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Going to Vancouver kind of short notice - hotel and things to do ideas?

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  • Jul 20th, 2012 11:47 am
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[OP]
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Aug 13, 2009
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Going to Vancouver kind of short notice - hotel and things to do ideas?

Hi guys,

I am heading over to vancouver around second week of August. Looking at the fares and rates, things seem kinda expensive at such last minute. Does anyone have any recommendations on what sites to use to get the best possible deal? The dates are flexibleish, I just need to be there around that week, for about 5 days, hoping to work couple of days of the weekend into it so I don't have to take that much time off from work.

Also, thinking of heading over to whistler and seattle, whats the best course of action or best hotel location/area to stay for those purposes? Also, what is there to do? (I haven't had much time to do research so advice would be greatly appreciated).

Thank you all,
12 replies
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May 10, 2005
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Are you going for a reason or just on a whim? That makes a difference for location to stay.
Airfares are a hit and miss thing. Sometimes you need to book months in advance to get a deal and other times the last minute deals are better.

As for hotels and car rentals, use Hotwire. Normally that is the best deal. I would choose to sat downtown west side. That way you can easily get to most places.

We like the Sylvia Hotel. http://www.sylviahotel.com/ It is on English bay in downtown west side but does not feel like it. It is a nice walk along the beach to take the ferry to Granville Island amongst other places. http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca ... ations.htm

The best and cheapest way to Whistler and Seattle is to drive. Both are easy drives. Hotwire is good for car rentals too.
It’s not how far you fall that counts. It’s how high you bounce that counts! General G Patton
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Apr 9, 2006
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I concur. Best prices for Hotel will be either from Hotwire and/or Priceline. Both will get your prime hotels in Downtown Core and really, for any hotel 4* and above theres not much difference to them. They're all quality joints.

Are you travelling alone or with company/family?
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Feb 15, 2006
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After looking at prices in Hotwire, can try bidding just a bit lower on Priceline. That's because you know Hotwire is the upper limit of what you may pay.

Instead of driving to Vancouver, there is a lot to see just in the Vancouver area. If you have more time, can even go see the Rockies -- that's a much better place to visit than Seattle or Whistler.
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Arrgh wrote:
Jul 15th, 2012 9:13 pm
After looking at prices in Hotwire, can try bidding just a bit lower on Priceline. That's because you know Hotwire is the upper limit of what you may pay.

Instead of driving to Vancouver, there is a lot to see just in the Vancouver area. If you have more time, can even go see the Rockies -- that's a much better place to visit than Seattle or Whistler.
The Rockies? A bit of long way for a day trip. They are a lot farther than Whistler or Seattle.
Driving into Whistler is much like going into the Rockies. Whistler isn't just a bump on the landscape.
It’s not how far you fall that counts. It’s how high you bounce that counts! General G Patton
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Aug 2, 2001
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I've stayed at two hotels, the Georgia and the Westin (on Robson) and both were excellent. The Westin was much more reasonably priced and had a nice view off the pool. The Georgia, well, it was awesome but obviously pricey.

One of the most enjoyable things, besides all the food trucks (http://streetfoodapp.com/vancouver), was the walking tour from Tour Guys:
http://www.tourguys.ca/vancouver-tours/vancouver-tours/
They have great tours that work strictly off of tips. The tour guide we had was great and really tailors the tour to the group.

We took the guided bus tour which went through Stanley Park, Granville Island, etc. It's nice to get an overall picture of the city before deciding where you want to step off and what you want to do.


Having seen / heard about the downtown east side I was a little worried but never had a problem walking around anywhere in downtown Vancouver. The Asian markets are neat and something I found interesting to see (we don't have that sheer amount here).


As for hotels I typically book with Priceline's Name Your Own Price or Hotwire's Hotrate and use BetterBidding.com to figure out which hotel it likely is before bidding. While this is how I was able to get the Westin for a reasonable rate the Georgia was booked through a typical hotel booking site as I wanted to get this particular hotel. Remember that even Hotwire will regular change the price of it's mystery hotels so if you want the price may go down.....or up....
[OP]
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Aug 13, 2009
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I ended up booking for something at priceline. Really happy with the deal that I got :) It is near the airport. So far have been thinking of going to whistler and taking the gondola to the peak and maybe do some fine dining there. The rest of the 3/4 days are pretty free though, so suggestions are welcomed. We don't really like to go through any guided tours and do our own thing, the problem is we gotta figure out what we wanna do first. We decided we won't go to Seattle and just find things to do in Vancouver. So other than whistler, what are some nice hotspots within the city or maybe 1-2 hours away from the city?
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Feb 15, 2006
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Arrgh wrote:
Jul 15th, 2012 9:13 pm
After looking at prices in Hotwire, can try bidding just a bit lower on Priceline. That's because you know Hotwire is the upper limit of what you may pay.

Instead of driving to Vancouver, there is a lot to see just in the Vancouver area. If you have more time, can even go see the Rockies -- that's a much better place to visit than Seattle or Whistler.
Haha, just realised I typed "Vancouver" instead of Seatle.

Also see the OP did also say not going to Seattle. So that's just fine.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Jul 16th, 2012 6:32 am
The Rockies? A bit of long way for a day trip. They are a lot farther than Whistler or Seattle.
Driving into Whistler is much like going into the Rockies. Whistler isn't just a bump on the landscape.
I did say if the OP has more time. Yes a day trip won't really allow you to do that. A week will be nice, but 3/4 days will allow them to see alot.
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Jun 7, 2001
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Things to do in Vancouver? It really depends on your interests. Stanley Park, of course. Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge (free vs. paid admission at Capilano Suspension Bridge). University of BC Museum of Anthropology, UBC Botanical Garden, Nitobe Memorial Garden, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden near Chinatown (not too far from downtown), Queen Elizabeth Park, eco tours, whale watching, Grouse Grind, etc.

http://wiki.ubc.ca/Free_and_Cheap_Thing ... _on_Campus

http://www.tourismvancouver.com
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Nov 12, 2006
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Ferries to the Island (though freaking $$$). Since OP will stay close to the airport. Start with Richmond area - there's the followng:
Oval - 2010 Olympic venue
Richmond Night Market - HK Style street vendors & food
Summer Night Market - HK style street vendors & food
Steveston - whale tour, Pajo's Fish & Chips, fresh fish

Then in Vanvouer, there's Gas Town, Stanley Park, Capilano suspension bridge & Cliffwalk, Queen Elizabeth Park, Yaletown ...

Whistler - my fave is the biking trails!

Plenty of things to do, but depends what the OP wants to do.
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Oct 27, 2007
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I would really consider going to Victoria for a full-day using the ferries. The commute can be long 3-4 hours, but I had an amazing time. Like you, I'm from Toronto and staying in Vancouver for 4 months.
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