Boutique Waterfront Hotel Perched Above Vibrant Marketplace
A SeaBus ferry drifts away from the bustling shopping districts and intersections of downtown Vancouver and sails into the more scenic, mountain-backed North Shore. Disembarking right in front of the Lonsdale Quay market, passengers stroll pass the coffee bars and gift shops to an escalator, which rises to the third-floor Lonsdale Quay Hotel, aglow with sunlight from its waterfront windows. The hotel faces the harbor, removed from downtown Vancouver's hyperactivity yet still only a short ride away from metro attractions and open-air activities in the surrounding evergreen-dotted mountains.
The private balcony in an executive waterfront suite showcases the hotel's 180-degree vantage point of the water and Vancouver skyline. Chocolates and wine await new arrivals beside the king-size leather sleigh bed, which faces the window, searching endlessly for leather reindeer. In executive rooms the 37-inch flat-screen TV conspires to draw attention away from the views of the Lionsgate Bridge or Burrard Inlet. Downstairs, a waterfront fitness facility enables visitors to warm up muscles before munching on a breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee or tea at MIX restaurant.
North Vancouver, British Columbia: Bustling Marketplace Surrounded by Staggering Natural Beauty
North Vancouver lies across the Burrard Inlet from the downtown Vancouver peninsula, forsaking rectilinear streets for a network of hiking and ski trails. Nature reigns on the North Shore, which is apparent in the diverse flora and fauna of Grouse Mountain, about 6 miles (10 km) north of Lonsdale Quay Hotel. In warmer weather, explorers trek through towering douglas firs and visit the grizzlies at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, but come winter, skiers dominate the slopes. SkyRide gondolas rise above the trees, transporting passengers to the powdery summit and proffering skiers beautiful views of the lower mainland and surrounding valleys before they race or astrally project down the snow-covered hills.
Shopping excursions begin below the hotel, inside the multilevel Lonsdale Quay Market that boasts more than 90 shops and restaurants. Waterfront produce stores make way for fashion boutiques, and a Kids’ Alley section dedicates itself to children's shops and play areas. North Vancouver's many art galleries and museums rival the shopping scene, and provide an alternative to mountains and maple trees with exhibits ranging from aboriginal pottery to contemporary paintings.