Sure, Vancouver is all about the laidback, West Coast lifestyle – yoga, green juices, leisurely stand-up paddleboarding adventures… but we also know how to pamper and impress. So what are you waiting for? Drape yourself in diamonds, step into your fancy shoes and treat yourself to a high-end holiday in a city that offers luxe experiences set against a backdrop of stunning natural surroundings.
Sleep Check into the ultra-swanky and oh-so-contemporary Fairmont Pacific Rim, whose views of Coal Harbour and the North Shore Mountains will keep you attuned to nature as you pamper yourself silly. Check into the 2,250-square-foot Chairman’s Suite (also known as the “Rock Star Suite”), inspired by a Balinese Villa. The two-storey castle of opulence features a master bedroom outfitted with a fireplace and 500-square-foot ensuite marble bathroom with hand-carved soaker tub; two living room areas; and a private outdoor rooftop patio with gazebo, meditation pond and fire pit (oh – there’s a personalized butler, too). If your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, you can still party like a rock star in one of the hotel’s decadent collection of suites. Be sure to indulge in a Vancouver-esque spa treatment at on-site Willow Stream Spa, then stop at the Lobby Lounge for live music, a cocktail and a peek at the hotel’s recently purchased $45,000 bottle of rare scotch whisky.
Dine Cruise over to trendy Yaletown and linger over a leisurely dinner at Blue Water Café, one of the city’s premier seafood destinations. The restaurant serves sustainable species found off the coast, and every year produces an “Unsung Heroes” menu featuring overlooked yet delicious – and sustainably harvested – fish. Start with a cocktail at the bar, then move to the dining room for a multi-course meal with wine pairings. Afterward, head over to the Financial District and pop into Hawksworth Cocktail Bar for a post-dinner tipple, relaxing into an armchair while taking in the elegant room’s Spanish granite bar and eye-catching art. We recommend the Smoking Cardigan, a moody blend of smoky mescal and hints of chocolate.
Shop Alberni Street, better known as “Luxury Row”, is the destination for extravagant buys. Already home to De Beers, Tory Burch, Escada and Burberry, the street will also play host to a new flagship Prada store (at Alberni and Thurlow streets). Venture two blocks in any direction and you’ll also bump into Tiffany, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dior. Fun fact: Alberni was recently declared one of Canada’s most exclusive shopping zones.
Play Nothing says money like exotic cars, and we can’t think of many experiences more thrilling than racing up the scenic Sea to Sky Highway in a Ferrari Spider, Lambo Gallardo, Audi Quattro or Nissan GTR. On Scenic Rush’s Sea to Sky Exotic Drive & Fly experience, you’ll zip up to Furry Creek where SKY Helicopters will have a chopper waiting. After boarding, you’ll take a 45-minute aerial soar around the city – prep those hashtags – before returning for a well-earned lunch at the Furry Creek Golf & Country Club. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to see the city like a sultan.
Venture afield Keen to extend your Vancouver holiday (we don't blame you)? Draw out the decadence with Vancouver Food Tour's new West Coast Foodie Adventure Tour, featuring a limo-chauffeured jaunt to a top Vancouver brewery, winery and two award-winning restaurants; a night at the elegant Fairmont Waterfront with welcome champagne; a seaplane to Salt Spring Island for a walking brunch tour; floatplane to Victoria for a night at the Fairmont Empress Hotel plus a spa treatment and culinary tour; and helijet return to Vancouver Harbour. Yes - you deserve it.