Working out where to stay in Vancouver that won’t break the bank but also won’t see you getting all too familiar with the city’s less savoury side can be something of a conundrum – but this guide is here to help! You’ll find the lowdown on different city locations and neighbourhoods in this Vancouver accommodation guide as well as reviews of my top places to stay.
This post uses compensated affiliate links – thank you for supporting Soul Travel. For more info, read my disclosure here.
If you’re planning a trip to the diverse city of Vancouver in British Columbia, then this guide is for you! First on your list of trip planning is likely to be where to stay in Vancouver BC.
Vancouver is one of Canada’s biggest cities, and certainly one of the most beautifully situated. It can be found on the west coast of Canada. The city has a busy working seaport, and is backed by mountains. Its arts and cultural scenes are thriving, and due to its photogenic nature it’s also often used as a TV and movie location.
During my time living over on Vancouver Island (completely separate to the city of Vancouver), when I did make it over to Vancouver on the mainland, it couldn’t help but make a positive impression!
When it comes to the best hotels in Vancouver and the best places to stay in Vancouver in terms of neighbourhoods, this guide will introduce you to all this fine city has to offer. As well as 11 of the best hotels in Vancouver, Canada, also covered are outlines of six of the best areas. Then you can decide which is the best area to stay in Vancouver for you.
Whether you’re wondering where to stay in Vancouver with a family, for a solo trip, with friends or as a couple, this guide will help you decide between places to stay in Vancouver BC. You’ll soon find there are Vancouver places to stay for everyone, from cheap hotels in Vancouver BC to the ultimate in five star style and luxury.
Before deciding the best location to stay in Vancouver, Canada, you might want to think about when to visit. June to September is the warmest, driest time of year, but also the busiest. March to May or October to November are good if you want to dodge the crowds – and perhaps benefit from lower prices too.
Let’s get started on where to stay in Vancouver, Canada by exploring half a dozen desirable neighbourhoods.
Vancouver – Where to Stay – Quick Comparison Chart
|Hotel Name||Check Rates / Book Now||Budget||Area||Best For|
|The Listel Hotel||$$$$||West End||Modern art & close to Stanley Park|
|Granville Island Hotel||$$$$||Granville Island||Waterside life, markets & local feel|
|Pan Pacific Vancouver||$$$$$||Coal Harbour||Iconic 5* Vancouver hotel right on Coal Harbour with amazing views|
|Fairmont Vancouver||$$$$$||Downtown||Iconic Canadian hospitality, location & indoor pool|
|The Sylvia Hotel||$$$||West End||Great prices for the waterfront views - but you'll have to get in quick|
|L'Hermitage Hotel||$$$$||Downtown||5* rooms at a 4* price in Downtown|
|Victorian Hotel Gastown||$$$||Gastown||History lovers|
|Samesun Hotel||$$$||Downtown||Sociable solo travellers on a budget|
|Vancouver Traveller B&B||$$||Kitsilano||Beachside vibes & local feel|
|Lonsdale Quay Hotel||$$$||North Vancouver||Waterfront location in North Van with easy access to the city via Seabus|
|Riverfront Bed & Breakfast||$$||North Vancouver||Closer to nature, peace & quiet within reach of the city|
Finding the Best Neighbourhood to stay in Vancouver, BC
This area guide to the best area to stay in Vancouver, BC also includes where not to stay in Vancouver. Covered here is where to stay in downtown Vancouver, such as Coal Harbour and Downtown, as well as areas that are a little further out. Here’s a rundown of six of the best areas to stay in Vancouver.
- Coal Harbour & Downtown – As you’d expect, the downtown area is very central and offers great transit links too. If you’re pondering where to stay in Vancouver for one night, where to stay in Vancouver for the first time or where to stay in Vancouver without a car, then Coal Harbour and the downtown district is ideal. Coal Harbour is a hub for Vancouver’s public transport network, and you can catch a Seabus or connect with two Skytrain lines here. Accommodation closer to the centre is ideal for those visiting the city without a car. This area is where you’ll find Canada Place, lots of seafront restaurants and the cruise terminal. It’s also near Stanley Park and the city’s CBD.
- Gas Town – This area definitely has its upsides and downsides. As by staying here you’ll be in the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district, it can be the answer to where is the best place to stay in Vancouver for nightlife. However this area is also right on the edge of the crime and drug ridden neighbourhood Downtown Eastside. So while you get vibrant bars, live music venues, late night clubs and great whisky, you also need to be a little wary about where you wander – especially after dark. Stay close to the steam clock, lookout tower and cobbled streets if you want to stay safe: This can be the best Vancouver neighbourhood to stay in for history lovers too. Don’t stay in, or take a stroll around, nearby Downtown Eastside.
- Kitsilano – The Kitsilano area offers beachside vibes while still being reasonably central. However, accommodation here is mostly in airbnbs, and the good ones tend to get booked up super fast by people seeking places to stay in Vancouver BC by the beach. So instead you could consider staying on nearby Granville island, or at Jericho beach, both of which are an easy distance away (the latter is further out and you’ll need a car). Kitsilano is the city’s most popular beach, and accommodation prices are high in the area as a result. In this case, the best part of Vancouver to stay in comes at a price!
- Granville Island – This area is perfect when you want a quieter residential neighbourhood. Local attractions include the Granville Island public market, plus there are plenty of cafes and eating places to pick from in this part of town. For foodies asking “where should I stay in Vancouver”, this district is up there with the best.
- West End – The West End is convenient for Stanley Park, and thus great for families seeking the best places to stay in Vancouver for families. Sunset Beach is also close by, and it’s a laid-back, gay-friendly neighbourhood with a surprisingly generous amount of green space. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to sample in this part of the city, and you can walk to the beach. For the LGBTQ scene, it’s also the city’s top spot. On the downside, this area isn’t the best for public transport: buses are more of an option than Skytrain services here.
- North Vancouver – This area is perfect for outdoor lovers, and is also en route to Whistler and close to the Capilano suspension bridge. The downside, though, is that there is virtually no transport. You will need a rental car if you decide to stay here – it’s not the best area to stay in Vancouver without a car. Taking the Seabus may be an option, however, if you’re staying close to the terminal.
Best Hotels in Vancouver – Reviews
Ready to find some amazing places to stay in Vancouver? These are some of my faves.
The Listel (West End)
Best for – modern art and Stanley Park
The Listel has to be, hands-down, one of the most cool places to stay in Vancouver BC. It’s themed around contemporary art, with rooms even having “modern art” or “gallery” in their names. The Listel can be found in the West End, a top pick for where to stay when visiting Vancouver.
Stanley Park is a ten minute walk from the property, and on the premises there’s a relaxed restaurant and bar. You can sample British Columbian produce here, or enjoy brunch on weekends. Due to the proximity of the popular park, this is for many the best area to stay in Vancouver with kids, and there are plenty of family rooms to choose from.
Rooms offer at least 300 square feet of space, and come equipped with air conditioning, a coffee machine, a flatscreen TV, WiFi and a work desk. The hotel also offers a 24-hour front desk, a guest gym and even private parking.
Granville Island Hotel (Granville Island)
Best for – waterside life and a local feel
A sure-fire contender for the best neighbourhood to stay in Vancouver for foodies is Granville Island. The Granville Island Hotel is situated here, about two miles from the city centre. The position of the property is impressive – it’s right by the water and a couple of local parks.
For extra space, book a Premium Balcony Double here, which comes with two double beds and is therefore well suited to families. This is also among the best places to stay in Vancouver for couples, and smaller rooms for two are also available.
Hotel amenities include a gym, sauna and jacuzzi, a restaurant and bar and a front desk that’s open 24/7. Every room is individually styled, and offers a coffee machine, a fully stocked minibar and cable TV. Bikes can be rented here on site, and Granville Island Public Market is just five minutes away on foot.
Pan Pacific Vancouver (Coal Harbour)
Best for – five star style and substance
If it’s your first time in Vancouver, where to stay is somewhere central, safe and with great transport links. The Coal Harbour area ticks all of those boxes, and the Pan Pacific Vancouver specifically offers a superb standard of facilities and service too.
This five star property is not only in the best area to stay in Vancouver, Canada. It’s also right by the city’s cruise terminal, so you can expect magnificent ocean views. Expect luxurious rooms with marble bathrooms, and there’s plenty to pick from that are big enough to accommodate a family. Pets are also permitted to stay here.
With a skytrain station just 400 yards away, an Asian fusion restaurant, a deluxe spa, an outdoor pool, a cocktail bar, a gym and a wealth of other facilities, this is the perfect pick for those seeking substance as well as style for a Vancouver sojourn.
Fairmont Vancouver (Downtown)
Best for – an indoor pool and the city centre
The Fairmont Vancouver is centrally located in the downtown district. The City Centre Skytrain station is just five minutes from the front door, and an indoor swimming pool is among the five star facilities you can expect when staying here. For those deciding where to stay in Vancouver as a tourist, locations don’t really get any better.
To give you a real sense of place, some accommodation also comes with sweeping city views. If not you can enjoy these from various public spaces, which include the Notch8 lobby restaurant and bar, the Health Club at Fairmont with a pool, spa and sauna and a business centre.
Numerous rooms at The Fairmont Vancouver come with two double beds or a sofa bed, so it’s an option for where to stay around Vancouver when you travel as a family. All accommodation is air conditioned, with en suite bathroom, minibar, flatscreen TV and coffee machine.
The Sylvia Hotel (West End)
Best for – ocean views at a pocket-friendly price
The next pick takes us back to the West End. The Sylvia Hotel is a three star property, making it a possibility for anyone wondering where to stay in Vancouver on a budget. Despite the modest price tag, the hotel offers ocean views and a range of spacious guest rooms. For the English Bay location it’s a steal, so be sure to book up fast.
Even standard rooms here offer a lounge area and 500 square feet of space. All are supplied with free WiFi, have flatscreen TVs and are squeaky clean with very comfortable beds. Pets are permitted, and the restaurant on site has a lovely terrace offering sea views.
If the best location to stay in Vancouver BC, for you, is one with ocean panoramas and a pleasing price tag, grab a room at The Sylvia Hotel before they all go!
L’Hermitage Hotel (Downtown)
Best for – five star style at four star rates
This delightful boutique-style property is located in a real contender as the best area to stay in – downtown Vancouver. It’s a four star hotel with an elegant feel, and even has a hot tub plus a saltwater outdoor pool.
L’Hermitage is around five minutes’ walk from the central Skytrain station, with various city centre attractions ten minutes or less away on foot. To keep you occupied while on site, there’s a gym, the seasonal outdoor pool and a restaurant and bar.
Room rates are reasonable here too, especially when you factor in that this is probably the best place to stay in Vancouver for tourists who want to explore.
Victorian Hotel (Gastown)
Best for – character, history and a sense of place
Victorian Hotel in Gastown is where to book into if you want some sense of the history in Vancouver. It’s the best location to stay for discovering the character-packed Gastown district. The property itself has an industrial look, with exposed brickwork, long drapes and hardwood floors.
This three star Vancouver hotel uses only eco-conscious products for cleaning, and features period furnishings and detailing throughout. The structure itself dates back to the end of the 19th century. You can walk to the Granville Skytrain station from here in around five minutes, which is ideal for discovering the wider area.
If you’re considering where to stay in Vancouver for cheap rates, book a double or King room with a shared bathroom to get extra bang for your buck.
Samesun Vancouver (Downtown)
Best for – sociable solo travellers on a budget
The Samesun in Vancouver is a pocket-friendly find offering a range of accommodation options. You can book a bed in a 4, 6 or 8 bed dorm, or opt for a private double. The latter is available with en-suite facilities, or access to a shared bathroom at a lower rate.
This isn’t a bad option at all regarding where to stay in the Vancouver area. It’s around a third of a mile to Vancouver City Centre station, and just over half a mile to Sunset Beach. Some central sights are within a mile, and there are local parks, bars, cafes and so on a lot closer.
If you’re deciding where to stay near Vancouver transit links and are on a budget, the Samesun is a good bet. There’s a bar and restaurant on site, and breakfast is provided daily. You can also meet like-minded travellers at the social events organised by the owners.
Vancouver Traveller B&B (near Kitsilano)
Best for – beachside vibes and a local feel
If you fancy staying in a gorgeous home-from-home, then Vancouver Traveller B&B could be the answer. When you ask “where is the best area to stay in Vancouver”, many will name Kitsilano due to its relaxed seaside air.
This accommodation is just south of the Kitsilano area, and has four bedrooms you can book. Get in early, as good places at room rates like this are rare indeed in this part of town. Solo travellers especially appreciate the warm welcome extended at this Vancouver B&B – and the delicious daily breakfast!
As long as you’ll be staying at least two nights in line with the policy, this could be where to stay outside Vancouver city centre for a slice of local – and coastal – life.
The Lonsdale Quay Hotel (North Vancouver)
Best for – ferry access and sea views
If you have a car – and particularly if you’ll be taking the ferry – then this property is perfect. It’s a beautiful place with a boutique look, and with parking on site it’s ideal for drivers. To access the city centre, past guests have also enjoyed taking the Seabus. It takes about 12 minutes to reach the city this way.
So if you’re searching for where to stay in Vancouver before a cruise from Vancouver, this could be a sound choice. North Vancouver is also great for nature lovers as it’s closer to the famous Capilano suspension bridge and plenty of green space. Although North Van is one of Vancouver’s most desirable neighbourhoods, you can sometimes find hotel accommodation here at a cheaper rate than across the water in downtown.
The entrance to the Lonsdale Quay Hotel is situated on the third floor of a popular shopping venue, where you can buy everything from fresh fruit to fine clothing and accessories. Inside, some rooms are pet-friendly, and the hotel also offers a gym and a restaurant.
Riverfront Bed & Breakfast (North Vancouver)
Best for – green space and university visits
If you want to find the best area of Vancouver to stay in for visiting Capilano University, then Riverfront bed and breakfast is ideal. This area is also great for those who appreciate lots of green space. It’s relaxing and peaceful here, but a car is needed to get around and to make the most of your stay.
All rooms here offer river views, and there’s a garden and parking on the premises, Breakfast is served daily, and dishes range from traditional English favourites to Asian specialities. All rooms have private bathrooms, and one comes with a balcony too. They’re all clean, modern and very comfortable.
This is the best location in Vancouver to stay if you value tranquil locations and river views – or are headed to the university close by. There’s a few local amenities within a mile, though the city centre, subway stations and beaches are around four to five miles plus from this property.
Getting the most out of your Vancouver trip – Top things to do in Vancouver
While you’re visiting Vancouver and once you’ve booked yourself a fabulous place to stay in the city, here are just a few of the things to do in Vancouver that you won’t want to miss out on:
- Take a seaplane flight over Vancouver’s spectacular harbour for the best view ever – a truly unforgettable experience for a special weekend away or visit
- If you love spectacular scenery, you’ll definitely want to head out from North Vancouver to see the Capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain on a day trip itinerary like this one
- Head out on a walking / food tour of Vancouver’s most historic neighbourhood, Gastown
- Spend time soaking up the vibes next to the water at Stanley Park
- If you have extra time and want to head further afield, you can do a day trip over to Vancouver Island, to visit the quaint administrative capital of British Columbia, Victoria. Sailing through the gulf islands en route is a truly stunning experience.
More Canada travel guides on Soul Travel: