Bang in the middle of super-stylish Yaletown (Vancouver's warehouse district), the OPUS Hotel provides an uber-chic base for exploring the wonderful city of Vancouver. Effortlessly cool, this is the place to see and be seen for tourists and locals alike. It's not for nothing that this hotel voted 'Trendiest Hotel in the World' by Tripadvisor in 2012.
What's to love?
Lots! Especially the fact that each room comes equipped with its own 3G iPad which you can take out and about around the city. Crammed full of tailored apps and links, these act as your own personal tour guide - perfect for helping you get your bearings! Your keycard is also a great perk - it allows for exclusive discounts with partners situated around Yaletown.
Friendly, stylish and lively. Staff were more than welcoming, offering local recommendations and tips as well as practical advice on navigating the city.
The hotel is pretty ideally located: you're right by the Yaletown-Roundhouse subway station and Yaletown dock is also a short walk away, providing a number of water taxis and boat services, perfect for exploring.
Rooms are vibrant yet eclectic, with floor-to-ceiling windows and designer furnishings. We were lucky enough to have a spa bathroom, featuring a huge rain shower and deep sunken tub. Small comforts such as l'Occitaine toiletries and bathrobes added to the luxury 'spa' feel of the room. Be warned though: the windows in the bathroom are huge – so make sure you close the blinds!
For fitness fanatics, the hotel also has a 24-hour health/fitness centre and free bike hire, perfect if you want to work off some your excess baggage.
This place is perfect if you...
...want a cool, boutique feel at a price that won't necessarily break the bank. Yaletown is also packed full of boutiques, restaurants and bars most of which are literally on the doorstep of the hotel – a great way to ease yourself into the city.
The OPUS also offers a unique Lifestyle concierge service which offers suggestions of activities, shopping, restaurants and bars tailored to your every whim.
We were also delighted to see that the hotel is pet-friendly – so you're guaranteed to make some cute furry friends.
Best rooms in the house
The hotel has 96 rooms and suites each decorated in a unique style. We stayed in an executive suite offering king bed (with Egyptian cotton sheets), huge sofa bed, two flatscreen TVs and a great surround sound system.
This place doesn't go in for chintz, so forget chocolates on the pillow and think playful lollipops and Pez dispensers.
Where to eat/drink
Eat at the hotel's great restaurant La Pentola, where chefs Adam Pegg and Lucais Syme specialise in North Italian cuisine. The queues give testament to the food: it's is a hotspot with locals at the weekend, so make sure you reserve a table to avoid disappointment.
If Italian isn't your bag, wander up Davie street - in particular towards the West End, where you will find a host of great Asian restuarants specialising in affordable sushi and noodle dishes
Further up Davie Street, 'Sunset Beach' is a great place to grab a drink at one of the local bars and watch the sun set over the horizon – a truly spectacular site.
Things to do, places to see...
Walk down to Yaletown dock and hop on an aqua bus to Granville Island (tickets cost just $3.25 and the trip is a perfect way to soak up the harbour views). This is a foodies' paradise, so make sure that you don't eat before you go! The market operates daily from 9am-7pm so allow yourself half a day to experience it. Don't miss beer tasting in the Granville Island Brewery – the Maple Cream Ale was a particular favourite of ours!
A great way to get around the city is by bike. The hotel offers free bike hire, so grab one and head down to Yaletown dock.
From here you can cycle all the way around the harbour wall to Stanley Park. This is a must for unrivalled views of the coast and the chance to work off some of the food from Granville Island market. Make sure you allow three hours for this leisurely cycle.
Start in Yaletown and head around the sea wall until you reach the park. The route is pretty flat and is also a really great way of seeing the city and establishing your bearings. Break up the journey with an ocean-side picnic and take in the views. There are loads of places to rent bikes and they are really cheap too. Also many hotels also provide bikes for free so make sure you check with your concierge. Find out more
There are plenty of street-food outlets across Vancouver. We particulary liked ‘Big Dogs’ on Yaletown harbour. Staff were extremely friendly and are full of knowledge on the local area. Hot-Dogs are their speciality so expect to be faced with lots of varieties. They also offer a delicious gluten-free Hot-Dog!
This uber-cool establishment is open for Brunch, Lunch and dinner, we highly recommend the Tomato Florentine Eggs Benedict – amazing! This is also really near Gastown if you want to do some exploring after... Find out more
A trip to Vancouver isn’t complete without getting the obligatory picture of yourself with Gastown’s Steam Clock! Gastown is the oldest part of Vancouver and has a collection of Vancouver’s finest buildings, restaurants and boutiques. You can easily lose yourself for a day here either café hopping or bar hopping. On a warm day make sure you check out The Lamplighters terrace – a great place for people watching!
Whilst in Gastown, make sure you check out Cartems Donuterie. There are loads of weird and wacky flavours ranging from Campfire Cinder Toffee to Earl Grey. We had a Citrus Dust donut and we can confirm that it was amazing!
Keeping with the food theme, spend a day at the fantastic Granville Island Food Market. Simply hop on an Aqua bus from Yaletown Harbour ($3.25) and the journey takes about 20mins. On a sunny day, the Aqua Bus is a great (and cheap) way of seeing the city in its full glory. Once at the market sample a wide range of local delicacies – from fresh bagels and smoked meats to candied Salmon. The market is massive and doesn’t stop at just food…. The island is packed full of craft stores, clothes shops and also a huge toy market. You can’t visit Vancouver without coming here!
If you are a fan of beer and one to sample some local brews, head to Granville Island Brewing. The taproom is on Granville Island itself and has tastings daily. We sampled the full tasting map comprised of local ales such as Maple Cream Ale, Honey Lager and Raspberry ale. Its really cheap and a great way to spend an afternoon.
Hop on a bus at Canada Place and head down to the Mountain. At 4000ft it is Vancouver’s highest point. It has the best views of Vancouver especially from the ski lift – this isn’t recommended if you are scared of heights. If you are feeling fit, you can hike up the mountain. Be warned this isn’t for novice climbers and is 2.5k of steep mountain walking. Once up the mountain there are a number of activities for all of the family ranging from zip wires to lumberjack shows. The real stars of the Mountain are the two rescue Grizzly Bears – they are gorgeous and are real posers for the camera. Find out more
Hop on a train at Vancouver’s Pacific-Rim station for a hassle-free way of seeing Canada’s beautiful landscapes. Trains take you all the way across Canada to Toronto and beyond. There are a number of options to break up the journey, we definitely recommend a stop in Jasper! Find out more
Pay Vancouver’s art gallery a visit. It’s a beautiful old building situated in the heart of Vancouver. You can easily lose yourself for hours in here browsing through pieces from some of the world's finest artists. After the gallery stop at one of the nearby street food outlets (we recommend the pulled pork). The gallery is also very close to Robson St, one of Vancouver’s main shopping areas.