The best reason to stay on the North Shore  is to enjoy the local hospitality at one of the many bed-and-breakfasts, but a number of hotels and motels are also scattered through this part of the city.
Perfect as a jumping off point for the ferry trip to the Sunshine Coast  or Vancouver Island  is the Horseshoe Bay Motel (6588 Royal Ave., 604/921-7454, www.horseshoebaymotel.ca , $158–218 s or d), 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) west of the Lions Gate Bridge, tucked below the highway in Horseshoe Bay and right by the BC Ferries terminal. It’s within easy walking distance of numerous cafés and restaurants, and the nearby Horseshoe Bay Marina is a pleasant place for an evening stroll. Rooms are clean and comfortable, but you’re paying for the location more than anything.
Gracious Thistledown House (3910 Capilano Rd., North Vancouver, 604/986-7173 or 888/633-7173, www.thistle-down.com , $165–295 s or d) has been restored to resemble a country-style inn. Each of the five guest rooms has been tastefully decorated and has its own character, a private bathroom, balcony, and many delightful touches like homemade soap. Rates include a gourmet breakfast served in the dining room and afternoon tea served in the cozy lounge or landscaped gardens, depending on the weather.
Yes, it’s a chain motel, but at the Holiday Inn Express Vancouver North Shore (1800 Capilano Rd., 604/987-4461 or 800/663-4055, www.holiday-inn.com , $199 s or d) you know exactly what you’re paying for—a smartly decorated room with a light breakfast included in the rate of $189 s or d. An outdoor pool is a bonus.
If you don’t have transportation but don’t want to stay downtown, the Lonsdale Quay Hotel (123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver, 604/986-6111 or 800/836-6111, www.lonsdalequayhotel.com , $225–295 s or d) is a good choice. It enjoys an absolute waterfront location above lively Lonsdale Quay Market and the SeaBus Terminal, making it just 12 minutes to downtown by water. Each of the 70 rooms is equipped with modern furnishings and free wireless Internet, while amenities include a fitness center, sauna and whirlpool, covered parking, and a restaurant.