This cosmopolitan city perches on the coast, enjoying spectacular beaches and plenty of green space, surrounded by stunning mountain vistas. Vancouver offers a wealth of urban attractions and amenities, but also serves as an excellent base to explore the surrounding countryside and try your hand at a range of outdoor activities. Sandwiched between the ocean and mountains, you can ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon!
Things to do:
Stanley Park is a must-visit for nature lovers. This 1,000 acre park on the border of downtown Vancouver is a nature and wildlife haven, with well-maintained trails for hiking, cycling and jogging through acres of peaceful forest. The scenic sea wall path wraps around the park and offers miles of uninterrupted sea views. For the more energetic, Grouse Mountain is a nearby wilderness paradise, presenting a serious challenge to hikers in the Grouse Grind: a strenuous hiking trail through the fir trees to the top of the mountain, attempted by 150,000 people each year. If you don’t fancy pushing yourself up ‘nature’s stairmaster’, you can take the Skyride cable car to the summit. Mountain highlights include the wildlife refuge populated by bears, a myriad of hiking trails, lumberjack displays and adventure sports like paragliding and zipwires. If you have a head for heights, test your nerve on the thrilling Capilano Suspension Bridge and Cliff Walk, taking in incredible views of the beautiful valley and river. Further afield, the pretty alpine village of Whistler is just two hours’ drive away, offering world-beating snow sports facilities in the winter and exhilarating outdoor adventures and activities in the summer. The village itself is pedestrianised, and offers an eclectic mix of fine dining, nightlife, boutiques and spas.
Where to stay:
St Regis Hotel
Boasting a convenient city-centre location only 12 minutes’ walk from the beach, this stylish and comfortable hotel makes an excellent base to explore from. The complimentary breakfast includes mouthwatering options like omelettes and waffles to fuel your adventures, and in the evening you can re-fuel at a choice of two onsite restaurants.
Residences on Georgia by Vancouver Extended Stay
These stylish, modern apartments are located in the fashionable Coal Harbour area, only fifteen minutes’ walk from the beach. The apartments are fully furnished, including spacious living areas and balconies with city views. Guests can also enjoy free on-site parking.
Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Habourfront
Offering views over Coal Harbour, this easily accessible hotel also enjoys an indoor pool and fitness centre, where guests can relax in the hot tub after a long day’s sightseeing. The onsite restaurant specialises in local delicacies that are regionally produced, so you can continue absorbing culture even once back in the hotel.
West End Guesthouse
This vibrant Bed & Breakfast is based in Downtown Vancouver, just 11 minutes’ walk from the beach, offering antique furnishings and all modern conveniences. Bicycles are available to hire for free for guests, and a full breakfast is served in the dining room each morning. Following a day of sight-seeing, guests can relax in the private garden, or by the fireplace in the parlour.
Toronto: For Urbanites
Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, and this dynamic metropolis on the shore of Lake Ontario is perfect for urban adventurers. This stylish city boasts a world-class art scene, gastronomic delights and award winning restaurants, hidden hipster gems for shopping and dining, and striking sunset views over the iconic city skyline.
Things to do:
Toronto is a haven for shopping, offering everything from big-name designers and luxury boutiques to the Eaton Centre, a bright and airy mall which is home to more than 250 stores. The trendy Distillery District meanwhile is a captivating maze of Victorian warehouses, beautifully preserved and transformed into artists’ studios and galleries, buzzing bars and stylish restaurants, linked by cobbled streets and cosy courtyards. Lose yourself in this creative mecca and discover some of the city’s best food and shopping. For a captivating view of the city, take in the panorama from the top of the CN Tower at its 360 restaurant, or get a different perspective from the water, with an evening harbour cruise. Toronto is also a convenient base for visiting one of Canada’s most famous natural attractions: Niagara Falls. Day trips are easily accessible from the city with a short travel time of only an hour and a half, so it’s easy to fit in a visit to one of North America’s natural wonders.
Where to Stay:
Omni King Edward Hotel
This luxurious boutique hotel is well equipped with state of the art amenities, located in Downtown Toronto’s financial district. With an underground metro station seconds away, all of the city’s main attractions are easily accessible. Following a day of sight-seeing, guests can relax and be pampered at the hotel’s on-site spa, and enjoy a meal in the gourmet restaurant.
AOC Suites: Heart of Downtown Condo
This appealing apartment offers everything you need for a comfortable stay in Toronto, including a fully furnished kitchen and private balcony with views over the city. Facilities available include access to a fitness centre and free Wi-Fi throughout. The apartment is conveniently located to make exploring the city easy, close to the Quay and Old Toronto district.
Toronto Apartment York
The Toronto Apartment York is a stylish apartment with a private balcony offering views of the city. The apartment is fully equipped with a well stocked kitchen, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV with cable channels, and access to a state of the art fitness centre is included. The apartment is in a prime location, just 550 yards fom the CN Tower.
Dunn House Bed and Breakfast
Built in 1890, this charming B&B in central Toronto offers elegant and cosy accommodation with period features throughout. The property benefits from a wraparound porch and garden, offering a quiet retreat in which to relax after the hustle and bustle of the city. The daily breakfast offering serves local organic produce and freshly baked scones and muffins.
Montréal: For History Buffs
This enchanting city is a heady mix of French style and Canadian charm, an inspiring melting pot of English and French speakers and European and North American culture and history. The picturesque old quarter has been preserved in its original state, with beautiful seventeenth and eighteenth century architecture and quaint cobbled streets. Often regarded as the cultural hub of Canada, Montréal plays host to over 90 festivals a year, and is known for its diversity and flourishing art scene.
Things to do:
The stunning interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica makes this iconic landmark a must-see during your stay. Marvel at the awesome medieval style interior of this nineteenth century Basilica, including exquisite stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the city’s history, the imposing organ and striking vaulted blue ceiling. Old Montréal is arguably the heart of the city, with a unique charm and buildings dating back to the 1600’s. European in character, this historic neighbourhood is bursting with arresting architecture, winding cobbled streets, and delightful nooks and crannies to discover. Old Montréal abounds with interesting galleries, boutiques, shops and eateries, so this vibrant neighbourhood is well worth submerging yourself in for a while, whilst the Old Port of Montréal is the perfect place to dine and relax after a day’s exploring. Take a pleasant stroll through the Old Port or enjoy the sunshine at the riverside Clock Tower Beach. Historical tours and river cruises from the port offer a different perspective on the city. Montréal is also host to a number of fascinating and popular museums, including the excellent art museum Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, natural history museum Musée de la Civilisation de Quebec and the Musée Pointe-a-Callière, which explores the history of the city.
Places to stay:
Loews Hotel Vogue
This sumptuous hotel offers tasteful accommodation in luxurious surroundings, offering everything a traveller needs to relax in comfort following their sight-seeing exertions. There is an elegant fitness centre and spa, and the on-site restaurant offers Parisian bistro-style dishes under a beautiful stained glass ceiling.
Loft Hotel Montréal
This stylish aparthotel located in downtown Montréal offers a range of fully furnished suites. Each suite enjoys hardwood floors and high ceilings, modern décor and useful extras like iPad docking stations. A well-equipped kitchen and spacious living area is included in each suite, for a comfortable and luxurious stay.
This stylish historic hotel is based in the midst of charming Old Montreal, offering European elegance alongside first-rate service. The two onsite restaurants serve fine contemporary cuisine, and guests can relax in the evening in front of the cosy fireplace in the bar, or on the rooftop terrace, which offers panoramic views of the Montreal skyline.
Le Saint-Sulpice Hotel Montréal
Situated beside the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica in the heart of Old Montréal, this luxurious hotel offers spacious suites and excellent on-site facilities. For a truly romantic atmosphere, the hotel’s restaurant is located in its gardens, housed in an elegant glasshouse with an outdoor terrace.