Posts Tagged ‘Sunset Inn and Suites’

Maximise your stay with knowledgeable and attentive Staff at the Sunset Inn.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

At the Sunset Inn and Suites you will find that this hotel is truly is one of a kind, with its warm and friendly staff to attend to all your needs we strive to do our very best for everyone of our guests. At this time of year although we are still in the throes of the high season of Summer we now start to look at improvements within the hotel and where we can develop and improve on our service.

We pride ourselves on a style that is uniquely ours – we have a laid-back and quirky attitude that we feel is a massive draw for guests that come to visit us here – it does come as quite a surprise to many who are first time visitors here when they experience our style and business format, we feel that it is something that shines for us, so if you like quirky and knowledgeable staff then we are exactly the hotel for you.

The staff and management are proud to share our extensive knowledge base with all our guests, we all have own personal style and interests which we love to share with yourselves. As a team we have really made an effort to learn from each other and share our knowledge, so we can show you our valued customers the very best that Vancouver has to offer and with a personal touch. So do not hesitate to talk to us all as this mix up of ideas and personality will absolutely maximize your stay and you will come away with so much more this way.

We all have our favorite spots of where we personally like to visit and many of these locations are not necessarily written about in Tourism guide books, generally speaking these are more favored locations that we locals love to visit during the year. We will point you in the direction of amazing restaurants, places to visit that will suit all the family too, some of us have our own families so we feel we can pick your brain on what each person likes no matter what the age, and there is nothing more we like to do than to chat in depth so we get a good sense and understanding of you are, so don’t ever be shy as no question is too strange, big or small, we promise we will have an answer for you. Also each member of staff here have their own particular parts of the city that we know a fair bit about, so pick our brains as together as a team we firmly believe that we pretty much have all of Vancouver and the surrounding areas covered!

To add to this concept we also discuss among ourselves some brainstorming ideas that will improve the hotel and what will suit your needs, over the last few years many of our repeat guests have seen how we do really strive to pay attention to detail and that when you are staying here you will see that the rooms are equipped with appliances and information that we hope should cover all your needs and hopefully exceed expectations – it is still of course a work in process and an ongoing evolution in the development of the hotel in the present day and for many years to come in the future.

We welcome any suggestions that you have and will listen intently to your ideas as to what we can do to make the stay as amazing as it can be. As the Summer season winds down it is our time to put our thinking caps and look around the hotel for the required improvements to make the hotel that little bit extra special and unique to us.

So to conclude this blog talk to each and everyone of us, we love this city and absolutely want you all to come away with seeing as much as possible as it would be a shame to miss out on so much that this city has to offer. We look forward to making your trip a special and unforgettable one.

Bicycling tours around Stanley Park with Vancouver Bike Tours.

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Bicycling season is well and truly here, lets us guide you as to where you can rent bikes and have some information on Bike tours around the city, we really believe that cycling around will get you up close and personal among the stunning scenery that Vancouver has to offer.

English Bay Bike Rentals.
without a doubt we feel that this company has nailed the bike rental industry. With many different styles and shapes of bikes to choose from you get to find the bike that will suit you most for the maximum amount of comfort. If for some reason you have your own bike with you they also do full Bike repairs on site too.
We have vouchers for you to use when you head down there so you can save a few small bucks off their regular price – every little helps in the long term so make sure you come by the front desk to pick up the vouchers.

Website: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

Cycling the Sea Wall
The Downtown Vancouver peninsula is adjoined to Stanley Park and the majority of the outer perimeter of the park and city is lined by the famous Seawall. The wall was constructed way back in 1917 but it was not until 1980 that the sea wall as we know it today was fully completed, the sea wall as it stands is 22km long and from the downtown core begins at Coal harbour near where the Cruise ships dock and winds it way all around Stanley Park, close to the Sunset Inn and Suites at Sunset Beach all along the north and south side of False Creek, Science World towards Granville Island and finally finishing at the Kitsilano district and beach.

Full Map of the Seawall bike path. https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/Seawall-Printable-Map3.pdf

Vancouver Bike Tours.
In conjunction with English Bay Bike Rentals you should check out the Vancouver Bike Tours – these guys will organise a tour around the gorgeous Stanley Park and if you want to check out the town, they also have a city tour that gets you to ride around the oldest and most popular areas of the downtown core which includes the popular areas that are Gastown and Chinatown to name but a few.

TOURS OFFERED BY VANCOUVER BIKE TOURS

1. Stanley Park Tour
3 hours
Tour starts at 9:30 am
Leaving from English Bay Bike Rentals
Tour sights include the Totem Poles, Lost Lagoon, Prospect Point, Siwash Rock, the Hollow Tree and other secret treasures.
Tour Price: $30
Rental: $25
Total: $55 (tax included)

2. Park and City Tour
5 hours
Tour starts at 1:30 pm
Leaving from English Bay Bicycles
Tour sights include the park attractions listed above, plus the False Creek Seawall, Chinatown, Gastown, the Olympic Athlete’s Village and Granville Island.
Tour Price: $50
Rental: $25
Total: $75 (tax included)

To book a tour please come to the Front Desk for further details and have a Credit card on hand to secure the reservation.
Your tour guide will collect payment for the tour on the day of the ride. They accept Visa, MasterCard and cash payments.

Website: http://biketourvancouver.com/

Hells Gate Fishing Adventures and The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The Pacific Northwest is famous many things and for most what comes to mind are the incredible Cascade Mountains, the Pacific Weather and of course the Seafood

If you like Seafood and the life on the Ocean waves or just simply anything that is remotely fishy then you will be interested in Hells Gate Fishing Adventures located on the Fraser River in Mission & Vancouver, and The Gulf of Georgia Cannery that is located in the Historic Fishing village of Steveston which is located around 45 minutes South of Vancouver.

Last Thursday there was a great meet and greet for the Vancouver Tourism Industry and at the event we got to meet some very nice people who will be running some great Tours in 2014 that we feel you will all enjoy. Many of the blogs that you will be reading over the next few weeks will showcase these tours.

Hells Gate Fishing Adventures – STS Guiding Services.
STS Guiding Services have been in operation since 1994, run by a husband wife team of Vic and Teresa Carrao. They have some incredible Fishing excursions that will have you experiencing a great Boat ride along the famous Fraser River or you can go further south out into the Georgia Strait and enjoy a Fishing trip around the Gulf Islands.

These guys will pick you up in Vancouver and they will boat you along the Fraser River for an excellent Sturgeon Fishing tour all along the river up to the destination of the town of Mission.
If you are interested in Fly Fishing you will likely know that Mission is the Sturgeon capital of this part of the world, and although you can Fish along the Fraser river at anytime of year, the Sturgeons are best caught between the months of June till October. There are many other species of Fish to be found too, such as Salmon which tend to live side by side with the Sturgeons, and of course there are the crustaceans to fish as well such as Prawn and Crab.
The Hells Gate excursion looks like quite a wild ride and for us we feel it will suit anyone who loves nature, wants the experience of White Water while speeding along the famous Fraser taking in all the sites and of course to get some decent Fishing in.
The boats are all heated and STS will provide all the essential Fishing gear that is required. The fun part of this is that you can bring whatever catch back to the hotel and you have a full kitchen to cook the catch of the day right here at the Sunset Inn and Suites.

They also have excursions throughout the year with many of them specifically heading out to the Gulf Island just off the coastline of Victoria, the Gulf Islands are absolutely stunning and especially so in the Summer months as the Weather is generally much dryer and calmer – you will likely get to see some extraordinary scenery and spot some Whales!

Here is what they have to say about their operation…
“We pride ourselves on our personal and friendly service, our ability to catch fish on 95% of our guided charters. We are fishing the area 12 months of the year. For us fishing is a year round commitment, not just a summer job.
If you are a novice or an expert, we will make every effort to insure your full satisfaction. So come and join us for fun and adventure exploring the beautiful waters of the Fraser Valley.”

For further information please check out their website here: http://www.guidebc.com/

Hellsgate Tours: www.hellsgatejetboattours.com

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.
This Cannery is a great place to visit if you like Seafood, Fishing and your history. Located in the quaint and Historical village of Steveston, this is one of the oldest and longest running Cannerry’s in the area.
The Cannery has been in operation since 1894 and at the time the Cannery was built it was the largest of its kind and was also the largest producer if Canned Fish goods in its day.
The Cannery is now owned and run by Parks Canada and is now run as a non for profit organisation. The Cannery operates every day of the year and offers full tours, videos and stories of the BC Fishing Industry.

For further information please check out the Website here: http://gulfofgeorgiacannery.com/visit-us

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

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

Whale and Dolphin watching season has begun in spectacular style!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

It has been quite the week for us along the coastal BC waters as we have been treated to some rare Dolphin and Whale pods migrating through the Georgia Strait.
The Whales are not too elusive as they general favour these waters for migrating, but catching a sight of Dolphin pods is actually a rare occurrence – not so rare this week though. A Pod of Dolphins was spotted swimming along False Creek and Sunset Beach which is literally a 5 minute walk from the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel, it wasn’t just Vancouver that was being treated to this rare spectacle, there was also an incredible sight of Dolphins being chased by Orca Whales along Howe Sound in the Squamish area.

The coastal waters of BC is rich in abundance of some stunning sea creatures and none more majestic than the various species of Whales and Dolphins and so far this year, it seems apparent that the pods are looking very very healthy for the 2014 season.

This link has some great footage of the Whales and Dolphins that were in the Howe Sound recently courtesy of the Prince of Whales whale watching operation. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=731808353525929

And some more from the CBC News Website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dolphins-orcas-delight-watchers-in-vancouver-squamish-1.2574894

Here is a great link that shows how the species are interconnected to a wider ecosystem in the local waters around us.
bc_marine_life

Whale Watching Tours Season runs from April 1st to October 31st
There are various Tour operators that you can use to spend a day out at sea to catch these Whales. Reservations for these tours can be made directly with us at the Front desk of the hotel.

Vancouver operations
Wild Whales Vancouver
1806 Mast Tower Road – Granville Island
Vancouver, B.C.
V6H 4B6 Canada Phone: 604-699-2011 Website: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

Vancouver Whale Watch
Suite 210 – 12240 Second Avenue
Richmond (Steveston), BC
Canada V7E 3L8

Phone: (604) 274-9565 Website: http://www.vancouverwhalewatch.com/index.html

Victoria operations
Prince of Whales Whale Watching
812 Wharf Street, Lower Causeway Level
Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 Canada

Toll-free 1-888-383-4884
info@princeofwhales.com
website http://www.princeofwhales.com/

Valentines Day in and around Vancouver…..

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

BUY SOME YUMMY FOOD AND GROCERIES FOR A ROMANTIC MEAL AT THE GRANVILLE ISLAND MARKET
Granville Island public market has an amazing amount of variety of produce, fine artisan foods and delicacies for you to enjoy. If you want to do something special and romantic – head down to the Island where you can purchase some really amazing food items and you can prepare the meal here at The Sunset Inn using our fully equipped en-suite kitchen.

WINE AND DINE YOUR LOVED ONE
If you decide to make the small trip to Granville Island you should also check out Liberty Wine Merchants, here they have an excellent selection of Wines for you to splurge and enjoy with your loved one. Valentines day needs to have a nice tipple – so here you can find a yummy Champagne or Sparkling WINE, or how about a nice Rose to accompany your romantic meal together.

Liberty Wine Merchants – Granville Island http://libertywinemerchants.com/

Closer by to the hotel is MARQUIS WINE CELLARS – they have a very large selection of high End wines for you to enjoy. Website: http://www.marquis-wines.com/

JUMPING THE BROOM – GRANVILLE ISLAND BROOM SHOP
While you are down there – is there a chance that you may be popping the question to your loved one? You can always follow the tradition of Jumping The Broom, which, on a personal note is a tradition that is closely connected to my Welsh Roots – This is an old age custom that has its roots in the United Kingdom and more specifically in Wales where it would take place at the wedding ceremony. The term derives from the expression of a ‘Broomstick marriage’ it basically implies that the ceremony is being used for reasons that make the marriage seem illegitimate – so it is custom to ‘jump the broom’ as a way of expressing that the marriage is not null and void. If you were known to have performed a broomstick marriage it would likely mean that your wedding was not performed within the Anglican church and therefore classed as an illegitimate marriage – oh the Welsh!

So on that note, please check out this awesome cute Shop called The Granville Island Broom Company. They make their own brooms on site and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and many of these cute artsy brooms have a very Pacific north West Vibe to them. A perfect and cute gift that may well be the biggest moment of the day…..if they get the hint that is!
Granville Island Broom Co http://broomcompany.com/

GO AND SEE A QUIRKY VALENTINES DAYS SHOW – THE TRUE HEROINES VALENTINES DAY CABARET
TWO NIGHTS ONLY.
FEBRUARY 13th & 14th 2014 @ 8 PM

IT’S THE SAME CABARET YOU KNOW AND LOVE, BUT SEXIER…
After playing to a sold-out house last March at The Rio Theatre & again in August at The Anza The True Heroines are back with a brand new show at a brand new venue.
In this episode of the True Heroines live cabaret; you’ll think you’ve taken a step back in time to Paris 1946. Immerse yourself into the secret lives of these wartime entertainers as they infiltrate the Corporation in order to save one of their own. The leggy ladies of this classic cabaret combine burlesque moves, Fosse-style choreography and story lines from their web-series, to put a shiny new coat of gloss on their classic romp.

FOR TICKETS TO THE FEBRUARY 13th SHOWhttp://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/555750
FOR TICKETS TO THE FEBRUARY 14th SHOWhttp://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/560637

The True Heroines are best known for their online Podcast series, they do not do many performances live so it is something we highly recommend you see, check out their website for further information: http://thetrueheroines.com/

VALENTINES DINNER AND DANCE CRUISE
Enjoy the romance of the sea at this dinner and dance cruise, including a gourmet buffet and a complimentary glass of champagne. Sail the Pride of Vancouver, 450 Denman St $64.95/person, 604-687-5533, vancouvercharters.com

ROMANTIC STROLL IN AND AROUND STANLEY PARK
Stanley Park is a really nice place to visit for a romantic stroll, If you like, you can even get a tour using the Horse and carriage tours around Stanley park – and for an extra romantic vibe take a nice wee stroll down the Lovers Walk in the Park.

Horse and Carriage: http://www.stanleypark.com/

Where to capture the very best Christmas lights in Vancouver…

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

December is here, the Snow has arrived and the festive cheer is in full swing on the streets in the West End. We have already seen and listened to some great Brass Bands and Christmas Carols being sung on Davie St and Bute St near the new Park and Rainbow Crosswalk, it is just a few minutes walk away so keep an eye out for the Christmas cheer here…

This is the time of year when all the festivities focus their attention on outdoing each other with the very best lights to dazzle all the family, so here we will tell where to go to get the very best Christmas Light displays…

St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation’s Lights of Hope
The St Pauls Foundation of Light has been dazzling spectators that walk past the Hospital since 1998 and it is all for a very very good cause.
The aim of the lights is to help raise funds for the hospital itself, so it can purchase the very best medical equipment that it needs, it will enable them to increase funds towards better research and of the course enhanced Patient care for all those in need at St Pauls.
The lights are all assembled by Volunteers and my oh my are they beautiful….If you wish to check out the lights, head down towards Burrard and Davie and walk North on Burrard, it is just a 5 minute walk or so away from the Sunset Inn and Suites.

The hospital has a target goal to reach of $2.2-million – If you wish to help you can make a donation towards the campaign’s fundraising goal, call 604-662-HOPE or visit www.lightsofhope.com.

Festival of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver
It may not seem the best time of year to visit Gardens in the deep of Winter, but wait, we think you should consider this one……The Festival of Lights creates the Gardens into quite a stunning wonderland, it is something that should be on your list when you come here especially as the Van Dusen Gardens are world famous and for good reason!
What is even better, you will be in the company of Elves, Candy-Canes and Hot chocolates to guide your way around this most serene settings.

vand dusen festival of lights map

Website: http://vandusengarden.org/

Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
We have written about the excellent Christmas train and the bright lights before, but it is that good that we feel it should be recommended a visit to come on down…
Check out Stanley Park like you have never seen before, the kids especially will love this trip out to the enchanted Rain-forest that we are proud to show off in the city.
Partial proceeds from the sale of Bright Nights tickets go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, which helps burn survivors and their families. $1.4 million has been raised over the past 14 years.

Website: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx

Capilano Canyon Lights
A very popular attraction that is a must see location no matter what time of year, Capilano is quite incredible when all lit up on these very dark nights, it also boasts the largest lit up Christmas Tree too, Standing 46.4m (152 feet) tall the Douglas-fir will be adorned in thousands of sparkling lights…..Woohoo!

Website: http://www.capbridge.com/explore/canyon-lights/

Coal Harbour/Canada Place/English Bay
Although not on an official list a very good idea is to head down to the water as there will be trees, boats and yachts all decorated and decked up for the festive season, a great opportunity to see how the locals dazzle at Christmas time.

Signs that Spring is approaching.

Friday, February 8th, 2013

After spending a great evening with a friend and reminiscing over our usual catch up on nature, (the Crows are always on top of the agenda in this conversation), it inspired that time should be spent on some walking in and around the West End. The forecast was for an improving picture as the day would go on, and judging from what we have seen so far, it indeed is improving, the conditions are certainly what is more akin to late March as opposed to where we are at the moment – February!

We were also debating and comparing predictions about the weather as it had been pretty mild for this time of year, we were wondering if this is game over for Winter, the clues are there, such as the sound of the Spring birds arriving during their migration, it does seem that there is a good chance that it will be a Green Winter, or are we being fooled? Will there be chances of brief snapping stabs of Winter like conditions at the turn of Spring?

The next afternoon was spent sitting in one of the small Inner city Parkways that are used by Pedestrians and Cyclists to pass through, a nice place to take a break and have a moment. This small little Oasis is one of many dotted all around the West End and the rest of Vancouver, they are really cute spots to use and enjoy, you can easily be occupied by all the trees and plant life that have been cultivated around you. There is also no shortage of wildlife to entertain and enthrall as they go about their lives (you will be no stranger to Squirrels, and overnight Skunks and Raccoons), it is easy to actually hear the wildlife even as the city noise buzzes near by, it is really actually not that audible and more of a quieter background hum, the birds conversations really are the dominant sounds of this environment at this time of listening.

On a really beautiful Spring day as today, in this small park alone you can see and hear the hints of a spring stirring up, it is waking the hibernating plant life and other creatures from their long slumber. The sounds of the birds are beginning to change, it is a sure sign that the first birds of Spring are arriving in the city, the area of Canada and the US that is known as the Pacific North West is their regular stop at this time of year. It seems like their migration is a never ending cycle, its almost unfathomable to comprehend at how large the distances some of these birds cover – some spanning the whole globe. The noises of their language is really fascinating to hear, some are like songs, some have the sound that is spoken as if in some Science Fiction setting -as if it came out of the mouth of a robot. Others are not so glamorous, some sound threatening, some sound horrifying and kind of scary, its certainly not dull up there and is a life that is constantly on the go.

It really is quite the sight to see the abundance of trees and plant species around the West End, there is quite the variety to take in. On days like these it is a good time to absorb the colours of the plants as they become illuminated by the sun, marking a vivid contrast among the colours of brown and green. The mountains are also awash with colours that the Sun is beaming its light upon and in between the towering columns of cloud. It seems like an age since Vancouver last saw the sun, yet, when it does make an appearance it has this uncanny effect on us in the city. People seem to have this extra skip in their step and a grin on their faces, with the seawall beginning to get busier with the leisure walkers and joggers making the most of a beautiful day, its quite nice to get a glimpse of Spring in the winter time. Hopefully this is a sign of a good things to come.

So if you are staying at the Sunset Inn and Suites this Spring, make sure that you have a nice stroll around the streets of the West End, it maybe the city, but the nature is all around us, and Spring Season is quite stunning in this area.

Click on the following link from Tourism Vancouver, it explains what you need to do in Spring in Vancouver
http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/sightseeing/7-ways-to-enjoy-spring/

Chinese New Year – Year of the Snake.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Chinese new year is soon to be upon us, and Vancouver has an extensive Chinese history that you will see etched into the fabric of the city.

The year of the Snake.
This is the year of The Black Snake, this new year is meant for steady progress and attention to detail, with focus and discipline a necessity in order to achieve what you intend to create.
The Snake is the Sixth Sign of the Chinese Zodiac out of the 12 Zodiacal signs. It is the enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animals Signs. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve.

The Chinatown area is certified as an historical area of the city and is located in the North East side Vancouver, just touching the down town core. It is very easy to reach the area, you can just hop on the Number 6 Davie St Bus (a couple of minutes walk from the Sunset Inn and Suites) ride the bus to its very last stop, then you will walk just a couple of blocks east to reach the Chinatown gateway Arch.
There is also the city of Richmond which is an area where many of the Chinese immigrants have settled….between Chinatown and Richmond you will get to experience the very best of the Chinese culture that Vancouver has to offer. During the summer months you can enjoy the Chinese night markets in both locations.

Information on the 18th Downtown Chinatown Night Market – 2013 Season.
http://www.vcma.shawbiz.ca/home_e.htm

The Richmond Night Market 2013
http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/

Chinese New Year celebrations in Vancouver/Richmond.
This year the Chinese Benevolent Association hosts the 40th Chinese New Year celebrations, and as always we anticipate that this event will be spectacular as always.
The festival will be held on Sunday February 17th and it will feature many Chinese Dragons, cultural Dance Troupes, amazing Martial Arts spectacles, with live music and much much more…

http://www.cbavancouver.ca/parade.html

Click on the route map below to see where you can catch the Parade.
http://www.cbavancouver.ca/map.html

The official beginning of the festivities for the Chinese New Year begins on February 10th.

There will also be a celebratory festival occurring on February 16th and 17th. The Fair will be located at the Sun Yat-Sen Plaza (50 East Pender Street) on both days. This celebrative fair will feature multicultural performances, special lion dance grand finale, martial arts demonstration and more.

The Sun Yat Sen gardens are a must see when you go to Chinatown.

http://vancouverchinesegarden.com/