British Columbia Hotels
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
UNESCO Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, Tofino
This sustainability-minded, hyper-luxe hotel-slash-campsite nestled into the stunning UNESCO Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experience. The team does everything for you, from picking you upon arrival via a floatplane to catering to every hospitality need when you're staying in your own private–and lavish–safari-style tent. The daily activities are seemingly endless, from hiking to horseback riding to salmon fishing–all of which leave you hungry and even more appreciative of the decadent, local, chef-prepared meals served daily. There's even a spa on location, offering restorative massages and yoga.
The Wickaninnish Inn
Osprey Ln., Tofino
With the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean out front, a dense rainforest in the back, and jagged cliffs or beaches on either side, family-owned hotel The Wickaninnish Inn is about as close to nature as you can get without pitching a tent among the pine trees. Though overused, in the context of its driftwood-dotted interiors, ample fireplaces (there’s one in every room), and on-site woodcarving shed, “rustic” is by far the best adjective for describing the inn’s warm, welcoming personality. For storm chasers, observation points to take in the drama from a comfortable distance are scattered throughout the property, including the guestrooms, where floor-to-ceiling windows, overstuffed chairs, and binoculars are worked into the minimalist décor for that very purpose. (For those hell-bent on experiencing some weather first hand, each room comes with rain gear and wellies). Best of all, you can get a view from the top before you even step foot on the grounds by hopping on a seaplane over from the mainland.
The Loden Hotel
1177 Melville St., Downtown
At 77-rooms strong, The Loden is relatively small compared to the city's big-name hotels. Its modest size and slightly off-the-beaten-path location are exactly what make it a good option for anyone looking to catch their breath. In this wellness-obsessed city, The Loden is right on point with yoga mats and soakign tubs in each earthtone-soaked, Philippe Starck-equipped room and bikes available for a whizz around the nearby Seawall and Stanley Park. After a day on foot, settle into the rooftop bar with a drink in hand and soak up the view.
1128 W. Georgia St., Downtown
The best rooms at the Vancouver outpost of the Shangri-La are the ones on the highest floors, offering dizzying views of water, city, and mountains. Meanwhile, plush beds, moody Asian-influenced interiors, and high-tech touches are consistent throughout the guestrooms. While the location is as central as can be, it's worth it to pick a night to stay in for a dinner at three-star chef Jean Georges Vongerichten's MARKET restaurant.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia
801 W. Georgia St., Downtown
The combination of a Georgian Revival building, roaring twenties-inspired interiors, and proximity to Stanley Park make The Rosewood Hotel Georgia a great starting point from which to explore. Open since 1927, this hotel and its beautifully appointed guest rooms have something for every kind of traveler, starting with the Prohibition bar in the basement (unabashedly opulent in décor with polished black wood walls and plush royal blue banquettes) and ending with in-room baby-bottle warmers and child-proofing services. For parents traveling with tweens, the spa has a selection of treatments for under-thirteens. And while Vancouver is packed with excellent restaurants, hotel restaurant The Hawksworth is a good reason to eat in.
900 W. Georgia St., Downtown
If you’re looking to stay in downtown Vancouver, book a room at The Fairmont on Coal Harbor—it has all the creature comforts we've come to expect from a Fairmont property—opulent guests rooms, an indoor pool, and more—plus, the benefits of incredible city views and a historic castle to call home. Doing business since 1939, the lobby, bar, and ballroom are over-the-top (in a good way) with marble floors and bas-relief moldings, while on-site restaurant Notch8 serves up classic west coast comfort food—a good option if you're burnt out on both going out and room service. Note: The hotel is particularly well-equipped for families, with cribs, tot-sized robes, and on-call babysitters.
1200 Mt. Maxwell Rd., Salt Spring Island
A stone’s throw from Vancouver, Salt Island is something of a creative enclave for the culinarily inclined. Think impossibly picturesque, rugged setting where you’ll find vintners, cheese makers, and other creative types in residence year-around. It’s just that spirit that inspired Michael Abelman and Jeanne-Marie Herman to open Foxglove Farm, a 121-acre organic farm which holds cooking and gardening classes, plus mushroom-foraging and cheese-making courses. Its location, 1,200 feet above sea level, means they regularly grow everything from peaches, plus, quince, figs, cherries, plus a nourishing mix of veggies and legumes. (As a result their veggies have graced the table at the likes of Chez Panisse and Zuni Cafe, too.)
Long Beach Lodge Resort
1441 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino
A splendid marriage of five-star luxury and rugged wilderness, Vancouver Island’s Long Beach Lodge, speaks to both serenity seekers and adrenaline junkies. Watch surfers tackle the waves of Cox Bay Beach (considered the crème de la crème of Canadian surf breaks) from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Great Room or get in on the action by hiring a certified instructor from the surf club for a lesson. Other water activities come in the form of whale watching, deep-sea fishing, and scuba diving. If dry land is more your speed, hike the legendary trails of the Pacific Rim, take in the sights from a bike, or embark on a guided wildlife tour; Banana slug hunts, zip-line excursions, and the Ucluelet Aquarium pique the interests of adventurous tykes. Take a fish burrito break at the SandBar Bistro or retreat to your oceanfront lodgings: split-level rai forest cottages are ideal for families while the standard rooms and penthouse suites offer the perfect accommodations for couples.