AC Hotel in Downtown Portland

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Looking for a place to stay in the heart of Portland? Look no further than the AC Hotel, located right in downtown.

This brand new modern hotel offers travellers state of the art lodging in a stylish and contemporary setting. When you check into the AC Hotel, you immediately feel at home. Everyone on staff is friendly and very helpful making the arrival process smooth and stress-free.

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The hotel lobby is equipped with a brand new office space, which allows hotel guests to stay in touch with loved ones, print out itineraries, work, etc. In the lobby, patrons will also have access to the sophisticated AC Lounge, a beautiful area that can be used to sit and read a book, catch up on work or sip on a cocktail and enjoy tapas-style snacks from local suppliers.

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Adjacent to the lobby is the AC Kitchen, the location for the hotel’s European-inspired breakfast buffet. Each morning, the hotel serves up delicious and wholesome breakfast options for guests, which also include’s coffee from Portland’s own Water Avenue Coffee.

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Each guest room at the AC Hotel in Portland has been carefully designed having in mind the guests’ comfort. All the rooms are smoke-free and offer either downtown, mountain or waterfront views. Each room features platform beds, topnotch linens, an ultramodern bathroom, complimentary high-speed internet as well as USB ports and plugs bedside. There’s also space in the room to create a satellite office for those away on business.

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The hotel carefully selected art from local Portland artists for decoration throughout the building. The sleek and European-influenced design features natural colour pallets and elements.

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Some of the city’s top attractions are just a few short minutes away. It’s easy to walk to the waterfront or to the very trendy Pearl District from the hotel. You also have access to local transit, which is just a stone’s throw away.

All in all, the AC Hotel in downtown Portland is an urban gem that allows visitors to enjoy the buzz of the city while also retreating to a quiet and luxurious room after a busy day of exploration.

For more information on the AC Hotel in downtown Portland, go here.

Winter Getaway at Big White

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One of my favorite things about winter is being able to head to the mountain and go riding. Since this is my first winter in British Columbia, I thought what better way to get to know the area than to book a winter getaway to visit some of the best ski resorts in the area! My first destination: Big White!

So I booked my travels via the Hotels.com mobile app (you can too! check out how here!), took with me Samsung‘s latest gear – the Galaxy S7 phone plus the Gear 360 camera and hit the mountain. 

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Located just 45 minutes from downtown Kelowna, Big White is a stunning resort that spans 7,355 acres and its summit reaches 2,319m in altitude. Big White is also western Canada’s largest night skiing area with 38 acres of night skiing trails. There are 15 lifts on the mountain and 118 designated trails. The longest run spans 7.2 km.  They also have a state of the art boarder/skier-cross course, the TELUS Park as well as 25 km of nordic and wilderness trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

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Big White also offers all the amenities and services you can imagine needing when going on a winter getaway to the mountain. The resort has 3 hotels, 25 condo/town home complexes, over 200 vacation home and luxury cabin rentals as well as a youth hostel. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants, their latest addition, the Clocktower Coffee Co serves up delicious baked goods for breakfast and hearty sandwiches at lunch.

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You can also find a ski and board school, a daycare service for the little ones as well as a multitude of other activities for the entire family such as ice climbing, a tube park, snowmobile tours, ice skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding and the list goes on. Oh yea and did I mention, free wifi throughout the resort?

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Since we were only in the area for 2 days, we wanted to maximize our time on the slopes so we stuck with snowboarding. Though a bit cold, the bluebird skies and fresh powder made for pristine riding conditions. Our super convenient electronic lift passes made it easy for us to access all of the lifts and shred through the fresh snow. The snow-covered evergreen trees and stunning views of the Okanagan Valley made for the most beautiful backdrop. A great plus was also the fact that the resort wasn’t overcrowded, which allowed for a relaxing snowboarding session.

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I highly recommend making the trek to Big White, for some epic riding! If you’re staying in Kelowna, check out the Manteo Resort, which is right on the waterfront of the Okanagan Lake.

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For more information on Big White, go here. To find accommodations in the area, go to Hotels.com or download their mobile app. Photos shot with the Samsung Galaxy S7, 360 video shot with the Samsung Gear 360.

5 Reasons to Stay at The Burrard

hdrWith a city that offers so many great accommodation options, it’s sometimes difficult to pick the right place to call home for the night. Luckily, this past year, I found a great boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver that I absolutely fell in love with called The Burrard. This converted 1956 motor hotel is located in Yaletown and has become a city favorite. I’m sharing with you today, 5 reasons why you should stay at The Burrard on your next trip to Vancouver.

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1) They are eco-friendly. With global warming being an important issue in 2017, I’m always happy when I see hotels making an effort to reduce their impact on the environment. Being in beautiful British Columbia, it only seems fitting that hotels would be more “eco-conscious” but sadly that isn’t the reality everywhere. So when I see things like compost bins with a cute instruction card being put into my room, it makes me happy!

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2) They are funny. Who knew that hotels could have a sense of humour? One of my favorite things about this hotel are their clever quotes and notes everywhere. How often do you see this kind of artwork in hotel lobbies or around? I love a hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still offers topnotch service and amenities.

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3) They are centrally located. You can walk to pretty much anywhere in Vancouver within 15-30 mins when you stay at The Burrard. It’s incredibly easy to get to downtown, to run to the Seawall, to get to Kitsilano or even explore Granville Island. If you’re not into walking, they offer free cruiser bike rentals for guests staying at the hotel. And if you’re afraid of the rain (like I am!), they also complimentary umbrellas so that you can keep discovering the city without getting wet.

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4) They have a great café. Located just off the lobby of The Burrard, Elysian Coffee offers some of the city’s best coffee and healthy homemade snacks. Whether you’ve got a craving for homemade chocolate chip cookies with a hot tea or prefer a freshly-made avocado toast with a Juice Truck juice, they’ve got you covered.

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5) They have the best retro vibes. Hands down the best part about being at The Burrard is the vibe you get from the hotel. This 1950s gem has been updated but has kept its vintage charm. It’s the only hotel in the city where you’ll find a vintage-inspired courtyard oasis with palm trees and retro solair chairs. The neon sign on the side of the hotel makes it incredibly unique. The meeting room adjacent to Elysian Coffee is a retro dream and so are all the rooms. Every decoration item and piece furniture was carefully curated to fit the retro vibes of the hotel.

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Want an insider’s tip? The ultra popular comfort-food restaurant Burgoo is opening up next door in 2017!

V Palm Springs

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Palm Springs is one of my favorite destinations to travel to in California. There are many things I love about the city: the architecture, the food, the surrounding scenery, etc.

I first started paying attention to Palm Springs thanks to social media. A lot of the people that I follow visit Palm Springs either for Coachella or for a quick weekend getaway. Staying in a unique place like Palm Springs will make people want to photograph it. Apparently, Canadians in particular, love showing off while traveling. A recent study published by Hotels.com shows that 36% of Canadian travellers admit to uploading photos to social media (Hello Instagram!) just to show off and 20% admit to checking into places on social media just to make friends jealous. I can personally admit getting serious FOMO when seeing people post about Palm Springs.

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Another thing I love about staying in Palm Springs is the incredibly food selection. The city being a major foodie destination, I am always on the lookout for hot new restaurants to try while in the area. According to the Hotels.com study, 60% of Canadians look for tasty food before searching for attractions and beaches when traveling. We’re a generation of foodie travellers so we are always on our phone looking for where to have our next delicious meal.

Using my mobile device also allows me to feel like a local when I travel. Almost 50% of Canadians will use mobile maps to get around and will rely on mobiles to learn the local lingo. There’s nothing I hate more than walking around looking at a big old paper map.

Another must when traveling for me is free wi-fi. In 2016, if a hotel doesn’t offer free wi-fi, I usually don’t even look at the property. 28% of Canadians also do the same, only selecting hotels that offer this service because being connected is key for today’s modern traveller.

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to stay at a brand new hotel that has only been open for a few months. The V hotel, located adjacent to downtown Palm Springs, is a sleek and modern hotel that offers top of the line accommodations with a cool boutique feel. There is nothing quite like being one of the first to try out a hotel. I did a little Unrooming video for Hotels.com on my first impressions of the room at the V in Palm Springs.

For more Unrooming videos, check out Hotels.com.

Unrooming with Hotels.com

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This past weekend I had the pleasure of staying at one of Hotels.com‘s hundreds of thousands of properties that are located in over 200 countries. For my trip to Prince Edward County, I stayed at the TownePlace Suites located in Belleville.

This was my first time booking a hotel with Hotels.com and I found the entire process to be super quick and easy. What I like about their policy is that after every 10 nights you book with them, you get 1 night free.

One of the things I’m particularly found of on the site, are the guest ratings. They are quick and easy to find and provide great insight when booking a room.

I downloaded their app for free, which made my check-in even easier because I had access to my reservation right in the palm of my hand.

Another unique thing to Hotels.com is their post-check-in survey that allows hotel guests to immediately rate the room and check-in service only minutes after arriving and thus providing real-time feedback to the hotel.

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The TownePlace Suites was the perfect combination of comfort and class. We had all the amenities we needed for our weekend in the area. Our suite was equipped with a beautiful kitchenette (which to my surprise even included a dish washer!). There was also a desk area that was perfect for the blogging I had to do over the weekend. The bed was incredibly comfortable and plush. The bathroom was spotless. Even if the room was a little small, it contained a lot of storage and state of the art amenities. A great plus was also the free breakfast in the morning, the perfect way to kick-start my day!

I made a little Unrooming video to show you guys the room that we stayed in and also gave a rating on 5. These Unrooming videos are also a great way for you to see what the room in a particular hotel actually looks like at the moment and also get a full review of the room.

For more Unrooming videos, check out Hotels.com.

Four Seasons Whistler

FullSizeRender(1)Whistler is such a great destination to travel to no matter the time of year. This was my second visit to Whistler and I discovered so many new things about this amazing destination on this latest trip. One of my great discoveries was the Four Seasons Resort and Residences.

The Four Seaons is the perfect place to call home while you’re in the city. Nestled in the mountains, right next the city’s multi-use trail, the hotel’s location gives you all the peace and quiet you need while also just being a few steps away from the village.

IMG_8630FullSizeRender(11)The resort’s design is inspired by its surrounding landscape, bringing the outdoors indoors. The use of timber, stone and glass gives a warm and inviting feel throughout. Staying at this hotel is like staying in a luxurious European-styled lodge, which I loved.

IMG_8381The 273 guest rooms each offer a private balcony that open up to beautiful Whistler views. Each room is spacious yet also cozy. The rooms are all equiped with first-rate amenities, including a walk-in closet, a fireplace, a marble bathroom and shower and a deep-soak tub. The hotel provides complimentary wifi as well as twice-daily housekeeping and evening turn down service.

FullSizeRender(5)FullSizeRender(12)FullSizeRender(10)The hotel staff was splendid offering to help set up activities for us in the area as well as organizing complimentary rides using the resort’s car service. We also received the sweetest welcome gift and note from the hotel following our rock-climbing expedition, which the staff had graciously organized for us.

IMG_8489FullSizeRender(6)While at the Four Seasons, we made sure to enjoy their fitness room, outdoor heated pool and three hot spring-style whirlpools. Additionally, we cozied up by the fireplace at the Sidecut Bar prior to endulging in a delicious meal.

FullSizeRender(7)Sidecut is a great place for a romantic dinner after skiing or spending the day exploring the many outdoor activities Whistler has to offer. The restaurant’s earthy tones and open fire provide a relaxing ambiance. The steakhouse, led by Executive Chef, Chef Eren, offers a whole lot more than just steak. To my surprise, they even had an entire vegetarian menu for those who are looking for different dining options. The dinner service was excellent, all the dishes were refined and savoury.

FullSizeRender(9)FullSizeRender(4)FullSizeRender(2)FullSizeRender(3)It is the attention to the finer details and the five-star service that separates a hotel like the Four Seasons to others in the area. When you stay at their resort you feel right at home and feel all of your needs and wants are taken care of. I can’t think of another place I would want to stay at from here on out when I travel to Whistler.

For more information on the Four Seasons Whistler, go here.

Hammam & Gommage

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I was delighted to return to Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie last week in Toronto for some much needed pampering after having been under the weather for a few days.

I always enjoy visiting this spa at the Shangri-La Hotel because it is incredibly luxurious. Every treatment I’ve ever had there has been of utmost quality and the service is always outstanding.

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On this particular visit, I tried my first ever Hammam & Gommage. This 30-minute treatment starts off with 15 minutes of stress relief and relaxation in the high intensity and low mist steam chamber called the Hammam. What I loved about being in my own private Hammam, is that you can really clear your thoughts and relax. It’s like meditating in a really warm and cozy environment. The 15 minutes I spent sitting in the Hammam flew by.

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Once the relaxation portion over, you are escorted out of the Hammam and into a warm room of Jerusalem gold marble as pictured above. The Gommage starts off with the rubbing of oil over your body as you lay on the luxurious marble. The spa attendant will then, using small exfoliating gloves, scrub your body with eucalyptus infused Moroccan soap, taking off all the excess skin. Once that step is complete, you will be rinsed fully. The entire process is very invigorating and uplifting. The experience felt detoxifying and left me feeling a lot better than when I arrived.

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Following the Hammam & Gommage, I was escorted into their beautiful Alhambra Relaxation Lounge and offered their signature homemade baklava, grapes and mint tea. It’s the perfect setting to spend a few minutes relaxing after a treatment.

Every time I visit the spa, I am always appreciative of their exceptional facilities and change rooms. I thoroughly enjoy also being able to access Caudalie skincare products, complimentary of the spa.

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The Miraj Hammam Spa is located on the 5th floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Toronto. To find out more about the spa and the treatments they offer, please go here.

The Ambrose

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The year 2016 started off with a bang. On January 1st, my partner in crime, Offner and I got hitched while in California. I haven’t spoken much about our nuptials or anything wedding-related just yet but I plan on doing a little post on February 1st.

While planning our wedding, we were looking for a cool and unique hotel to stay at the weekend of our nuptials. I found The Ambrose, via social media and immediately fell in love with this quiet gem located just a few minutes from the ocean, 3rd street promenade and the PCH in Santa Monica. The Ambrose looked like the perfect intimate spot for us to get ready for our big day and also spend the night of our wedding… and we weren’t disappointed.

I love checking out boutique hotels because they always offer an original alternative to the bigger chains. The one thing that caught my eye when deciding on where to stay was the fact that this hotel was also very Eco-friendly.

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When you arrive on the grounds of the hotel, you are right away transported into an area of tranquility with its beautiful garden and outdoor lounge area. The candles and zen-like decor make you feel at home.

The entire hotel staff was exceptionally friendly and accommodating. A huge plus is their free underground parking garage, so you never have to worry about paying for expensive parking lots. Additionally, if you don’t have a vehicle, the hotel offers complimentary car service to its guests.

Their lobby and lounge is decorated with taste and uses local craftsman influences to create a very warm ambiance. The lounge is also where they offer a complimentary organic breakfast buffet every morning for their guests. It’s the first time I go to a hotel that offers healthy organic and quality breakfast free of charge for their guests. This made me very content and was super appreciated especially on our big day as we were running around the city getting everything ready.

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All the rooms at The Ambrose are unique but with the same amount of comfort and luxury. Some rooms even have beautiful outdoor terraces that you can access.

Our room was spacious, had the most sumptuous king bed equipped with luxury bed linens. We also each had cotton robes, all natural bath products, complimentary newspapers in the morning and also, a necessity – complimentary Wi-Fi access. The hallways and the room itself were very quiet, which made it easy for us to have a really good night sleep after our special day. The room was also big enough to get all the flowers ready for our celebration, my makeup and hair done and still have enough space to relax before our busy day.

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I briefly mentioned it earlier in this post, but it’s important to mention that The Ambrose has received several awards for their Eco-friendly initiatives, which include the Excellence Award – Stewardship of the Natural Environment Sustainable Quality Award 2013 and were the Sustainable Quality Award Grand Prize Winner 2006, just to name a few. The hotel has also received a handful of green and sustainable business certifications and make big efforts daily in energy conservation, water conservation, indoor environmental air quality, non-toxic housekeeping practices, waste reduction, etc. I think other hotels should follow in their footsteps to do their part in conserving our beautiful planet. To see all of their green and sustainable initiatives and awards they’ve received, go here.

All in all, we had the dreamiest stay at The Ambrose for our wedding. We can’t thank the hotel staff enough for making it the most magical few days. I look forward to our next visit! For more information on The Ambrose, please go here.

Granville Island Hotel

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Before the holidays, I got to explore a part of Vancouver that I was still unfamiliar with – Granville Island. I had the opportunity to stay at the only hotel on the island – the Granville Island Hotel and spend a weekend exploring this little oasis.

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Staying on the island is a completely different experience than staying in any other part of Vancouver. Not only do you get a stunning view of the city, you have access to amazing restaurants, shops and art galleries and you also feel completely detached and far from the bustle and stress of a big city.

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The Granville Island Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel that offers luxurious rooms and all the amenities one could hope for. Their rooms are spacious and incredibly cozy. The bedding is plush and all of the in-room amenities are top quality. Some of the rooms also come with a small balcony that allows you to have your breakfast or complimentary coffee and tea, while either being super close to the beautiful park or while having a stunning view of the city. They also have complimentary wifi, which is an absolute must for me when I travel.

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In the hotel, you will also find a state of the art fitness room with machines, free weights, mats, etc. They also have a beautiful sauna and Jacuzzi with a view of Vancouver. Guests staying at the hotel can also access basketball and tennis courts as well as aerobic classes at a small fee at the community center located next door. If you’re a outdoor fitness enthusiast like myself, you’ll appreciate that the hotel is located right at the foot of the seawall which is perfect if you want to go for a run, Rollerblade or a bike ride (the hotel offers complimentary bike rentals during the warmer months). You can also get into a kayak if the weather permits.

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The hotel also has a great restaurant located adjacent to their lobby called the Dockside Restaurant. The waterfront location and tall windows allow for a beautiful panoramic view of the city while you eat. The atmosphere is refined yet warm. They offer a menu that uses local, seasonal, sustainable and fresh ingredients, something that is always appreciated. Their dishes are classic but incredibly tasty and well prepared. The highlight of the restaurant was their dinner menu. Everything that we ordered was delicious. They also offer a good selection of vegetarian options on all of their menus.

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The hotel’s outdoor patio and fire place is also a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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The hotel couldn’t be more conveniently located. It is just steps away from the famous Granville Island Market and all of the island’s attractions. It’s also incredibly easy to get to downtown Vancouver either via water taxi or via the Granville Island bridge.

If you’re looking for a unique and relaxing stay in Vancouver, make sure you check out the Granville Island Hotel. For more info on the hotel, go here.

The Burrard

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One of my favorite things about traveling is staying in different hotels all the time. When came time to book my travels to Vancouver last month, I really wanted to see if I could find a super cute and unique spot to stay at in the downtown core.

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I found The Burrard on social media and I was immediately drawn to this small boutique hotel in between Yaletown and the Davie Village. The hotel’s retro design and super fresh branding is what first caught my eye. It reminded me of some of the hotels you can find in Palm Springs, that are inspired by the 1950s. The Burrard actually first opened in 1956.

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When I first got to the hotel, I was impressed by its super cool looking exterior. The neon sign at the entrance is unique and stands out in the area. The blue, black and white color pallet is perfect with the style of the building.

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The vintage design of the lobby along with retro light fixture and mid-century couch is super inviting and cozy.

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Everyone at the hotel was incredibly friendly and available to answer all of our questions. I was delighted to find out that there’s a coffee shop connected to the hotel lobby called Container Coffee, that serves organic homemade breakfasts, juices as well as snacks and sandwiches all day long.

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I loved the sense of humour and clever little quotes that we found throughout the hotel. Each floor gets its own amusing saying and you’ll find cute notes that will make you smile throughout the hotel property.

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Speaking of the rooms, our room was very charming. They kept the decorations to a minimum but stayed within that same retro and vintage vibe. I was particularly fond of little details like the free NESPRESSO machine, free water bottles, free calls and free wifi. No one likes going to a hotel and paying $5 for a water bottle or wifi. In 2015, these are things that guests should receive complimentary.

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Other great assets to the hotel are their free Brodie cruiser bike rentals as well as their patio lounge. It’s such a great way to explore the area and there is a bike path located right beside the hotel. When it gets warm out, the hotel also whips out their super cool ping pong table on the patio.

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We had such a wonderful time at The Burrard. The location was great because it was walking distance to everywhere we wanted to go. They also had on-site parking, which made it much more convenient and hassle-free.

I hope we’ll get the chance to go return to this cute retro haven in downtown Vancouver some time soon!

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For more info on The Burrard, go here.