Five Favorite Vancouver Hotels for Families: From cheap to posh

We’re celebrating Vancouver, BC with a week’s worth of Vancouver- and BC-centered posts. I’ll give you the skinny on my favorite kid-friendly hotels, restaurants and activities.

Our family always stays in the downtown core or in the West End. The downtown core is convenient for catching the SkyTrain to Science World and walking along Vancouver’s “high street” – Robson Street. Downside: Very expensive parking, often starting at around $20/day. The West End is convenient to Stanley Park (which will soon become your kids’ favorite park in the whole world) and offers a U.N.-worthy selection of inexpensive, international eateries. I personally avoid staying anywhere along upper Granville street (before you hit Robson) or too near the Gastown neighborhood; both are too noisy and crazy at night for my taste. However, those areas are just fine for young people who like to party.

Here are my top recommendations. We’ve stayed at many more Vancouver hotels over the years. If you’d like my opinion on a possible hotel, e-mail me at lora AT cascadiakids.com and I’ll let you know what I think. I’m sure there are additional hotels that could be added to our list here – add your recommendation if you like. You’ll also find more recs in my book, Northwest Kid Trips: Portland, Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver.

Favorite Kid-Friendly Hotels in Vancouver, British Columbia:

The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver This bright hotel sits right on the edge of Stanley Park and offers expansive views of Coal Harbor. There’s a pedestrian path right in front of the Bayshore Westin – go northwest toward the park’s Vancouver aquarium and water playgrounds, or east toward the Coal Harbour Community playground and gelaterias. You can’t lose! This 511-room upscale hotel is a family favorite; kids love the children’s pack with toy treats and a free in-room movie. An incredible outdoor pool for sunny, warm days and an indoor pool for cloudy, cool days. It’s not cheap, however, and when we’ve stayed, we’ve stayed with Priceline (but the hotel doesn’t come up often). Posh.

Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. This hotel often comes up on Priceline. Thank goodness. Despite being part of a large chain, this Marriott quickly feels homey – we’ve seen the same staff working the front door for years. Guest rooms with two doubles work well for young families, and the location places you right down the street from the Coal Harbour seawall, movie theaters and Robson Street. Kids are welcome in the 52-foot indoor lap pool. For a splurge, try the morning breakfast buffet or pick up one of the online booking packages with breakfast included. The hearty spread is worth the expense. Posh.

Times Square Suites. I’ll come out with it – this is my hands-down favorite spot in Vancouver. I love the location (right next to Stanley Park), the suite amenities (full kitchen, washer/dryer, separate sleeping area for grownups or kids) and the affordable parking. I love popping over to either a community or Granville Island market and picking up seasonal vegetables, locally made sauces and fresh pasta to cook right in my room. It is the place I always recommend to vacationing families, and you can often score a great deal by booking through their online site. The only downside: This aparthotel is right at a busy corner, so windows facing the street can get noisy, particularly on summer weekend evenings. Ask for a quieter room if you’re sensitive to noise (I am). It’s not the most luxe or fashionably appointed building, but it’s got everything a family needs to have a fantastic Vancouver stay. Cheap to midrange, depending upon season.

Rosellen Suites. If the Times Square is too expensive for my weekend or I want a quiet place to stay, I opt for the Rosellen Suites. This hotel offers very spacious, family-friendly rooms that were once apartments; some rooms have been updated, others are a bit more worn. If a low price is your primary concern, go with the older “classic” suites, which are just fine if you’re not super picky. If you’re on the pickier side, go with the Personality Suites. Either way, you’ll find TVs, kitchens, free WiFi, and one- or two-bedroom options. The Katharine Hepburn Penthouse Suite is super-swank with over 1900 square feet of room, lovely contemporary furniture, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Cheap.

Granville Island Hotel. The upside: Wonderful location, right in the heart of Granville Island, where you’ll find a children’s market, a children’s theater, fresh and inexpensive restaurants, a playground and waterpark. Downside: Very small quarters for a family. Plan accordingly (as in, plan to be outside, enjoying your wonderful location).  Families who are planning to make Vancouver their big-city, big-ticket vacation can request a luxurious Penthouse room, which comes with a Jacuzzi that looks out over False Creek. Niiice! Posh.

Bonus rec: If you’re going with teens who enjoy vintage style or a stroller- or sling-carried baby  — or even if you’re going on a parents-only holiday weekend — you may want to look into the character-rich Sylvia Hotel, located on English Bay. It’s a lovely, historic property, but the location makes it more of a haul for little legs. Cheap.

About Lora

Lora Shinn writes about travel for regional and local publications, including AAA Journey, National Geographic Traveler, Bankrate.com, Natural Health and Whole Living.

Comments

  1. I would be interested in feedback on other Vancouver suites/apt hotels. I understand the Sutton has apt hotel rms for under $300/nt, and currently, the Rosellen is running in the $250+ range. Is that worth it for the Rosellen? Love the location but Trip ADvisor makes it seem a bit run down. We are limited as we also have a small dog. Has anyone stayed at the Pendrell Suites, the Coast hotels, or other Jr suties or 1 BR? Kitchens arent a priority but we do like to have a separate sleep area for the kid. THANKS!

  2. Hi Robin. I will e-mail you about your specific search, but yeah, summer becomes expensive and difficult if everyone’s already booked the inexpensive rooms/properties. I’ll try to condense our e-mail conversation and repost it here (with your permission).

  3. We stayed at Sutton Place’s Grande Residence apartments during TBEX. It was ideal with a toddler — full kitchen for the win! (In fact, I actually followed this link because I wondered whether you included the Grande Residence….) We got it on Hotwire, for I believe around $145/night. Don’t know what the normal rates are, but I’m sure we couldn’t afford them!

  4. @Tara, thnx for the feedback re Sutton Grande Residence. Were the apts as nice as theSutton hotel? (supposed to be quite posh). The apts are approx $250 for a 1BR AND they take pets!. The Rosellen is $210 for a “Classic” rm which Lora has pointed out could be a bit “worn”. The Westin Bayshore is also running a special on their Jr suite, around $275, but of course no kitchen, just a small separate sleeping area. What did you think of the location of the Sutton? Thnx for the info!

  5. Robin, just make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. I think the Rosellen $250+ rate is for a two-bedroom (which may be all that’s available) and they are VERY large rooms, more like a full-scale apartment. They aren’t really trashed or anything, so by “worn,” I don’t mean that they’re unkempt or broken. Just well-loved. I can’t speak to the Sutton, so I would suggest e-mailing Tara directly.

  6. Hi there,
    I am hoping you can help. I am taking my 10 and 8 year olds up from CA to OR, WA and ultimately Vancouver the first week of April. I think of these locations I need like 3 days in BC. Am I correct and can you please share your top places we must see while in BC? I really want to maximize all we can do and see there and dont want to miss out. BTW- the kids love markets and parks and anything fun and I love the outdoors and good food (even market food). I know we will do Stanly Park and Capilano and assume that will be one whole day. Thank you so much. Your site has been so helpful and I am thankful that I stumbled upon it.

  7. Hi Evelyn! Take a look at this page: http://www.cascadiakids.com/things-to-do-kids-vancouver/ If you have more questions, feel free to e-mail me or leave another comment. I’m very happy to help!

Trackbacks

  1. […] 4. Vancouver being the family-friendly city that it is, it’s a favorite place of family travel blogger Lora Shinn. This week, Lora’s website, Cascadia Kids, featured  Seven Funky, Must-Visit Vancouver Stores and Five Favorite Vancouver Hotels for Families: From cheap to posh. […]

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