This retro 1950s motor hotel sits on a busy street in Vancouver’s downtown core, just steps from the financial district and bustling shopping areas of Robson and West Georgia streets. With its eye-catching neon sign and pastel paint, it stands out from the crowd.
After a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Burrard was lovingly restored to its original mid-'50s glory and reopened in July 2011 after a five-year closure. The vibe is mid-20th-century L.A. (think Melrose Place, but without the pool and the drama). All rooms are accessible from the central courtyard, which has a lush, junglelike tropical garden with plenty of space to lounge during summer months. The compact rooms come in three colors: turquoise, yellow, or gray, all with matching doors and headboards. All rooms have gleaming white bathrooms with mosaic-tiled floors. Amid the kitschy period detail, a pleasing raft of modern-day extras come included with each stay—free Wi-Fi, HDTV, free calls in North America, a Nespresso machine in each room, and bottled water.
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A killer location on Burrard Street, which cuts through the heart of downtown, leading to Coal Harbour at one end and the foodie delights of Granville Island at the other, the Burrard is ideally placed for an urban vacation but still only 15 minutes' walk from the sand—and jaw-dropping evening views—of Sunset Beach. Stock up on gifts to take home at the heavenly-smelling Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, a must-stop for all sweet-toothed visitors. Work off that maple-syrup fudge with a cycle around the seawall. Head to the world-famous Stanley Park and make a beeline for the beautiful totem poles, carved and hand-painted by the people of the Squamish Nation.
Need to Know
Rooms: 72 rooms; from $85. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Container is the licensed café on the ground floor of the Burrard, open daily and serving snacks and gourmet coffee for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take a glass of BC wine or beer back to enjoy in the courtyard garden. Spa and gym details: No gym or spa, but guests receive passes to a nearby Steve Nash Fitness gym.
Who’s it for: Girl getaways, friends vacationing together, and fans of retro 1950s motor hotels with all the modern conveniences. Our favorite rooms: Room 406 is a king-size room, which boasts a little extra space as it’s on the corner of Burrard Street and has a great view of the neon sign. Room 316 overlooks the courtyard and has two double beds—perfect for a girls’ getaway, with plenty of space for shopping-bag storage. Instant wheels: Upon check-in, bag one of the fleet of pastel cruiser bikes. They come with locks and helmets and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.