It was 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday when I flew into Vancouver, British Columbia on a weeklong travel expedition that would take me to several islands nestled within the lush Canadian province. During the twenty-minute drive from Vancouver’s International Airport starting out on Grant McConachie Way, the driver cracked the window open then told me all of the must-see sights in the city. We pass over the bridge. “To the left you’ll see the Pacific. If you have time in the morning, check out Robson Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery just across the street from the hotel,” the driver says. He continued on about how I should bike along the seawall at Stanley Park, stroll around Gastown (Vancouver’s historic district), and check out the extensive collection of First Nations art at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology.
I watched the city bustle even in darkness, apparently typical on a weeknight downtown. After I checked into the boutique Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, member of the Relais & Châteaux collection of fine hotels and gourmet restaurants, on Hornby Street, I walked by the Bacchus Lounge and Restaurant on the way up to my room. Despite the allure of a festive bar scene: live piano music, convivial conversation, and clinking glasses I steered clear. Jet-lagged and still running on East Coast time, I opted for a quiet night in my suite where a plate of oatmeal cookies and a half-bottle of red wine awaited my arrival.
After a solid night’s sleep, I woke up around 8 a.m., snuggled into the hotel bathrobe, and had coffee on the balcony overlooking Robson Square. The hotel’s casual elegance made it difficult to leave. I briefly wondered how I could fit the room’s cloudlike bed onto two planes, through customs, and then strapped to the roof of my car once (yes, it’s that comfortable!). Too tired to fit in gym time and since the spa didn’t open until 9:30 a.m., I went straight downstairs for breakfast at Bacchus. Run by Executive Chef Lee Parsons, the kitchen offers modern French-style fare. I chose a simple but hearty breakfast to get me through the day: coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, scrambled eggs, roasted tomatoes, and avocado on toast with strawberry, melon, orange fruit salad. After breakfast a short tour of the hotel, I headed off on my next adventure to Sonora Island. Rest assured, I plan to return for a longer stay.