In the world of hotels, the word “budget” tends to describe properties that fall somewhere between bring-your-own-bedroll and don’t-forget-your-gold-card.
Vancouver’s best budget hotels straddle the fine line between economy and elegance. Typically, they also straddle the line between desirable and, shall we say, transitional neighourhoods.
Usually older buildings that have been reinvented as “boutique” properties, they’re not always entirely without warts.
Sometimes the walls are a little too thin, or the old hardwood floors squeak or the water pressure fluctuates at random; consider it part of the charm–and pack earplugs if you’re sensitive.
Rooms go for around $70 in low season to about $180 in the summer.
But those are just the rack rates–use the search tool below to find even better pricing on budget accommodation.
When I’m asked to recommend places to friends and family, I tend to plug the following five properties because:
- they’re particularly well-situated in the downtown core;
- their tastefully decorated rooms include a range of extras, such as free breakfast, phone calls and wi-fi;
- they deliver a consistently high level of customer service.
Here are my top 5:
St. Regis: an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of downtown
- The clincher: rates include free wifi, long-distance calling, and a full made-to-order hot breakfast
- The concern: it’s flanked by a hostel and an alley; the neighbours can sometimes get a little noisy
- The bonus: a private liquor store with a great selection of BC wines right in the building
- Good to know: it’s located a few short blocks from the Canada Line to YVR
Century Plaza: a venerable city hotel, recently remodelled and popular with tour groups
- The clincher: spacious rooms, many with kitchenettes
- The concern: it’s down the block from a busy hospital so be prepared to hear sirens
- The bonus: Absolute Spa, one of the best in the city, is right off the lobby
- Good to know: enjoy a drink or dinner at Beyond Lounge and Restaurant and then head downstairs for comedy shows
Victorian Hotel: a charmingly renovated historic property with the feel of a small European inn
- The clincher: fairy-tale rooms from $69 come with a free continental breakfast and wi-fi
- The concern: it’s just on the edge of a gritty–though hardly dangerous–neighbourhood
- The bonus: Parking is cheap–$10/night in low season; $15/high–and secure
- Good to know: some rooms have shared baths
Comfort Inn Downtown: a tastefully decorated crash-pad near the city’s best nightlife
- The clincher: if you’re a party animal or sports fan, this is your ‘hood–close to Granville Street and Rogers Arena
- The concern: late-night street and club noise is pretty much unavoidable; bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper
- The bonus: VIP access to some of Vancouver’s hottest nightlife spots: Roxy Cabaret, The Cellar Nightclub and Doolin’s Irish Pub, with no line or cover before 10 pm
- Good to know: Want to see a sold-out Canucks game? The hotel often offers special packages that include hockey tickets
Day’s Inn Downtown Vancouver: a recently upgraded business-chic boutique hotel
- The clincher: on Pender St. in the heart of the business district and within walking distance of most attractions
- The concern: a few rooms are so tiny as to be almost claustrophobic
- The bonus: doing business is easy with free wi-fi and a small on-site business centre
- Good to know: in-room fridges make it easy to keep snacks on hand
>>Ready to book? Use the search tool below to find cheap airfare and accommodation in Vancouver.
Photo: courtesy Victorian Hotel