3 Cool & Affordable Places To Stay In Vancouver

3 Cool & Affordable Places To Stay In Vancouver

For a world-class city that gets more than its share of backpack and flashpack travelers, Vancouver has a surprising dearth of interesting budget accommodations. Yeah, there’s the big party-oriented youth hostel, but there’s nothing especially remarkable about it save for an excellent central location. Choice Hotels has seven properties in the greater Vancouver area that provide good value but all are rather blah.

So what’s a cool seeking but money pinching traveler to do? After some sleuthing Spot Cool Stuff managed to find three lodgings that were both high in character and low in price.

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The Urban Hideaway Guesthouse

A hideaway indeed. Those seeking the stereotype of a party-oriented youth hostel atmosphere should look elsewhere. The Urban Hideaway, located within a 19th-century townhouse that somehow survived downtown Vancouver’s modernization, is quiet and peaceful. And elegant too, though not in an aloof way—the staff is almost overly friendly. Another bonus: the communal (and complimentary) breakfasts provide a wonderful venue for meeting other travelers.

The Hideaway’s master bedroom, with it’s bay windows and kind-sized bed, is the most sought after room here. Spot Cool Stuff, though, prefers the huge skylight-lit Loft Suite—all the rooms have sinks but the Loft Suite is the only one with a private bathroom. The “basic” rooms have several homey touches such as hanging plants and comfy down quilts.

In short, the Urban Hideaway Guesthouse has—by a considerably margin—the best high-value cool accommodations in the whole of Vancouver.

Location: Very much downtown, 1 1/2 blocks from the Granville SKYTRAIN Station
Rates: Private rooms from C$80 to C$90 per person.
Room price includes: Breakfast, bicycle use, access to DVD & book library, wi-fi internet
Special features: Excellent downtown location, laid-back atmosphere, plant-filled rooftop hangout

LEARN MORE & BOOK |

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Hotel St. Clair

st claire vancouver 3 Cool & Affordable Places To Stay In Vancouver follow me on pinterest button 3 Cool & Affordable Places To Stay In Vancouver The St. Clair reminds us of so many inexpensive hotels hidden away along the downtown back streets of Paris, Rome and Munich. It has that sort of vibe to it—slightly (and mostly charmingly) run down, comfortable enough but far from luxurious, small rooms, creaky stairs, friendly atmosphere, guests who are happy to chat and who don’t seem in much hurry to go anywhere.

Interior designers chose a nautical theme for the property but apparently used up all their enthusiasm decorating the lobby and hallways. The rooms are mostly spartan but do have drawers, a sink and a little area for hanging clothes. If you are a light sleeper request a room that does not abut Richards Street.

The St. Clair is virtually next door to the Urban Hideaway (see above) and so shares that property’s excellent downtown location. The latter is definitely the cooler and a superior place to stay. The St. Clair has the advantage of being cheaper, especially for single travelers staying in shared rooms.

Location: Very much downtown, 1 1/2 blocks from the Granville SKYTRAIN Station
Rates: Dorm beds from C$22, private rooms from C$44.
Room price includes: Access to a functional but underwhelming TV lounge, wi-fi internet
Special features: Cheap, downtown location, super friendly staff

LEARN MORE & BOOK |

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Little Retreat Bed & Breakfast

This “retreat” is essentially an ordinary family house on a semi-suburban street 10 km (6 miles) east of central Vancouver. The B&B has only two guest rooms; both are minimal and share a bathroom. There’s a common living room with a TV and a dining room that’s typical of a Canadian home.

Altogether, the experience of staying at the Little Retreat is like staying with friends of friends. Except, these friends of friends can cook exceptionally well. Breakfasts at the Little Retreat are fabulous! So much so that you can think of the Little Retreat as a place where you get a free room with your breakfast rather than vice-versa.

Obviously, this B&B is not the place to stay if you are looking for “the scene.” It isn’t the most convenient if you are relying on public transport either. It is, however, great if you have a car. The neighborhood is safe and (unlike the two properties reviewed above) on-street parking is free.

Location: Capitol Hill, a 30-minute bus ride from downtown
Rates: C$40ish to 60ish per person, 2 night min stay required
Room price includes: Breakfast, ‘net access via communal computer, parking
Special features: Especially good breakfast, home-like atmosphere

LEARN MORE & BOOK |

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updated: 20 June 2011
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Related posts:
Vancouver Island’s Treehouse Pods
5 Cool, Luxurious (and Inexpensive) Hostels
Spotting the Spotted Lake – Osoyoos, BC
Three Cool & Affordable Accommodations In London

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 3 Cool & Affordable Places To Stay In Vancouver


Responses

  1. lacy middleson says:

    unlike Darnel, i chose the urban hideaway after reading your review and loved it!!!!!! excellent recommendation spot

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Darnel says:

    Just wanted to report back that I stayed in the St. Clair based on our suggestion. It was EXACTLY as you described: cheap, high value, good but not amazing.

    Really appreciate your honest and accurate reviews.

    Darnel

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Travel Stuff Reply:

    Glad you enjoyed your stay and that the St. Clair worked out for you, Darnel. Thanks for reporting back.

    ~ SCS

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Ben@travel management says:

    Little Retreat Bed and Breakfast sounds good for me. I just like that kind of feel like you’ve never been away from home.

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. brian says:


    Twitter:
    Wish I knew about the St Clair before being in Vancouver earlier this month for TBEX. Looks great!

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. Jennifer says:


    Twitter:
    Hmm, that St Clair sounds exactly like the kind of hotel i which I’d love to stay during a trip to Vancouver. Thanks for this list!

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. wandering educators says:


    Twitter:
    what lovely recommendations – thank you!

    [Reply to this comment]

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