Design-Conscious 4.5-Star Boutique Hotel Overlooking North Shore Mountains
Right on the edge of Vancouver’s bustling financial district and the waterfront Coal Harbour neighborhoods, the Loden Hotel puts visitors within easy reach of the Vancouver Convention Center, as well as museums, shops, and the world’s first steam clock. You can walk to most of these attractions, but the 4.5-star hotel also offers guests free car service to any downtown destination. Voted one of Canada’s top 10 hotels by Condé Nast Traveler readers, the Loden Hotel surrounds guests in understated elegance during their stay, with luxurious amenities ranging from marble bathrooms to 24-hour room service to an infrared sauna at its spa.
The boutique hotel is undeniably urban, with a façade made entirely of reflective glass. Yet the rooms and suites showcase natural sights with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the surrounding waterways and the North Shore Mountains. The design also takes inspiration from the mountainous landscape, favoring earthy hues and decorated with precious stones. Most accommodations have a sliding wall between the living area and bathroom, which feels like a private spa with a rainfall shower and deep-soaking tub. Stay in a one-bedroom suite for added luxuries; these rooms occupy the top three floors and have heated marble floors and an integrated in-ceiling sound system.
Downstairs, the street-level Tableau Bar Bistro puts a modern twist on classic French cuisine. Executive Chef Marc-André Choquette aims to use only the freshest local ingredients, so the menu tends to reflect what’s in season. BC Living recently raved about the brunch here, saying that the “menu is spectacular with a lovely mix of traditional choices alongside unique creations.” The adjacent bar builds on the bistro’s French influences with a selection of wines from France.
Vancouver, British Columbia: Bustling Metropolis near Skiing Wonderland
Despite playing host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver enjoys relatively mild winters; its coastal climate allows very little snowfall to stick to the ground. As a result, the historic Gastown neighborhood, with its cobblestone pedestrian mall near the waterfront, remains lively throughout the season—one of the reasons Frommer’s named Vancouver one of the World’s Most Walkable Cities. Once a cluster of saloons, the area is now full of clothing boutiques, coffee shops, and nightclubs, as well as an iconic steam-powered grandfather clock that whistles every quarter hour.
Though numerous ski resorts stand just outside the city limits, Whistler, about two hours north of Vancouver, is widely renowned for its skiing—Whistler Blackcomb even played host to the alpine-skiing events in the 2010 Winter Games. Powdery snow blankets the mountain by late November, attracting skiers and boarders who pack its slopes every winter, and the ski season lasts about six months. You can shuttle back and forth between the two mountains on the Peak 2 Peak gondola, the highest and longest unsupported cable-car span in the world. It’s surrounded by 360-degree views of ancient glaciers, dense evergreen forests, and mountain goats peddling time-shares.
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