A weekend away might just be the perfect present to surprise your loved one and secure a spot on Santa’s ‘nice list’ this year. With Metro Vancouver’s array of activities, world-class culinary scene and luxury hotels you don’t need to venture far to dazzle your darling.
Shopping Sprees, Luxury Lounging and Foodie Fun in Downtown Vancouver
The winter months offer brilliant savings on Vancouver hotels so why not splurge and lap up the luxury at the Four Seasons Vancouver, which starts at only $225 per night. Attached to Pacific Centre, shopaholics will delight in the Four Season’s immediate and umbrella-free access to the mall’s more than 100 stores. After a day at the shops, relax by the indoor/outdoor heated pool, or pamper yourself with a massage at the spa.
The hotel’s Yew Restaurant features a three-course scrumptious brunch for $27 with tempting dishes such as Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Crab Tacos with Dungeness Crab, Crispy Wonton, Togarashi Spice, Avocado and Radish Sprouts. Another fantastic deal at Yew is the ‘Wine Down’ Sundays promotion, when all bottles of wine are half-price.
Dirty Apron Cooking School, Vancouver
While in Vancouver sharpen your knife skills and embrace your inner gourmand at The Dirty Apron Cooking School. Opened by the owners and former Sous-chef of Chambar, Dirty Apron delivers an evening of entertainment, education and exceptional gastronomy in a casual, elegant space. Classes are comprised of chef demonstrations and hands-on practical experience using state-of-the-art equipment. After you’ve masterfully prepared a mouth-watering menu you’ll move to the communal dining room to savour and celebrate your success. A variety of lessons to suit all tastes are available, including Contemporary Christmas: A Modern Holiday Feast, featuring roasted mushroom and chestnut soup, pear and apricot stuffed pork loin with herb spaetzle, and a baked apple and almond tart with rum ice cream for dessert.
Take in the View on Vancouver’s North Shore.
Luxury waterfront accommodations with panoramic city views await you at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier in North Vancouver. Steps from the specialty shops at Lonsdale Quay Market, this boutique hotel on the water’s edge offers a peaceful retreat starting at $125 per night. Spend your time exploring the area on the hotel’s complimentary bikes, wandering through Lower Lonsdale’s galleries and boutiques, or taking a stroll along the historic 700-foot pier to admire the 360-degree city, mountain and water views. Check out Pinacle’s many special packages for great savings.
A trip to North Vancouver is not complete without a visit to Grouse Mountain. A majestic winter-wonderland, the mountain’s annual Peak of Christmas offers a myriad of romantic activities, including horse-drawn sleigh rides, an outdoor skating rink and live entertainment. After working up an appetite, take in the stunning views of Vancouver’s skyline at The Observatory, Grouse Mountain’s intimate fine-dining restaurant. Ingredients for the sustainable menu are seasonal and sourced within 100 miles of the restaurant. Vancouver Island Venison Loin with walnut gnocchi, apple, celery root purée, licorice jus and Fraser Valley Duck Breast with herb spätzle, cauliflower, hazelnut velouté are current highlights at The Observatory.
Another celebrated North Shore dining experience offering sweeping city views is Fraiche in West Vancouver. Named as one of Canada’s Top Ten Best New Restaurants by enRoute Magazine, Fraiche features regionally-inspired cuisine in a cozy, romantic setting. Creative dishes that are rich in flavour and flawless in presentation, such as the Smoked Bison Short Ribs and Ash Crusted Ostrich, are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Richmond Baby Richmond.
A local alternative to the shows, casinos and buffets for which Las Vegas is famous is Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort. Seven minutes from Vancouver International Airport, and only 18 minutes from downtown Vancouver on the Canada Line, this urban playground offers endless entertainment, a luxury-spa, five-star accommodations and award-winning dining.
Start your day at the all-you-can-eat gourmet breakfast extravaganza, complete with Eggs Benedict, bagels topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese, waffles, pastries, cheese plates and so much more. Work off breakfast by strolling along the Marina Boardwalk, taking a dip in the tropical indoor pool and soaking in the oversized Jacuzzi. Complete your day of indulgence with a romantic couples massage at the River Rock’s Absolute Spa.
After the sun sets, enjoy a romantic meal at Tramonto, the resort’s authentic Italian restaurant featuring exceptional cuisine, generous wine list and outstanding service. House specialties at this hidden culinary gem include the Antipasto Platter of grilled prawns and scallops, marinated clams and mussels, house smoked BC wild salmon, grilled vegetables and cured meats, and the amazing pan seared Snake River Farms Wagyu beef rib eye.
End the day with cocktails at Lulu’s Lounge, or catch a live performance at the Show Theatre – famous for its world-class acts and entertainment.