Hotels in Vancouver with good transit access
July 19, 2014 10:38 PM   Subscribe

We're off for a late-booked trip to Vancouver in August and need to find a place to stay. Most hotels are booked in the West End/Downtown/Yaletown area. What hotels would you recommend that are moderately ($100-200) priced with easy transit access to tourist attractions? We'd like to use public transit if possible, but can rent a car if public transit is infeasible. We will have at least one member of our party who can't walk longish distances, and a toddler to deal with as well, so frequent bus changes may be a challenge. We were looking at the Holiday Inn Express Burnaby, is this a sane choice?
posted by benzenedream to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My wife, her parents, and I spent 5 nights recently in the Asian Garden Suite, run by the Kitsilano Heritage House B&B. It's about 2 blocks from a bus line that runs to downtown; 1 bus change to Stanley Park, and Granville Island is accessible without a change. If you can walk about half a mile, you can also pick up the 99 bus on Broadway to the UBC campus (Japanese garden, treetop walk, anthropology museum, etc.). Depending on how many are in your group, it might be cheaper than a hotel, and the kitchen is reasonably well equipped for cooking in the flat.

Otherwise, hotels/B&Bs on the Skytrain lines would be worth considering. We're staying Monday night at the Douglas Guest House before a Tuesday morning flight from YVR; I don't yet know if it's worthwhile, but the online reviews were quite positive.
posted by brianogilvie at 11:25 PM on July 19, 2014

That hotel looks to be near Metrotown, which is on the SkyTrain line. It's a bit of a ride to downtown, but it's not terrible. It'll be kind of a hike if you want to go to Kitsilano or other attractions. TransLink has a trip planner if you want to get a sense of things.

I'm surprised there's nothing free downtown. There are some B&Bs tucked into the core. Have you checked Airbnb? There are a lot of apartments in the downtown core, and a lot of people renting out space in their homes for some extra money. A friend of mine just stayed right by Jericho Beach for less than a hotel would have cost her.

There's a hotel on Granville Island, which is quite handy. Did you check that? Also, what about hotels on the North Shore? There are a few just on the other side of the Lions Gate Bridge (Capilano Road, I think) that I imagine would be reasonably priced. They'd be even closer than Metrotown to downtown, depending on where you want to go. Check the Lonsdale area of the North Shore, too. Google tells me the Pinnacle Hotel is around $200 a night. There's a SeaBus that goes straight across to Vancouver from Lonsdale Quay. It's a quick and beautiful ride. Not far at all.
posted by peterdarbyshire at 12:14 AM on July 20, 2014

I think the Holiday Inn in Burnaby would be just fine, it's at Metrotown (a big mall) and right on the Skytrain. You'll be downtown in 15 min. I wouldn't stay on the north shore unless you plan to stay there a lot and do a lot of hiking, transit isn't as good and crossing bridges is a nightmare. The seabus will take just as long as the Skytrain, and it doesn't come as often.
posted by piper4 at 6:52 AM on July 20, 2014

The last time I visited Vancouver I stayed at the Hotel Moda downtown, which looks to be around $150/night. It's right downtown, a block from Granville St where most of the main bus lines run, and 2/3 blocks from the Skytrain. I checked some random dates in August and it looked available but maybe there's a convention or some big event on the dates you're going.
posted by Gortuk at 7:19 AM on July 20, 2014

The Burnaby Holiday Inn is next to the skytrain and a large mall. Probably 20 - 30 minutes to downtown via skytrain. Right now there is a lot of construction around the mall.
You may want to search the Richmond area - which is closer to the airport and it also has the skytrain that runs to downtown and the airport.
Or the Broadway/Cambie area in Vancouver (there is a Holiday Inn there), which can be listed as "downtown" but sits just above the downtown core (nice views of the downtown!). It's maybe a 20 minute walk to Yaletown and downtown and it is close to skytrain.
posted by what's her name at 8:46 AM on July 20, 2014

In early July I got a last-minute hotel booking in the West End/Downtown area (a Ramada near Granville and Davie) using the mystery hotel feature on HotWire, for about $125. It was nothing special but it was available and cheap.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:55 AM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you're going to Vancouver, no I wouldn't suggest staying in Burnaby! Not a sane choice with a toddler or older folks. It's near a mall and skytrain, but not near any of the things that makes Vancouver an amazing place to live and visit.

If you can't find a hotel, look into an Airbnb. I really wouldn't want to be a tourist and staying in Burnaby, sorry.
posted by barnone at 10:25 AM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you tell us your dates, I'll take a look and see what is available. Right now the Best Western Downtown is available for $172 on the last weekend of August. Way better than shlepping out to Burnaby. You're not going to find something in a good location for $100 in Vancouver in August.
posted by barnone at 10:29 AM on July 20, 2014

Hotel Schmotel.

Airbnb, until the end of time, Airbnb!

How's this?
posted by Cosine at 10:57 AM on July 20, 2014

Best answer: That Holiday Inn Express in the middle of a huge construction area, as everything around it has been torn down and is being turned into condos. I'd pass on it.

Seconding Air B&B - always nice to have the comforts of home while away.

It'd be handy to know what attractions you're hoping to check out too!
posted by at 11:28 AM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Hotwire. Sort according to number of stars, and then sort according to prices. I have never been disappointed with Hotwire, I have used it for a dozen stays by now.

Re your hotel in Burnaby - it's near two malls ( Metrotown and Crystal ) near a major thoroughfare, and it's not in a safe neighborhood, after dark. I'd give it a pass.
posted by seawallrunner at 2:43 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

The last trip we made to Vancouver, we stayed at the Best Western Sands near Davie and Denman. It was great. Its' close to Stanley Park and English Bay Beach and it was easy buses to get around. It's further form the skytrain, but it didn't seem to matter.

The Best Western site wouldn't accept my Canadian credit card when I tried to book, so it might be worth while calling hotel directly.
posted by TORunner at 6:31 PM on July 20, 2014

Response by poster: The dates are between Aug 13 and 20th, two rooms, four adults, which is part of the problem.

Attractions we hope to see are Stanley Park, the UBC Campus and Museum of Anthropology, Richmond Night Market, Vancouver Police Museum, Vandusen Garden Hedge Maze, so far, but no real must-sees.
posted by benzenedream at 9:11 PM on July 20, 2014

Park Inn on Broadway might be your best bet hotel-wise - it's not amazing, but if you're not planning to be there a ton then it'll be perfectly serviceable and in your price range.

It's relatively close (walkable) to the Canada Line train which will take you to the Richmond Night Market no sweat (and to wthin a short bus ride from Van Duesen), as well as Downtown to the edge of Gastown (Police Museum). There are frequent buses to UBC on Broadway.

You're also not a long walk from there to Granville Island (which has a cute teeny aquabus to English Bay which will lead you to Stanley Park) and has a bunch of interesting shops and restaurants as well. The area around the hotel is safe and there's quite a bit as coffee shops, restaurants etc go.

Good luck and welcome to Vancouver!

Edit: Argh, I just noticed your dates. The Holiday Inn on Broadway (which is quite near Park Inn on the same street and thus all above comments apply) has availability on those dates for 4 adults, 2 rooms, from $187 according to their website.
posted by at 10:38 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here's a 2-bedroom suite in a good location for $393 a night during your dates. It's gorgeous, good location, and has kitchen which will help you keep restaurant costs lower (easy to make a quick breakfast before heading out!). I'd do this one million times faster than staying in Richmond or Burnaby. It has a rooftop pool!
posted by barnone at 7:40 AM on July 21, 2014

Or if you search on Hotwire, there's a place with 85% recommended for $202 a night. The last person booking that level of hotel got the Sutton Place, which based on this list of Hotwire 5 star hotels in that neighborhood is likely the usual hotel. It's not really a 5-star hotel but it's totally fine for the price and location.
posted by barnone at 7:49 AM on July 21, 2014

Response by poster: Update: Thanks for all the tips. AirBNB was a bust. There are plenty of places willing to rent to couples but not very many with 3 beds which would allow a toddler to stay, at least ones that were not already booked far in advance. Also looked at Homegain/VRBO, with no better luck.

Luckily, due to some trip dropouts, we ended up needing only one king bed and went for the Listel Hotel, which seems centrally located. Otherwise the Holiday Inn on Broadway was the only place available for two rooms and three beds.

Moral of the story: If other travellers are waffling and making life difficult, just book early with reasonable cancellation policies since they will probably bail out.
posted by benzenedream at 11:01 PM on July 29, 2014

That's great! One fun and not obvious little activity is to take the Aquabus up False Creek and to Science World or loop around to Granville Island. It's a super cute tiny ferry that kids usually love. Granville Island has a lovely fresh market to explore, fun shops and a whole section called the Kids Market. There are usually some street performers or musicians, food you can eat outside by the water and it's a casual outing with a good view of the city.
posted by barnone at 7:32 AM on July 30, 2014

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