What to do in Vancouver BC + Opus Hotel Review
Vancouver is a great vacation spot year-round for travelers looking to have a world-class experience with a laid back west coast vibe. Its proximity to the hiking 2 hours away in Whistler and Squamish is also a huge draw for those looking to have the best of both worlds- epic hiking and fine dining and shopping of the big city. The Opus hotel is the perfect place to spend your stay in Vancouver, not only is it located in the hip (and friendly) Yaletown neighborhood, it is a destination in its own right. Whether you’re in the mood for a martini at The Opus Bar (pictured above) or looking to nosh the Italian restaurant La Pentola next door, you don’t have to travel far to get a taste of the local flavor.
My fiancee and I arrived at midnight and since we were too tired to hit the bar scene we thoroughly enjoyed the Butler Service at the hotel, where you can order Aperol Spritz for two, delivered straight to your door on a tray decorated with beautiful flowers. There is nothing quite like enjoying an Aperol Spritz in the oversized soaking tub in your deluxe room. If alcohol isn’t your thing and the late-night munchies hit, the Butler Service can hook you up with warm brownies and milk or bring you some of La Pentola’s classic Italian fare.
The Billy Room at Opus Hotel Vancouver, B.C.
We stayed in the King Deluxe room which was inspired by a man named Billy, a London based musician, and one of the hotels many muses. The interior designer of the hotel, Robert Bailey, was inspired by several muses and each room is designed to reflect the avant-garde tastes of those people. Our room was painted in an energizing shade of Liverpool green and accented with many eclectic textures and patterns to pull everything together. The room is equipped with a fully stocked mini-bar with awesome snacks and actual half and half for your morning joe, hallelujah!
If you are looking to explore the waterfront you’re in luck as The Opus is located only steps away from the gorgeous waterfront parks system where you can run, use the bikes they have at the hotel, or go for a nice jog. From the waterfront near the hotel, you can walk about 30 minutes to Chinatown and check out Dr. Sun Yat-Sen zen garden, a free garden that is a little piece of paradise right in the city.
Here are some photos of the outside wall (left) and the inside of the garden (right.)
If you are still in the mood to explore and get your breakfast/brunch fix, head over to Gastown, a trendy up and coming neighborhood with historical charm is only 15 minutes away (by foot.) Chambar, a Belgian restaurant, is the place to go and you must try the waffles. Pick your own toppings from choices like bacon caramel, and white chocolate pistachio with rosewater and enjoy the warmth of the old world charm that surrounds you.
Waffles with Canadian Maple Syrup at Chambar
Otherwise, go back to Yaletown for La Pentola’s delicious offerings, where you can eat things like breakfast risotto in an airy modern dining room, with a nearly all-white dining room accented by copper lighting. It is very chic, to say the least! Of course, you will have some time to kill before calling it a night so I’d suggest a little shopping at the CF Pacific Center (All Saints and everything under the sun there) and spending some more time in my favorite haunt: Gastown.
Gastown was one of the first settlements on the south shore of the Burrard Inlet, which in 1867 was formerly a wilderness area with only a lumber mill to speak of. At the lumber mill, there was no alcohol permitted so of course that had to change and change came in the form of a man named “Gassy Jack” Deighton. I’m assuming it was “Gassy Jack” because he was a gas and not gassy but who knows. When Jack arrived with a barrel of Whiskey in tow the mill workers built him a saloon in just one day and that became the area that we call Gastown today. You can still find a great bar there, in fact, you can find so many amazing bar/restaurants it can be difficult to choose from so I’ll share a few of my favorites with you:
Tacofino– what older folks would call a hipster restaurant, really it is just amazing Mexican food, inventive takes on classic cocktails and a killer modern ambiance with touches of color finishing the light and airy interior. Order the nachos plz!
Tsuki Sushi- An ocean-friendly lunch and dinner spot with amazing sushi. This rivals Miku (the most expensive and highly praised sushi restaurant in Vancity) with its incredible, melt in your mouth pressed sushi. Pressed sushi is big in this city and is also known as Aburri style. If you’ve never tried it you must, the sushi rice is creamy perfection, the fish pressed on top is lightly seared and finished with an assortment of delish sauces.
Guu Izakaya– An izakaya is a lively Japanese Gastropub thats serves what I’d call Japanese tapas. The Guu restaurants, of which there are several in the city, all serve different menus in a buzzy atmosphere. This is a great place to try new things you haven’t seen on any sushi restaurant menu before!
UYU– Is a Korean soft serve restaurant with my favorite matcha green tea ice cream and toppings like passion fruit, condensed milk creme, freeze dried bananas, coconut and much more. The parlor is so Instagram worthy, so make sure to take a snap.
Mosquito– Is a dessert and wine bar with other yummy snacks. For a romantic date night or happy hour nosh hit this place up. The art deco decor is beautiful with moody lighting to finish it off. Here you can choose from an array of gourmet desserts and champagne pairings, or munch on some marinated olives and local cheeses.
Mosquito Wine Bar