Here we go...jumping right in to my first take me TOO feature destination Vancouver, British Columbia.
After Christmas we had the opportunity to rent our house for a few days and take a little getaway. No one was in the mood for skiing and we sort of live in the woods so going to the city was an exciting option for us all. Now we only live about five hours (winter drive time) from Vancouver so it was sort of a semi-staycation for our clan.
If you are going to stay in the city there is much to be said for staying downtown. Not having to drive, the city views and easy access to most everywhere on foot makes it way less stressful. For folks headed to Vancouver by plane the Canada Line (built for the 2010 Olympics) will train take you from the airport, without even stepping outside, right downtown for less than $10. I've done it once before for an appointment and it was easy and fast.
We decided to stay at the Four Seasons Vancouver for our little jaunt. The downtown is full of hotels and accommodations of various price ranges but the whole idea of renting our house was to allow for a treat. As there are five of us the option is often two rooms that are adjoining or a suite with a cot. Also when staying somewhere for several days it's a big bonus to have a dining table and room to play house. The one bedroom suite at the hotel was 895 square feet with two bathrooms and more than enough room to give everyone some personal space.
Our room was on the 21st floor which made for lots of fun people watching below. The outdoor skating rink was just a couple blocks up. The Vancouver Art Gallery was just across the street as well. Sammy had lots of fun walks around there several times a day and we always felt safe while enjoying the sights, day or night.
Right below is the Pacific Center Mall and you can access it from the hotel. Looking down from our suite you could see the little shoppers in the atrium.
We had a looong drive though a snowstorm our first day so that night we ate room service and enjoyed the room and pool. Kiddo meals are only $5-8 via room service which makes it a rather affordable luxury. What kid doesn't like to get their own set of mini salt and pepper shakers to go with their grilled cheese? The waiter also was very sweet and brought a tablecloth and set the table while Ry eagerly awaited his feast at the head of the table in jammies. It was almost 8 p.m. by the time we decided to eat. Room service came in less than 20 minutes and was very good. Hubbie and I shared a big clubhouse sandwich.
It didn't take long for everyone to hunker in. I completely busted Sam for being on the bed in this shot and he was giving me his guilty face. Liam claimed he wasn't on the bed he was on him, technically true, but still the little Ewok got kicked off by meanie Mom.
So you are probably wondering how five people slept on one bed? We didn't. There was a double pull out sofa in the living area and a nice cot for Liam in our room. Ry's the babe, so he still gets primmo parking between Mom and Dad in the king bed. That allowed us to put the younger boys to sleep in the bedroom and stay up later in the main living space watching silly TV and hanging out with Noah. It all worked rather well except next time we might consider doing two queens in the bedroom so Ry and Liam could sleep together and we could have our own bed...or more than likely knowing us one parent would be with one kid in each bed. They are only little once and those sleepy cuddles are golden and some of the best treats of holidays.
Basic WiFi was also included with our room. Last time I stayed at a Westin I had to pay $20/day to connect which was rather ridiculous. We also paid extra to have a pooch, $25/day so these are little things that add up that are worth considering when picking a city destination. I'm actually a little put off by the Westin in general lately based on a terrible customer service experience in Palm Springs and a so-so stay last time in Vancouver. I shouldn't center them out but these disappointments are still fresh in my mind as the Westin isn't an inexpensive place to stay either.
Okay, I am a horrible complainer so let's round up this first segment on a positive note...hotel goodies!
I adore Verbena and L'Occitane in general, so it was lovely to have Shea and Verbena soaps and toiletries to use. The maid was rather generous and we had two bathrooms so I also got to take a few soaps home to enjoy and the boys will have luxurious hair after hockey with the leftover travel sizes in their bags.
There was no messing around with a mini glass pot and a tea bag of drab coffee to brew...our room had a Nespresso Machine with an assortment of rich pods to choose from. BEST of all, and what I'm swooning for at home is the milk frother shown in this image. Just pour in your milk and it heats and froths in a jiffy. Two decaf lattes to wind off our first night....life was sweet at the Four Seasons Vancouver.
Next segment we actually leave the room! To be continued very soon.