- British Columbia,
- North America,
- United States,
Planning to check out Seattle and British Columbia Canada, specifically Vancouver Island, Vancouver and Victoria. Want to see the Butchart Gardens for sure.
Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside
Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 2K6, Canada
Tel: 866 378 8866 (toll-free), Tel: 604 682 5511
When locals think of the 397-room Sutton Place, they think of chocolate. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the hotel's Fleuri restaurant hosts an all-you-can-eat Chocoholic Buffet, where guests can load up on desserts like chocolate profiteroles, chocolate cheesecake, and triple-chocolate croissant pudding. It's one of many decadent perks that guests here can take advantage of; others include daily high tea, Sunday Jazz Brunches, Ayurvedic treatments at the Vida Wellness Spa, and a unique shopping program that gives guests 10 to 30 percent off any purchases they make at local boutique stores on Robson Street. Tipplers shouldn't miss the wood-paneled Gerard Lounge, where bartenders reportedly make the city's best martinis. Keep an eye out for visiting celebrities; the hotel's adjoining Grande Residence has fully equipped one- and two-bedroom apartments that are popular with film crews and stars working on location (including Pierce Brosnan).
Four Seasons Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2T4, Canada
Tel: 800 819 5053 (toll-free), Tel: 604 689 9333, Fax: 604 684 4555
Four Seasons' impeccable service and a great downtown location are the main draws at this 373-room property. The hotel is impeccably maintained, and the staff is ready to assist with just about any request (for example, the kitchen will gladly put together a picnic in a sporty backpack if you plan to go on a hike in Stanley Park). A $20-million renovation in 2009 updated the 35-year-old decor, but the bathrooms are still on the small side. All rooms now include 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iHome radios with iPod docks, and super-plush beds; Wi-Fi is free in all public areas. An impressive sundeck surrounds Vancouver's only year-round indoor/outdoor pool, making it a great spot to laze away a warm day. The happening Yew Restaurant and Bar, with its soaring ceilings, glassed-in private dining room, and 14-seat communal table, focuses on Pacific Northwest sustainable seafood and has a talented team of bartenders. Shoppers and culture-vultures will appreciate the location: The Vancouver Art Gallery is right across the street and the Pacific Centre Mall right next door.—Kasey Wilson
Fairmont Vancouver Waterfront, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L5, Canada
Tel: 800 275 7544 (toll-free), Tel: 604 691 1991
With a prime location right on Vancouver's harbor, this 23-story hotel has some of the city's most spectacular views. The best place to enjoy the panorama is, without a doubt, the heated pool surrounded by an herb garden on the third-floor terrace, which seems to hang suspended between vistas of the North Shore Mountains and Stanley Park. Dinner at the on-site Herons Restaurant, with its two-story panes of glass overlooking city foot traffic, isn't too shabby, either. Most of the 489 classically plush rooms and suites face the harbor, but the Signature suites and rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and especially incredible views—including from the spacious marble bathrooms. For the ultimate in pampering, splurge on a Fairmont Gold Club room featuring a private concierge, complimentary breakfast, and late-afternoon appetizers; you'll quickly grow accustomed to feeling like a member of the royal court. Note that the hotel gets packed during high season because of its proximity to the Alaska cruise ship terminal.—Kasey Wilson
See + Do
Washington's reputation for great local and/or organic wine continues to grow. To do the full wine tour, you'd need to venture to Eastern Washington's Yakima Valley. However, there are about two dozen wineries in the Woodinville area, which is only 45 minutes northeast of Seattle. This group includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington's oldest and most famous winery. Tours and tastings are available daily, and the grounds, which include a French-château–style building, make it a popular day trip (14111 NE 145th St., Woodinville; 425-415-3300; www.ste-michelle.com). Within the city limits, swing by the Tasting Room near Pike Place Market to sample hard-to-find wines from a half-dozen small producers (1924 Post Alley; 206-770-9463). Also stop by the Queen Anne branch of McCarthy & Schiering, the city's best wine merchant, known not only for its comprehensive selection of local wines, but also for a staff that's down-to-earth and welcoming instead of snobby (2401B Queen Anne Ave. N.; 206-282-8500).
See + Do
Art Galleries, Washington
Many of the city's art galleries are clustered around historic Pioneer Square; to get a thorough overview of the neighborhood's offerings, go on one of the monthly First Thursday art walks (www.pioneersquare.org/first_thursday.html). One of the most respected galleries in the city is Greg Kucera. The two-story space gives you a lot to explore; it's an egalitarian mix of big-name artists (you might see a Chuck Close or even a Matisse) and local up-and-comers (212 Third Ave. S.; 206-624-0770; www.gregkucera.com). William Traver Gallery focuses on the Northwest's (and the world's) best glass artists, though it also shows some ceramics and mixed-media sculpture (110 Union St.; 206-587-6501; www.travergallery.com). Seattle's coolest galleries are the sisters Roq La Rue (2312 Second Ave.; 206-374-8977; www.roqlarue.com) and BLVD (2316 Second Ave.; www.blvdart.com). Both are owned by Kirsten Anderson, a champion of the Northwest's more experimental and countercultural artists; Roq La Rue specializes in contemporary pop-culture-influenced pieces, while BLVD focuses on urban street art. Photography buffs should head to Benham Gallery. There's no strict focus to the works shown here, but it leans toward the provocative or the political rather than landscapes or portraiture (1216 First Ave.; 206-622-2480; www.benhamgallery.com).
Inn at the Market, Washington
Seattle, Washington 98101
Tel: 800 446 4484, Tel: 206 443 3600
Seattle's bustling Pike Place Market is clogged with tourists, but this romantic hotel at its heart remains an oasis of calm. You enter through a charming courtyard hung with ivy; the fireplace in the cozy lobby is lit year-round. The 70 rooms are done up in warm, earthy tones, with heavenly Tempur-Pedic mattresses and floor-to-ceiling bay windows. Room service is from Campagne, the inn's formal southern French restaurant. The rooftop deck (accessible only to hotel guests) overlooks the market and Elliott Bay, with the Olympic Mountains beyond. It's the perfect spot to watch the sun set, wine glass (or coffee mug) in hand.—Updated by Aaron Barker