While I may be a true Torontonian in my heart, I’m not immune to the charms of change, especially when change means a warmer climate, delicious food and a whole new set of adventures. So when the opportunity arose back in November for me to accompany our EIC Mark to Vancouver, I jumped at the chance.
Vancouver effortlessly eclipses many cities when it comes to natural beauty. The city’s financial district cozies up to the waterfront, the mountains making a picturesque contrast to the manmade landscape that it faces. It’s a beautiful city to walk through. From the shops on Robson street to the hiking paths of Stanley park,
Never have I experienced such lovely service, except at the Shangri-la hotel. The Asian based chain has made a home in Vancouver for some years now, with this particular location tempering its style to suit the pace and personality of the city. From the beautiful Asian inspired architecture, gorgeous yet homey and comfortable rooms and suites, incredible restaurants and an elegant spa, the Shangri la Vancouver is THE place to stay when you hit this Canadian West Coast capital.
Chi Spa (The Shangri-La)
I’ve been to my fair share of spas, and generally know what to expect. While always enjoyable, usually relaxing, and mostly yielding the desired result, no spa experience from my past has compared to what I experienced at Chi Spa at the Shangri la hotel. From the moment you walk into the chic yet calm tranquil waiting room, you know the experience will be different than your average time at the spa. Once you select your treatment you’re lead into you own suite within the spa. Yes, that’s right, a suite. A sitting room, private shower and steam room, private change room, the works and without the people to get in the way of your relaxation. Once your treatment begins, whatever you choose, you’re taken further into your own little piece of tranquil bliss. Each esthetician is highly skilled, amiable and attentive, ensuring that you get the most of your Chi spa experience.
Market by Jean Georges
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, a snack, whatever your tastebuds are craving, Market is there to satiate your every culinary want and desire. Check out Mark’s review here and whet your appetite for Market by Jean Georges.
Tacofino (the Truck or the Comissary)
People spend their entire lives in search of a great taco, when really all they have to do is hit up Tacofino. If you’re looking for a quick bite on the run between meetings downtown, the Tacofino food truck is for you. Tacos, burritos, nachos and more are available for a quick and delicious lunch on the go, all prepared with fresh ingredients for an unforgettable meal. If your appetite is bigger, you’ve got more time on your hands and your liver is in the mood for a beating, head over to the Comissary, where you can site down at long picnic style tables with friends or strangers, sip on some tasty tequila and cocktails and eat some truly awesome food, just as tasty as at the truck, but served on plates and with cutlery so if you’re like me, you can pretend that you’re a grownup. But if you’re like me and not an actual grown up, make sure you try the tater tots. You will be changed for life.
You can probably find great sushi anywhere in Vancouver, a fact that leaves me more emotionally damaged as the days go on. Our first taste of sushi came from a chance happening on Domo Sushi (1160 Melville Street), near the Shangri-la. For just over $20 a mountain of sushi appeared before us, each piece more delectable than the last. The lesson here? Pretty much anywhere you wander into for sushi in Vancouver, you’ll enjoy. So get your sushi craving AND your wander on in Vancity.
See the city through…
A Big Bus Hop on Hop off bus tour
Double Decker tour buses have become ubiquitous in any city with tourist attractions, and Vancouver is no different. Though the day I decided to hop on the big bus was marred with pouring rain, I did manage to get an idea of what the tour had to offer. It’s everything you need to see and experience in a day in Vancouver, from Granville Island to the downtown core. I may have gotten the standard Vancouver weather treatment, but you can choose more wisely and sight see efficiently on your big bus tour.
Go out in…
If you’re into music, lounges or just finding a cool bar to get a great drink in, then the trendy neighbourhood of Gastown is where you want to go. With its cobblestone streets, old fashioned inspired gaslamps and multitudes of bars, pubs and restaurants, there is no shortage of places to eat, drink, enjoy and make memories in in this beautiful part of Vancouver.