All posts by Anney Ha

scroll pillow souvenirs Victorian HotelFor some, souvenir shopping is the less enjoyable by-product of a vacation. After all, how many t-shirts, figurines, and magnets do your friends really need? If you’re looking for some outside-the-box ideas for a BC-based gift that (heaven forbid) people might actually use, the staff at the Victorian Hotel has a few suggestions.

With the shopping meccas of Gastown, Robson, and Yaletown just minutes away, the Victorian Hotel is perfectly positioned for those who need to grab some gifts to go. Gastown and Yaletown, in particular, have emerged as the twin hubs of urban coolness, and there are plenty of snazzy stores featuring hip, handmade merchandise guaranteed to make people go oooh.

Seaweed Body Polish

Who doesn’t love a little indulgence? Perfect for the diva in your life, Seaflora’s Seaweed Body Polish can smooth and revitalize any skin type. Remove dead skin with an oil-free polish that exfoliates, clarifies, and restores elasticity to the skin. Snag a jar at Spruce Body Lab in Yaletown located at 1128 Richards Street.

Lavender Eye Pillow

While Kelowna’s lavender and herb farm is a bit further afield, their lavender eye pillow is sure to be a hit with just about anyone. Known for its soothing effects, this little indulgence is great for soothing frazzled nerves, relieving tired eyes, and promoting a good sleep. Best of all, you can order your eye pillow online and have it shipped directly to the lucky recipient:

Bacon Sea Salt

If you plan to visit Granville Island, you’ve got a one of a kind opportunity to impress your foodie friends. Bacon Sea Salt by Sea-to-Sky Seasonings is a natural, hand-harvested sea salt featuring the smoky flavour of ethically-raised and harvested Oyama bacon. A pinch will add a distinct finish to just about anything, including eggs, popcorn, or even vegetables.

Accent Scroll Pillows

Just 10 minutes away on Robson Street, the Museum of Vancouver has created a series of vintage-inspired scroll pillows made of 100% linen. Each pillow is digitally printed with a photo of the different bus scrolls that were displayed on Vancouver’s trolley buses in the early 1950s. Proceeds help support the museum, so you get to impress your design-obsessed friends and do a good deed, all in a one go!

Of course, if you’re targeting more traditional souvenirs shops for Canadians staples like smoked salmon, maple syrup, and travel-friendly confectionaries, there are plenty to choose from in Gastown. The area is filled with stunning souvenir shops like the Hudson House Trading Co. and Hill’s Native Art. Ask our staff for their recommendations!

Victorian Hotel GastownNo, no one’s going to be confined to a room. Rather, this is about the latest craze to hit Vancouver—the Escape Room. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Escape Rooms are a collaborative interactive game where groups of people try to put their heads together to solve a mystery in order to escape.

There are now Escape Rooms located all over the city. And as a centrally located Vancouver hotel, guests staying at the Victorian Hotel are just a few minutes away from one of the most popular—Smarty Pantz.

Located in Gastown, Smarty Pantz challenges visitors with puzzles backed by story and purpose. Guests have 45 minutes to unravel a mystery and escape—or meet an untimely end that’s consistent with the story’s narrative. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Local drama students play along as in-character hosts to help you along on the journey.

Indoor Escape Rooms are the perfect way to kill an hour or so in the chilly Vancouver spring, Moreover, most rooms can accommodate up to eight players, which makes them a unique team building and bonding event to share with friends, family, and coworkers.

Whether you’re out to find the body of a restless murder victim or rescuing victims from a doomed submarine, team members will have to put their heads together and look for clues to figure out the underlying logic of the room—as well as why you got there and how to escape. Smarty Pantz offers five analogue rooms and one Virtual Reality room, each of which offers varying degrees of difficulty and fear factor.

For more recommendations about indoor activates around downtown Vancouver, just ask the staff at the Victorian Hotel. They’ll be glad to advise you about fun places all around the city.

To make a reservation at the Victorian Hotel, please call 604.681.6369 or book online.

 Lodging for travellers has been around for millennia. From the thermal spas the Romans used to accommodate government travellers to the caravanserais that existed along the famed Silk Road, hotels have come a long way. And boutique hotels represent the next generation of accommodation.

Today, the word “hotel” is synonymous with travel, and there are options for every preference and budget, from barebones hostels to deluxe resorts. More recently, boutique hotels have become the answer to those looking for something new and unique. Unlike their big-box counterparts, boutique hotels distinguish themselves through intimacy and idiosyncratic design choices, which are often centred around a theme—like the lovely brick ensconced Victorian Hotel in Vancouver.

Although there’s no cut-and-dried definition of a boutique hotel—they come in many shape, sizes, and forms—here are some telltale signs that distinguish these properties.

Five Characteristics of Boutique Hotels

Individualityboutique hotels, like the Victorian Hotel in Vancouver, are often individually owned and have a distinct vibe that separates them from the cookie cutter vibe of their big-box counterparts.

Size—boutique hotels are often smaller in size and tend to range from 10 to 100 rooms.

Location—due to their smaller size, boutique hotels are often found in lively, upscale areas or even high-end residential neighbourhoods. They are often centrally located with good access to public transportation.

Culture—as locally owned properties, boutique hotels often incorporate locally-sourced materials and art. For example, amenities at the Victorian Hotel include Purely SALTspring soap, shampoo, and conditioner as part of their toiletry kit.

Service—personalized attention is the true hallmark of a boutique hotel. For people who prize a high quality, individualized experience, get ready for a staff that takes an interest and caters to personal needs.

For those seeking out accommodation as individual as they are, boutique hotels are a great alternative that features luxurious service, creative design, and distinct character. If you’re looking for a boutique hotel in Vancouver, the Victorian Hotel features 47 beautifully appointed rooms that evoke the romance, craftsmanship, and elegance of the Victorian era.

What do you imagine when you think of New Year Parties? Is it sparkling fireworks or champagne-filled evenings overflowing with starry-eyed revellers? Perhaps it’s simply cozying up in the warm with loved ones? If you plan to be in Vancouver, there are some great celebrations close to the Victorian Hotel downtown, and we’ve listed some of the best right here.
1)         NYE 2018 Waterfront Gala Ball: Starting at $120

Unless you’re going on a yacht it just doesn’t get any bigger than this. Located at the Fairmont Waterfront, this venue will have a magnificent view of the Midnight Countdown Fireworks at Canada Place. Two rooms with DJs will keep you dancing all night long, along with party favours, balloon drops, well-prepared appetizer stations and a champagne toast.

2)         Concord’s NYE Vancouver 2018: Starting from $28

Vancouver’s largest all-ages celebration, Concord’s New Year’s Eve party offers a range of experiences, with something for everyone. With several stages, a bunch of DJs and dancers, a family zone, and more, you’ll be guaranteed to have a good time. Located at Vancouver Convention Centre West, you’re just 10 minutes away by bus from the Victorian Hotel.

3)         Magic Spirit Yacht: Starting at $115

Looking for an evening with style? This amazing 1920s themed yachting experience will be the Bee’s Knees. This speakeasy prohibition style party cruise features Roaring 20s themed party favours, an amazing 3-hour cruise, DJs playing hits from Today’s music, EDM, Top 40 and more. It promises to be the most memorable experience you can have. The fun launches from the Magic Spirit Yacht down by the Plaza of Nations Marina near Rogers Arena.

4)         Telus World of Science: Starting at $80

About 10 minutes away at the iconic World of Science, you’ll join an intimate crowd of 1100 at one of Vancouver’s signature celebrations. Spread over two floors, with two rooms featuring eight of the city’s top DJs, this event is all about the effects, sound, and lighting. In addition, there’s a champagne toast and VIP ticket options, with plenty to eat and drink.

5)         Cirque Gala NYE 2018: Starting from $50

Ring in the New Year in style at Vancouver’s premier nightlife venue, located at the Imperial Vancouver on Main Street. This event will feature the city’s best EDM, Top 40, and Hip Hop DJs, stunning Cirque performance artists, 2 rooms of music plus an exclusive VIP mezzanine level, and a countdown you won’t forget! Toast the memories of 2017 and look forward to the great times to come in 2018.

Of course, if you want to stay inside, the Victorian Hotel has you covered. With plenty of luxurious amenities, you can spoil yourself rotten in preparation for 2018!

Remember to plan your New Year’s celebrations in advance before the venues fill up. And don’t forget, the streets will be crowded, so make sure you have a plan to get back safe and sound. After a bit too much good cheer, having a hotel downtown really helps.

Have a safe and Happy New Year from the staff at the Victorian Hotel.

With its Euro-style heritage charm, the Victorian Hotel in Vancouver is a great destination for anyone visiting the city in the holiday season. For those who delight in glossy hardwood and soaring bay windows, the hotel’s vintage-y vibe makes it hard to beat in any season. However, Christmas affords Vancouver-bound holiday goers with a special opportunity. With the gourmet epicentres of Gastown, Robson, and Yaletown just 5-10 minutes away, this is the ideal base for exploring the local Christmas culinary scene.

Food and Christmas have always gone hand-in-hand. Think rich gingerbread, candied nuts, decadently spiced cider, thick holiday hams, thin crispy cookies, seductive chocolates  and, of course, that perennial North American favourite—turkey! Of course, in Vancouver many restaurants will put their own inspired Westcoast twists on classic dishes. With fresh ingredients and fresher ideas, there is an endless bounty of creations designed to delight your inner gastronome. So, if you’re ready to explore a bevvy of seasonal eats and treats, read on!


Located about 5-10 minutes away on 1300 Robson Street, Forage always puts the best of BC on your plate. This restaurant connects diners to local fishers, foragers, and farmers. They also offer the best from the local craft distilleries, breweries, and wineries. Every December, this restaurant trots out their rustic holiday decor, a nod to their sustainable dining approach, and serves up a four-course family-style lunch or dinner. Last year, this included grilled kale salad, a charcuterie board, a choice of roasted Fraser Valley turkey or hay-smoked pork rack roast, and a sticky toffee pudding. Stay tuned to see what’s being served up this year. Just remember, reservations are a must in this intimate space.

Le Crocodile

Located at 100-909 Burrard (about 10 minutes away), this restaurant puts a fancy French twist on its seasonal specialities. Be on the lookout for rare delicacies like smoked and candied salmon. For the main course, tuck into Roasted Fraser Valley Duck Breast served with Pan-Seared Foie Gras and an Apple Cider Reduction. Follow that up with a chocolate cake, featuring an orange reduction that lends a seasonal fruity flair to this traditional favourite. As a bonus, Le Crocodile will be offering a New Year’s Course this year, so make your reservations early.


Just a brief trot away at 2881 Granville Street, West offers a modern space bathed in natural light thanks to an assortment of skylights, perfect for holiday conviviality. Guests can choose from options ranging from a three-course meal to simple à la carte selections like West Coast oysters with elderflower mignonette or an albacore tuna salad. Don’t forget to follow up with a decadent chocolate parfait sandwich, featuring a white chocolate sour cream mousse, which works perfectly with its crisp hazelnut wafers and sour-sweet raspberry compote.

After all that food, you’ll be grateful for the luxurious pillow-top mattresses, raindrop showers, and flat-screen TVs that add dimension and comfort to your stay at the Victorian Hotel in Vancouver. To top it off, the complimentary continental breakfast, which is included in your stay, will provide a light and refreshing start to the day next morning.

Deck the halls and light up the streets! Every year, all around the Victorian Hotel, Vancouver transforms itself into a wintery wonderland full of holiday cheer. Even if the streets are snowless, what Vancouver lacks in white it more than makes up for in light! The city is full of great exhibitions and events that are sure to engage and delight visitors to our fair city.

For those staying at the Victorian Hotel, not only will you get to enjoy a renovated turn-of-the-century guesthouse that features both Victorian design and modern comforts, the centralized location also means you have easy access to wonderful holiday inspired events all around the city. Here are just a few of our favorites to check out:

Bright Nights and the Stanley Park Christmas Train ( 10 minutes by bus)

For younger kids, it’s hard to beat the appeal of a train. Over 3 million twinkling lights transform the forest and its famous miniature train into a winter wonderland. Best of all, Santa’s always on hand to greet young guests.. This runs from Nov 30th to Jan 6th, and is only closed on Christmas Day.

Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain (22 minutes by car)

If you need a snow fix and Vancouver isn’t cooperating, Grouse Mountain is the perfect destination. In fact, it does a pretty good imitation of the North Pole! Kids can have breakfast with Santa, check out some reindeer, or go on a sleigh ride! There’s also ice skating, sledding, and other glorious winter-inspired events. Don’t forget to take a walk through the Gingerbread village. The event runs from Nov 24th to Jan 7th.

Rogers Santa Claus Parade, Downtown Vancouver (5 minutes by foot)

Saved at the last minute, the Santa Claus Parade promises to be bigger and better than ever. This year, the parade will include 60 marching bands, dance troupes, floats, and more. Expect hundreds of thousands of spectators, so get there early if you’re planning to attend and make sure you book a room ASAP.

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden

If you love Christmas sparkles, this is not to be missed. VanDusen has more than a million lights on display, covering 15 acres of its botanical garden. There’s a  gingerbread walk and more whimsical displays that you can shake a candy can at. Santa will likely make an appearance, and there’s always plenty of holiday-themed treats and entertainment, which will run from Dec 1st to Jan 7th, except for Christmas Day.

‘The Nutcracker,’ Downtown Vancouver (7 minutes by car)

For those who love the classics, the  “The Nutcracker” by the BC Ballet is a holiday staple. Dress up in your holiday best and get ready to make some memories. Performances run from Dec 14th to 19th at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts, and at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from Dec 28th to Dec 30th.

If you’re coming to Vancouver, The Victorian Hotel is the place to be. With 47 beautifully appointed rooms, you’ll find yourself enveloped in a Dickensian feel right in the heart city.

Vancouver boutique hotelAs a Vancouver boutique hotel, the Victorian combines casual elegance with historic design to provide guests with a comfortable and convenient stay in the heart of Vancouver. Housed in a beautiful Victorian-style building that dates back to 1898, the hotel sets you in the perfect location to explore the city in any season.

For those wondering what Vancouver has to offer in the pumpkin spice season, the marvellous answer is foliage and festivals. The city is simply awash in fall colours, which makes even a simple walk a lively and beautiful outdoor adventure. However, for those wondering what else to do, there are two holidays (Thanksgiving and Halloween), the VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival), and plenty of events and activities.

While evergreen trees dominate most of BC, Vancouver does have its fair share of deciduous, which show off a rhapsody of colour this time every year. For the best fall viewing, catch a bus and ride over to Stanley Park, which is about 10 minutes away from the hotel. As a designated World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful parks in the world, it’s worth seeing in any season!

September is a particularly fine time to indulge in some outdoor adventures. Whether it’s kayaking on the harbour front or zip-lining through the trees, Vancouver has a veritable smorgasbord of outdoor activities to choose from. One of our favourites is bicycling along the Seawall. You can rent bicycles from vendors all around the city or try Mobi, the City’s own bike share system.

For cinephiles, fall is THE time to visit. The acclaimed Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) just keeps getting bigger and better. Last year, the festival screened more than 300 films from more than 60 countries and attracted a star-studded audience of industry insiders, celebrities, and movie-lovers from across British Columbia.

Thanksgiving & Halloween

Thanksgiving is a family-oriented holiday, but it’s also harvest season. Look beyond the succulent squash, turkey, potatoes, and pie, because Vancouver is a culinary haven full of innovation. Many restaurants will roll out their own interpretations of this delicious tradition.

Of course, the biggest event of the month is Halloween, which is probably only second to Christmas in terms of activates and attractions. There are always plenty of corn mazes, haunted houses, and parties to celebrate at during this spooky time. Remember to do your research and make your bookings early, because events like these tend to sell out fast.

With so much to see and do, this is definitely the season to fall in love with Vancouver. And if you’re staying at the Victorian Hotel, you’ll be in the middle of it all. As a Vancouver boutique hotel, you’ll need to make reservations, and don’t hesitate to ask our staff for their recommendations, because the locals always know the best haunts.

wedding guests at the Permanent Building enjoy special rates at the Victorian HotelDid you know wedding guests at the Permanent Building enjoy special rates at the Victorian Hotel?

Located at 330 West Pender, right across from the Victorian Hotel, sits the Permanent Building. Constructed in 1906, this hidden gem once served as a financial institution with the classic temple bank architecture, complete with gorgeous stained glass. Today, not many people know that the Permanent Building has been restored as an event venue, bringing a landmark heritage space back to the neighbourhood.

As a space that boasts gorgeous elements of neoclassical design, the Permanent Building is ideal for corporate cocktail & gala events, trade shows, conferences, fundraisers, and private parties—and, of course, weddings.

Once regarded as “a grand space in the wrong place,” the modern restoration of the Permanent began in 2009 and was completed in 2015. Over one hundred years old, the venue is named after the BC Permanent & Loan Company, which opened its doors in 1907. In 1935, the Bank of Canada took over and left its own mark—the stately vault door that still stands tall at the head of the main hall.

However, the signature feature of this grand old landmark remains the jaw-droppingly beautiful stained-glass atrium that soars overhead, 35 feet long and 20 feet wide. The space also includes a stunning heritage bar, which complements the crown mouldings, bronze chandeliers, and the many intricate tile mosaics dotted throughout the building.

With special rates available for charities and not-for-profit organizations, the Permanent Building can accommodate up to 130 guests for a seated dinner, and up to 250 guests for a standing reception with mixed seating. Maximum capacity is 263 persons, including staff and vendors.

Close proximity to the Permanent Building makes the Victorian Hotel ideal for out of town guests. As a newly renovated boutique hotel housed in a beautiful historic Victorian style brick building, guests can enjoy a variety of comforts in one of 47 beautifully appointed hotel rooms.

Special hotel group rates are available at The Victorian Hotel for all event participants at The Permanent Building. For more information, please contact Brian McLauchlan for accommodation inquiries—call 604.681-6369 or email

Vancouver is a swoonworthy city with tons to see and do, but sometimes you’ve only got a day to spare. The good news is if you’re staying at the Victorian Hotel, you’ll be perfectly positioned to enjoy some city highlights before returning to your comfy boutique accommodations at night.

The Victorian Hotel is located at 514 Homer Street, which places it right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Four of Vancouver’s trendiest districts—Gastown, Yaletown, Robson, and Chinatown are within walking distance of the hotel, which features 47 beautifully appointed hotel rooms.

If you have just one day to spend in Vancouver, begin with breakfast at a local café. Vancouver is a big coffee town. Venture over to touristy Gastown for a jolt of java at their one-of-a-kind cafes. One of our favourites is Buro, which is conveniently located at the entrance to Gastown. Overflowing with natural light, the artfully poured espresso punctuates the fresh French pastries, banana bread, and house-baked muffins, which are always fresh and delicious.

After breakfast, you’ll be positioned to do a little shopping. Gastown has evolved as an epicentre for fashion and style. From fabulous Fluevogs to your new favourite t-shirt, Gastown is known for procuring some of the most interesting, well-made and genuinely beautiful items to wear and to hold.

Next, head downtown for some cuisine and culture. You could swing by the hotel to drop off your wares and then head off to Robson and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Spend the afternoon exploring a highly acclaimed collection of national and international contemporary art. Don’t miss the permanent collection on display by the legendary BC artist Emily Carr. The Satellite Visitor Centre on the south-west side of the gallery is a great source of great information and tips.

Next, for a casual west coast lunch, try the Smokehouse Sandwich Company, which is just a short walk on 700 Georgia Street W. Indulge in premium quality smoked meats and delicious sandwiches sourced from local farms. The restaurant has developed their own specialty meats, spice rubs, and sauces, resulting in inventive fusions such as Sarah—which consists of pulled Tamarind Chicken with Aioli, Sesame Ginger Oil and Asian Slaw.

After lunch, you’ll want to walk off those calories. Cab or bus to Stanley Park, a 400 hectare (1,000 acre) jewel right at the end of the downtown peninsula. For a close-up experience, rent a bike and ride the 9-kilometre Seawall path. For the less actively inclined, the park has regular horse-drawn tours that let you meander in comfort through the natural beauty of Stanley Park. A professional guide fully narrates the tour, which highlights Deadman’s Island, Vancouver Harbour, Lions Gate Bridge, a Coastal Red Cedar Forest, and includes stops at the iconic Totem Poles, the Girl in a Wet Suit Statue, the S.S. Empress of Japan Figurehead, and the Rose Garden.

For dinner, head back to Vancouver to take in the eclectic nightlife of Vancouver’s famous Chinatown. As a neat bazaar overflowing with live music, noodles, and bubble tea, it’s a gastronome’s paradise wrapped in an eclectic fusion package.

End the night close to the hotel and venture back to Gastown as the nightlife really kicks off. Vancouver is famous for its hot and cold brews, and the Steamworks Brewing Company exists among some of the city’s best watering holes. Other points to check out include the Alibi Room and Gringo, an upbeat but inexpensive taco bar.

When you’re done, your hotel will be within walking distance, so you can get back safely to the soaker tubs, pillow top mattresses, and bask in the comforting glow of the room’s LG flat screen TVs.

The Victorian Hotel in Vancouver boasts a long and illustrious history. But while keeping its vintage-y vibe intact for twenty-first century visitors, the centralized location also offers some unexpected perks for those who are keenly aware of Vancouver’s glitzy alter ego—aka Hollywood North!

For those who don’t know, the Victorian Hotel is comprised of two buildings. The first building at the went up in 1898 to house the explorers, prospectors, and newcomers who were compelled by the possibilities of life on the frontier. The second building, constructed 10 years later, was a reaction to the rapidly growing economy. Both these beautiful buildings offer a historic flavour, without sacrificing the amenities that are essential for modern day guests. Large flat-screen TVs, wireless internet, and luxurious bedding that even Kate Rockwell, the queen of the Klondike gold rush, would envy.

As a hotel with a centralized location in the downtown core, The Victorian Hotel offers fans of the big and small screen alike unique opportunities to visit the locations of a number of famous movies and TV shows that are filmed all around Vancouver. For fans of the CW original show Riverdale, staying at the hotel just might afford you a peak at America’s most famous redhead, since the set of Veronica’s Lodge’s home is just next door at The Permanent Building.

For those interested in other sets and locations, Atlas of Wonders has a list of all the known shooting locations from Season One. Organize your own set location tour, starting with Veronica’s mansion and then work your way out. Atlas of Wonders also shares shooting locations for other movies and TV shows, so there’s no telling what (or who) you might find.