Artistic Boutique Hotel Overlooking Robson Street
Vibrantly colored paintings pop against dramatically lit walls. Abstract geometric sculptures rest nonchalantly on tables. The lobby of The Listel Hotel in downtown Vancouver is lined with offbeat modern art, but the works mesh seamlessly into the design and aren't blocked off by velvet rope. Robin Laurence, the visual art critic at the Georgia Straight, called The Listel "Vancouver's most art-full hotel," and the title is fitting—a stay at the eco-friendly quarters is almost like staying overnight in a contemporary art museum.
Such cultured touches are evident in the Museum floor or Gallery floor rooms. King- or queen-size beds wrapped in plush linens dominate the uniquely decorated spaces, each ensconced by specially designed lighting, soothing wall colors, and a couch pillow hugged twice by Pablo Picasso. The Museum floor's pads feature hemlock and cedar furnishings and contemporary Northwest Coast art, and cherry wood and art characteristic of the Canadian and international scene adorn the rooms on the Gallery floor.
After settling in, sojourners can head downstairs to The Listel's popular hotspot, O'Doul's Restaurant & Bar, which serves up Pacific Northwest cuisine and hosts live jazz shows Thursday–Saturday nights. The lobby gallery puts seasonal, rotating art shows on display. In addition to the hotel's fitness center, get-fitters can take advantage of The Listel's complimentary passes to the nearby Steve Nash Fitness World Express for a more thorough workout session.
Vancouver, British Columbia: Urban Culture and Natural Splendor
The Listel sits directly on the highly walkable Robson Street, where people watching can become a sort of urban sport: crowds file in and around upscale stores, funky boutiques, innumerable eateries, and a bustling live performance scene. Also within walking distance is Vancouver's beloved Stanley Park, which unfurls with mile after gorgeous mile of waterfront bike and jogging trails, lavish flower gardens, and lush landscapes right in the city. Free neighborhood walking tours dish fun facts and history about Vancouver, and the adventurous can make the 45 minute drive and join the campaign against tan lines at the famously clothing-optional Wreck Beach.