Westin Bayshore Hotel Review and Visit to Amazing Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada
Westin Bayshore Hotel: A Room With a View
This post addresses a wonderful part of a vacation spent in Vancouver, Canada including all the sites and activities that were to be found in fabulous Stanley Park. But not to be neglected is the spectacular room with a view that we enjoyed at our hotel.
Ordinarily, I don't waste much time talking about a hotel stay beyond mentioning the name. After all, the main focus of traveling is what one is able to do and experience while in a new locale. The hotel, motel, or other rented lodging is just a place to keep one's belongings and hopefully get a good night's sleep when the time is right. All of that changed when we were directed to our room with a view at The Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver.
In researching where to stay, the location of this hotel seemed to be very convenient related to what we would be doing while on vacation. The Westin Bayshore Hotel was near downtown and yet it was also just minutes away from the 1,000-acre, world-famous Stanley Park.
We had planned a one-day trip up to Squamish by taking the M.V. Britannia ship and returning to Vancouver via the Royal Hudson steam train. We could board that ship in the marina directly in front of our hotel. That was another reason this hotel would be convenient for our lodging.
What surprised and delighted us was the sheer beauty of our hotel's location and the terrific views that could be seen from the windows and balcony of our room. Sunrise, sunset, and in between our sightseeing venues it became a spectacular and dramatic stage set.
Room # 1184 was a corner room and my mother, niece and I had gorgeous views of not only downtown but also the very appealing marina below us. Trees in Stanley Park provided a green backdrop with the higher mountains capping off that picture.
Resort Hotel Amenities
The Westin Bayshore Hotel was listed as a resort hotel. It had all the usual amenities that one would expect to find in a place like that. Many of these things were not able to be used by us as we had planned fairly full days of sightseeing while there. But for others who may have been there for different reasons some of their offerings included the following:
- Indoor and outdoor pool
- Exercise room
- Pool tables
- "Free 'N Easy" bus taking people to shopping or business appointments
- A great variety of lounges and restaurants
The individual rooms were nicely appointed. Each one had a guest room bar in addition to the other amenities one generally finds in an upscale hotel.
The grounds were beautifully landscaped with colorful gardens but it was the distant views that captured the most attention.
People deciding to stay at the Westin Bayshore Hotel can arrive by car, boat or seaplane. The hotel can accommodate travelers no matter what mode of transportation they use in getting there.
Discovering Stanley Park
After we had settled into our room at the Westin Bayshore and enjoyed our lunches we decided to walk over to the nearby Stanley Park. The day was bright and sunny and the temperatures moderate.
The Vancouver Aquarium and the whale shows were of interest to us, so we decided to spend some time seeing what we could of that. It is the largest aquarium in all of Canada and we were greatly entertained with the orca (also called killer whale) show as well as the beluga show. The many different aspects of this huge aquarium could have one looking at different fish and marine life from around the world for hours.
- Stanley Park was opened in 1888 by Lord Stanley of Preston. He was the Governor General of Canada at the time.
- When it was first opened some indigenous people still lived on the land that was designated to become the park. Some were bought out and others were allowed to stay there until their deaths when their property was finally acquired and turned into public use.
- Stanley Park was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988.
- It is forested with half a million trees according to the literature and many of them are hundreds of years old. The vast majority of these trees are cedar, hemlock, and fir.
The forest formed a canopy of shade in many parts of the park and were of every size imaginable. Thin trunks, thick trunks, hollowed out trunks of deciduous as well as evergreen trees with leaves of different sizes and colors presented a beautiful picture next to the manicured lawns and areas left in a more natural state.
Having been born in the midwest, I particularly love the trees that grow and thrive in the north. This filled my eyes with beauty that I also attempted to partially capture on film. Of course, there is nothing like being there and smelling the clean forested air and hearing the rustling of the leaves. I heartily drank in the sights of these areas.
There is a 5.5-mile (8.8-kilometer) trail for people who want to exercise by walking, running, biking or rollerblading all along the perimeter seawall of the park. We saw countless people using it. What an absolutely gorgeous place to get one's daily exercise!
Ambulating through the entirety of this 1,000-acre (400-hectare) park would take days. There are 120 miles (200 kilometers) of trails!
In addition to the things already mentioned here are some other points of interest that one finds in Stanley Park.
- Three beaches are provided in Stanley Park for swimming.
- There are two lakes—Beaver Lake and the Lost Lagoon.
- An area filled with totem poles
- A water park for kids
- Rose Gardens
- Vancouver Rowing Club
- Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
- Miniature train one can ride through the park.
- Picnic areas
- Areas for lawn bowling and playing cricket
- Siwash Rock (a bronze statue of a girl on a rock in the water)
- Prospect Point where one overlooks the North Shore Mountains, Lion's Gate Bridge and West Vancouver.
There is wildlife to be seen in Stanley Park. We did not see coyotes which are reported to be there nor rabbits the several days that we visited the park.
We did see raccoons and gray squirrels. The latter are quite tame and are obviously used to people feeding them. The gray squirrels actually looked black to us. We had never previously seen squirrels so black in coloration.
Stanley Park used to have a zoo but it was finally closed in 1997.
Surrounded by water on three sides Stanley Park offers locals a place to relax, unwind, exercise and play. For visitors to Vancouver, a tour of Vancouver would not be complete without spending at least a little bit of time in this gorgeous park.
If you find yourself planning a vacation trip to Vancouver anytime in the foreseeable future, see if you can reserve room 1184 of the Westin Bayshore Hotel for your lodging. Then be sure to visit the fabulous Stanley Park. One thing is certain. Your senses will be filled with more beauty than could possibly be described in this short post.
Location of Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada
Have you ever visited Stanley Park?
© 2009 Peggy Woods