The 7 Best Hotels in Vancouver for a Truly Local Stay

Find the perfect hotel for your visit to this dreamy British Columbia city.

Exterior of the Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver

The Sylvia is one hotel that’s great for seeing a lesser-seen side of Vancouver.

Photo by Farts Pfotografy/Shutterstock

Travel to Vancouver, and you’ll see a different side of the city within every area you come across. Stand in Chinatown’s neon-lit streets or look up to Coal Harbour’s glass skyscrapers and you’re transported to Asia. Between Yaletown’s stretch of alternating taco, boba, and sushi joints and Kits Point’s wealthy-hippie-beach vibe, it’s easy to feel like you’re in California. Even a Scottish village vibe can be found in the tidy garden cottages of English Bay.

Choosing a place to stay in this Canadian city depends on your personal tastes, your budget, and your plans. But with a large number of hotels in town and more slated to open, there’s something for everyone, including a climate-conscious boutique hotel and a distinctly Pacific Northwest–flavored outpost from a well-known chain. We’ve picked seven of our favorites to share.

1. Sylvia Hotel

  • Book now: Sylvia Hotel
  • Great for: Visitors eager to see a lesser-seen side of Vancouver, beachgoers, runners
  • Neighborhood: English Bay

The Sylvia, a waterfront classic amid quiet blocks of garden cottages in English Bay, is immaculately maintained but decidedly unfancy. Much of the hotel clientele seems to fall into two groups: couples from the provinces (“We honeymooned here 35 years ago!”) and rock-and-roll types complete with Matador Records tote bags, black clothes, and hairdos that wouldn’t do in most office settings.

Inside the eight-story, 1912 building, the elevator is small and the hallways are rather dimly lit. But the 120 sunny, generously sized rooms and guest suites feel more like beach apartments than overnight digs. The suites feature a separate kitchen and comfortable sitting room as well as enormous closets. The one bit of decoration undertaken in the rooms and halls has impact and charm: Framed historic photos of sunbathers and swimmers at the beach across the street.

The Sylvia’s busy bar and restaurant, with broad picture windows overlooking English Bay, is a favorite spot with locals for a drink at sunset or after a run along the nearby seawall or Stanley Park. The surrounding neighborhood is anchored by Denman Street, a stretch of varied food options and independent shops only a two-minute walk away.

2. Loden Hotel

  • Book now: Loden Hotel
  • Great for: Business travelers, couples, visitors seeking discreet style
  • Neighborhood: Between Coal Harbour and the West End

This family-owned hotel will make you feel right at home—if your home is beautiful, subtly chic, and perfectly maintained. This residential feeling is a large part of the appeal for the film industry executives who stay here while shooting movies in Vancouver. The lobby, simultaneously intimate and social, features a fireplace and low velvet sofas along the carpeted path to the reception desk.

In the hotel’s 77 guest rooms, notable features include deep soaking tubs, electronic panels to control temperature and music, and a clever built-in bench near the door for putting on shoes. The elegant finishes make you want to linger longer: Bathrooms feature dark granite, deliciously plush bathrobes, and Moulton Brown toiletries.

The hotel’s location, between the construction-mad business district and the resident West End, may bring concern about noise levels but the rooms are absolutely silent, thanks to double-paned windows and sound-baffling heavy curtains. Also, since the Loden is just a block away from the Coal Harbour waterfront, a morning ride along the Stanley Park seawall on the hotel’s complimentary bikes is almost imperative.

Exterior of the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver

Want a fantastic spa experience with sky-high views of the city? Head to this JW Marriott.

Photo by EJ Nickerson/Shutterstock

3. JW Marriott Parq

  • Book now: JW Marriott Parq
  • Great for: Business travelers, sports and fitness fans, spagoers
  • Neighborhood: False Creek waterfront near Chinatown

Like other outposts of the luxury chain, this JW Marriott features a tranquil spa with sky-high views of the city, plus 329 quiet and elegant (if somewhat blandly “greige”) guest rooms with business-friendly desks and seating areas. But the JW Marriott at Parq offers a few key differences.

Pacific Northwest-themed paintings, commissioned from local artists sourced through the Rennie Collection, hang in public spaces and offer a distinct sense of place. Guests also have access to a 30,000-square-foot private 6th-floor terrace garden, a rooftop sun deck with a hot tub, and a 24-hour windowed gym on the 17th floor. The hotel’s two high-floor suites, the Sky Suite and the Parq Villa, offer flexible living and entertaining spaces with ridiculous views of the city for those who want to really splash out.

The hotel is an especially good choice for soccer, Canadian football, and rugby fans and concertgoers: the BC Place Stadium is located next door. The hotel shares the building with a sister property, the Douglas, and between the two, guests can enjoy eight bars and restaurants. Notable among the choices is the lobby-level bistro Honey Salt (the PNW-focused menu features local seafood, fresh and smoked B.C. salmon, and several dishes inspired by the cuisines of the city’s immigrant population). The D-6 Bar is a cocktail lounge with a fireplace, spot-lit bookshelves, and a busy pool table. Both places are interesting enough to draw a local crowd.

4. The Douglas

  • Book now: The Douglas
  • Great for: Romantic weekends, design lovers on business trips
  • Neighborhood: False Creek waterfront near Chinatown

The Douglas may be housed in a shiny urban tower in a sophisticated modern city, but it might feel more at home in the evergreen British Columbia rain forest. At the hotel’s spectacular front desk, guests are greeted by a 25-foot section of a Douglas fir tree trunk encased in a glass box, lit from within to show an exploded view of how whole trees are milled into boards.

The design-forward hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, doesn’t leave the woodsy theme behind at reception. Of the 188 guest rooms, 10 are suites, each with a unique layout and furnishings, some bi-level with outdoor space. All rooms are done up in a lumberjack-luxe motif with dark wood headboards, woolen throws, and modern, curvy wood furniture.

Even the hallways to the guest rooms are as dark and moody as a twilight walk in the woods, with pools of light illuminating beautifully grained dark Douglas fir doors. The theme extends to the choice of Aesop toiletries, with their earthy, smoky scents, and a mini-bar gin infused with Douglas fir. The clubby lobby-level bar, D-6, features a bookcase that swings open to reveal a hidden seating area. Floor-to-ceiling windows open out to the sixth-floor “urban park,” a private, landscaped 30,000-square-foot terrace that joins the Douglas and its sister hotel, the JW Marriott Parq.

5. Opus Hotel Vancouver

  • Book now: Opus Hotel Vancouver
  • Great for: Shopping, long weekend getaways
  • Neighborhood: Yaletown waterfront

Opus is perfectly suited to its location in Vancouver’s Yaletown, a former warehouse district now teeming with fun seekers who frequent the area’s bars, restaurants, and design shops. Just uphill from Quayside Marina and the Yaletown ferry stop, and a minute’s walking distance from Mainland and Hamilton Streets (Yaletown’s main drags for bars, restaurants, design shops, and retail diversions), Opus is a great choice for impulsive weekend getaways.

The intense color schemes in the 96 generously sized guest rooms—acid green, hot pink, orange, or a more mellow periwinkle blue—and bold contemporary furniture give it an energetic and urban vibe. A velvet ottoman parked under a bedside table can work as a desk chair or serve as a luggage rack, and an easy-to-access Bluetooth speaker lets guests play their own tunes. In the large bathroom, you’ll find Malin+Goetz toiletries, ultra-mod Dyson hair dryers, and heated floors. The stylish lobby, clad in dark wood walls, has orchid-pink armchairs and an oval reception desk. The inviting bar, off the lobby, doubles as a breakfast room in the morning.


The Listel is a zero-waste operation that’s also in touch with Vancouver’s creative community.

Photo Courtesy of Listel Hotel

6. The Listel

  • Book now: The Listel
  • Great for: Robson Street shopping, proximity to Stanley Park, ecominded visitors, business travelers
  • Neighborhood: West End/Davie Village

Appealing to travelers who want to tread lightly on their destination, the Listel is a zero-waste operation. This means that all trash, from organic waste in the hotel restaurant to airline sticker from your luggage handle, is turned into energy by a local recycling business. Twenty solar panels on the roof supplement the clean hydropower the hotel uses. Instead of plastic water bottles in the 129 guest rooms, etched glass bottles can be refilled with filtered still or sparkling water from stations on every floor.

The Listel is also a showcase of Vancouver’s thriving creative community: The hotel partnered with UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and Buschlen Mowatt Gallery as well as individual artists to showcase artwork in the guest rooms and both art and First Nations artifacts in public spaces. The 21 accommodations on the Museum floor even include commissioned wood desks and dressers made by artists.

In the lobby, guests can nab state-of-the-art e-bikes for rides through nearby Stanley Park. The Listel’s on-site restaurant, Forage, serves one of the best brunches in Vancouver (order the bison hash). In all his menus, chef Welbert Choi is dedicated to using the best local and seasonal ingredients he can find—including oysters, mushrooms, stinging nettles, salmon, and bison.

7. The Burrard

  • Book now: The Burrard
  • Great for: Affordable weekends, group trips, LGBTQ+ travelers
  • Neighborhood: Davie Village

A cheeky 2022 renovation transformed a 1956 motor lodge into a funky, comfortable, and affordable hotel option in this very expensive city. Brightly painted doors enliven three floors of open-air hallways that encircle a palm garden courtyard. Colorful murals with midcentury graphic themes enliven interior stairwells.

Out in the garden, retro-style patio furniture and a turquoise canvas canopy—which keep guests out of the elements on Vancouver’s frequent cool and rainy days—creates a social space around a firepit. The 72 guest rooms have been boosted with sound-absorbing cork floors, colorful upholstery, vintage molded plastic chairs, and contemporary wood furniture. The motel’s location in Davie Village puts it within a 15-minute walk from Yaletown and West End. Complimentary bikes and an attitude-free sense of playfulness among the staff make this a solid choice for an affordable weekend with friends.

In these quiet days leading up to her Powerball win, Ann works as a freelance travel editor and writer. A fan of literature, museums, history, high-minded cinema, and bad television, Ann lives in New York with her husband and two teenaged children. She likes road trips, local bars, getting lost, and laughing, so Ireland ranks high on her list of favorite places.
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