Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

Santa Claus Parade, The Nutcracker Ballet and more. Plus a Christmas Cake recipe! (Christmas Events Part 2)

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Santa is getting ready for his busy work load next month and that means he will warm up by saying hello to the masses before he gets his head down, to get himself all geared up for festive season he will be paying a visit to Vancouver this Sunday for his annual Santa Claus Parade!

The parade will be happening in downtown Vancouver and it will be starting at Georgia and Broughton St, it will then travel East along Georgia to Howe St, the parade will then turn south on Howe where it will finish not too far away from the Sunset Inn at Howe and Davie St.

As always when Santa is coming to town there will be very large crowds, it is expected that at least 300,000 people will be attending this fab day, 3,500 of these people will be volunteers who will do their very best to ensure that Santa has the best welcome and send off before his duties begin.

Santa really knows how to party, so this year there will be entertainers such as Festive Floats, Choirs to get you in the Festive Cheer, 65 Marching bands and many local community groups participating.
In front of the Vancouver Art Gallery there will be a designated area that will be known as Christmas Square, here you can get your Face Painted, write letters to Santa, Balloon twisting and you can even decorate Ginger Bread men, plus live music to entertain everyone. Once the Parade has finished you should head down to Robson Square Ice Rink where the kids can get their picture taken with Santa

This is also all for a good cause too, there will be a donation drop off zone for the Vancouver Food Bank, the parade has been recognised as one of the leaders for raising fund for the Food bank and since 2004 collected $110,000 and more than 67,380 lbs. of food for families who are in need though-out the Lower Mainland.
It is encouraged that people donate at least a dollar to the Food Bank as this equals to $3 worth of Food for each $1 donation and if you wish to donate food, make sure that it is non perishable.

For further information on the Santa Clause Parade: http://rogerssantaclausparade.com/

THE NUTCRACKER (GOH BALLET)
Probably one of the most famous Ballet’s for the Festive season returns once again to entertain the masses through December.
Prepare to be dazzled by the amazing costumes, choreography and and dramatic set design that the GOH Ballet offers, all danced to the music of Tchaikovsky’s memorable score and performed live by the members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.
The story of the Nutcracker will take you on an unforgettable journey of Clara’s dream as it comes to life, you will embark on her magical journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy, and you will see her battle against the evil mice along the way.

For further information, dates and times: http://gohnutcracker.com/

VAN DUSEN BOTANICAL GARDENS – FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

From December 11th 2013 through to January 4th 2014 4:30 to 9 p.m. each evening , except December 25th when the Garden is closed. A magical experience for the whole family with 1.4 million twinkling lights all in the stunning setting of these beautiful Botanical gardens.

Check out their Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kF–83rIjSE

And for further information: www.vandusengarden.org

CHRISTMAS CAKE RECIPE
It may seem a tad early to bring out the Christmas cake recipe, but there is a reason! If you like to prepare the cake properly with the appropriate amount of the fine liquor then it is wise that you prepare the cake now, and over the next few weeks add the liquor to the cake between now and Christmas so it turns out great!

Cooking time
Prep:25 mins
Cook:2 hrs, 10 mins Plus cooling
Skill level is easy, Cuts into 12-15 slices
Prepare this fruit cake in advance and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build the flavour and keep it moist over the coming weeks for maximum flavour.

Ingredients
1kg mixed dried fruits (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
zest and juice 1 orange
zest and juice 1 lemon
150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
250g pack butter, softened
200g light soft brown sugar
175g plain flour
100g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
100g flaked almonds
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Buy Ingredients

Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

Recipe courtesy of the Good Food Magazine (UK)

The mountains have a dusting of snow…Time to think about the North Shore Mountain Ski Resorts!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Earlier in the week Vancouver witnessed the very first dusting of snow high up on the peaks of the North Shore mountains that overlook the city. It’s a nice change to see first hand the beginnings of the impending Winter that will be soon upon us in over a month and half’s time, and we do not complain, when the wet stuff is falling on our heads down here, the White fluffy flakes of snow will be falling in abundance guaranteeing the locals and visitors alike some Winter Alpine fun.

In this blog we will give you a detailed look at the 3 popular Ski Resorts of the North Shore Mountains that dominate the Vancouver Skyline and bring in various visitors from all over the world who love to Ski, Snowboard and more….

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN
A popular resort for Skiing and especially for those who prefer the more challenging runs then this will be the place for you. Cypress Mountain Ski Area is located in the West Vancouver area and is part of the Cypress Provincial Park which is avery popular area for Hiking in the Summer and long distance Skiing in the Winter.

Cypress mountain was also used for certain events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games that was hosted between Vancouver and Whistler Mountain resorts, the climate leading up to the games had some worried as the weather was unusually warm leading up to the games which had an impact on the amount of Snow on the hills, as the pack was very very low, it was decided that snow would be transported in and extra time was given for the Snow Making machines to salvage the events due – and thankfully it was a success…huzzah! Cypress hosted all of the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding competitions (Moguls, Aerials, Ski Cross, half-pipe, snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom)

The Ski hill have 53 different Alpine Runs and 19 km cross country of trails which are extremely popular for Snowshoeing. Tours are available for many of these activities.

For further information: http://cypressmountain.com/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Probably the most well known of all 3 Ski hills, Grouse Mountain sits directly above the city of North Vancouver and is just one Bus Stop away from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Grouse Mountain is a very popular destination all year round due to its well known hiking paths such as the Grouse Grind and its Summer activities at the top of the peak such as the Lumberjack shows, Eye in the Sky (Wind Turbine) Theater & Restaurant.

Skiing on Grouse is certainly the most popular for all ages and abilities, so if you are a complete newbie then this will be the ideal location for you to fin your feet so to speak, some runs are much more gentle than others.

The resort has 26 runs, half of which are lit for Night Skiing and Snowboarding The most prominent run on the mountain is the Cut, one of two beginner runs, which is easily visible from the Vancouver area. It runs alongside the Screaming Eagle chairlift. East of the Cut are several intermediate runs, which take skiers and snowboarders down to the Olympic Express, which accesses the mountain’s easternmost expert runs, most of which originate from the mountain’s 4,100-foot (1,200 m) peak. Grouse Mountain features three green (beginner), 15 blue (intermediate), six black diamond (advanced) and two double black diamond. There is also an Outdoor Ice Rink located in the Village.

For further information: http://www.grousemountain.com/

MOUNT SEYMOUR
Located above North Vancouver, Deep Cove (a popular area for kayaking in the Summer season) and the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm waterways The resort has 4 lifts, the Mystery Peak Express quad chairlift, Brockton, and Lodge double chairlifts, and the Goldie Lake covered magic carpet. Seymour also offers great Snowshoeing trails that are very popular with groups or just as a solo excursion.

For further information: http://www.mountseymour.com/

Why the spectacular colours of the skies at Sunset? Here is the Science behind it.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Vancouver has been experiencing some amazing colours in the sky and clouds lately which has been providing nature lovers with some incredible shots. This was all due to a low pressure system hanging around in the Pacific over the last week or so, the system had produced a few thunderstorms in the area which is not common for us – (ask any Vancouverite and they will tell you that this is a pretty rare occurrence). If you are a fan of us on our Facebook page you will likely have come across some spectacular photographs which were taken by some staff and from other sites online.

SUNSET FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/SunsetInnVancouver?ref=hl

In this blog we are going to swot up on the Science behind the reason why this colourful phenomenon occur, and we will also look for interesting colour formations to look out for during the Fall Season and why they happen.

Why were the clouds so bright Orange and Pink last week?
The clouds that rolled through were pretty intense Thunderstorms and just preceding them the sky was awash with some incredible colours, the most dominant that was noted widely by any observer of these storms were the very bright Pinks, Reds and Oranges that illuminated the towering Comulonimbus towers (the official and fancy term for a thunder cloud). When the storms rolled into our neighbourhood the clouds also had Green and Purples mixed in.
The reason for the difference in colours are to do with the angle of the Sun in relation to the sky and clouds and also the precipitation that is falling within in them.

This was the image taken from one of the staff at home as the Sun was setting through the pouring rain with the storm anchored over the city.

The colours created an incredible bright Orange due to the direction of which the Suns Rays were travelling. As the Sun is very low in the sky it takes the light and rays from the sun longer to reach as there is more distance to travel.

What is the Science behind these colours though?
We can all see colours in a particular area of the light spectrum and ours is a very small degree of what is known in Science the “Electromagnetic Spectrum”. Light that travels short distance and is more compact will show more towards the colour Blue and if they travel further, which means the light is also being stretched – this shifts more towards the colour Red.

Get your Nerd on! Click on this Diagram to see how the Spectrum works.
http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/visible.html

Why were we seeing Greens, Brown and Purple?
Within the clouds there were also reports of these other colours too, this is basically due to precipitation falling from the storms above us. A good indication that there is Hail falling high above will translate to a Green colour in the clouds as the ice refracts that image to our visibility. Heavy dark colours of Purple, Blues and Greys are usually a sign of heavy and torrential Rains about to fall from above.

Check out this Rainbow, and look where it ends! Right on the Sunset Inn…lol

This is why that many Sunsets can turn the sky very quickly into a very fiery and vivid look with bright Oranges, Pinks and Reds with a wonderful Blue, Green and Turqoise skies. It also explains why the Sky is Blue at the height of daytime as the Sun is so direct the Rays and Light have a shorter distance to travel to reach us.
September is a fantastic time to catch some breathtaking colours in the Sky, and around this time of year as we start to turn towards fall in the city, take a look at the colour of the mountains and the long shadows created by the sunset and of course the imminent changing of the Autumnal leaves.

A typical looking sky at this time of year.

Other cool images to check out as the Sun is beginning to set in the West are the Earths Shadow and Phenomenon called the ‘Belt of Venus’.
As you look East around the same time that the Sun is setting you will clearly see and Arch that is much darker than the rest of the sky beginning from the Horizon of the earth to just a few degrees higher into the sky. As the Sun creeps ever further below the horizon, this dark Arch seems to be getting larger and larger, and then the Night sky seems to take over and the Dark Skies of night prevail. What you are witnessing is the Earths actual Shadow hitting the atmosphere which is makes it apparent that it is the ceiling of our world.

Another cool Phenomenon is the Belt of Venus. Around the same time as the Sun is about to start to set, again look out East in the exact opposite direction of the Setting Sun and just above or along the horizon there is a distinct line of colour that has Pinkish glow, this again is to with the scattering of light in the atmosphere from the Sun, and this light is usually divided by the Earths shadow which has a much darker look to it, itself with a definitive edge.

A great time to witness this is when the Moon is relatively Full and starting to move from the horizon high in the sky, it just makes this natural occurrences that little bit more special.

If you are into Science and anything else related to this then you should check out Science World and/or the H.R Macmillan Space Museum.

Science World www.scienceworld.ca

Space Museum http://www.spacecentre.ca/

Sunset Inn Newsletter: http://www.hebsmarketing.com/Sunset_Inn/07_July_2013/index.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sunset_Inn

STANLEY PARK is 125 years old in AUGUST!

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STANLEY PARK!

Stanley park truly is the Jewel in the crown of Vancouver and a beautiful reminder of what Vancouver used to look like before the city itself was born and developed.
2013 is the official 125th birthday of the park and we want to tell you what is happening for this special occasion and what you should see when you get to the park itself.

For further information as more events unfold, please ‘LIKE’ our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SunsetInnVancouver?ref=tn_tnmn

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest and very first urban park – it is nestled as a green oasis between the downtown peninsula of Vancouver and is connected via the famous and iconic Lions Gate Bridge that forms the artery between the cities of North & West Vancouver and the park over the Burrard Inlet waterway.

Aside from Granville Island the Park is one of the main attractions when visitors come to Vancouver, easily up to 8 million people take their time to experience the Sea Wall, lake, cafes and trails.

CELEBRATE! STANLEY PARK
Bring your family and friends to Celebrate! Stanley Park, on the weekend of August 24 & 25, to celebrate Stanley Park’s 125th anniversary. This event will feature live music and performances, ecological and historical talks and tours and more!

Like the official FACEBOOK page and keep up to date with what will be happening in Stanley Park during August so you are more than ready to join in with the festivities.
https://www.facebook.com/CelebrateStanleyPark?fref=ts

PLACES OF INTEREST IN STANLEY PARK
Here is our best of pick of what to see in the park.

SEAWALL
One of the most stunning seawalls around and its pretty big 8.8km around the park itself – it is ideal for a gentle stroll as there are no hills, or for a good hearty run and bike ride- which we highly recommend. BIKE RENTALS see English Bay Bike Rentals - http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
A fantastic Aquarium that has various rotating exhibitions throughout the year, the current exhibition is showcasing the world of Jellyfish. The most popular exhibits are the performing Beluga Whales and Otters. You will also be educated about the local ecology of the surrounding waters here.

WEBSITE http://www.vanaqua.org/
FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/vanaqua?fref=ts

SECOND BEACH POOL
One of the most popular and pretty large open air swimming pools, it is heated and has fantastic views of English Bay.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/second-beach-pool.aspx

THE BROCKTON POINT LIGHTHOUSE
Located at the North east end of the Park, the lighthouse is close to the location of the 9 o clock Gun that is fired everyday at…you guessed it 9pm!

GIRL IN THE WETSUIT – Located close to Brockton point, this is a quirky gem, a cute statue located on one of the boulders at the beach, at high tide it looks like she is floating on the rock.

TOTEM POLES
Located at the North East of the Park – the totem poles are a colourful reminder of the history of the Coast Salish First Nations and the lands that Stanley Park is located upon.

As the summer progresses and we get ever closer to the birthday of this stunning Park, we will be blogging about various other sites of interest in the park, this should enable you to really get stuck in and really discover where all these sites are, there is a lot to see in Stanley Park and all have their special place and story to be told.

DIRECTIONS TO STANLEY PARK
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/directions-to-stanley-park.aspx

Events happening in June

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

June is shaping up to be quite a busy season, please take a look at the events that are going to rock your socks off in Vancouver…and the best part – many of them are FREE!!!!

TD INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL – JUNE 21st to JULY 1st
A community based non for profit festival that has been wowing audiences and locals alike since its inception in 1986. Closely connected with other great festivals in the Vancouver calender, this one in particular has grown to be one of the biggest and best! Not only is there Jazz but there will be Blues, World, Creative and improvised music to delight your ears!

http://www.coastaljazz.ca/

RIO TINTO ALCAN DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL – JUNE 21-JUNE 23
Another very popular Festival – check out the Dragon Boaters as they compete in this wonderful and colourful event, you will likely see them train down by Granville Island and False Creek

http://dragonboatbc.ca/

WEST END FARMERS MARKET – Every Saturday!
Buy locally grown Vegetables and more at the every popular Farmers Market located at the local Nelson Park near the Mole Hill Heritage Houses.

http://met.bcfarmersmarket.org/market/west-end-farmers-market

The Jimi Hendrix connection & the district of Strathcona

Friday, May 10th, 2013

There has been a lot of interest in the local media as of late on the subject of Multiculturalism and, in particular, the ethnic diversity of the populations that reside in Vancouver. It seems apparent that the so called majorities that the articles are talking about can be assumed to be of Caucasian decent, however, the reason these articles are being created suggest that the Caucasian populous are actually the absolute minority. When you come to visit Vancouver you will immediately notice that it truly is a very diverse city, the differing ethnicity of people all around you is very clear to see, this has always been the case in Vancouver and such its history is very rich and varied.

The subject of multiculturalism and political correctness can be left for discussions over a coffee or a beer among yourselves, it does however lead us onto some interesting history regarding the area of Strathcona and a certain influential musician by the name of Jimi Hendrix.

JIMI HENDRIX, HOGANS ALLEY & STRATHCONA
Many of you will have heard of Jimi Hendrix and will know that he hailed from the Seattle area which is not too far away from us just South of the Border – along with many other very famous musicians that have over time have been extremely influential on the musical scene. However…did you know that he actually spent some of his childhood growing up in an area not too far from Main Street Station called Strathcona and more specifically an area known as Hogan’s Alley.

Hogan’s Alley was a Neighbourhood area that was predominantly made up by the Black community and Jimi Hendrix was one person who resided there, he went to school here as a young boy and eventually started to begin his journey into music learning his trade in the area.
The alley itself now has Plaque in commemoration to the once vibrant community that has all but vanished and transformed into Chinatown and The Strathcona district. A predominant Asian and specifically Chinese community, Strathcona is also one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city – and it really does show, you can walk around and see the differing colours, shapes and sizes of the property and can imagine the battles between the locals, urban planners, and ultimately, the influence and evolution of Gentrification that the locals have had to endure over the years.
During the 1950s and 1960s the Black community started to be moved on by urban planners and this has been a bone of contention over the years due to the manner of how this happened.
The Plaque in the area has been a long time coming and as Vancouver has well over 20,000 black people here it is right that this community is not forgotten like many others who are celebrated here.

JIMI HENDRIX SHRINE
Yesterday, a friend and myself decided to take a walk along Main Street towards Chinatown, the Downtown Eastside and Gastown and along the way we decided to stop by the small building that is now the Jimi Hendrix Shrine.

This is a true little gem and is well worth a visit, it is also quite close to the Main Street Station Bus and Train terminals, you just need to walk 2 blocks North along Main St under the Georgia Viaduct, which is also the southern gateway to Chinatown. Here you will see a building and a sign that has guitar murals painted on the side of it – follow the building East and the little shrine is there.

We walked in and was met by a really nice guy called Lewis who is one of a few handful of volunteers that help run the shrine and its cute little garden out back. Inside the Shrine, there are pictures, guitars and some information on Jimi’s history in the neighbourhood and there are also his Lyrics to his very well known songs on the wall.

There is also some great information regarding a famous Restaurant called Vie’s Chicken and SteakHouse which was located right by where the Shrine now stands and is part of folklore on Hogan’s Alley. It was here at Vie’s that Jimi’s grandmother Nora worked and as Jimi got older he would learn to play here at after hours. Vie’s operated between the 1920s through to the 1970s and was a major hangout for very famous Black Stars of the day such as Nat king Cole.

The site of where the shrine is where a letter was found to be written by Jimi and addressed to Nora Hendrix, at 209 Union St. in Vancouver’s Chinatown. The now owner of the Shrine followed his curiosity to see the address only to find a dilapidated shed on that location – it was then discovered that this was the former location of Vie’s kitchen and was then decided that a special memorial should be created – and the rest as they say is history!

We hope that you found something from this blog and will take a small trip to the Shrine while you are checking out the Chinatown area.

Beaches and outdoor Swimming Pools.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

The city of Vancouver is surrounded by many gorgeous beaches for you to enjoy, as the season starts to heat up we want to share with you the very best of Vancouver Beaches, swimming pools (Indoor and Out) and other aquatic related centers for all the family to enjoy.

VANCOUVER BEACHES

Downtown Vancouver/Stanley Park
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!

Also close are:
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

Events this May

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Here are some exciting events to look out for this month of May.

BMO VANCOUVER MARATHON
SUNDAY MAY 6th
The Vancouver Marathon has to be one of the stunning courses around. Starting off at the gorgeous Queen Elizabeth Park which has 360 degree views of the city and its mountains, and then winding around the South and West of the City along the UBC Campus grounds through to downtown and around Stanley Park and back to the downtown core again, not only do the participants get to stretch their legs but they also will heighten their senses with the spectacular scenery that this city has to offer!
What is even better this year is that it looks likely the Weather is going to be on our side, with the thermometer quite possibly reaching the low 20s C (Mid to high 60s if you work with Farenheit).
So whether or not you are a participant or a spectator, get out there and enjoy the day and make sure to grab the Sunscreen!

http://www.bmovanmarathon.ca/

DOXA DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
MAY 3rd till MAY 12th
Presented by The Documentary Media Society which is a non for profit organization….DOXA returns to wow audiences with the most groundbreaking and innovative and independent Documentary films for you to enjoy.
The Participating theaters are as follows:
VIFF’s Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street
Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street
The Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street
Rio Theatre, 1660 E Broadway

http://www.doxafestival.ca/festival/program

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL BURLESQUE FESTIVAL
We are slightly late on this one, as it started on MAY 2nd and ends MAY 4th.
Burlesque is everywhere, and if you haven’t managed to catch a show then head to this!
Now in its 8th year and growing fast in popularity this is a must see festival!

http://www.vanburlesquefest.com/

RICHMOND NIGHT MARKET Featuring Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Asian cultural foods and more
MAY 17th to OCTOBER 14th
After successfully restarting in 2012 after a 4 year hiatus The Richmond Night Market is back!
Many will say that this night market is the one to see if you want to visit a Chinese market – as the summer season shows signs of its return, the night markets are a great place to visit for some excellent Asian food and cheap goods, it is well worth a visit and we are sure you will come back with your hand full and a satisfied belly!

Click here on how to get there…http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/transit.html

http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/

SPOT PRAWN FESTIVAL
The Festival is a culmination of various events that welcome in the Spot Prawn Season. This is a very popular event especially among the Foodie community that just can’t get enough of their Crustaceans.
Head down to Granville Island from around May 7th and look out for the fun festivities!

http://chefstablesociety.com/spotprawnfestival/

http://www.wildbcspotprawns.com/events/34-wild-bc-spot-prawn-festivals-in-bc

Davie Village and The West End Gay District.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The Sunset Inn and Suites is located in the gorgeous West End Community of Vancouver – this area fills the void between the Downtown core of the city and Stanley Park.

Our location is situated in an area called Davie Village which is in the heart of the Vancouver Gay District of Vancouver. The Village spans over 3 blocks along Davie St beginning from the Eastern Side at Burrard St and ending around Jervis Street to the West.

In 1999 The Davie Street Business Association decided to phrase the area as ‘Davie Village’ and in the process they decided to give the neighbourhoood an uplift by installing colourful Rainbow flags (the official symbolic flag for Gay Pride)on one side of the post, with the other side showing artwork from a local artist called ‘Joe Average’.

We will like to highlight the very best of the Davie Village area so you know where to go for good food and entertainment right on your door step.

WINE AND DINING
Davie Village is absolutely teeming with fantastic restaurants, so much so that it is very difficult not to find anything that you won’t like.
Here we will recommend some of the Staff best picks that we hope you will enjoy! We will begin with the High end right down to the cheap and cheerful!

High end/Fine Dining
BIN 941 (CLASSIC CLASSY CANADIAN CUISINE)
A fantastic experience of Tapas in style with a Canadian twist accompanied with an extensive Wine List and local Craft Beers. http://www.bin941.com/
LA BRASSERIE (FRENCH/GERMAN)
A great alternative to BIN 941, this has is Franco/German comfort food in style! http://www.labrasserievancouver.com/
CAFE LUXY (ITALIAN)
If you like Italian Food and specifically Pasta, then Cafe Luxy is the place for you! Excellent Daily Specials. http://www.cafeluxy.com/
LOLLITAS(MEXICAN CANTINA)
A very busy restaurant and an excellent choice if you have a preferance for Latin American style foods, and like the others it has an excellent choice in Fine Wines and Craft Beers. http://www.lolitasrestaurant.com/

Mid Range/Affordable
THE BANANA LEAF (MALAYSIAN)
This place is a huge hit among the staff here, if you like Thai, Indonesian style foods, you will love this! http://www.bananaleaf-vancouver.com/
KADOYA (SUSHI)
Vancouver Sushi is world renowned and EVERYWHERE! The Staff do gravitate to this establishment, excellent portions! http://www.kadoya.ca/
TAKIS (GREEK/CYPRIOT)
There are 2 Greek Restaurants in the area, this is great for a dining out experience and directly behind the hotel on Davie St. http://www.takistaverna.com/

Cheap and Cheerful!
STEPHOS (GREEK)
Very very busy restaurant for a good reasons, excellent price and huge portions…there is a very long line up, we suggest that you order for pick to skip the line.
PHO GOODNESS (VIETNEMESE) They sell excellent Subs here at the price of $4.75 including Tax, so cheap yet so so good.
MONGOLI GRILL (MONGOLIAN) This is great, you just pick your food and watch it get cooked Ghengis Khan style, suitable for Vegetarians. http://www.mongoliegrill.ca/home.html

PUBS and BARS
THE SCORE – A popular Sports bar with excellent food Specials, even if you are not a sports fan this place will still do the job! Great staff and great atmosphere. http://scoreondavie.com/
THE SPEAKEASY – A dark and moody setting which is a great place to watch sports with friends and it also boasts a fantastic balcony that can get busy in the summer http://thespeakeasy.ca/
1181 Trendy Bar on Davie http://www.1181.ca/
THE FOUNTAINHEAD – One of the more popular Gay bars in the area, with a fantastic patio and pool table. This is in institution on Davie Village. http://www.thefountainheadpub.com/
OASIS – Recently renovated this is a gem, it has a club vibe to it and excellent theme nights, Sundays are a great day, with Karaoke on Tuesdays – great fun and great patio space in the summer months too that double the size of the venue. http://oasisondavie.com/

NIGHTCLUBS
CELEBRITIES – One of the most popular night clubs in the district and recently renovated, a big hit among the younger crowd. http://celebritiesnightclub.com/
NUMBERS – Boasting 3 floors, the dancefloor on the main level and more of a pub vibe at the top, it also has a fantastic Karaoke Box where you can scream like a banshee and not annoy the rest of the bar! http://www.numbers.ca/UI/User/UserHome.aspx
THE JUNCTION – A quiet pub in the day and night club after nightfall, hosts quiz nights and drag shows. http://www.junctionpub.com/

BREAKFAST & COFFEE SHOPS
JOES GRILL &HAMBURGER MARYS, NEIGHBOURHOOD DINER People tend to like one over the other, both are very very good at breakfast. Hamburger Marys has been a staple in the Davie Village area and in many Gay Districts along the West Coast of North America (it was orginally a Drag Bar diner).
MELRICHES COFFEE HOUSE A local Community Coffee house right in the heart of the village.
BLENZ & STARBUCKS Canadian Vs USA you choose!

BOOKSTORES
LITTLE SISTERS
This is an institution that has been in the West End for the past 20 years, it sells books, DVD’s Toys and more, certainly for someone with an open mind on books regarding Gender, sexuality and more… http://littlesisters.ca/blog/

QMUNITY & PRIDE FESTIVAL
Qmunity is an excellent resource centre for the LGBT community…http://www.qmunity.ca/

Pride Festival http://www.vancouverpride.ca/Pride2013/

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

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://bigbus.ca/home/

http://granvilleisland.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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