vancouverVancouver is a city where skyscrapers soarheavenwards in an attempt to outreach themountains behind them. In between, at the end oflong streets edged with pavement cafés, designer boutiquesand eclectic stores, strips of Pacific Ocean flashtemptingly. Named after the English sailor Captain George Vancouver,who landed here in 1792, Canada's third largest city currentlyranks fourth in the world for highest quality of life - and aftera few days here it's abundantly clear how it earned its place.This is where Greenpeace was established in the 1970s, andthanks to its natural beauty and celebration of the great outdoorsthe city offers excellent opportunities for hiking, biking,sailing and skiing - the latter of which won it the honour ofhosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. But this is also a city forshopping, nightlife, culture and fine cuisine.Vancouver is an ideal destination for a relaxed and inspiredcity visit on a Pacific Northwest cruise, or if you're heading upto Alaska, but the region also lends itself to longer visits, whichcan embrace the nearby legendary ski resort of Whistler, or thespectacular Canadian Rockies.PILLOW TALKThe Pan Pacifichas one of Vancouver's finest views as it sitsatop a pier overlooking the harbour, Coastal Mountain Range,Stanley Park and the city skyline. But scenic settings comeaplenty in this city. The Shangri-Laoccupies the first 15 floorsof the tallest building in Vancouver, and many of the rooms haveprivate balconies and boast the largest bathrooms in the city,complete with televisions. The waterfront penthouse at theGranville Island Hotelis also loved for its wraparound balcony,Jacuzzi tub, fireplace and sky-lit glass and marble shower. Orwind your way through the waterfalls and gardens of RobsonSquare to the landmark, family-run Wedgewood Hotel & Spa.This award-winning boutique property has 83 rooms and suites48Isea&iISPRING-SUMMER 2011
SPRING-SUMMER 2011I sea&iI49cityguideClockwise from mainpicture:striking viewsfrom downtown; the Pan Pacific pool; theprime minister suite at the Four Seasons;overlooking GranvilleIsland Market Ocean, mountains and forests make Vancouver one of the most scenic cities in the world. Throw in designer shops, acclaimed restaurants and a compelling vibe and you have a true urban idyllByKate Rigbythat are filled with flowers, antiques and works of art. There aretwo floors of penthouse suites with garden patios and spa-inspired marble bathrooms. As always, the Four Seasons Hotelis perfectly located - just a block from famous Robson Streetand minutes from Gastown and Stanley Park. Among many ofits attractions is its split-level prime minister suite with livingand dining area, two bathrooms and one- or two-bedroomconfigurations. The Fairmont Hotelis another five-star choicewith a state-of-the-art health club, spa, designer boutiques andaward-winning restaurants. For an old classic with new charm,the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, opening in May, blends theglamour of the 1920s with modern excellence (see page 28).EAT, DRINK, DANCEEAT.Vancouver is spoilt for choice when it comes to dining,including the two restaurants of Michelin-starred chef DanielBoulud. Having earned three Michelin stars for Daniel, his NewYork restaurant, Boulud brings his winning formula toVancouver at DB Bistro Moderneand Lumière. Another three-Michelin starred internationally acclaimed New York chefmaking his Canadian debut is Jean-Georges Vongerichten,who brings his talents to the Market by Jean-Georgesat theShangri-La Hotel. Also flying the flag for hotel restaurants isGriffinsat the Fairmont, which garners awards on an annualbasis and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For seafood,try Coast, in the heart of downtown, and for a classic old-fashioned seafood and chop house, book into the legendaryJoe Fortes- an award-winning restaurant for 25 years andreputedly Vancouver's best oyster bar. You'll find it just offRobson Street. Alternatively, Yaletown has more than 60restaurants to tempt every taste.DRINK.Subeezis great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch,cocktails and beers, while the 900 West Loungeat the FairmontHotel is known for its perfect dry vodka martini, jazz?