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Check out the Best Places to Stay in Vancouver!

Oh, Vancouver. The gem of the West Coast of Canada. A place where the ocean meets the mountains, all in a single glance. Vancouver is an amazing city to visit, and there are a ton of cool places to stay in Vancouver. The different areas and neighbourhoods all have different vibes and styles of accommodation. The different areas also have different Vancouver attractions to discover!

If you are looking for where to stay in Vancouver with a car – you’ll find hotels with parking or perhaps an apartment further out with a parking space. If you are visiting Vancouver without a car, then you’ll likely want to stay someone where close to downtown. Staying in Vancouver on a budget means potentially staying further from the centre, but you’ll still find a great apartment or cheaper hotel. The best area to stay in Vancouver with a family will depend on your budget, your travel style, and what you are interested in seeing!

So, you are looking for the best neighbourhood to stay in Vancouver, we break down the top areas, the accommodations in each one, and offer a few suggestions to get you started! You might also be interested in other Canada information while you’re here!

Best Places to Stay in Vancouver – Accommodations Types

Like most big cities, Vancouver has lots of accommodation options. That said, they are – like Toronto – very location specific. That means that certain areas have many of the hotels, while others have almost exclusively apartments for rental. Knowing these differences can help you immediately day yes or no to an area based on the accommodation style you are looking to book. Below we break down (in general terms) the accommodation styles and where to find them in Vancouver.

Hotels in Vancouver

Hotels in Vancouver are definitely a popular accommodation choice since Vancouver is a major city. There are hotels to suit the needs of business travellers, couples, families, budget travellers, and everyone else looking to explore Vancouver! Understandably, many of the top hotels are located in the most central areas like Downtown, Gastown, the West End, Yaletown, etc. There are obviously outliers to this rule but, in general, if you want a hotel, look to the central areas of Downtown Vancouver.

Hostels in Vancouver

If you are on a budget, a backpacker, or looking to connect with fellow travellers who are exploring Vancouver/the West Coast of Canada, a hostel might be for you! As with Toronto, there are actually fewer hostels available than you might imagine for a larger city. That said, there are lots of good ones to choose from.

Our local Vancouver connection Laura worked for hostels in Vancouver and recommends any of the Hostelling International properties. They can be found with an “HI” usually in the title. They are dotted across the city and you’ll find many right downtown Vancouver. Check here to review the top hostels in Vancouver

Apartments and Airbnbs in Vancouver

An accommodation option that you might consider is an apartment. You could book an Airbnb but you should know that as of August 2018, there are regulations imposed by the city of Vancouver on Airbnb listings to be compliant with the city. So, be sure to check if what you are booking is compliant.

Alternatively, you can find many apartments and Bed & Breakfast-type accommodations in Vancouver. While many of these apartments and rooms for rent are in the south of the city, they offer a great option for short-stay vacationers, or those looking for their own space. We cover quite a few of these in this post if you are looking for a longer stay that is more like home, are a travelling family, or don’t care about staying right downtown.

Areas to Avoid

Vancouver is generally a safe and pleasant city. But with any major metropolitan centre, you will need to take usual precautions for walking about as a tourist. You’ll also find areas that are less desirable to stay in if you are a tourist visiting for a few days. One of the areas in Vancouver to avoid is the Downtown East Side. The borders of this areas are east of Gastown/Chinatown along East Hastings Street. The area is a very well-known area for poverty, homelessness, and drug addiction to afflict many of the residents of the neighbourhood. It’s not overly “unsafe” – but as a tourist, you would likely seek a different place to stay for a few days.

Best Places to Stay in Vancouver – Neighbourhood Map

 

The map above covers a pretty good portion of the area known as Greater Vancouver. The General Rule of Thumb: Hotels closer to Downtown are more expensive. That said, you can find deals and cheaper hotels in the centre of the city – unlike in Toronto, where there simply is discount hotels available in the best areas of Downtown. Below, you’ll find the best places to stay in Vancouver broken down by neighbourhood (blue pins). The corresponding icons (colourful beds) are featured hotels, apartments, and Bed and Breakfasts.

  • Downtown Vancouver (Pink Beds)
  • Coal Harbour/Gastown (Yellow Beds)
  • West End (Purple Beds)
  • Kitsilano/Granville Island (Red/Brown Beds)
  • North Vancouver (Green Beds)
  • Vancouver South (Orange Beds)
  • Vancouver International Airport (Grey Beds)

We also wanted to include Vancouver International Airport in case anyone was looking for an airport hotel. It’s also useful to show trip planners that the airport is not close to Downtown Vancouver. To get there, you can take the regional train from the airport, hop in your rental a car, or hop in a cab (which can be expensive).

Best Places to Stay in Vancouver – Featured Areas & Accommodations

In the section below, we’ll cover each of the Vancouver areas/neighbourhoods to stay in. We write a brief description of the neighbourhood, what you can see and do there, and then provide top accommodation choices. As mentioned, the neighbourhoods and the hotels correspond with the map above.

Downtown Vancouver (Central, Lively, Busy)

autumn leaves and tall buildings best places to stay in vancouver
Looking into Downtown and North Vancouver to the right // Photo: Laura O.

Ah yes, Downtown Vancouver! The reason we have a specific “Downtown” section is because there are just so many hotels concentrated it the centre of Vancouver. The area is central, lively, busy. There is never a dull moment here! This is where the buildings are the tallest – it’s a place where business/commerce also happens.

In Downtown, you’re within walking distance to many things in the core and public transportation is well connected here. You’ll find featured attractions and areas like: False Creek, BC Place, Yaletown, lots of Shopping, the Cathedral Of Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary, among many others.

Featured Hotels in Downtown Vancouver

Below are three of the top hotels in Downtown Vancouver. Since we mention other districts in the downtown core, these hotels are very much in the heart of the centre of what many would consider downtown. We’ve arranged the hotels by budget, so have a look and see if one works for you!

Kingston Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Historic and Welcoming Hotel.
  • Price Range: Budget.
  • Location: The very heart of downtown – can’t be any more central.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, friendly staff, free continental breakfast, private or shared bathrooms, sauna.

Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Boutique and Functional Apartment Suites.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.
  • Location: Yaletown – in downtown. Walking distance to attractions (like BC Place and Rogers Arena) and public transport.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, pool and sauna, restaurant and bar onsite, free wifi.

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – Check Now

  • Style: Elegant and Pristine Hotel.
  • Price Range: Expensive.
  • Location: The heart of downtown – walking distance to many of attractions and public transport.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking available, amazing buffet breakfast, great views, swimming pool.

Coal Harbour/Gastown (Trendy, Shopping, Touristy)

old steam clock in gastown at night best places to stay in vancouver
The old Steam Clock in the heart of Gastown // Photo: Laura O.

Located to the north and to the east of the centre of Downtown are the two areas of Coal Harbour and Gastown. We have put them together for the purposes of this post. Together, they hug the waterfront north of downtown. The areas are, in general, trendy, good for shopping, and touristy. The areas are known for many attractions like: The Gastown Steam Clock, Canada Place, the Vancouver Lookout, Seaplanes, many restaurants, ocean walks, and much more!

Featured Hotels in Gastown/Coal Harbour

Below are three of the top hotels in the areas which we define as Coal Harbour and Gastown. Admittedly, the hotels we feature straddle the two areas to give you the best of both worlds. Gastown is great for food while Coal Harbour is close to hiking, biking, and nature in Stanley Park – if that helps you choose! As always they are in order of budget – and many of hotels here have AMAZING views over the harbour.

Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver Downtown – Check Now

  • Style: Simple and Affordable Hotel.
  • Price Range: Budget.
  • Location: Between Gastown and Coal Harbour – very close to the waterfront.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, great wifi, onsite restaurant and bar, friendly staff.

Coast Coal Harbour Hotel by APA  – Check Now

  • Style: Trendy and Modern Hotel.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.
  • Location: The heart of Coal Harbour – close to the water.
  • Featured Amenities: Gym, indoor and outdoor pool, hot tub, parking, comfortable beds, amazing views.

Auberge Vancouver Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Elegant and Charming Hotel.
  • Price Range: Expensive.
  • Location: Closer to Gastown, very close to Waterfront Station (good for ferries and Skytrain).
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, continental breakfast, pool, sauna, and Turkish bath, gym, onsite British pub/restaurant.

West End (Hip, Active, Relaxed)

colourful sunset at english bay west end best places to stay in vancouver
Watching the sunset down at English Bay – and there is honestly no filter on this!

If you want a more relaxing vibe and great coffee, then staying in the West End might be for you! Located west of downtown, this is a rather large area known to be more hip, very active, and relaxed. The district is a little more residential than the heart of downtown. That said, there are many restaurants, cafes, bars, and other things to check out on Denman and Davie Street. The area has top attractions like: Stanley Park + the Sea Wall, English Bay/Beach, Sunset Beach Park, exploring Denman, a cool sculpture called “A-maze-ing Laughter”, and more!

Featured Hotels in the West End

Below are three of the top hotels in the West End. Obviously, this area is quite large to define and so there are lots of different hotels and accommodation styles in the area. That said, Eric (and his dad) stayed close to English Bay when they visited a few years ago and so he wanted to feature hotels close by to there. The sunsets we got were incredible – see the photo above! Hotels are ordered by price!

The Buchan Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Simple and Modern Hotel.
  • Price Range: Budget.
  • Location: The heart of the West End – closer to Stanley Park than the others below.
  • Featured Amenities: Free wifi, coffee and tea, some ensuite bathrooms, friendly staff.

Best Western Plus Sands – Check Now

  • Style: Boutique and Lively Hotel.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.
  • Location: The heart of the West End – close to English Bay and a quick walk to Stanley Park.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, bar and lounge overlooking English Bay, sauna, free wifi, air conditioning.

The Sylvia Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Charming and Functional Hotel.
  • Price Range: Expensive.
  • Location: The West End – very close to beautiful English Bay.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, restaurant/lounge patio overlooking the water, suites with kitchens, great for couples.

Kitsilano + Granville Island (Quieter, Scenic, Trendy)

colourful houses on granville island best places to stay in vancouver
The houses on Granville Island have life good! // Photo: Pixabay

Kitsilano and Granville Island are two distinct areas but again, for the purposes of this post, we mashed them together. They are both south or to the south-west of downtown, but still very close to getting there if you wanted to. The area, in general, is known to be quieter, more scenic, and often trendy. Granville Island is home to the famous markets and Granville Island Brewery, while Kitsilano is known for the Kitsilano Pool and the Beach, and closer to nature. Kitsilano has different vibes than Granville Island, so have a look at the difference before you book!

Featured Properties in Kitsilano/Granville Island

Below are three of the top accommodations in the area. This is a larger area that we have covered with places in three distinct areas for you to check out. While they are not located Downtown, staying close by can make things cheaper while still having access to the city centre by metro, cab, or walking!

Park Inn & Suites by Radisson – Check Now

  • Style: Simple and Stylish Hotel.
  • Price Range: Budget.
  • Location: In Fairview, close to Granville Island – a quick cab to downtown with eateries around.
  • Featured Amenities: Paid parking, a Pub-style restaurant and classic restaurant onsite, liquor store, fitness centre.

Granville Island Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Elegant and Modern Hotel.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Expensive.
  • Location: On Granville Island – close to the public market and Downtown Vancouver.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, onsite restaurant and bar, fitness centre, good for pets and couples.

Kitsilano Home 2 Home – Check Now

  • Style: Cute and Comfortable Apartments.
  • Price Range: Expensive.
  • Location: Residential – close to Kitsilano Beach and Pool.
  • Featured Amenities: Good wifi, some apartments with terrace and kitchen, parking.

North Vancouver (Scenic, Nature, Secluded)

lions gate bridge at night crossing water best places to stay in vancouver north vancouver
Cross the Lions Gate Bridge at night – looking into the mountains of North Vancouver. // Photo: Unsplash

If the distance to downtown isn’t totally important to you, you could stay in North Vancouver. The area is known to be scenic, close to nature, and somewhat secluded. The views of downtown Vancouver from here are often very gorgeous. That said, it’s easy to get to downtown via the Seabus from the Lonsdale Pier. This area is also good if you are wanting to explore the vast natural attractions north of the city like: Lynn Canyon Bridge, Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, and many others!

Featured Hotels in North Vancouver

As mentioned above, there aren’t a ton of places to stay in North Vancouver. That said, staying there can serve a good purpose if you are interested in day tripping to the north of the city. You also have access to the city centre via car or ferry so you’re not completely disconnected from the action. The three accommodation below are all very close to the water and offer great views of Downtown Vancouver!

Ocean Breeze Executive Bed and Breakfast Check Now

  • Style: Charming and Quaint Bed and Breakfast.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Expensive.
  • Location: Close to the water, a quick walk to Lonsdale Pier and the Seabus.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, good breakfast, good for families, rooms have a fridge, microwave, tea/coffee facilities.

The Lonsdale Quay Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Upscale and Trendy Hotel.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Expensive.
  • Location: Right on Lonsdale Pier – with markets and the Seabus very close by.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, comfy beds, bar onsite.

Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier – Check Now

  • Style: Modern and Chic Hotel.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Expensive.
  • Location: Right beside Lonsdale Pier – with markets and the Seabus very close by.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, pool, onsite restaurant, sauna and steam room, outdoor deck.

Vancouver South (Quaint, Residential, Quiet)

For simplicity, we grouped together the smaller towns and areas that are south of Vancouver into the section on Vancouver South. It’s geographically everything south of Downtown, east of the University of British Columbia, west of Burnaby, and north of Richmond. This area is known to be quaint, residential, and quiet. That doesn’t mean that it’s boring! There are a bunch of smaller communities like South Cambie, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale, and that all have shops, restaurants, and parks.

Featured Accommodations in Vancouver South

Below are the featured accommodations in the Vancouver South area, as defined by us. The area is made for apartment rentals and guesthouses since it’s more residential. These can be great for families or travellers with a car that need a quiet place to park. That said, accommodations can be cheaper, but you’ll have to commute into downtown to do your sightseeing so factor that in. We’ve included various budgets since guesthouses can vary quite a bit depending on what you are looking for!

Maple Guest House – Check Now

  • Style: Simple and Charming Guesthouse.
  • Price Range: Budget.
  • Location: South of Downtown in Shaughnessy District – more south of South Granville (the area, not the island)
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, nice breakfast, lounge areas, good wifi.

Diana’s Luxury Bed and Breakfast – Check Now

  • Style: Relaxing and Cozy Bed and Breakfast.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.
  • Location: The heart of Vancouver South, east of Queen Elizabeth Park.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking onsite, “to-go” breakfast, coffee and tea, garden, private rooms with bathroom.

37 Boutique Suite  – Check Now

  • Style: Trendy and Modern Guesthouse.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Expensive.
  • Location: South of Downtown Vancouver, just outside of Kerrisdale (shops), and south of Shaughnessy.
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, wifi, free toiletries, coffee maker in the rooms.

Vancouver International Airport

As always, we wanted to be thorough when talking about hotels in Vancouver. As such, we’ve included two hotels that are close to Vancouver International Airport. This area is technically Richmond, British Columbia, but the area is still in Greater Vancouver. If you need an airport hotel, this is the place to look! The airport is connected to downtown via the SkyTrain which is super cheap and very handy. Have a look!

Featured Hotels at the Vancouver International Airport

Below are two of the featured hotels close to the airport. There are many to choose from so we included one that is affordable and more budget-style, while the other is the Fairmont. It is literally IN the airport and full of amenities!

 Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver Airport – Check Now

  • Style: Simple and Standard Hotel.
  • Price Range: Budget.
  • Location: Just across the bridge from the airport in Richmond.
  • Featured Amenities: Wifi, coffee makers, parking, and breakfast.

Fairmont Vancouver Airport In-Terminal Hotel Check Now

  • Style: Elegant and Charming Hotel.
  • Price Range: Expensive
  • Location: In the Airport Terminal building – doesn’t get much closer!
  • Featured Amenities: Parking, pool, onsite dining, floor-to-ceiling windows for views of mountains or runways!

And there you have it – a rundown of some of the best places to stay in Vancouver! In the end, there are so many different areas that are likely to suit your needs and travel style. You won’t necessarily make a bad decision with any of the above areas or accommodation choices. Just remember to have a think about what you need – hotel, hostel, apartment, or B&B – and you’ll be just fine! Enjoy exploring Vancouver – and feel free to get in touch and let us know how your trip goes!

As always, Happy Vancouver Waddlin’,
-L&E

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Where to stay in Vancouver, Canada

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While waddling the globe, Penguin and Pia enjoy belly slides and tasting the freshest fish dishes the world has to offer. When not lounging on ice chairs, they can be found working in the travel space in countries all around Europe.

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