Vancouver City Highlights: Tips from 35,000 Feet

By: Katie Manning

January 10, 2013

Our Vancouver city highlights start with the hotel selection and here it has to be all about the views. In this department, we think the Fairmont Waterfront has got it well and truly covered. As well as floor-to-ceiling windows on all 23 floors, with ocean, park and mountain views in most bedrooms, we love the rooftop herb garden where you can see honey being collected every Friday afternoon from its beehives. We always fancy the sweet stuff afterwards, and thankfully there’s a great bar downstairs that serves unusual, honey-based cocktails to indulge us!

Fairmount Waterfront | Vancouver

Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver © Fairmont Waterfront



Seeing the city’s neon lights at night, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d landed in Las Vegas (it has one sign for every 19 residents!). Vancouver’s nightlife certainly aims to match Sin City and we never come here without paying a visit to the AFTERglow Lounge. We love its long sofas and tabletop tea lights, perfect for a pre-club drink and gossip before heading out for some serious clubbing at one of the many spots in town.

AFTERglow Lounge | Vancouver

AFTERglow Lounge, Vancouver © Glowball Collection



We’re never short of places to eat in Vancouver, from 12-course tasting menus to burgers on the beach – the offerings are endless – but we seem to have fallen head over heels for the Raincity Grill on Denman Street. Its main draw is the sheer localness of just about everything involved, from the staff to the food. We always order fish (the salmon is fished especially for Raincity) and try to grab a coveted window seat so we can feast on the glorious views of Stanley Park and English Bay as well as the Pacific Northwest cuisine”¦

Raincity Grill | Vancouver

Raincity Grill, Vancouver © Raincity Grill



If it is a rainy day, we never hide beneath the bed sheets or lounge for the room service menu as there are so many Vancouver city highlights. Instead, we prefer to head straight to the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Why? Because not only are it’s walkways completely covered but the handmade drip tiles direct all the water to flow off the roof creating a cascade of crystal bead curtains. Walking along the Chinese pavilions, admiring the 15th century architecture with the rain as our soundtrack, really is the most magical experience.

Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden | Vancouver

Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden © David Biesack    


Virgin Atlantic operate seasonal flights to Vancouver from London Heathrow, with our summer service starting on 14th May 2013.


Header Image © Dan Breckwoldt/Thinkstock


Where do you go to soak up the atmosphere in Vancouver? Any secret haunts you’ve come across on your stay?


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places