It’s no secret that I’m in love with the West Coast of Canada – and for good reason. No matter where I travel in the world and no matter how many amazing things I experience in other countries, I still feel so lucky to call Canada my home. Recently, I paid a quick visit to Vancouver for the weekend, in order to check out the 30th Anniversary of the David Foster Foundation. Now, what the heck can you do if you’re just visiting a city for such a short amount of time? Actually, quite a lot, my friends.
Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, when you have limited time, you should make the most out of it. So when I knew that I had just a couple of days, with lots already planned in my schedule, I enlisted one of our local blogger friends, Joshua Langston to take me around town to show me some of the hottest spots to shop and hang out. Vancouver is just such a cool city – and sometimes I forget that because I’m more focused on the mountains and ocean (which are really freakin’ great, so don’t get me wrong). But I really needed a reminder that this city has a lot more going on than just stunning scenery. Oh and it does.
Now, I know that I just scratched the surface here, but I wanted to make sure that I shared them with you too! So, here are some awesome places that you need to check out, if you’re hanging out in Vancouver for the weekend (and also love shopping, amazing properties and pretty things in general). Vancouver is a fantastic place and I have seriously considered getting a condo here from someone like Eddie Yan. It’s a great city.
This brand new property in the JW Marriott Collection has been the talk of the town in Vancouver since the announcement was made a few years ago that it was going to be built. Located right on the water and set against the backdrop of Western Canada’s majestic coastal mountains, the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver delivers luxury and style like unlike any other hotel I’ve visited. When you walk into the hotel, you’re greeted right away with professionalism and efficiency. Whether you’re staying as a guest, checking out the casino, re-energizing with services at the luxury spa, or grabbing a bite to eat at one of their amazing on-site restaurants or lounges – you’re always treated like you’re the most important person in the room!
They offer sophisticated accommodation right in the centre of downtown Vancouver’s entertainment district, Parq Vancouver. Nearby neighbourhoods to explore include Yaletown and Gastown – both in walking distance and chock-full of great cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. One of the best parts of my visit to this property was all of the natural light everywhere. No matter how rainy or grey the days were in this coastal city, the light just poured in across the water. Oh and let me tell you, I felt like I was constantly being spoiled around every corner. From the bed, to the gorgeous decor, to even the Molton Brown products – which transported me right back to my time living in London. Even their fitness centre features an outdoor garden and whirlpool. No detail has been left undone, and you can truly feel it everywhere.
Also, be sure to check out The DOUGLAS, which is another new addition to the hotel scene in Vancouver. Located in Parq Vancouver as well, this property is part of the more than 100 Autograph Collection Hotels worldwide. Combining raw nature with urban sophistication, this inspiring and welcoming property boasts a balanced dialogue between the city and nature. Both the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and The DOUGLAS Hotel are a must-visit, a must-see and a must-stay! Add them to your list, immediately.
Art converges with unique footwear in this incredible space. Partnering with local artists to create meaningful and original art pieces, each shoe in the shop features a digital art print on a limited number of pairs. Each artist is featured on a total of 604 pairs of shoes, with a unique and limited pair number engraved on every sole. The artists are compensated through an up-front payment and then added commissions on shoe sales. Not only do they tell a story with every piece of footwear, they also donate %6.04 of each sale to a charity of the artist’s choice. This has totalled roughly $10,000 + donated per artist that they partner with. Looking cool, supporting local AND giving back? This is a solid win-win. You’ve gotta check out this space – and I dare you to try to leave without buying a pair of shoes.
Known as a local staple in Vancouver, Litchfield is more than just a collection of things. The focus is on life as a series of simple moments, which are made beautiful by the tools that we use to live. Each piece or revolving brand that is carried in the shop, is curated with careful consideration in order to feature pieces that are built with quality and craftsmanship. You can tell from the moment you walk into the store, that you’re surrounded by items that were truly meant to be there – not just thrown together, but have been chosen to be on every single shelf. Amongst my favourite items were the beautiful Lola James Harper candles and the apothecary section, featuring skincare from brands like Context and DECIEM.
From the moment I walked into Hey Jude, I knew that it was my jam. This design-inspired vintage clothing shop specializes in pieces that have been hand-picked and curated into seasonal collections. Each collection has been conceptualized and curated by founders, Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow, from their travels. With a focus on showcasing sustainability, they carry a beautiful selection of independent goods by local and international brands – like home objects, art pieces, apothecary, natural beauty products, jewelry and even small-batch fragrances. They even host community events in their shop space, in order to help foster connection and collaboration through supporting other small businesses.
I had a hard time not buying all of the things when we visited this Gastown landmark. First opened in 1999, Block has been providing a collection of clothing, shoes and accessories – all curated with love. Not only is the space full of interesting nooks and crannies, but the pieces themselves are stunning. Browsing through each rack of local and international pieces, you can tell that everything was meant to be part of a larger and cohesive collection. Thus proving to me once again that Vancouver is a truly a hub for style and individuality.
Next time you’re popping by Vancouver for a weekend of business or pleasure, be sure to check out some of these local hot spots. Oh and make sure that you stock your wallet in advance, because much like myself, you won’t be leaving empty-handed.
All photos by Catherine Sugrue