Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Park’

‘The spirit of Christmas’ Vancouver city tour with Westcoast Sightseeing Tours

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Westcoast Sightseeing tours who run the very popular Hop on hop off Big bus tours are offering a great city tour around Vancouver that will embrace the Christmas spirit while taking in popular attractions.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS TOUR VANCOUVER – Dec 11th to Jan 4th
Tour Length – 4 hours
Prices Starting at
$70 per adult
$60 per senior
$50 per child (3-12)
Website: http://www.vancouversightseeing.com/vancouver-christmas/

This tour looks to be quite spectacular as it takes in all the dazzling christmas lights that will be transforming areas of Stanley Park, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and the city itself.

“Experience the multi-cultural holiday cheer of Vancouver with a festive tour though the city’s most impressive Christmas sights. Begin in charming Gastown with a hot chocolate treat. Visit the historically significant Steam Clock, backlit by Christmas lights.
Continue to Canada Place for the exciting FlyOver Canada flight simulation experience. Gaze upon the beautiful Christmas tree display in Jack Pool Plaza, at the 2010 Olympic Cauldron. Childhood wonder comes alive at the Bright Nights Christmas Plaza in Stanley Park with over 3 million Twinkling Lights.
Continue along English Bay for a quick tour through Vancouver’s holiday decoration hotspots. Top off this enchanting winter night with the Van Dusen Gardens Botanical’s Festival of Lights. This sparkling tour of Vancouver’s finest light displays is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.”

You can purchase the tickets directly with us at the Front Desk.

Flyover Canada Christmas: http://www.flyovercanada.com/christmas
Canada Place: http://www.canadaplace.ca/
Vancouver Convention Centre – Jack Poole Plaza http://www.vancouverconventioncentre.com/jack-poole-plaza-gallery/
Bright lights at Stanley Park: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx
Fesitval of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens: http://vandusengarden.org/visit/whats-happening/featured-events

Christmas Events during December in Vancouver

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Here are the major events that will be happening throughout December and beyond in Vancouver.

The 11TH annual Rogers Santa Clause Parade Vancouver
This annual event really gets you into the spirit of things and marks the time that Christmas is indeed getting very very close now. Here Santa takes centre stage as he and his helpers guide his sleigh through the city streets for all those wanting to meet him at this very special time of year. There will be plenty of things to do for the whole family, from Arts and Crafts, Face painting, Letters to Santa, live music and much much more – this is one event not to be missed!

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 PARADE STARTS AT 1:00PM
Website: http://rogerssantaclausparade.com/

St Pauls Hospital – Lights of Hope
Lights of Hope is an annual fundraising campaign to support St. Paul’s Hospital. The public play an important role because Lights of Hope donations support the greatest needs as they arise throughout St. Paul’s, ensuring that the hospital has the funding to meet them.
Every year, St Pauls recognize donors to the campaign and inspire the community to show their support through a spectacular display of lights on St. Paul’s Hospital, which is built by volunteers using donated materials.

November 27, 2014 to January 12, 2015
Website: http://www.helpstpauls.com/lights-of-hope/

Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.
Buy tickets to ride the Bright Nights Train and experience the lights, breathtaking displays, and live performers along the train route. Or view the displays at the Train Plaza by donation ($4.00 suggested).

From November 27 2014 to January 4 2015
Website: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – North Vancouver
Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park is one of the most popular attractions for any visitor who comes to Vancouver. An all year round attraction that has events to suit all seasons. Winter is an extra special time as the bridge and the surrounding areas are decked out in gorgeous lights to dazzle your senses – a definite must see attraction if you are visiting with the family you will get to witness the home of the world’s tallest living Christmas tree! Standing 46.4m (152 feet) tall, this Douglas-fir will be adorned in thousands of sparkling lights.

Canyon Lights is on from November 29, 2014 through to Saturday, January 3, 2015. (Closed Christmas Day – December 25th)
Website: http://www.capbridge.com/explore/canyon-lights/

The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain – North Vancouver
Just a few minutes further up the hill from Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park you will find yourself at the gateway gondola to Grouse Mountain.
As always there are always some great festivities to enjoy at the top of this gorgeous setting that has incredible views of the whole city of Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the dominant Mount Baker volcano in the US state of Washington.
At the peak of Christmas you will get to meet Santa Claus, his reindeers, watch some great movies of a festive nature in the Theatre in the sky. You will also be greeted with Christmas carollers, have fun sleigh rides and enjoy Ice skating on their outdoor Ice-rink.

Daily from November 28, 2014 to December 24, 2014
Website: http://www.grousemountain.com

Vancouver Christmas Market – Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
This annual German styled Christmas market is back once again – here you can walk around this alpine themed market that sells great Arts and Craft, you can buy festive themed food and drinks and enjoy all the sparkly decorations and entertainment you can come to expect at this time of year!

Daily from November 22, 2014 to December 24, 2014
Website: http://vancouverchristmasmarket.com/

Carol Ships Parade Of Lights Festival at Harbour Cruises – Vancouver Harbour
50 years ago someone decided it would be a great idea to adorn their boat with bright and sparkly christmas decorations – and thankfully they did as fast forward to this year and over 50 boats now take part in what has become a fantastic Chrstmas tradition in Vancouver.

Daily from December 5, 2014 to December 23, 2014
Website: http://www.boatcruises.com

Christmas at FlyOver Canada – Vancouver
One of the most successful attractions for tourists in Vancouver FLYover Canada has wowed visitors with this fun interactive movie that gets you to see Canada from a stunning birds-eye view perspective – Here you will join Santa as he heads up and over towards the North Pole – which of course as we all know resides in Canada right!?!?!

Daily from December 5, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Website: http://www.flyovercanada.com

Experience the gorgeous transition from Summer to Fall in Vancouver

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The last day of August in Vancouver was greeted with some serious Monsoon type rains which in our eyes is a taster for things to come as Summer make the gradual transition towards Autumn. It was a welcome relief for the area as we have somewhat been a little parched in this parts of the world, but of course, we know that it could be much much worse as our neighbours to the south have been experiencing a real deal drought.

It is fairly typical for August to be one of our drier months. It also seems to be a regular occurrence for the rains to make a visit at this point of the Summer, why is that? Well it is the Labour day long weekend of course and the weather seems to only perform on time with the rains when a bank holiday rolls around, but hey, such is life!

Interestingly enough, as much as September tends to see a little increase in the inclement weather it can be one of the most gorgeous months in Vancouver, the weather tends to be much more tolerable as the humidity starts to wane and the nights are noticeably much more comfortable, with the days seeing a healthy amount of sunshine -the temperatures in September give or take average out around the 20C mark (to our friends who work on the good old Fahrenheit system that is 68C).

The leaves have just started the process of changing colours so on that note we will like to tell you how to maximise your stay in Vancouver well embracing the gorgeous transition between Summer and Fall. Vancouver and this area of the world does show off some spectacular falls colours – granted it is not anything like out in the East where there are predominately Deciduous trees, but saying that, we do pull of a great show here especially when visiting the stunning Stanley Park.

Not only can you see some incredible fall colours in Stanley Park, we also highly recommend that you head down to Queen Elizabeth Park and the Van Dusen Gardens which is a stunning location no matter what time of year. If you happen to be visiting Victoria be sure to check out The Butchart Gardens which is a great alternative.

Van Dusen Gardens: http://vandusengarden.org/

The Butchart Gardens: http://www.butchartgardens.com/

Queen Elizabeth Park http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

For further information on what to expect with the Fall colours, please click on this link courtesy of Tourism Vancouver http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/fall-colours/

Over the next couple of months we do see the Summer tourist Season wind down, but that does not reflect on the entertainment scene in Vancouver, first of all, during the first few weeks of September there is the final big hurrah of the Summer festivals which is the Vancouver Fringe Festival – this is the perfect way to end the Summer with some Quirky comedy, music and live theatre with something for everyone to enjoy no matter the age, this is located down at Granville Island which is a cultural must see hub in Vancouver.

You can read more about the Vancouver Fringe Festival here… http://www.sunsetinn.com/blog/?p=5803

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

Once September winds down you will then notice that the entertainment start to focus on the more thrilling and ghostly elements as the Vancouver area and most of North America start to gear up for the Halloween season – and trust us it is fun scary and there are lost to write about but that will be for a future blog in the not too distant future……

So for now, we encourage you to come by and embrace this season of change and get out to explore nature in all its Summery to Fall glory!

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/

Granville Island and Vanier Park

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Granville Island and Vanier Park are the areas that you can see from across the hotel if you happen to be staying in one of our Executive Suites, especially from the vantage point of our largest rooms (Called the Executive Large Suites) which are South facing. Check these rooms out! http://www.sunsetinn.com/suites/executive

What you can see from here is the beginnings of False Creek water way, Granville Island and Vanier Park which is home to the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival during the Summer, The Maritime museum, H.R Macmillan Space Centre and Museum of Vancouver.

GRANVILLE ISLAND
This is a must see destination when you are visiting Vancouver and at the height of Summer there is plenty to see and do for all ages. Even if you are here for just one day, it is something that we recommend you visit if you do nothing else at all!!!
The Island is home to the popular Public market which is open everyday from 9am to be 7pm, outside of the Public market there are plenty of cute and quirky shops, lots of fantastic restaurants and plenty of live entertainment from Buskers to live theatre and comedy. Granville Island Public Market: http://granvilleisland.com/public-market

Some places we feel you should check out down at the Island….
Dining out: The Sandbar Restaurant
By far one of the most popular restaurants to dine in on the island – The Sandbar offers something for everyone and has a great ‘pub’ like food, plenty of Seafood and if you like Asian style food more specifically Japanese you will also notice that many dishes are Asian fusion, which is very typical of this part of the world. So if you want Seafood, Burgers, chicken or Sushi, this place has it all!!!!
Website:https://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar

The Backstage Lounge – Nightly Live Music and great food.
Live Music, theatre and more can be found here at the backstage lounge – it also functions as a restaurant too with a cute patio located right on the Creek itself under Granville Bridge.
Website: http://www.thebackstagelounge.com/

Granville Island Broom Co – The Broom Shop!
Among many of the quirky shops to peruse on GI you should check out this Broom Shop. They make the Brooms on site and can be really cool and funky, and whats more you are invited into the Studio to see how they are made right in front of you!!!!
Website: http://broomcompany.com/

VANIER PARK
Vanier Park is not too far away from Granville Island – you can walk there in around 15 minutes or so along the far reaches of the Sea wall that joins all of the downtown city to False creek and the district of Kitsilano Or you can simply catch the False Creek Ferry to the Maritime museum.

What you can see at Vanier Park….
H.R Macmillan Space Centre and Museum of Vancouver
Looking across False Creek from Sunset Beach you will see a funny looking building that looks quite literally like a large Decanter for Wine. Well Wine lovers we are sorry to disappoint you but this building is actually the Vancouver Museum and H.R Macmillan Space Centre.
If you have a love for everything that is cosmic and have little ones in tow that love anything to do with the stars and beyond then this is the place for you, it is educational and fun for all the family! Website: http://www.spacecentre.ca/
The Museum of Vancouver is one of the largest civic museums in Canada and has events and exhibits that change on a regular basis, for some reason it is not too much on the radar within tourism which we feel is a shame, as this museum should be on the agenda – its main focus with all its exhibits is that it concentrates on Vancouver with history, artifacts and the future – please go check it out! Website: http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/

Bard on the Beach
A hugely popular event that shows no sign of stopping, if you love the works of William Shakespeare you will be sure to love watching the plays at the Park with a gorgeous city back drop to heighten the senses.
Website: http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

Kitsilano Beach
While you are down at the Park, keep strolling along and eventually you will end up at Kitsilano Beach – which to some of us Vancouverites we see this as our little piece of California! Tell us if you agree….
This beach is gorgeous and has some incredible views of the North Shore mountains, Stanley Park and the downtown core of Vancouver itself. http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/kitsilano-beach.aspx

Yelp Reviews on Vanier Park: http://www.yelp.ca/biz/vanier-park-vancouver

False Creek Ferry Schedule: http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/schedule.htm

Swimming Pools and Beaches that you must visit!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Summer officially began on June 21st up here in the Northern Hemisphere – so its a good time to tell you about the excellent beaches and swimming pools you can enjoy!

SUNSET BEACH
Our namesake Beach is just a short 5 minute walk down the hill from the hotel. At Sunset Beach you get to experience some very good views of the The Burrard St Bridge, Granville Island, False Creek and the mouth of English Bay….it is one of our favorite beaches due to its location and the fact that it does not get as busy as the others…and of course you do get to experience some spectacular Sunsets from this vantage point.

ENGLISH BAY (FIRST BEACH)
English Bay is the most popular beach of them all due to its location at the Western side of the city – this is where the West End meets Stanley Park. You can reach English Bay by heading west from the hotel, we feel the best and most scenic route is to walk South to Sunset Beach and then head West along the seawall towards the Iconic Inukshuk
To many locals this is also known as First Beach as it is the first beach you reach as you make your way along Stanley Park.

SECOND BEACH

Heading West along the Seawall from English Bay and after about a 10 minute or so walk you will reach the beginnings of Stanley Park and Second Beach. Not as crowded as English Bay but it can get pretty busy when there are some events happening such as the Outdoor Movies at the height of Summer.
Close by to Second Beach are the Tennis Courts where the Herons annually congregate to raise their young high above the courts. Take the family along where you can enjoy a BBQ and Picnic at Ceperley Meadows and the famous outdoor Second Beach Pool – read further down to the Swimming Pool section for further details.

THIRD BEACH
Keep walking West along the Sea wall and as you start to turn towards the North West you reach the third and largest of the Stanley Park Beaches Third Beach.
Very popular among the locals who are willing to walk a little way around the park, here you will get to see unobstructed views of English Bay, Bowen Island, North Vancouver, The Spanish Banks and UBC towards the Southwest.
At the height of Summer, the beach is very popular among the drumming crowds – its well worth a visit to see the crowds congregate with their drums, especially as the Sun is beginning to set you hear the drummers increase the beat and volume which ultimately ends on a voracious high just as the Sun Sets, its quite the spiritual experience and a great sense of community as another day ends in Vancouver.

Greater Vancouver Beaches
KITSILANO BEACH

Some say this is out little version of California….so check it and lets us know what you think. Its a stunning vantage point of Downtown Vancouver, the North Shore and Bowen Island. There are also some great restaurants here to dine in that overlook the beach. If you like dogs, walk north towards The Maritime Museum and there is the smaller Dog Beach, this place will put a smile on your face!

Close by attractions:
Museum of Vancouver http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/
Bard on the Beach http://www.bardonthebeach.org/
H.R Macmillan Space Centre http://www.spacecentre.ca/

JERICHO BEACH/SPANISH BANKS
Located further West along Kitsilano – Jericho Beach and its parks is a stunning place indeed, with the city of Vancouver out East in the distance and towards the north you have Cypress Mountain dominating the sky line, this is an awesome area to see the Sun set over Vancouver Island at the height of summer.
Check out the Jericho Beach Webcam http://www.jericho.ca/webcam/webcam.html

WRECK BEACH
Wreck Beach is famous really for one thing….and thats the nudists! A world famous nudist beach that is a popular destination in the summer….clothing is optional so you have been warned.
Located at the Western end of the University of British Columbia and flanked by some steep cliffs here you will enjoy stunning views of the Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island.

OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
SECOND BEACH POOL

A very popular outdoor pool for all the family to enjoy – its locations is close to English Bay and by Stanley Park, at the height of Summer the near by Ceperley Meadows is the location for late evening after dark movies, so bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy!
The Pool is heated and has a cafe located nearby if you fancy an Icecream, Hotdog or a Burger.
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/secondbeachpool.htm

KITSILANO POOL

The most popular Outdoor beach of them all, located just to the West of Kits beach, this pool is huge – it is 3 times longer than an Olympic sized pool…pretty impressive!
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/kitspool.htm

NEW BRIGHTON POOL
Located out in East Vancouver on the Burrard Inlet, it is the 3rd open air pool to enjoy.

For further information on Pools and recreation – http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/tp/outdoorpools.htm

INDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
AQUATIC CENTER

Just a few minutes walk down Thurlow St from the hotel and at the Foot of Sunset Beach and The Burrard Bridge – The Aquatic Centre is a great all year round facility for Water related activities.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vancouver-aquatic-centre.aspx

HILLCREST POOL
The jewel in the crown for Aquatic facilities, Hillcrest is a state of the Art Sports centre than not only boasts a swimming pool, but much more for Sports and recreation.
Located next to the Stunning Queen Elizabeth Park, Hillcrest was the former curling venue for the 2010 Winter Games.
http://www.hillcrestcentre.ca/

Queen Elizabeth Park.. http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx
“> http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 3. Beaches and Seawall.

Monday, April 14th, 2014

On Sunday evening the skies were clear and you could feel the warmth of Spring in the air, the breeze had a slight chill to it but nothing to make you uncomfortable or ruin the moment. It was the perfect evening to catch the Sunset at one of the beaches that hug the Seawall around the West End.

Beaches of the West End
Walk westbound for around 10 to 15 minutes down the hill on Davie Street and you will reach the western boundary of the West End district – here you will be greeted by the very popular English Bay Beach and the entrance to Stanley Park with the gorgeous Lost Lagoon dividing suburbia and nature – read our next Blog installment on the West End and we have more to say about the Lagoon.

As the Sun was setting on Sunday April 14th there were many many people who were gathering at the English Bay to see it, we were at the peninsula where the stunning Inukshuk is standing – which is an excellent area to watch the Sun set. The waters of English bay were quite calm and had a stunning metallic gold shimmer with dashes of blue reflecting from the stunning blue skies above. As the Sun was setting the crowds had swollen in size and there were lots of cheering and drumming as the spectacle came to its finale!


Photo courtesy of Kyle Pearce at Unifiedstream – visit their site at http://www.unifiedstream.com/

Inukshuk Monument at English Bay
Standing by the Inukshuk you really get to see the beauty that this city has to offer and also the realisation of what a wonderfully cute area that the West End is, the location of the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel is indeed a prime spot for us and our guests.
The Inukshuk itself looks very majestic overlooking the ocean and the North Shore mountains as a great backdrop, it is a great opportunity for some incredible photographic shots and memories of your stay in Vancity. It is also one of the most recognised landmarks in this part of the world and is a symbolic representation for the First Nations peoples and adopted for the Winter Olympic Games of 2010. Traditionally the Inukshuk were used as markers for a point of reference when navigating the land especially during hunting in the more northern climes of Canada- they were also used as Sign posts for settlements in the area.

Click Inukshuk and you will see a great video on the meaning of this symbolic monument is.

Looking at the map, you will find the Inukshuk is located at the South Side of English Bay at the mouth of False Creek – our Hotel is at the same spot marked where the HI Hostel is..

The Seawall
The Seawall is one of the most walked, run and biked paths in Vancouver and at 22km long it encompasses Stanley Park, and much of the Downtown peninsula with a plethora of sights to absorb and photograph- one things for sure you will certainly remember this part of your visit.

Balancing Rocks
We suggest that you walk from English Bay back South to South East where you start to follow the seawall along the opening of False Creek towards Burrard Bridge and Granville Island, along this path you will come across some really cool Rock structures balanced on the large boulders and rocks embedded among the pebbles and sand.
Everywhere you go along the beaches in Vancouver, if there are rocks, there are likely to be plenty that are balancing on top of each other, and as much as you may believe that they are glued on, well, you will be wrong, the glue that is holding them together is quite literally the natural force of gravity and the awesome art of balance!

Rock Pools and Sandy Beaches at Sunset Beach.
Further along the Sea Wall you will notice that there are more options to hang out at the waters edge, here the rocks make way for Sandy beaches and large Logs that have been lined up for you to hang out and have a picnic. This is called Sunset Beach the hotels namesake and is the quieter option in comparison to the popular English Bay.
As the Rockier beaches transition to more Sandy style beaches you can easily explore the area with your family, just be mindful of the tides of course. Along the beaches you can come across some cool Rock Pools and see some smaller fish, crabs and all varieties of colour from the Seaweed and Algae that adorn the rocks and pebbles. It is also a great area to watch all the local Birds such as Geese, Gulls, Crows and the majestic Herons, if you have a really keen eye, you may even catch a glimpse of a Seal popping its head up from the water…

Events that are best seen from Sunset Beach and English Bay during the Summer
There are lots of events that happen in Vancouver throughout the year, here we will highlight a couple of the major events that come to our neck of the woods.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Display.
These Fireworks come to Vancouver every single year and draw in very large crowds of locals and tourists alike every year, the display is a competition that travels the world each year and our turn comes at the end of July and the beginning of August – the masses love to get their prime seat down at English Bay, but for us, we feel that Sunset Beach will do the job and is quieter too, so if you do not like the crowds – Sunset Beach it is!
Celebration of Light: http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Pride Parade and Festival.
Davie Village which is adjacent to the Hotel is home to the Gay District of Vancouver so naturally that means we have fun with the annual Gay Pride Parade. This event always happens on the final weekend of the Celebration of Light fireworks.
The Parade winds it way from Robson St through to Denman where the procession ends at Sunset Beach and then the party truly begins!
Vancouver Pride Parade: https://vancouverpride.ca/

For further information on other Vancouver Top Attractions – click here: http://www.sunsetinn.com/leisure/attractions

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 2 – Historical buildings of the West End.

Friday, April 11th, 2014

When exploring the West End pay attention to the buildings and architecture that is a mixture of young and old, Victorian among modern era which makes the West End one of the most unique districts that Vancouver has to offer. As you wander around the area you will find an interesting mix which makes the West End stand out very strikingly, it really sets up your imagination where you can wonder what this area actually looked like around the end of the turn of the century, it also coincides with the incorporation of the city of Vancouver (April 6, 1886 – looking good for 128).

HISTORICAL BUILDINGS AND COLOURFUL STREETS
We wholeheartedly encourage you to meander around the suburbs of the West End and more specifically we will guide you to some of the more notable buildings and streets to visit.

Bute Street
This is one of our most favorate streets to walk along as it has plenty of history and some really quirky looking buildings that are awash in colour, at different times of year these properties (specifically Ashby House) are decked out in plenty of festive cheer depending on what event is happening at the time of year. As you wander further along Bute Street you will see some pretty large impressive buildings all the way up till Robson St many of these were built at the turn of the century and were residential buildings for many of the large Corporations that were making homes for themeselves and staff alike, nowadays these buildings are purely residential.

Check out the Google Street-view of this area: https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.284092,-123.129884,3a,75y,287.02h,85.53t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sKefKwZHuWqY_B3x2BCwkVw!2e0

Roedde House Museum and Barclay Square
Coming to visit the famous Roedde House which is part of the Barclay Square complex you will immediately find yourself back in time to the late 1800s era. The house is named after the very first Bookbinder in Vancouver named Gustav Roedde and the house was built in 1893
The house is under the property of the City of Vancouver and way back in 1976 it was decided to be placed under the Heritage building list.
The most unique aspect about this museum is the fact that none of the Artifacts are behind Rope or a Glass box – the idea is that you are literally meant to realistically take a step back in time so you experience the House as it was in 1893.

Website: http://www.roeddehouse.org/

Barclay Square Gardens
The Roedde House museum is one of a few properties that are built around the gorgeous Barclay Square gardens The gardens are tended by the city and are open for not only the visitors to Vancouver but West End residents alike. The park opened up in 1985 a year before the Roedde House opened for the public – the reasoning behind the park was to encourage more Green spaces in the already congested downtown core, even though there is Stanley Park which is not too far away and is pretty huge, it is still a nice surprise to find a little Oasis among the smaller older properties and the towering high rises.

The Gabriola House
This was built for a Mr B.T. Rogers who was the founder of B.C. Sugar Refining Co. This Queen Anne style grand mansion, is located on Davie Street and Nicola Street.
This is a gorgeous building that really stands out in the neighbourhood, however unfortunately it is standing derelict at this time with rumours that it will open as a Keg restaurant. Even though the property is currently empty the stunning gardens are still maintained and certainly worth a visit on lovely Summer days.

Heritage Vancouver Society
For further information on the West End historical buildings click on this link:http://www.heritagevancouver.org/topten/2013/topten2013_08.html

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

Dining out with a twist – experiencing the unusual in Vancouver…

Friday, March 7th, 2014

After a reading an interesting article courtesy of the BBC news website about restaurants that thrive on rude service the ELBOW ROOM immediately came to mind. The Elbow room is quite the experience for people who want to have a good hearty breakfast, but be warned, you will not only need a strong stomach to enjoy their excellent food but a good open mind and a sense of humour is a necessity here…

Before we delve deeper on the Elbow Room experience take a quick look at the article from the BBC here that inspired this particular blog:
The restaurants that thrive on insulting their diners http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26468295

THE ELBOW ROOM
To dine here you will definitely need to have an open mind, a great sense of humour and more importantly quick wit. The Elbow room prides itself on the rudeness of the staff and if you can dish it out as good as they can – they will likely up the ante and give you a run for the money. If this is something that you feel will ruin the breakfast then we advise that you dine in the many other breakfast diners in the city, but, just remember, this is all in the name of fun and no harm is intended – it IS absolutely part of the experience that is the quintessentially the Elbow Room and most who dine here do so with roaring laughter!

The Elbow Room Website: http://www.theelbowroomcafe.com/

Other Dining experiences that are not the norm….
The following establishments that we feel you should try have nothing to do with being rude, they just have their own unique environment and we feel you should give them a whirl as they offer a different experience

TOP OF VANCOUVER – REVOLVING RESTAURANT
If you spend more than 60 minutes inside this revolving restaurant then you will have noticed that the restaurant itself had revolved a full 360′ turn. Located at the western end of Robson St, the Top of Vancouver restaurant has views of Vancouver like no other, so if you are feeling hungry yet still want to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Vancouver and its surroundings then this will be the perfect spot, with incredible views that overlook the city, Stanley Park, the North Shore Mountains and out over the sea and Vancouver Island……we suggest you get there say a half hour before Sunset, it will take your breath away!

The Revolving Restaurant: http://www.topofvancouver.com/

DARK TABLE
The Dark Table idea may be unique to Vancouver but it is a concept that has been happening in various other cities around the world. The premise is built around what it is like to live and dine as a someone whose vision is impaired. Once you enter the establishment you will be in a lit room first where you can choose what you fancy from the menu, thereafter you will make your way into the restaurant itself. The staff that work at the Dark Table are blind or visually impaired and will guide you to your table into the dark dining space where the experience begins now.
The concept was inspired by a Jorge Spielmann who would blindfold his friends when they would dine at his home so they could understand what it is like to live in the moment as a blind person. We think this is a fantastic idea that will really alter your concept and perception of how people get by while visually impaired.

The Dark Table Restaurant: http://darktable.ca/

12B
Is it a restaurant? Someones living room? An Underground secret that only the special few need know about? Well, in all honesty it is a bit of everything really.
12B is a concept that has been labelled by some as a Guerrilla restaurant, an underground restaurant, one that is only known by word of mouth – the latter being quite true.
The restaurant is run from home by a great host and chef known as ‘Todd’ and the idea is simple, get a big enough group of people to come by, you can bring your own wine and beer and you give a generous donation. Todd will welcome you into his home where you will gather round the dining area and be greeted by Todd before he gets on with finishing the preparations for your meal. After the dining part is over you are more than welcome to stick around in the living area where you can enjoy yourself in the company of friends and Todd who is indeed an excellent host and an incredible chef.

The address is a secret so email Todd here if you are able to get a big enough group: 12breservations@gmail.com.