Friday, February 12, 2010


As the world descends on Vancouver, YVR airport is warning passengers to arrive for flights 4 hours prior to departure, to navigate the check-in and security process. Hopefully this will give you time to relax in a lounge near your gate, but I have spent an hour in line at YVR, at a time that there was not heavy traffic, so I wish the athletes luck! Fortunately, they have had endurance training that will give them the fortitude to stand in line for hours. At this time, being able to escape the airport stress by relaxing in a lounge with refreshment is a must! Passengers travelling in a qualifying class of service are entitled to Maple Leaf Lounge access. The other way to enter the lounge is with elite status along with a same-day confirmed travel on a departing Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz, Star Alliance or an Air Canada Codeshare flight. You can even redeem Aeroplan® Miles for Maple Leaf™ Club memberships and Lounge passes

The opening ceremony at the Richmond Olympic oval stadium presenting 4,500 performers and a parade of nations is impressive. We can’t all be there but we will want to visit Vancouver at some time because it is one of the beautiful cities that should be on your “bucket” list to visit. There is so much to do and see:

You can take a city tour on a cute trolley or a trip to see whales. An aquabus docks at the foot of Howe Street. It takes you to Granville Islands public market and the Granville island ferry docks at Sunset beach below the Burrard Street Bridge every 8 minutes. Vancouver's Art museum displays collections of art by native Inuit Indians to European masters.

The water front restaurants are wonderful. You can eat curry in the Indian Punjabi Market, in the southern part of the city or shop in the China Town district, primarily concentrated along Hastings, Pender to Gore streets. On the subject of food; -après skiers, or après ski watchers enjoy Araxi Restaurant, located in the center of Whistler Village. +The Fairmont Hotel Whistler. Whistler is a visually stunning 2 hour drive from Vancouver.

Combining the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, the majesty of the Coastal Mountains, and a mild climate makes Vancouver one of the most live-able, fun cities in the world. It is an outdoor city and public transportation is so comprehensive that you don’t even have to rent a car. The Skytrain and Seabus Pass is C$9.00 adult. BC transit’ accommodates cyclists on the Sky Train and buses.

Hotels that I like are:
  • The FAIRMONT Hotel Vancouver has great views of the harbor, sumptuous surroundings and an opulent spa and health club.
  • The RENAISSANCE Vancouver Hotel has a mesmerizing view of the harbor side. I sat on the balcony for a couple of hours watching the float planes, (see the 2 photos above) Ask for a room with breathtaking mountain and city views facing Coal Harbour.The Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside has an offer to see Vancouver on a replica, turn-of-the-century, San Francisco Style trolley. Visit the city's most spectacular attractions, parks, gardesn, galleries, and restaurants. Your trolley ticket is included in the Rate of $279 CAD, Valid Through: December 31, 2010
  • On a subsequent visit I stayed at the Vancouver MARRIOTT Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. It is across the road from the Renaissance. Try to get one of the larger unusually shaped round-sided rooms. Stay 2 nights and your 3rd night is free. Book a long weekend across great cities throughout Canada. For every 2 nights you reserve, receive your 3rd night free.
  • Nestled in the Fraser Valley, the SHERATON Vancouver Guildford Hotel has recently undergone a complete transformation and is ready to welcome Olympians.
  • I like staying at the HYATT Regency, because it is truly downtown, with a concentration of shopping, restaurants and business hi-rises on Burrard Street. Incidentally, HYATT GOLD PASSPORT members have an offer to receive $25 credit when you stay at Hyatts, through March 17th and receive a hotel credit.
  • THE WESTIN GRAND on Robson street is an all-suites hotel located at the crossroads of trendy Yaletown and Robson streets in beautiful downtown Vancouver
  • My favourite hotel is the SHERATON VANCOUVER WALL CENTER on Burrard Street. It has a really nice club concierge lounge with a spectacular Pacific Ocean view. The hotel is within walking distance of Vancouver's best restaurants, the comedy club and top galleries.
I like to watch the ice dancing but Curling is like watching paint drying. Curling is a Kind of shuffleboard on ice, it originated in Scotland and it is the most boring sport to watch. I’m looking forward to seeing the Texan Chad Hedrick speed skating on the 23rd of February, the flying tomato on a snowboard and another snowboarder, Gretchen Bleiler.

Now, you can start planning a trip to the U.K. because they have been chosen to host the 2012 London Olympics.


  1. Drew Snider here from TransLink, the transportation authority in metro Vancouver (not BC Transit, BTW - they run the transit in the rest of the province, including Whistler). Thanks for the note about the $9 DayPass, which covers all modes of transit except the West Coast Express (heavy rail). One other thing your readers should know: there is a $5 AddFare attached to fares purchased at ticket vending machines at the three SkyTrain stations on Sea Island -- those are the one at the airport (cunningly referred to as "YVR-Airport"), Sea Island Centre and Templeton -- for travel into downtown Vancouver. So if you're arriving at Vancouver by air, your trip into downtown Vancouver will cost $8.75 -- $3.75 for the two-zone basic fare plus the $5 AddFare. You don't have to pay it on the return trip out to the airport, and if you have a pre-paid pass (like the DayPass, which you can buy at the Pharmasave on level 1 of the domestic terminal), you don't have to pay it at all. You can plan your trip online, too, by logging onto and clicking on "Trip Planner"; Google Maps has a "Transit" function, too, which you can also use to plot your journey.

  2. here's another observation from TransLink: you mention that bikes are accommodated on SkyTrain and the buses. Actually, they won't be allowed on SkyTrain during the Olympics -- i.e. from now until March 3.

  3. Drew, thanks for the useful, excellent comments! The city of Vancouver should always have the Olympics because you guys do such a good job of organization!

  4. You like Chad but I think that The women's downhill race — American Lindsey Vonn is the most popular, top event because she posed in bikini.

  5. the comedy Mix address you mentioned is at Location
    1015 Burrard St.
    Vancouver, BC
    Canada V6Z 1Y5