internet access or free wireless, and a rooftop patio.
Dating to the mid-1990s, the YWCA (733 Beatty St., 604/895-5830 or 800/663-1424, www.ywcahotel.com , $68 s, $82–125 d) is popular with female travelers, couples, and families on a budget who don’t like the “backpacker scene” at regular hostels. More than 150 rooms are spread over 11 stories. Each room has a telephone, and the private rooms have televisions. Communal facilities include two kitchens, three lounges, and two laundries. Guests also have use of the nearby YWCA Health and Wellness Centre, which houses a pool and gym.
In this price range, you also move into the domain of older hotels—some good, some bad. Of these, the
Victorian Hotel (514 Homer St., 604/681-6369 or 877/681-6369, www.victorianhotel.ca , $99–149 s or d) is one of the best choices. Guest rooms have only basic amenities (many share bathrooms), but they are comfortably furnished and light on the wallet. The central location and complimentary breakfast make this hotel an even better value. Built as a guesthouse in 1898, the rooms are decorated in a regal color scheme, which complements the polished hardwood floors.
Like the Victorian Hotel, the three-story Kingston Hotel (757 Richards St., 604/684-9024 or 888/713-3304, www.kingstonhotelvancouver.com ) is around 100 years old and has been extensively renovated. Most of the 55 rooms share bathrooms ($75 s, $85 d) but have sinks with running water, while rooms with en suite bathrooms are $125–155 s or d. Amenities include a sauna, laundry, TV rental, and TV lounge with a collection of old-time movies. Room rates include a continental breakfast.
Spending $100–150 a night will get you a room in one of the older downtown motels, most of which are southwest toward Granville Island , a 10-minute walk from the central business district. If you’re looking for weekend or off-season lodgings, check the websites of the $200-plus recommendations below for rates that fall easily into this price range.
A colorful paint job and bright fabrics can do a lot to reinvent an old hotel, and you won’t find a better example than the centrally located Howard Johnson Hotel Downtown (1176 Granville St., 604/688-8701 or 888/654-6336, www.hojovancouver.com , $149–229 s or d). A downstairs restaurant and lounge complete what is all in all a very good deal.
Least expensive of the Central Business District hotels is Vancouver–Days Inn Downtown (921 W. Pender St., 604/681-4335 or 877/681-4335, www.daysinnvancouver.com , $179 s or d). The 85 rooms are small, and surrounding high-rises block any views. But each room is decorated in bright and breezy pastel colors, has free wireless Internet, and tea- and coffee-makers are provided.
While guest facilities at Ramada Limited Downtown (435 W. Pender St., 604/488-1088 or 888/389-5888, www.ramadalimited.org , $189 s or d) are limited compared to other properties in this price category, like the Vancouver–Days Inn, the location is very central. As an old hotel, the 80 rooms are small, but they are well appointed and come with everything from hair dryers to free wireless Internet. Look for the retro neon sign out front.
Sandman Hotels, Inns, and Suites is a western Canadian chain of more than 30 properties, including the flagship Sandman Hotel Downtown Vancouver (180 W. Georgia St., 604/681-2211 or 800/726-3626, www.sandman.ca , $159–259 s or d). This hotel features more than 300 rooms, including 87 self-contained suites in the Corporate Tower, an indoor pool, fitness room, lounge, and a 24-hour family restaurant.
Granville Island Hotel (1253 Johnston St., 604/683-7373 or 800/663-1840, www.granvilleislandhotel.com , $220 s, $230 d) enjoys a fabulous location on the island of the same name immediately south of downtown. The hotel is designed to attract a young, hip clientele. Contemporary and elegant, the rooms are very spacious and furnished with Persian rugs, marble-floored bathrooms, and modern necessities such as high-speed Internet access. Most also have water views. Other amenities include a fitness center, rooftop whirlpool, sauna, and kayak rentals from the on-site marina. There’s also an in-house brewery and excellent restaurant specializing in west coast cuisine.
None of the 226 “suites” at Delta Vancouver Suites, in the heart of downtown (550 W. Hastings St., 604/689-8188 or 888/890-3222, www.deltahotels.com , $289 s or d) have kitchens, but each is spacious and has a separate bedroom, comfortable lounge area, and an in-room business center. Other guest amenities include a health club, indoor pool, saunas and whirlpool, and a street-level restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The top three floors are reserved for Signature Club guests, where for a $60–80 premium you’ll enjoy the best views, upgraded room amenities, and use of a private lounge where complimentary breakfast and afternoon snacks are served.
One block from the city end of Robson Street  is the super-luxurious, European-style Sutton Place Hotel (845 Burrard St., 604/682-5511 or 800/961-7555, www.suttonplace.com , from $330 s or d), one of only a handful of properties in North America to get a precious five-diamond rating from the American Automobile Association. Vancouver ’s most elegant accommodation features 397 rooms furnished with king-size beds, plush bathrobes, ice dispensers, and two phone lines. Le Spa is an in-house spa, fitness, and health facility in the tradition of a luxurious European spa resort.
Drawing a mix of upscale business travelers and international vacationers, Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle (1128 W. Hastings St., 604/684-1128 or 800/207-4150, www.marriott.com , $330 s or d) is an excellent choice in the downtown core. The 434 guest rooms feature stylish furniture, elegant bathrooms, a writing desk full of office supplies, two telephones (including a cordless) with voice mail and Internet access, a coffeemaker, ironing facilities, and also an umbrella for Vancouver’s occasional rainy days. Guests also enjoy complimentary use of the hotel’s health club, which features a 17-meter (60-foot) indoor pool, a hot tub, sauna, and large outdoor patio area.
Regarded as one of Canada’s hippest hotels, the Opus Hotel (322 Davie St., Yaletown, 604/642-6787 or 866/642-6787, www.opushotel.com , $389 s or d) fills a very distinct niche in the Vancouver scene—a mega-cool place to stay. This means vibrant colors, striking decor, clean-lined furnishings, 250-count linens, 27-inch TVs, CD players, luxurious bathrooms filled with top-notch bath products, valet-only parking, and upscale dining and drinking off the brightly minimalist lobby. Rooms are decorated in five color themes (chose your favorite when booking online) and come in a variety of configurations, including one daring layout with the bathroom on the floor-to-ceiling-windowed outer wall.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (900 W. Georgia St., 604/684-3131 or 800/257-7544, www.fairmont.com , $369 s or d) is a downtown landmark—you can’t help but notice the distinctive green copper roof, the gargoyles, and the classic, Gothic château-style architecture of this grand old dame. Facilities include restaurants, a comfortable lounge, an indoor pool, saunas, a weight room, health facilities, 24-hour room service, ample parking, and a large staff to attend to your every whim.
For all the modern conveniences along with unbeatable city and harbor views, head for the sparkling Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver (Canada Place , 604/662-8111 or 800/663-1515, www.panpacific.com , $440 s or d), which is generally regarded as one of the world’s top 100 hotels. Each of the 503 rooms is spacious, has a luxurious bathroom, and come with extras such as wireless Internet, LCD TV, and plush bathrobes. Upgrades to Pacific Club provide access to a private waterfront lounge. Five Sails, featuring sweeping harbor views, is one of the city’s best restaurants.