Archive for the ‘Cruise Ship visitors in Vancouver’ Category

Welcome to Granville Island – The cultural hub of Vancouver

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Granville Island is a destination that should be at the top of the list of places to experience when you are visiting our wonderful city of Vancouver.

Granville Island has become one of the most well known cultural hubs of the city and it never ceases to please. It is known for its bustling Public Market, it is home to a wide selection of eclectic cute shops, boutique stores & plenty of Arts & crafts to enjoy. It is also the home of the Emily Carr Art university – however this university will be moving to a new location off the island in the not too distant future.

Through out the year rain or shine you will not be short of street entertainment down on the Island as it is also home to great theatres whee you can watch live music, comedy and plenty of improve entertainment – on the streets itself you will be greeted with buskers of all walks of life ready to make your trip to the island a memorable one.

Sunset Inn and Suites staff top picks
The staff at the hotel all have their various favorate spots to dine and hang out on the island, please read on to see what we feel you should not miss when you are down on the Granville Island.

DINING OUT
Our top pick for dining out and live entertainment all under one roof is the The Sandbar restaurant which is located next door to the Granville Island Public Market.

The food at the Sandbar is absolutely delicious and varied. It has regular Bar favorates such as amazing Seafood, burgers, sandwiches and Salads – there is also an great Sushi Bar and specialised seafood items such as Crab and lobster. They also have a fantastic patio that overlooks False Creek, the downtown Vancouver skyline and the iconic Burrard bridge as a backdrop.

Sandbar Specials and Events
Mussel Mania
Enjoy a bucket of fresh mussels, fries and a cold pint of Granville Island brew in our Teredo Lounge! Join us for Mussel Mania, Monday to Friday, from 3 – 6pm – all for $12! The perfect way to wind down after work, enjoy this special offer!

Sandbar Menu: https://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar/menus/brunch-0

Live Music 7 Nights a Week!
In the heart of Granville Island, you’ll find the Sandbar Seafood Restaurant – Vancouver’s top spot for dinner and dancing. The Teredo Lounge is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some tunes with good friends. Overlooking the waterways of False Creek and offering live music seven nights a week, are only some of many reasons why The Sandbar has won “Best Restaurant to Take Out-Of-Town Guests” several years in a row. So, join us any night of the week for good food, good music and a great time!

GRANVILLE ISLAND PUBLIC MARKET & DAY VENDORS
The Day Vendors of the Granville Island Public Market invite you to experience a diverse array of BC’s finest in craft, art and artisan created foods! We are the artists, craftspeople, farm and food artisans located in booths throughout the Market. We offer diverse, high-quality handmade and local products – all created, grown or produced by the vendor.

The Public Market Day Vendors are some of the finest in their fields. Many are award-winning, full-time professionals, and all pass through a stringent process in order to sell their work in the Market. We have something for everyone, every day:

Fine jewelry
Fine art and photography
Functional and decorative ceramics
Fashion accessories: hats, bags, and silks
Fused and stained glass
Handmade soaps, lotions, and bath products
Delicious jams, preserves, sauces, and treats
…and much, much more!

Operating on a rotating schedule, the mix of vendors changes every week – there are always new creations to discover.

Granville Island Website: http://granvilleisland.com/public-market

Not only is Granville Island a prime spot for dining there is plenty of other entertainment to occupy yourself from Theatre to comedy and plenty of Street buskers to delight the crowds on these hot summer days.

For further information regarding the Island please speak to the front desk staff.

Tips on what to do in Vancouver if you are visiting on an Alaskan Cruise.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

It maybe the middle of Winter but we can see that the reservations are coming in thick and fast for the upcoming Cruise ship season to Alaska. Once the Cruise ships arrive the city gets pretty busy and of course that means we generally have full occupancy.

The Cruise Ships dock very very early at Canada Place http://www.canadaplace.ca/ so we find that the majority of our Cruise Ship guests will arrive at the hotel between the hours of 7 and 8am. Our check in time at the hotel is guranteed at 4pm as our guests are allowed to stay in their rooms until 11am which is the Sunset Inn and Suites regular check out time, this of course means there is still the majority of the day to occupy your time, so follow our lead and we will help you maximise your stay if you are here for just a day or two, we will make sure you get to see the major sights even if the stay seems short. We will strive to get the rooms ready earlier but that is dependent on the volume of occupancy at the hotel.

Getting to the Sunset Inn and Suites Hotel from Canada Place
The cruise ships usually dock around 6am and we get many people asking us what is the best way to get to the hotel and how much does it cost?
We do not have a shuttle that connects us to Canada Place, however, there are plenty of Taxis ready and waiting to get you to your destination, and if you feel a little lost there will be lots of Agents from Tourism Vancouver http://www.tourismvancouver.com/ on hand to help guide you to the nearest Taxi, these guys and girls will be wearing Sky blue jackets so you know who they are and will be extremely helpful!

Taxis in Vancouver
A taxi ride between Canada Place should cost around $12 and will take around 10 minutes or so to reach the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel. Within Vancouver, the taxis are only allowed a maximum of 4 persons per Car and you can pay by Debit, Credit Card or Cash. Any taxi can be picked up anywhere on the streets if the yellow light is on, this signals that it is unoccupied and ready to take you to your desired destination.

Checking in and Luggage storage
Once you arrive at the hotel – we will make sure that we complete the check in process and will be ready to answer any questions you have on the city, we will then help formulate a plan on what to do to occupy your time in Vancouver that day, you are more than welcome to enjoy our Light Continental Breakfast even if you are are unable to check into the room, so grab some fruits, croissants and yogurts which we sell for 50c and you can start the day fed, energised and happy.

BIG BUS HOP ON HOP OFF City Sightseeing tours.
The Big Bus city tour is a great way to to see all the major sights of the city and will give you excellent information and insight of the city, they are fun, informative and have plenty of experience, all the while you will see the very best attractions within the city of Vancouver and can Hop On Hop Off at anytime so you can take your time to enjoy the sights.

Big Bus Video Clip Hop on Hop Off city Tour

The Big Bus stop is literally a 30 second walk away from the hotel on Thurlow Street and you can purchase your ticket directly with us at the front desk, we do encourage this as there are plenty of hotel deals for you to enjoy. http://bigbus.ca/home/

BIG BUS TOUR Highlights include:
Granville Island http://granvilleisland.com/
Stanley Park http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/stanley-park-complete-guide/
Gastown http://www.gastown.org/
Chinatown http://www.vancouver-chinatown.com/
Robson St – Shopping District http://www.robsonstreet.ca/

Davie Street and Davie Village
We are situated one block South of Davie Village which is one of the gems of the West end, here there is a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafes for you to enjoy and it is located right in the heart of Gay District of Vancouver – so naturally it is awash with colour and a vibrant atmosphere. West End Business Association – Davie Village http://westendbia.com/neighbourhood/davie-street/

We hope that this advice is helpful and will go to some length on being able to plan what to do when you arrive!

We look forward to seeing you all in the Summer.

Spring time in Vancouver – Part 1…Gorgeous Wildlife and Plantlife

Monday, February 24th, 2014

For many of us who live in Vancouver the Season of Spring is by far one of the best, with the longer days becoming more noticeable and the weather slowly but surely warming it is a time where the city and nature start to wake from the long long nights of Winter.

There are many reasons to come to Vancouver between March and June not just because is it still a relatively cheaper time to stay in the city. The tourist season will generally start to really kick into gear during the latter half with the volume of Cruise Ships increasing, Spring break and so on, so if crowds are not your thing then very likely this season should really appeal to you as the city is not too too busy.

Many of us love Vancouver in the Spring for one thing overall and that is for the blooming of the plants and the explosion of colour because of this. As the leaves begin to unfold and the increase of the local wildlife who are during their rounds, where they will be getting ready for the mating season and need to fill their hungry bellies – so much to choose from that will no doubt grab your interest.

We will break down this blog into 2 parts so that there is something for everyone to be interested in, and, as always we will have further blogs that will keep you up to date on all the major events over the coming months.

CLIMATE
The Climate in Vancouver is very well known as soggy, mild with lots of rain! However, this year has been different, admittedly this particular Winter has not played ball as normal as it has been predominantly dry, it has had the odd blast of the Arctic air licking our shores (albeit brief) and its snowing as I type so we are still reminded that it is still the Winter season.

It has also been a remarkably sunny winter so therefore that means it has been very very dry. This area of the world is known as a temperate Rain-forest and we do normally average quite a few inches of rain each month during November and May respectively, in fact, the crazy weather that has been occurring in Europe and more specifically the UK is what we would call typical. So in a year that has been anything but normal we have to admit – it has has been quite nice to be able to get outdoors when we normally bunker down.

So what remains for the rest of 2014? Of course we will never really know, but many are predicting that it could be a year when we may get water advisories due to the lack of the precipitation, it could also mean that for all the visitors coming here in the Spring and Summer it could very well be an outstanding season to come. Meteorologists who are looking at the El Nino and La Nina fluctuations in the Pacific are seeing a possible transition to a mild El nino pattern which we has not been present in the last few years, if and a big if as always this is the case, this area of the world could expect a dry and warmer pattern -top that with the effect of this dry winter Summer 2014 may seem warmer than usual, only time will tell.

Spring in Vancouver is typically changeable with the rains becoming more showery with the odd brief cold spell, there is always an outside chance that snow may fall even as late as the end of March and at a push April – due to its topsy turvy nature, either way the great thing about Vancity is that you can get some late season skiing in on the slopes and then come back down to earth for a nice stroll down the beach – the Sun is starting to have an influence so it may be pleasent and warm down at sea level. In turn that means the world around us is waking up so the next section will explain about the blooming of the Plants and what wildlife to expect here.

TREES AND PLANTS
It is fair to say that the Spring season is one of the most colourful and stunning of all seasons and in Vancouver it is very visible- what you will also notice is the many varieties of Plant-life that hail from areas such as the Far East Asia with the main feature dominating are the Cherry Blossoms, they seriously show off what they have got especially during late April and May – there is a great Festival and Website that is dedicated to the Cherry Blossoms it gives you a comprehensive guide as to where the blooms are occurring around the city, what kind of blossoms they are, and what to expect over the next few weeks as they progress.
A major highlight of the Cherry Blossom blooms are the trees that line the square at Burrard Street Skytrain station – here there are so many Blossoms in bloom that they create a stunning pink and white canopy ceiling above you, its gorgeous.

Although the Cherry blossoms tend to take the most accolades in the area there are more amazing plants and trees to check out.

Cherry Blossom Festival: http://www.vcbf.ca/

Deciduous Trees
Vancouver is also home to some pretty stunning Deciduous trees in the area and in the Spring they really show off the very best of their Spring Blooms, trees such as Magnolia Vulcan this tree dazzles with a brilliant ruby-red 20-cm flowers. It thrives in every soil type and has sturdy upright growth. You can find this on the Corner of Beach Ave and Burrard St nearby, Magnolias are found all throughout the West End and vary in size and shapes.
Found all over but you can see it in the Rose Garden in Stanley Park The Prunus ‘Akebono’ (ornamental cherry) its pink blossom slowly turn to a soft pink-white from mid-March to early April.

Just around the corner from us is a wonderful Magnolia tree that is getting ready to put on its own Spring show, take a left turn from the Hotel and Burnaby Street onto Thurlow St and you will see this gorgeous tree!

WILDLIFE and STANLEY PARK
Spring is also the season when you notice the influx of the migrating birds and of course the critters that are now waking up from their deep winter slumber.
We recommend that when you do visit the parks (Its our stunning oasis in the city) we really do encourage you to keep your eyes peeled as there is plenty of wildlife to spot on the ground and in the skies.

The Great Blue Herons.
These majestic creatures have made a small area in Stanley Park their natural home for nesting and it is in surprisingly large numbers – it seems that in many other areas of the world the Herons are found to be dwindling in numbers, thankfully this is not the case in Vancouver, we hope that this is a healthy continuing trend.
During March we will see the return of the male Herons, the best place to see them are down by the Tennis Courts on Beach Avenue (Which is not too far a walk from the Sunset) the male herons will return to their designated nests where they will hope to attract the females whom arrive a short while later.

Once they do arrive the usual courtship ritual begins, you can spot this when the couples are in their nests and will cross their bills regularly, together they help maintain their nests (some return to the existing ones and like to modernise and spruce them up too).
Come the end of April and early May you will start to see the chicks hatching from their nests, it is quite a sight to see. At the last count there are around 165 to 170 nests, this location has been a regular home since 1921 there were many nests across the creek in Vanier Park, but now, only a handful remain.

Heron Colony of Stanley Park: http://www.greatervancouverparks.com/StanleyHeronColony01.html

Here is a video of the Herons in the Park
Blue Herons of Vancouver

The Elusive Coyote
Coyotes breeding season occurs from January through April and there is always a chance that you will catch a quick glance of them as Spring progresses to Summer. Cubbing season will be well under way by then so the Coyotes will be busy looking for food not only for themselves but for their new offspring too. If you do manage to see them – just let the Coyotes be, they may look a little under nourished but don’t be tempted to feed them as these critters are more than capable and happy to forage by themselves.
An interesting fact about the Coyotes, they were introduced into Vancouver in the 1980s and very quickly established themselves into the urban setting. They are a little fearful of humans when they are not treated or respected as the animals that they are, however, this is not a cause for alarm, just leave them be and they will carry on their merry way as long as they are not distracted – it is not unusual to find them wandering the street or even venturing deeper into the city, Coyotes live where ever they can get comfortable, they only make Dens for the purpose of bringing up the cubs, otherwise, leaves and shrubs will be more than fine for a home sweet home.

Living with Coyotes: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/conservation/co-existing-with-coyotes/

Migrating Birds
A sure sign of Spring is the sound of the Birds that are making their way around the globe and at this time of year start to make their presence known in the city, this is really noticeable by their chirping, whistles and regular songs that become more and more familiar, and of course the plumage, they really do begin to get more and more colourful!
The birds that arrive come in all shapes and sizes of course and there are far too many to mention here, but we will note a few to look out for, and please click on the link below so you can read in depth of the many other species not mentioned here. Keep an eye out for Hawks, Bald Eagles, Chickadees, Hummingbirds and of Canada Geese – easily spotted by their famous flying V formation!

A cool occurrence that happens everyday is when the Species of Gulls and Crows make their way home to their respective nests and roosts, if you look up at the skies roughly an hour before and up to Sunset you may get to witness a very large Murder of Crows heading east to their roosting spot in Burnaby, its is quite a sight to see – at the very same time, you will see the Gulls making their way home from inland out to the coast where their nests are.

Birds of Vancouver: http://birdvancouver.com/blog_april12.html

Coming to Vancouver on a cruise?…Here are some helpful tips to organize your visit.

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

For many Vancouverites in the city April is the last quiet month before the Summer tourist season begins, we are sure that many of you are busy planning your trips and it is likely that you maybe visiting us as via a stopover on your Alaskan Cruise.

The majority of the Cruise ships dock into Vancouver very early in the morning (usually docking at Canada Place around 7am) this means that the majority of the Cruise Ship guests have quite some time to kill due to Checking in time being 4pm. So what can you do to utilize your time until your room is ready? Below we will have some helpful tips and advice on how to organize your day efficiently.

There is no doubt that many of you will be lugging some heavy luggage with you, well worry not, after we have completed the Check In procedure – we will happily place your bags in secure and safe storage, if the room happens to be ready before you return to the hotel, we will do our very best to have your luggage in your room ready and waiting for you on your return.

Below we have some excellent suggestions on what you can do in the time between arrival and checking in to your room.

BREAKFAST!
Its early, way to early for many, but here you are checking in at 7am – you are maybe tired and highly likely that you will be hungry too….so why not find yourself somewhere to go to satisfy your hunger…here are our recommendations for an excellent Breakfast.

THE ELBOW ROOM
The Elbow Room is quite an experience, not only does it have a huge Breakfast but you will be greeted with some Sassy Staff! What makes the Elbow Room a hit eatery in Vancouver, it isn’t just the yummy food, it is its reputation for some very funny and very rude staff – and please do not be alarmed, this is exactly what it is known for. If you have a reputation for quick wit, humour and Sarcasm and love a good old fashioned cooked breakfast – then this IS the place for you. Get fed and enjoy the ride, its a very amusing experience – Good Luck!
www.theelbowroomcafe.com
JOES GRILL
With locations on Davie St and Denman Street – this breakfast joint is a huge hit in the city, with great food and great staff it has been delighting hungry patrons for many years, but get there early, it can be a very very busy restaurant and for good reason as it is an excellent well known institution of the West End.
www.joesgrill.ca
HAMBURGER MARYS DINER
A cute 1950s Diner on Bute and Davie, open from 8am till the early hours of the morning, it has an extensive Breakfast Menu, excellent comfort Canadiana style foods such as a variety of tasty Burgers, Sandwiches and good old fashioned meals such as Meatloaf, Fish and Chips and more…!
www.hamburgermarys.ca

SIGHTSEEING AND MORE…
BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING TOUR AROUND THE CITY OF VANCOUVER
Big Bus is an excellent way of utilizing your time while you are waiting on the room. You can purchase your tickets at the Front Desk and better still, the stop is just a 30 second walk away around the corner on Thurlow St, where the next stop on the Tour is Granville Island.
Helpful Tip We recommend that you purchase a 2 DAY HOP ON HOP OFF pass as it will save you money, and we advise that you do a full round trip tour of the city in one trip and then on the second loop, use the HOP ON HOP OFF service that the ticket provides so you can see some major attractions such as Granville Island, Gastown and Chinatown.

http://bigbus.ca/home/

http://granvilleisland.com/

TOUR AROUND FALSE CREEK/VISIT GRANVILLE ISLAND
If you are heading down to Granville Island, you can get there by taking the FALSE CREEK FERRIES, these are cute little boats that will transport you to the island and also to various destinations along False Creek such as The Maritime Museum, Science World and the Olympic Village.

False Creek Ferries also offer full sightseeing tours all along False Creek, we feel that this is a trip well worth doing so check it out!

http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/

SEAWALL, ENGLISH BAY & STANLEY PARK.
If you have the energy and you are in the need to stretch the old legs, well just head South down the hill on Thurlow St and head down to the Sea Wall and Sunset Beach – head West towards English Bay, along the way you will experience stunning views of the ocean and Bowen Island in the distance and the Iconic Inukshuk!

Here you will be at the famous downtown Beach that is English Bay, you should reach this area in around 15 mintues or so, if you still want to carry on further – another 10 minutes farther along you will reach the beginnings of Stanley Park (nearby are the Tennis Courts and above them are the Nesting Herons) – stunning to see!
http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/stanley-park-complete-guide/

For further reading on Vancouver http://www.venturevancouver.com/

And Tourism Vancouver http://www.tourismvancouver.com/