Words by Carlie Tucker
London, New York and Paris often call to luxury seekers with a sweep of 5-star stays and iconic city experiences, but if you're looking for something a little bit different, head to the Great White North. Vancouver delivers more unique once-in-a-lifetime memories than you could possibly tackle in a single holiday, but you have to start somewhere ...
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Into The Wild
Vancouver may be a sleek cosmopolitan epicentre brimming with all the luxuries of a world-class city, but venture a mere 30 minutes in any direction and you'll find yourself among Canada's wilderness. It's an ideal location for those that want to play adventurer for the day, exploring the more rugged side of luxury travel experiences.
Why not board a private charter seaplane for an exhilarating early morning scenic flight capturing a bird's eye view of the stunning cityscape? Then soar along the coastline and to the wild shores of Vancouver Island where thick mountain forests and ocean waters are the stomping grounds for some of the country's most iconic animals. This includes bears, whales, seals, otters, sea lions and birds. Whether you're interested in spotting the mighty grizzly or hoping to catch a glimpse of orca whales, eco wildlife tours are a great way to take a peek into the natural habitats of these majestic creatures.
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Image courtesy of shangrila.com
Melt Those Troubles Away
Back on the mainland with your sense of adventure truly satisfied, a day dedicated to pure relaxation could be just what the doctor ordered. Luckily, Vancouver offers a healthy selection of top quality day spas to choose from.
The Absolute Spa at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a top choice. There are full menus available for both the ladies and the gents, or opt for a day of rejuvenation together in one of the Couple's Retreats. The latter can include a customised massage and Absolute Prescription Facial from a skincare expert.
CHI, the Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel is another luxurious experience designed to melt all your troubles away. This time with a little eastern flair. Choose one of the CHI Journeys for a holistic spa experience, or indulge in one of their signature massages. Men in need of a treatment or two are not left out with a full CHI menu catering to the guys. This includes the CHI Stress Remover, Executive Facial and Revitalised Feet treatments.
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Dining With A View
One of the greatest things about this city is the views. Surrounded by mountains with a stretch of beautiful coastline, everywhere you look this city puts on a show. What better way to take it all in than over dinner? Whether you're hoping to score a seat overlooking the city lights or you'd rather gaze upon the serenity of the harbour, Vancouver will deliver a restaurant that serves up delightful fare with a view.
For those seeking the splendour of the mountains while they eat, LIFT Bar and Grill has you covered. With laidback elegance and a top spot on the waterfront, you'll be treated to delicious food and views that encompass the harbour and mountains beyond.
If you're hoping to check out the city lights, The Observatory at Grouse Mountain can't be beat. Thanks to an elevated position, diners are treated to amazingly beautiful views over the city and surrounding waterways while indulging in a five-course prix fixe tasting menu with matching wines.
If you can make the time to try one or both at dusk, you'll be treated to a famous Vancouver sunset. Lighting the sky in brilliant pinks, oranges and yellows and glinting off the surrounding architecture, it's the perfect way to cap off your day in the City of Glass.