When I was planning a week in Vancouver to celebrate my birthday this past September, I had only one hotel in mind: The Westin Bayshore. Located along the shore of Coal Harbour, the resort hotel is an urban oasis nestled between the glass skyscrapers of downtown and the lushness of Stanley Park, with stunning waterfront and mountain views. Designed to inspire relaxation and revitalization, the property features a large circular heated pool surrounded by cabanas, yoga programs, and a 5,000 square foot spa. It’s everything you need from a vacation, just steps away from some of Vancouver’s best dining and shopping.
With the borders to the USA and Canada opening to fully vaccinated travelers on November 8th, 2021, the Westin Bayshore is the ideal romantic getaway for people who want to experience everything the city of Vancouver has to offer. Furthermore, the Westin Bayshore’s lush and incomparable setting also makes it the perfect location for couples looking to say “I do” with the Pacific Ocean, North Shore Mountains, and old-growth forest of Stanley Park as a stunning backdrop.
Built in 1961, the Westin Bayshore is a mid-century landmark steeped in history. In 1972 the hotel experienced a moment in the spotlight when the notorious germaphobic billionaire Howard Hughes spent six months holed up in the penthouse suite, which boasts stunning panoramic ocean views of the ocean and mountains. While the hotel has been updated since Hughes’ stay to reflect an elegant, modern sensibility, the rooms remain impeccably clean and well-maintained.
Guests are greeted with Westin’s signature plush Heavenly® Beds and picturesque views of Vancouver Harbour and the city skyline that can be easily accessed via the sliding glass doors located in every of the hotel’s 499 rooms. Pro-tip: book a room with an ocean or harbor view. It’s worth it, I promise.
Incredible views aside, the main reason staying at the Westin Bayshore truly feels like a resort experience is the hotel’s pool. Nestled amidst verdant greenery, the pool is open year-round and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass of local BC wine or a tropical cocktail, weather permitting.
Guests can also treat themselves to a session of Liquid Yoga, a unique 60-minute workout where you balance atop floating aquamats. This one-of-a-kind experience in Vancouver is offered year-round in the indoor pool in the cooler months and the outdoor pool in the warmer season.
Whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony or an 875 person extravaganza (the number of guests allowed depends on current government restrictions), the Westin Bayshore’s wedding planners and culinary professionals are there to help make your happily ever after dreams a reality.
Well-versed in cultural weddings, the Westin Bayshore is perfectly set up for both East Asian and South Asian events, including tea ceremony services, an elegant front drive for Baraat (wedding procession), and Sangeet locations for the night before the wedding.
With over 67,000 square feet of event space, the hotel can accommodate everything from a lavish wedding in the Grand Ballroom to an elegant, outdoor micro-wedding in the Marine Garden, which overlooks the Coal Harbor Marina.
Couples looking for something in between, also have a slew of options including the International Suite which is located on the 5th floor of the hotel and offers a floor-to-ceiling panoramic view of the harbor, park, and snow-capped mountains.
Couples craving a touch of Hollywood history to their celebration can even rent suite #2091, the room Howard Hughes spent half a year in. It offers the same incredible views and includes archived articles about Hughes’ time at the hotel.
Simone Paget is a food, travel and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast of Canada. She’s a nationally syndicated sex and relationship columnist for the Toronto Sun and the author of the blog SkinnyDip.ca. Her work has appeared in/on publications such as The Apartment Therapy, Chowhound, and the Washington Post.
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