Here’s a useful tip from a long-time Travel Society Member, Jennifer H.
We were recently in Vancouver and on the advice of our daughter, who is always conscious of price and quality, we stayed at Best Western Plus Sands Hotel, 1755 Davie Street.
We reserved our rooms on-line and were charged $136 per night. With hotel tax and the $11 parking fee per night, we paid $155. This rate was for seniors, during the week. It is my understanding that the parking fee is cheap for Vancouver. As well, it was an extremely busy time for the hotel because the final game of the Stanley Cup Series took place during our second night there.
Initially, the hotel looked like any other hotel. However, as the hotel gains revenue, they appear to be replacing old fixtures and furnishings with quality ones. For example, the bedding and the shower are good quality. What really sold us on this hotel was the check-in manager. He was honest about the beds (they are fairly soft with a “pillow-top” covering, but also fairly new, said he). He offered to supply a board for one of our beds. We were very grateful for this addition to our bed. The board arrived less than 5 minutes after we opened the door.
In spite of being very busy, the check-in manager was able to prevent us from making a series of bad decisions regarding taking our car out after supper and “coming in after 8 p.m.” on that very auspicious hockey-final night. Taking his advice, we purchased an all-day pass on the public transit system. The full day pass enabled us to travel on any form of public transport, right out to New Westminster, Burnaby, etc. We used the Sky Train rapid transit system and the bus system. Our relatives told us that it takes 23 minutes to come from Richmond (near the airport) to downtown Vancouver. For this all day pass, we paid a seniors’ rate of $7.00 each.
A wonderful service exists to help you navigate the transportation system: A call to “Translink” gave us a live operator and detailed directions on how to get from point A to point B. Their telephone number is 604-953-3333.
In front of the hotel and along Denman Street, the street that is ½ a block from the hotel, are a network of small, good quality restaurants and take-out cafes. As well, in the bar of our hotel (we received a “2 for 1” appetizer and drink special at check-in) the appetizer that we chose was delicious and more like a meal.
The hotel is 1 ½ blocks from Stanley Park. The park contains a network of bicycle paths and walking paths. There is a bicycle rental store across the street from the hotel. We were also told that there is access to many bicycling paths all around the city.
Half a block from the hotel is a wonderful bronzed sculpture—a set of “happy (hysterical) faces.” These figures, clustered in an enormous group, are each about 10 feet high, if the sculpted figure is not crouching. The figures have been designed by Yue Minjun, a contemporary Chinese sculptor (and a controversial one). This permanent exhibit marks his Canadian debut. Don’t miss this wonderful display! Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera on this brief trip to visit relatives in NewWestminster.
As well-seasoned former Vancouverites, we heartily recommend this hotel and the West End environment. Don’t miss the tree growing on the top floor of a sundeck condo near Denman and Davie. It looks spectacular!
The hotel’s website is www.rpbhotels.com