Conveniently set on a quiet stretch of Robson Street in Vancouver’s West End, the Listel lies a few blocks from the city’s famous Stanley Park, a lively shopping and dining scene, and the seawall that wraps around the downtown waterfront.
The independently owned hotel opened in 1986 as a dedicated art hotel showcasing work from UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, the Buschlen Mowatt Fine Arts Gallery, and the Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale. Two floors have been curated by Biennale founder Barrie Mowatt, with each room exhibiting work from different artists. These rooms feature traditional Regency wallpaper, darker wood, and crown mouldings to better display the art. The Museum Room floors feature artwork from local First Nations artists, with the walls and furnishings echoing the colors of the forest floor and furniture made from traditional hemlock and cedar wood.
The Listel regularly wins awards for its sustainable practices, with solar panels on the roof, a state-of-the-art heat-capture program, and an impressive zero waste to landfill record since 2011.
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The West End is Vancouver’s gay village, with rainbow crosswalks and pink bus shelters on Davie Street, a sandy sunbathing beach at English Bay, and the soaring Douglas firs and woodland trails of Stanley Park at its tip. Robson Street is known as Vancouver’s Rodeo Drive: turn right upon leaving the Listel to find plenty of designer outlets, independent stores, and big-name brands. Turn left and plunge into the city’s best Korean-Japanese dining district, with bubble tea houses, sushi bars, karaoke, and Korean BBQ joints aplenty. Head down toward Coal Harbour to get a photo with the Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 Winter Games, which gets lit on special sporting holidays and occasions but looks pretty spectacular with that mountain view year-round.
Need to Know
Rooms: 119 rooms, 10 suites; from $135. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The award-winning Forage restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch and serves seasonal locavore cuisine, often featuring finds from the chef’s foraging expeditions. Beer and wine are on tap, so guests can explore a little of BC by the glass. Try the seafood chowder; it has won the sustainable seafood Ocean Wise program’s Chowder Chowdown contest twice. Spa and gym details: No spa, but a fitness room is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. In-room massages can be arranged.
Who’s it for: Sophisticated leisure travelers who like art and care about the environment. Business travelers seeking a break from the norm. Our favorite rooms: The Carmelo Sortino suite on the Artist Series floor has a classic deco feel with huge paintings of fruit and vegetables—perfect for foodies. On the Museum floor, room 626 has a balcony, which overlooks Robson Street. Fill your glass: Join other guests in the lobby for the nightly hosted "wine hour" 5 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the hotel pours complimentary BC wine.