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SPRING-SUMMER 2011I sea&iI49cityguideClockwise from mainpicture:striking viewsfrom downtown; the Pan Pacific pool; theprime minister suite at the Four Seasons;overlooking GranvilleIsland Market Ocean, mountains and forests make Vancouver one of the most scenic cities in the world. Throw in designer shops, acclaimed restaurants and a compelling vibe and you have a true urban idyllByKate Rigbythat are filled with flowers, antiques and works of art. There aretwo floors of penthouse suites with garden patios and spa-inspired marble bathrooms. As always, the Four Seasons Hotelis perfectly located - just a block from famous Robson Streetand minutes from Gastown and Stanley Park. Among many ofits attractions is its split-level prime minister suite with livingand dining area, two bathrooms and one- or two-bedroomconfigurations. The Fairmont Hotelis another five-star choicewith a state-of-the-art health club, spa, designer boutiques andaward-winning restaurants. For an old classic with new charm,the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, opening in May, blends theglamour of the 1920s with modern excellence (see page 28).EAT, DRINK, DANCEEAT.Vancouver is spoilt for choice when it comes to dining,including the two restaurants of Michelin-starred chef DanielBoulud. Having earned three Michelin stars for Daniel, his NewYork restaurant, Boulud brings his winning formula toVancouver at DB Bistro Moderneand Lumière. Another three-Michelin starred internationally acclaimed New York chefmaking his Canadian debut is Jean-Georges Vongerichten,who brings his talents to the Market by Jean-Georgesat theShangri-La Hotel. Also flying the flag for hotel restaurants isGriffinsat the Fairmont, which garners awards on an annualbasis and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For seafood,try Coast, in the heart of downtown, and for a classic old-fashioned seafood and chop house, book into the legendaryJoe Fortes- an award-winning restaurant for 25 years andreputedly Vancouver's best oyster bar. You'll find it just offRobson Street. Alternatively, Yaletown has more than 60restaurants to tempt every taste.DRINK.Subeezis great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch,cocktails and beers, while the 900 West Loungeat the FairmontHotel is known for its perfect dry vodka martini, jazz?

50Isea&iISPRING-SUMMER 2011entertainment and tapas menu. Bacchus Restaurant & PianoLoungeat the Wedgewood Hotel is another award-winningvenue and is considered one of Vancouver's best lounges, com-bining old-school elegance and sophisticated décor with liveentertainment. Cascades Loungeat the Pan Pacific Hotel hasgreat cocktails and views overlooking Stanley Park, the LionsGate Bridge and the mountains. Afterglowis also a simmeringlystylish lounge. Brix Restaurant & Wine Baroccupies a 1912 her-itage building and has one of the city's largest by-the-glassmenus, while footsteps away is the George Ultralounge, one ofCanada's top cocktail lounges.DANCE.nightlife in Vancouver offers something for everytaste. Granville Street is the main downtown entertainmentdistrict and, as such, is a popular spot to socialise. For live rock,head to the Commodore Ballroom, and for house, techno andreggae try Republic. For live blues, the place to go is The YaleHotel, set in an 1880's building. SEE, SHOPSEE.a pod of orca whales. On a good day, up to 100 of thesemagical mammals can be seen in the waters around Vancouver.Humpback and grey whales may also be spotted. For moremarine wonders, the Vancouver Aquarium(the largest inCanada) is a feast of fun, discovery and fascination, and isdevoted to the conservation and research of marine life. For apeaceful and scenic stroll, visit the Dr Sun Yat-Sen ClassicalChinese Garden.SHOP.designer boutiques, independent stores and shop-until-you-drop malls abound. For quirky unique, eclectic shopsand coffee houses, head to Commercial Drive- also knownas Little Italy or The Drive. It even has an old church convertedinto a theatre, and a cinema, so you can combine culture withyour retail therapy. Downtown is a fantastic place to wanderand soak up the city vibe, and the nearby Sinclair Centre,Royal Centreand Pacific Centreoffer all you need in the wayClockwise from above:the Fairmont Hotel; views from GranvilleIsland Market; theCapilano SuspensionBridge; Stanley Park;totem poles at BrocktonPoint; Coast restaurant;the Vancouver Aquarium AT A GLANCE.Best travel timeJune to September have the highesttemperatures (up to 23°C/74°F), but spring and autumn can be beautifully scenic, and winter is ideal for skiingCurrencythe Canadian dollarLanguageEnglishVibelaid-back, cosmopolitan and innovative, Vancouver is famed for its scenic splendour, welcoming atmosphere,outdoor activities and cultural attractions