Archive for the ‘Getting from A to B’ Category

HAPPY 129th BIRTHDAY VANCOUVER!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

April 6th was the official date of Vancouver’s 129th birthday. Vancouver is probably one of the most stunning cities in Canada and of course the world – it is usually rated within the top 3 most liveable cities in the world and it really is very hard to argue against this. We will like to create a list to you as to why Vancouver should be at the top of your destination list.

STANLEY PARK & THE BIKING THE SEAWALL
Stanley Park is a gorgeous wooded forest and Park that completely dominates the centre of Vancouver. At 400 Hectares it is bigger than New Yorks Central park and is home to a vast array of incredible Gardens, Sporting facilities an outdoor pool, playparks for children and the natural Fauna and Flora that make the park come alive.
In the Summer time it is a great place to take your family to explore the dense forest and you can also check out the many beaches that can be found following the Seawall that encircles the outside perimeter.

Stanley Park is also home to the world famous Vancouver Aquarium which is home to the rehabilitation of the beloved Beluga Whales

The Seawall itself is a great way to explore the majority of the city and along the way you will be able to come across some notable features of the city such as Granville Island, Science World, the Totem Poles of Stanley Park, the Inukshuk and the Vancouvers most popular beaches such as English Bay. The best way to explore the full 22km wall is by bike rentals. English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
A cultural hub that lies in the heart of False Creek. Granville Island is home to Vancouver’s largest Public Market which has a huge array of colourful stalls, unique homemade products and the very finest in gastronomic delights. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field. Try closing your eyes right now and imagine the rich aromas permeating from the lavish displays. Shimmering seafood, warm baked goods, plump fruit.
There is also plenty of dining out options, entertainment in the form of Theatre, comedy and Arts – it is also a huge hub for busking to delight the masses as they meander around the Island. http://granvilleisland.com/
You can reach Granville Island using the False Creek Ferries which is a 10 minute walk from the hotel http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River and has created a whole complex within the rain forest canopy that is found located above the river half way up the mountainside towards Grouse Mountain. In the last few years the area has expanded so now we have a daring cliffwalk path that leads you out over the canyon close to the steep Granite cliffs that create the towering gorge that has been cut and eroded by the river over thousands of years. There are also treetop viewing points dotted all over the park.
Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

CLIMB THE GROUSE GRIND AND VISIT MOUNTAIN
Grouse Mountain did not have much in the way of Snow this year which was a troubling for the Ski enthusiasts, however, as Spring turns to Summer it is time for the Hiking season to begin.
Grouse Mountain https://www.grousemountain.com/

The Grouse Grind
This is a great challenge for any able’d bodied person to use if you are up for the challenge and a great well known hike. This very popular hiking trail is a steep trail that climbs 853 m (2800 feet) from the gate and timer near the bottom of the trail to the “Grind Timer” at the top of the trail, a distance of 2.9 km (1.8 mi), with an average grade of 17 degrees (or 31%) and short sections of up to 30 degrees. The total number of stairs is 2,830. https://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING HOP ON HOP OFF TOUR
This is one of the most effective ways to see the best sights of the city, you can Choose from over 20 stops to create your adventure.
Free one-way ferry ride to the public market, galleries and colourful culture of Granville Island
As many as 7 stops in Stanley Park, voted the best urban park in the world
World-class commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin (May 2015)
Vancouver’s only company with convertible, clear-top bus covers for stunning views rain or shine.

For further information read out latest blog on the tour itself http://www.sunsetinn.com/blog/?p=7098

BIG BUS HOP ON HOP OFF & WESTCOAST SIGHTSEEING DAY TOURS

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

BIG BUS HOP ON HOP OFF TOUR VIDEO

April is the beginning of the official tourist season as all major tours will now be up and running, we will like to introduce to you the Big Bus and Westcoast sightseeing tours that will take you around Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and Squamish.

BIG BUS HOP ON HOP OFF VANCOUVER CITY TOUR & WESTCOAST SIGHTSEEING TOURS.
The Big Bus Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing route offers over 20 stops, getting you within walking distance of many of the top attractions in the city. Enjoy a birds-eye view of Vancouver at your own pace, complete with one-of-a-kind commentary. Ask about value-priced attraction add-ons, and 24 & 48 Hour Passes.
Enjoy all the sites of Vancouver with the flexibility of hopping off where you like. Wake up late? No problem, the ticket is valid for 24 hours – Use it the next day with no extra charge – up to 24 hours of the first use.

Big Bus + Local Attraction Tickets
There are also bundle packages that you can purchase with the Hop on Hop off tour – so make it a combo deal and get a second 24 hours of exploring for free! These packages include entrance to the following Flyover Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, Dr. Sun Yet Sen Chinese Garden, the Vancouver Lookout and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Please speak to the front desk about special offers and you can purchase your ticket with us at the hotel, the bus stop is literally a 30 second walk away from us on Thurlow St.

Website: http://bigbus.ca/home/

WESTCOAST SIGHTSEEING TOURS – This is the same company that runs the Big Bus city tours. If you have the time and really want to get out and about and explore then Westcoast Sightseeing have tours that will pick you up at the hotel, they will also drop you back off at the hotel once the day tour has been completed. The Day tours they offer are as follows:

Whistler + Shannon Falls
Escape the city and wind along fjords and inlets, ascend into the coastal mountains, and stroll through the alpine Village of Whistler during this epic day of exploration.

Victoria + Butchart Gardens
With the journey to Victoria equally as fascinating as the city itself, this tour offers scenic ocean travel, a captivating series of gardens, and an introduction to the enchanting waterfront city of Victoria.

Grouse Mountain + Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Get outside, breathe in the fresh Pacific air, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders surrounding Vancouver, with a visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain.

Craft Breweries of Vancouver
An experience you can taste! With over 20 craft breweries in the area, this is the perfect place to learn about the craft beer industry and its history in the Vancouver area.

Vancouver City + The Lookout
Explore, learn, and be amazed by Vancouver’s soaring skyscrapers, architectural masterpieces, urban beaches, and coastal rainforests.

Vancouver City + Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Explore, learn, and be amazed by Vancouver’s soaring skyscrapers, architectural masterpieces, urban beaches, and coastal rainforests.

For further details please click here: https://westcoastsightseeing.com/

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.

Whistler Day Tours, plus Squamish & the Sea to Sky Gondola

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Now that we are in the thick of Winter we are seeing many tourists donning winter outfits with their Ski’s and Snowboards ready to hit the slopes and ride the fluffy powder!

In Vancouver it is quite the green city however, just a couple of hours north of Vancouver you will be in the heart of the Winter wonderland at Whistler, which is one of the many Ski resorts that BC has to offer and of course was the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics alongside Vancouver. If you are planning a trip up to Whistler we will offer you some great tours that will help make a day trip to these snowy destinations one to remember – and along the way we will help you check out some other gems before you reach Whistler.

SEA TO SKY GONDOLA
Located high above the scenic town of Squamish and the gorgeous Howe Sound fjord (this is the most southernly fjord in the Northern Hemisphere).
Located along the stunning Sea to Sky highway that connects Vancouver though to Whistler via Squamish this brand new attraction which opened in 2014 has been a major hit for scenic lovers all over the world.

The highway is a major attraction in itself – “Ranked as the number 10 attraction in British Columbia, and the number 3 attraction in Vancouver by Trip Advisor, driving the Sea to Sky Highway is a must for anyone who is visiting the region. The winding highway snakes along the rugged terrain of the coastal mountains. It takes you from downtown Vancouver through Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate Bridge, and along the upper levels of West Vancouver into the Sea to Sky Corridor, which starts at Horseshoe Bay. The section of highway 99 in between Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton was named Sea to Sky Highway due to it’s dramatic change from a coastal highway at sea level to quickly being a full-on mountain highway with an elevation of over 700 metres.” Notes courtesy of The Sea to Sky Gondola Website.
Sea to Sky Gondola Virtual tour: http://www.seatoskygondola.com/visit/virtual-tour

DAY TOURS TO WHISTLER
There are a couple of very good tours to take if you wish to have an enjoyable and memorable day trip up to Whistler. Both tours can be booked via an Agent at the hotel who will be ready to help assist you with any questions and advice. If one tour happens to be sold out, we recommend you try the other as both have similar itineraries, routes and hours. Both tours will pick you up at the hotel and and give you time to explore Whistler Village and will safely bring you back home right to the hotel again!

Vantage Whistler
Vantage Whistler operates daily. The tour starts at approximately 8:00 am in Vancouver picking you up at the hotel and returns by 7:00 pm dropping you back safely at the hotel.
PRICING
Adult / Senior: $125
Youth (13-19): $115
Child (4-12): $75
Toddler (0-3): Free
Need more time in Whistler? We can arrange to bring you back to Vancouver on a different day. Additional $25 per person.
All prices include tax, round trip sightseeing from Vancouver to Whistler, pickup and drop off at your hotel.

About: “Vantage Whistler is a locally owned and operated tour company offering multiple stop sightseeing service from Vancouver to Whistler. In Whistler, our guests have over 4 hours of free time to explore the Village. In Whistler Village, there is an abundance of great restaurants, shops, and attractions. If you are feeling extra adventurous, try the new Peak-To-Peak Gondola.
Vantage Whistler operates tours of maximum 11 guests per van in order to provide you with more comfort and enjoyment. Vantage Whistler operates tours using new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. Why take a bus when you can ride in a Mercedes! Travel in style, comfort, and safety.”
Website:http://www.vantagewhistler.com/

Whistler and Shannon Falls with WESTCOAST SIGHTSEEING
Pick up times are 8am – 10 hour tour
Price Starting at $135 per adult – $75 per child (3-12)

Home to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and award winning for a reason, Whistler is an internationally renowned, year-round resort nestled in the Central Mountain range. The journey up the Sea-to-Sky Highway is just like it sounds–a winding spectacle of ocean and mountain scenery including the roaring Shannon Falls and cultural Squamish Adventure Centre. As the majestic backdrop of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain unveils before your very eyes, the adventure at Whistler Village is yours to create.

Tour Highlights
Shannon Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in BC
An authentic First Nations experience at the Squamish Adventure Centre
Four-hours of exploring, dining and shopping in the charming, pedestrian-style Whistler Village
Optional activity – Experience the PEAK2PEAK Gondola – the longest and highest lift in the world. (Additional cost)
Website: http://www.vancouversightseeing.com/whistler-and-shannon-falls/

Visit Victoria, Whistler and more with Westcoast Sightseeing.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Westcoast Sightseeing offer some amazing tours that will directly pick you up at the hotel and will guide you to your destination such as Victoria on Vancouver Island, Whistler and the North shore area of the North Vancouver city district including Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain. Westcoast Sightseeing work in conjunction with Big Bus City tours who we feel are one of the best in the sightseeing business.

VANCOUVER CITY TOUR AND LOOKOUT
Explore Vancouver’s downtown landmarks including Canada Place, the Olympic Cauldron, and bustling Robson Street on your way to the 40-hectare wonderland of Stanley Park. The journey continues through panoramic English Bay, vibrant Granville Island, historic Chinatown and Gastown. Then, board a glass elevator and whisk skyward to a 360-degree observation deck atop the Vancouver Lookout for another perspective on the city’s attractions, history and fascinating facts.

8:30am (May 1 – Sept 30) – 10:00am (Year Round, Daily) 1:30pm (May 1 – Sept 30)

Tour Length: 4 hours
Price Starting at $74 per adult $45 per child (3-11)

VANCOUVER CITY AND CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
If the combination of city sights and a forest escape is your idea of an ideal day-trip, this is the tour for you. Relax and learn with our unique, guided commentary through Vancouver’s vibrant downtown. See spectacular waterfront landmarks including the sails of Canada Place and the bustling Robson Street shopping strip. Then soak in the view over Lions Gate Bridge as we venture to the adrenaline-pumping Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Next up are the sandy shores of English Bay on the west side of Stanley Park, then Granville Island, and a cruise though Chinatown and Gastown.

11:30am (Apr 1 – Oct 31)

Tour Length: 5 to 5.5 hours
Prices starting at $99 per adult $54 per child (3-11)

VICTORIA AND THE BUTCHART GARDENS TOUR
It starts with 90 cruising minutes aboard BC Ferries, and just gets better. With scenery so jaw-dropping you won’t want to blink, relax and enjoy the voyage through Juan de Fuca Straight and the Gulf Islands. From exploring the inner harbour of BC’s capital city Victoria–named after British monarch Queen Victoria–to Butchart Gardens 22 breathtaking hectares of meticulously manicured beauty, this tour delivers a royally spectacular day-trip experience.

7:00am (May 1 – Sep 30) - 8:00am (May 17 – Sep 15) - 9:00am (Apr 1– May 16, Sep 16 – Nov 3, Dec 6 – Dec 29)

Tour Length: 12 to 14 hours

Price Starting at $195 per adult and $99 per child (3-11)

WHISTLER AND SHANNON FALLS TOUR
Home to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and award winning for a reason, Whistler is an internationally renowned, year-round resort nestled in the Central Mountain range. The journey up the Sea-to-Sky Highway is just like it sounds–a winding spectacle of ocean and mountain scenery including the roaring Shannon Falls and cultural Squamish Adventure Centre. As the majestic backdrop of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain unveils before your very eyes, the adventure at Whistler Village is yours to create.

8:00am (Year Round, Daily)

Tour length: 10 hours

Price Starting at $135 per adult – $75 per child (3-11)

There are more tours to look at and of you go to their website you can find more information on the details of each and every tour that they offer.

Westcoast Sightseeing Website: http://www.vancouversightseeing.com/

Big Bus Hop on Hop off City Tours Website: http://bigbus.ca/home/

Exploring our neighbourhood – Vancouver West End. Part 1 – Dining and Shopping.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

When coming to Vancouver and especially our community be sure to make the most of the local area that is the known as The West End. In this blog we will write about what you can find when you are checking out the community – The West End has plenty of history and a unique vibrant look and vibe – from Historical Buildings with some that have been turned into cute museums, a great extensive shopping district that is Robson St, Parks and Beaches to a vast restaurant scene for your dining pleasure – The West End really does have it all.

RESTAURANTS – WEST END DINING
From Davie Village (which is where we are located) to Denman St and Robson St you will find so many choices for places to eat and be merry, some places have been part of the fabric for many many years, while some are brand new and a welcome change as some of these places you may have never tried before!

Davie Street (which is immediately adjacent to the hotel) offers a large selection of delicious ethnic, international and local dining options favored by Vancouver residents, as well as specialty shops, there is also Denman and Robson to discover for excellent food options.
Here are some of our best picks for the West End……

Banana Leaf – Malaysian 1043 Davie St.
Prepare to step out of Vancouver and into the warm heart of Malaysia at the award-winning Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine. Cheerful atmosphere, friendly service, colourful traditional décor, and excellent prices create a dining experience to remember.
Website: http://www.bananaleaf-vancouver.com/locations.html
They also have locations on Denman and Robson St too!

Raincity Grill – Pacific Northwest, 1193 Denman St.
Open since 1992, Raincity Grill has become a fixture in the West End, capturing the essence of Vancouver in food, wine and atmosphere. The menu focuses on seafood, game, poultry, and organic vegetables from British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State and Oregon. Dedicated to developing a menu based on local ingredients, the team behind Raincity Grill believes local resources will increase as restaurants look more and more to their own backyard and local waters for the best ingredients.

Website: http://www.raincitygrill.com/index.php?pg=home

GUU- Japanese “Izakaya” 4 downtown locations – The West End location is on Thurlow St
Guu serves home style Japanese food in a loud and electric atmosphere. Food is served from an open kitchen and the dishes are generally tapas-sized.
Website: http://guu-izakaya.com/

Cin Cin – Italian – Robson St
As Vancouver’s leading Italian restaurant, CinCin is your destination for authentic Italian flavours in the heart of downtown. A contemporary Italian cuisine, smell the wood-burning forno, and drink from the award winning wine list.
Website: http://cincin.net/

SHOPPING on ROBSON ST
With the most fashionable shopping in Vancouver, this major thoroughfare in downtown features a concentration of trendy shops and restaurants. It hosts some of the hottest names in fashion including Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Betsey Johnson, Chanel, Burberry, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Lacoste, Coach, and Salvatore Ferragamo. Robson Street is a short walk from Sunset Inn & Suites.
For further information on Robson St: http://www.robsonstreet.ca/

Want to see Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler but short on days….Follow our lead here….

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

As the seasons starts to get that little bit busier throughout April we find that many of our visiting guests are generally here for a few short days. In most peoples minds there is never really enough time to get any sort of sightseeing done, and, if the weather is not too good is it really worth it? Well, in all honesty we think YES!

The Staff at the Sunset Inn and Suites really do pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of the city and we feel with our direction and expertise that we have to offer, we will be able to figure out the very best way you can enjoy the city.

This blog will explain some of the major attractions that you can see in a short space of time. Ideally if you are planning on visiting Vancouver for a few days make it 3 if possible. That way you can dedicate one day to getting around the city of Vancouver and then the remaining last few days you can venture further by checking out Whistler and/or Victoria.

There are many Tour operators here that are on hand to chauffeur you around the city and many of them are an excellent way of getting around where you can effortlessly see some spectacular sights without having to think too much! The best part of using these tours is that they generally have some excellent rates set up directly with the hotel so you can even save some money by booking through us, as opposed to booking ahead of time, this is a good idea for organizing for sure, but you can save more in the long term by asking for deals at the Front Desk.

Sightseeing in Vancouver
There are plenty of tours to choose from that will get you to see the city efficiently and with some fantastic guides to help you on your way. Our favorite pick for Sightseeing is undoubtedly the Big Bus – Hop on Hop off sightseeing city tours.

BIG BUS – HOP ON HOP OFF CITY SIGHTSEEING.
Big Bus are a cool bunch of people, they have extensive knowledge of the city, they have a fantastic team of dedicated staff that will make your excursion around the city memorable.

“What better way to see the sights of Vancouver than from a seat on one of our unique sightseeing buses! When you select a BIG BUS tour, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time at any of our stops, including major attractions, shopping areas, and many of Vancouver’s fine restaurants. On BIG BUS, there’s no need to rush!

When purchasing your ticket from the Front Desk, the ticket will be valid for 2 full days at a value fo 2 for the price of one and the Big Bus Hop-on/Hop-off policy means you can spend as much time as you’d like at any particular destination. We stop at Gastown, Chinatown, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Robson Street Shopping District, English Bay, Entertainment District and more.”

Operating Hours
April 15 – September 30 – 7 days/week
9:00 am – 6:30 pm

Big Bus Route.

We recommend that you do a full circuit tour of the city first so you can get to see everything, and then start to do the Hop on Hop off – also, you do not have to use the tickets in 2 consecutive days, you have a 3 week window in which you can fulfill the 2 days sightseeing – perfect if you are stopping over in Vancouver at the beginning and end of a nice Alaskan Cruise!

Big Bus Website: www.bigbus.ca

Biking around the city.
What better way to really get to see the city on your own time than by hopping on a bike and taking advantage of all the bike paths that are spread out all over Vancouver. Cycling is a very efficient way of getting around the perimeter of the gorgeous Stanley Park too! If you are adventurous enough you can even bike the whole Seawall (all 22km of it) from Downtown Coal Harbour area right through to Kitsilano and Kitsilano Beach via Granville Island.

ENGLISH BAY BIKE RENTALS
These guys are our preferred choice for Bike Rentals. They have a great selection of different types of bikes to choose from, they also do bike repairs and buy and sell bikes too!

English Bay Bike Rentals is pleased to announce that they will be working with Vancouver Bike Tours, an interpretive guiding company that offers daily bicycle tours of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. The tours make use of Vancouver’s picturesque seawall, Stanley Park’s vast network of forest trails and the City’s ever-expanding grid of bike lanes. Along the way you will hear local stories, receive historical information and experience the thrill of cycling through a living rainforest.

English Bay Bike Rentals Website: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

Please click the following link for the Vancouver Bike Tours website for booking information if you wish to join a tour. http://biketourvancouver.com/tours-offered/

Tours to Whistler and Victoria
It really would be shame to miss out on taking a quick visit to see Victoria and Whistler as these smaller towns are really not too far away at all. There are various ways you can get here. Here are our 2 preferred Tour Operators.
The following two options work on the same principle, you will be picked up at the Hotel and then they will drive you to various scenic locations as well as the towns that you wish to see, you will also have time to walk around Whistler/Victoria too. We highly recommend that you book this with us as it is a good tour to book last minute, you will get to see way more with a guide and time will be something that you do not have to think about, and when you bundle the price it will be so much better for your wallet in the long run.

VANTAGE WHISTLER TOURS
Vancouver to Whistler sightseeing van tours.
Experience the best in Whistler sightseeing. A full day, 11 hour tour, which includes 6 stops. The stops include Prospect Point, Cypress Mountain, Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, and Whistler Village. The tour starts with a pick up from your hotel, followed by a scenic drive around Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate Bridge, onto the Sea-To-Sky Highway, through Squamish, and ending up in Whistler. In Whistler, enjoy 4 hours of free time to explore the village, which is full of great restaurants, shops, and attractions. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try the new Peak-To-Peak Gondola or a Zip-Line tour or even Bungee Jumping! Vantage Whistler operates all tours using Mercedes_Benz Sprinters.

Website: http://vantagewhistler.com/

LANDSEA TOURS – Great for Victoria Excursions.
Like Vantage Whistler they pick you up and drop you off at the hotel. They have a great day trip to Victoria that includes the ferry trip too!

Victoria and Butchart Gardens; our most popular excursion, is the best if you want to visit our provincial capital and the world-renowned gardens in just one day. Maximize your time and save money, by turning a potentially difficult transfer between Vancouver and Victoria into an easy, fully-narrated day tour. With plenty of free time in downtown Victoria and at Butchart Gardens, this will be a day you will never forget.

The bus drives onto the ferry for a 1.5 hour cruise to Vancouver Island. Full restaurant facilities on board.
A scenic drive through exclusive residential areas and parks surrounding downtown Victoria.
See the Parliament Buildings, Empress Hotel and more of Downtown Victoria’s vibrant harbour front during your free time to explore.

Landsea Tours: http://www.vancouvertours.com/victoria-tour

How to see the very best of Vancouver in just a few short days.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Its been a crazy Winter here in Vancouver as we have not seen this much Sun over the winter period for as long as anyone can remember – maybe, just maybe this is a sign of a good tourist season to come for 2014.
We are starting to notice a big upswing in reservation calls for people who are now looking ahead to the Spring and Summer season get away’s. We feel this will be a good time to give you advice on how to utilise your time in the city with the few days that you may be stopping over. So we will guide you on what to do if you are stopping by the city for just 1, 2 or 3 days…

1 DAY VISIT
One day in the city may seem like there is no time to see anything, but we feel you can actually see a fair bit of the city due to the size and geography of the area, so, if you are only making a whistle-stop tour and still want to catch some sights, here are the places to see for just one day.

BIG BUS CITY TOUR – HOP ON HOP OFF Big Bus will be the very best way to see the sights of the city while having the freedom to get around at different stops so you can experience some pretty decent areas that Vancouver has to offer. The bus stop is quite literally a 1 minute walk from the hotel on Thurlow St – we suggest that you do a full circle tour on the bus, and then once back around, its time to use the Hop on Hop off option to good use.
Granville Island is a must see area in the city, it is our own version of Seattle’s Pike Place market There are some amazing boutique shops to browse and shop in, the wonderful Granville Island Market whic is open from 9am till 7pm seven days a week. There are also some really excellent restaurants to choose from too, our suggestion is to visit The Sandbar Restaurant, this really showcases the very best Pub style dishes, Seafood and an Asian infusion twist which is very very Vancouver.

Granville Island Website: http://granvilleisland.com/

After spending some time on Granville Island we highly recommend that you take a walk inStanley Park A diamond in the rough – Stanley Park is one of the largest public parks that shows you what the area once looked like before the rapid expansion of the city. The Park is located at the Western end of the downtown peninsula and at 1,001-acres there is plenty to see. Here you are in the heart of an ‘urban Rainforest’ so to speak, there is no shortage of spectacular scenery with the various species of Plants, trees and wildlife, it is a must see area of the city, just like Granville Island.

We also recommend that you purchase your Big Bus tickets with us at the front desk as it will be a cheaper deal for you – as opposed to buying a ticket directly from their website. We will send you their link below so you know what to expect when you get here.

BIG BUS Website http://bigbus.ca/home/

Sandbar Restaurant http://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar

2 DAY VISIT
Now that you have gotten some of the downtown area out of the way, you can now start to explore a little deeper, if you have purchased a ticket with Big Bus you will have seen that they have a 2 day Pass – this will help get you to explore some of the older areas of the city.
Gastown and Chinatown are also a must see area of Vancouver, here you will step back in time and get to see where the original and oldest areas of the city began, you can check out the famous cobble-stoned Streets, incredibly stunning architecture and historical landmarks such as The Steam Clock, the Chinatown district (which is one of the oldest in North America and Canada – including the majestic and beautiful DR SUN YAT SEN CLASSICAL CHINESE GARDENS website http://vancouverchinesegarden.com/

Gastown Website:http://www.gastown.org/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN & CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE can be visited after spending some time in Chinatown and Gastown, you can head over to Waterfront Station where you can catch the Seabus over to North Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay (which is North Vancouver’s version of our own Granville Island, its smaller but very cute and offers some great views of the Burrard Inlet, Downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park.

Grouse Mountain overlooks Vancouver and can be easily spotted as the middle of the three North Shore mountains that overlook the city, it is nestled in between Cypress Mountain to the West and Mount Seymour to the east. Grouse is excellent for Winter sporting activities for all the family – and in the summer it has great hiking trails, the famous Grouse Grind if you are up for a steep walking challenge and entertainment at the top for all the family to enjoy, this includes a lumberjack show which is funny and breath taking and a Bird Sanctuary and Grizzly Bear enclosure.
Just one stop down from Grouse is the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, here you will get to experience one of the worlds largest suspended Suspension Bridges, high above the Capilano river and canyon, there is also a daring cliff walk and glass paths for the especially daring – its a stunning sight to be so high among the trees in this amazing rain-forest canopy.

Grouse Mountain – The Peak of Vancouver https://www.grousemountain.com/

Capilano Suspension Bridge Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

3 DAY VISIT
if you happen to be here for 3 days or more, then we absolutely encourage you to start to explore further out to areas like Victoria on Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island is a pretty big place – many believe that it is a fairly small place but don’t be fooled it is actually close in size to the UK!
Victoria which is the capital of BC is a very quaint and beautiful town, much smaller than Vancouver and certainly steeped in rich history of its colonial past – it too has a decent China town to explore.
We recommend that you use a Tour Operator to visit Victoria, the one way trip itself take roughly 3 to 4 hours to get from Vancouver to Victoria – this includes the stunning Ferry ride that meanders through the Georgia Strait and the Gulf island, if you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some travelling Whales…..when you are in Victoria, take a visit to the Empress hotel for some High Tea!

We really like LANDSEA TOURS, they have an excellent package that will take you directly from the hotel to Victoria, they will also ship you around the town so you can get to enjoy the world famous Butchart Gardens, The Museum of Victoria and some time to walk around the downtown area, they will also bring you back to the hotel too – its an awesome tour where you can sit back, learn about the area and not have to think! We like that very much!

Victoria BC Website: http://www.victoria.ca/

High Tea at the Empress Hotel Victoria http://www.fairmont.com/empress-victoria/dining/afternoontea/

Landsea Tours http://www.vancouvertours.com/

In Vancouver for just a couple of days? That is plenty of time to explore the downtown core neighborhoods!

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Many of our guests that breeze through the hotel find that they are short on time to explore the area, so we want to explain to you about the districts that make up the downtown core of Vancouver and how you can maximize your time and still get to visit plenty of amazing places.

We will breakdown the local districts that make up the downtown peninsula that is nestled neatly in between Stanley Park and East Vancouver and the water ways that are the Burrard Inlet, False Creek and English Bay, for each district that is mentioned we will highlight some of the must see areas within them.

WEST END/DAVIE VILLAGE
This is the area that the Sunset Inn and Suites calls home and is one of the most vibrant and colourful of all the districts that the city has to offer.
Davie Village is a 3 block area that spans Davie Street, between the cross sections of Jervis St and Burrard St and is more commonly known as the Gay district of Vancouver. The streets here are awash with colour such as the Rainbow Painted Cross walks of Bute and Davie, bright pink bus stops and an enormous amount of restaurants to satisfy your bellies.

Once you have gotten yourself orientated around our local neighborhood the next place to visit should be Granville Island.

GRANVILLE ISLAND
The jewel in the crown and a must see place to visit when you are in Vancouver, by not coming to Granville Island is like going to New York and not bothering to see the Statue of Liberty, so there you have it – get on down there.
Like Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Granville Island has plenty of wonderful boutique shops, so many market stalls, restaurants and entertainment to keep you occupied for quite some time.
The area is famous for its Buskers, it has a few Theatres for you to enjoy such as The Backstage Lounge which is an excellent venue for Live music and plenty of Comedy and Live Improve at the Vancouver TheatreSports League.

The Island is also famous for its more quirky stores to visit such as The Granville Island Broom co, and you have guessed it they make lots and lots of Brooms, and it is all done there and then at the Store before your eyes, its pretty impressive to see these Brooms, Dust pans and other items be handcrafted from scratch using the very best local materials from the area.

Broom Co website http://www.broomcompany.com/

Granville Island is home to the very first Sake maker in Canada to open a store, and like the Broom shop, all the Sake produced is being made from within the store there are tours are available too.

Sake Website http://artisansakemaker.dreamhosters.com/

For dining on the Island we highly recommend The Sandbar Restaurant. This is a huge hit in the area and everyone we recommend there has not been disappointed. It is a very Vancouver style establishment too, with a menu that is sure to satisfy everyone, if you are looking for Pub style food – you got it, fancy trying something that is more Asian fusion like Sushi – you got it, you are craving some excellent Pacific Northwest Seafood – well guess what? You got that here too – oh and ask to be sat at the very top, the views from the upper level balcony is fantastic!

Sandbar Website http://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar

GASTOWN-CHINATOWN
From Granville Island you can then make your way to the older and most popular areas of Vancouver which is the districts of Gastown and Chinatown. Here you are entering the more historical side of the city which is full of character. From the Cobbled stone streets of Gastown to the hustle and bustle of the Chinatown district which is one of the oldest in North America – during the summer months it boasts a great Night market from 6 till 11 on the weekends, its full of excellent food and amazing craft stalls at a very affordable price.

The Gastown district has no shortage of great restaurants to dine in and lots of souvenir shops so you can buy gifts for friends and family to remember the trip.
The most notable places to see when you are in this area is the world famous Gastown Steam Clock, amazing array of restaurants and gorgeous boutique shops, in this area you are spoiled for choice when it comes to fashion as there are so many with really cute and trendy styles of all genres, whether you are into Pin Up, hipster, punk or designer it is all here for your pleasure.

For further information on these districts: Gastown http://www.gastown.org/

Chinatown: http://www.vancouver-chinatown.com/

VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
The VAG is a very popular destination to visit and has some amazing Art work to delight anyone who is creative and love to see new works of Art. They boast a collection of 10,000 pieces of their own permanent personal collection of Art.
The grounds outside the gallery are a popular assembly point for protests and some events such as Canada Day, so go check it out.

Vancouver Art Gallery: http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/

Many of these places are very easy to reach via Public transport, and whats even better is the BIG BUS Tours as these guys will transport you all through the downtown core and the places that we have listed, and they have special deals set up with the hotel so it is always best to speak to the Front Desk and purchase your ticket here.

For further information on Big bus click here: http://bigbus.ca/home/

Please click on the following link to read the Sunset Inn’s latest Newsletter http://www.hebsmarketing.com/Sunset_Inn/07_July_2013/index.html

Visiting the capital of BC Victoria.

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

While you are enjoying your visit in the area of Vancouver it is worth it to check out the Capital of BC which is Victoria. Ideally spending a few days in our area and then a quick overnight stay will work, however, there are excellent day tour options to get you over to Vancouver Island as well as the Seaplanes.

HOW MUCH TIME DO WE NEED?
A day trip to Victoria is feasible but you must plan this trip carefully to ensure that you get to see the very best of what Victoria has to offer, so we suggest that you get up early and leave as late as possible. Public transportation is available, so here are the best options for getting there by yourself.

GETTING TO VICTORIA VIA PACIFIC COACH-LINES)
We can book you an early morning excursion with Pacific Coaches, picking up at (8.30am) at The Sandman Hotel entrance on Davie St which is directly behind us.
These reservations can be made via the Front Desk with further information from the staff if required.

Alternatively you can head down to MAIN ST STATION and get the next available bus to Victoria if you wish to depart later in the day. Order a Cab via the front desk at the hotel, it will then be a short 10 minute Cab ride to the Station costing roughly $12.
Proceed to the Pacific Coach line desk and here you can purchase your ticket and jump on the Bus. The Bus will transport you directly to Victoria town center. The trip includes the Ferry Journey.

Pacific Coach lines Website: http://www.pacificcoach.com/

FINDING YOUR OWN WAY TO VICTORIA via TSAWWASSEN FERRY TERMINAL
PLEASE NOTE The Journey to Victoria from Vancouver takes roughly 3.5 hours in total travel time even if that is by public transport or if you are driving by yourself.

Public Route
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) ……Catch @Denny’s Restaurant on Davie and Thurlow St. Transfer @Yaletown Station – Catch the RICHMOND SKYTRAIN Southbound to BRIDGEPORT STATION….Transfer to the BUS NUMBER 620 Bus (Tsawwassen Ferry Bus) to the Ferry Terminal Station (Final Stop)
THIS ROUTE IS $5.50 ADULTS $3.75 CONCESSION

FLOATPLANE
A fantastic way to get to Victoria in no time (roughly 30 mins) and a great way to check out the scenery from above.
You can either go there one way, return, or if you are feeling adventurous you can even do a tour of the local skies in the area. It will be a memorable trip that you won’t forget.

Harbour Air who operate from Coal Harbour are your best bet for this kind of excursion.

http://www.harbourair.com/

LANDSEA TOURS
We believe that the most efficient and practical way to visit the main attractions that Victoria has to offer is by using Landsea Tours.
They have a great package deal that picks you up from the hotel, takes you all around Victoria while you get to spend time at the world famous and stunning Butchart Gardens, Museum of Victoria and some time to wander down the downtown core – while you are at it, you should drop by at the empress and experience their famous High Tea.

The tours are a 13 hour day, and will drop you back off at the hotel by around 9pm. Reservations can be made via the front desk at the hotel.

www.vancouvertours.com/victoria-tour‎