VANCOUVER is a city that’s never been shy to promote its great outdoors, bold and sprawling in all its glory.
First-time and frequent visitors are often drawn to the city’s pretty harbor, many of its vast, lush parks, or the dense wilderness of the British Columbia. Against the bustle of metropolis, Vancouver’s outdoors is a great respite from the mundanity of day-to-day routines.
Here are three luxury hotels to consider the next time you’re in town for a nature-in-the-city retreat.
Nestled on an island in the heart of a Pacific archipelago in Canada is Sonora Resort, one of the top luxury lodges in these parts of the world. Visitors can only get to the resort by seaplane from Vancouver or Seattle, or a water taxi from Campbell River, thereon feeding into its mystery and sealing its value as a prized nature retreat.
Even with its isolated location, Sonora does well in equipping itself with big-resort luxuries and amenities. Rooms are crafted in fir stone and fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to magical views of ocean rapids and mountainous ranges, one way that the resort “invites the outside in”.
The Sea Lion Villa is a treasure trove of art and architecture, featuring one of the largest commissions of B.C. art including glass monoliths and cedar story poles by Philip Gray. To up the luxury, the Sea Lion Villa has its own private dining room, a well-stocked kitchen, a billiards room, a home theatre, and a wet bar that facilitates after-dinner entertainment.
A stay at Sonora is incomplete without partaking in the many outdoor eco-adventure activities where you’ll be able to spot wildlife such as sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, killer whales, and bald eagles. If you’re a nature photographer, Sonora is a goldmine for prized snapshots of rare species. Read more…
In the heart of the outdoor action is Four Seasons Vancouver, an esteemed property and recipient of the Forbes Five Star rating, an honor awarded to only two Vancouver hotels. Over the years, the downtown hotel – rising above Pacific Centre Mall – has drawn its fair share of leisure and business travelers.
In Four Seasons fashion, rooms are modern but hint at luxury by way of plush detailing. The City View rooms open to the city skyline and feature warm West Coast palettes to make you feel at home in a foreign city. Comfort-in-style best describes its Premier City View room, a sanctuary bathed in natural light and fitted with wraparound, floor-to-ceiling windows to take it all in.
Meanwhile, the Royal Suite – which has housed iconic personalities in the past – is a luxurious two-level space complete with a master bedroom and living room. The suite is also equipped with sophisticated entertainment system, a fully stocked private bar, a marble bathroom, and most importantly, panoramic views of the North Shore Mountains beyond.
Make sure to pop by YEW Seafood during your stay, a warm, wood-paneled restaurant that showcases the best of the Pacific Northwest produce. Whether it’s the salmon carpaccio, octopus salad, or freshly shucked oysters you opt for, rest assured the seafood here is as fresh as they get. Wrap up with a classic cocktail at YEW Bar.
Tucked between the Coast Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, Shangri-La Hotel is a sanctuary quite literally between the mountains and the sea. A short stroll away is the majestic firs of Stanley Park and the sapphire blue waters of its lake. As a bonus, the magnificent Grouse Mountains is only a short drive away.
The hotel’s nature surroundings are reflected in its interior, cloaked in warm latte and golden hues, and offset by dark wood paneling and sleek furniture. The lavish Orchid Suite is a private residence-type setting complete with a lounge, dining area, and kitchen. The kitchen also has a separate butler entrance which allows for unobtrusive entertaining when you’re attending to VIPs.
For an exquisite meal, pop into Market by Jean-Georges, a concept created by its namesake, a man who has been responsible for three Michelin stars and wide industry acclaim. The restaurant’s dinnertime tasting menu is a stunning display of Vancouver’s best bounty, cooked into dishes such as soy-lacquered veal cheek, and beef carpaccio with pickled chanterelle mushrooms.
Before leaving Vancouver, ease those tired limbs with a session at CHI, The Spa, the hotel’s in-house health and wellness center that makes use of holistic Asian treatments. Each “spa suite” is equipped with its own fireplace, private bath, relaxation lounge, and vanity area, all which provide ample comfort to succumb to luxurious treatments.
*Some of the properties featured in this article are commercial partners of Travel Wire Asia