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Westin Bayshore Hotel Review and Visit to Amazing Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Vancouver Marina

Vancouver Marina

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
  • Saunas
  • Whirlpool
  • Exercise room
  • Massages
  • 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!

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
  • Restaurants
  • 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.

My niece is feeding a squirrel in Stanley Park

My niece is feeding a squirrel in Stanley Park

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.

Photo of my niece and me taken by my Mother in Stanley Park

Photo of my niece and me taken by my Mother in Stanley Park

My favourite place in the world to run is Stanley Park in Vancouver. One loop around there is perfect.

— Matthew Morrison


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 12, 2015:

Hi Au fait,

Stanley Park in Vancouver is a "must see" destination for anyone visiting that fabulous city in Canada. So much to see and do in that one park and it is such a nice place for locales to go and exercise or even relax.

As to my website, progress is being made but my "go to" person who is helping to set it up has been ill. So I am just hoping that soon I'll be able to get it out there so that others can access it.

The first thing I had to do was to relabel all of my photos with hyphens in between the words and shrink down the sizes to less than 50 KB. That alone was quite the undertaking with as many photos as I typically take! Then when inserting them into a post, hyphens are removed. Has something to do with coding and I am gradually learning more as time passes.

C E Clark from North Texas on November 11, 2015:

The photos here are incredible as always! What a lovely time you must have had, and great information for travelers who won't want to miss the experience of visiting Vancouver, and Stanley Park. I think I would want to go there sometime in late July or anytime in August. A great time to get out of Texas! ;)

Wondering how your website is coming along. I note fewer and fewer articles to choose from. I hope you will write about your experience setting it up and give the rest of us some advice about what you think makes the most sense, etc. Hope all is well with you and yours. Take care . . .

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 02, 2014:

Hi ReviewsfromSandy,

Nice that you got to see that gorgeous area with your parents.

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin on August 31, 2014:

I had been there many years ago with my parents.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2014:

Hi Scarlettohairy,

We had 5 days there and still did not see it all. Vancouver is such a beautiful and interesting city. Hope you get back there someday.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on August 28, 2014:

I visited Vancouver BC once but only for a day visit. I loved that area and would love to go back for a much longer visit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 16, 2013:

Hi pstraubie48,

So nice to know that you enjoyed this look at what Stanley Park has to offer those who live there and others who visit Vancouver, Canada. It is a fabulous place! Appreciate your comment. Hope that you and your sister get to do some fun traveling together. Sending angels back to you and yours. Thanks for your comment.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 16, 2013:

Thanks for this peek at Stanley Park and the room you enjoyed so much. I agree that the room is not generally the focus of the trip but it is lovely to come in at the end of a glorious day to a pleasing and relaxing place.

My sister and I have begun to travel together as she is now closer to me having moved here from Austin Texas. Canada is on our list of 'must see' places.

The information you have provided will help us for sure.

The raccoons in the video were precious.

Have a lovely day....sorry I have not been around behind a bit in my visiting. Angels and blessings on the way to you and yours :) ps

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2013:

Hi Prasetio,

You would love visiting Stanley Park if you ever travel to Vancouver, Canada. It is an integral part of that beautiful city. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 10, 2013:

Hello torrilynn,

Stanley Park in the city of Vancouver is a natural attraction and one well worth visiting if you ever find yourself in that part of the world. Thanks for your comment and vote up.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 10, 2013:

Wow...incredible. You have covered it so very well here. I have never heard about Stanley Park. But personally, I want to visit Canada as one of beautiful country. I really enjoy the virtual tour at the Stanley Park. How lucky I am to have found this article this morning. Good job, Peggy. Voted up! useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting. Cheers...


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 09, 2013:

Hello Troyangeluk,

If you wish to read more of our Canadian adventures, just click on some of the links under the title "More from Canada..." Hope you get to visit there someday. Thanks for your comment.

torrilynn on March 09, 2013:

Hi Peggy,

such a great story about Vancouver Canada

I've never been but I am willing to visit such a beautiful place

thanks and Voted up

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 09, 2013:

Hi Don,

We never saw any black squirrels when we lived in Wisconsin Rapids...but that was back in the mid-1970's. We had loads of trees on our lot and adjacent to us. They must have come after we were already gone. I have never seen one where we now live in Houston although we have plenty of squirrels down this way. Interesting!

Thanks for sharing this hub about Stanley Park. We loved what we saw of Vancouver and in particular, Stanley Park. So pretty!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 09, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

We had never seen black squirrels like that until we visited Vancouver. Glad that you enjoyed this hub about the fabulous Stanley Park. What a great place to relax, have fun, exercise, etc. for the people who live there as well as visitors such as we were. Appreciate your vote and the share.

Troyangeluk from UK on March 09, 2013:

hey ive been wanting to visit Canada for some time now, got any other suggestions on what to see throughout Canada? Fantastic hub voted up etc.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on March 09, 2013:

Hi Peggy. I've never gotten to Canada except around Lake Superior when a friend and I drove all the way around the lake. They were just building a road back then and it had a very frontier look to it.

I'm not sure where black squirrels come from but they are common in Wisconsin Rapids and we have them in our yard. We also had them in our yard in Moline, Illinois. Somebody in Illinois told me they were imported from somewhere and spread, but I don't recall where.

Up, useful and interesting. shared.

moonlake from America on March 08, 2013:

This looks like a great place to visit. Enjoyed all you photos. I love the one with the black squirrel. Voted up and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 23, 2013:


Stanley Park in Vancouver is an integral part of the city and sees much action by locals enjoying that green space as well as visitors who visit it from afar. It is so beautiful and also contains so much of interest. Fortunate are those who live there and can utilize the park regularly. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 23, 2013:

Awesome , a place with such beauty one can't resist but visit, thanks for this attractive Hub

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 27, 2012:

Hi Eddy,

Stanley Park is such a beautiful place to spend some time while in Vancouver and our hotel gave us such a beautiful overview of the park and marina. So happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for your comment.

Eiddwen from Wales on October 27, 2012:

Oh Peggy what an amazing hub ;so well informed and so much hard work has been put into it.

This is what I have come to expect from you by now Peggy and not once have you disappointed.

Here's to so many more to follow.

Have a wonderful day.


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 09, 2012:

Hello bdegiulio,

Nice that you got to see and enjoy the beautiful Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada. Wish I was strolling through it right now! Thanks for your comment.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on May 09, 2012:

Hi Peggy. Was there about 10 years ago, wonderful place. Great pictures and video.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 29, 2011:

Hello Joseph Hollick,

Nice that you also got to visit Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada and have your own memories of it. It is a fabulous place! Thanks for the comment.

Joseph Hollick from Hamilton, ON Canada on January 29, 2011:

Thanks for posting a great hub of Stanley Park. I was there two years ago and this Hub brought back good memories.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 25, 2010:

Hello Charlinex,

You are most welcome! Glad you liked these memories of what we got to share in the lovely Stanley Park of Vancouver, Canada. Perhaps next time you will be able to spend a bit more time there?

Charlinex on July 24, 2010:

Great hub! I have been to Vancouver a few times but never had enough time to explore Stanley Park completely. Thanks for sharing!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 26, 2009:

Hi RedElf, You were fortunate to be able to see it more often when visiting your grandparents. So beautiful! Glad that this brought back good memories for you and thanks for the comment.

RedElf from Canada on May 26, 2009:

How lovely - so glad you enjoyed Stanley Park. It was always the highlight of any summer with my mother's parents (the West Coast grandparents). So wonderful to see it through new eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your trip.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2009:

Hi Pete, Nice area, isn't it. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Pete Maida on May 22, 2009:

I remember that area.

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