Summer is a wonderful time to visit Vancouver, but if you’re travelling with kids, the Four Seasons Vancouver may not top your list of possible family friendly accommodation. However, a recent stay there sans kids opened my eyes to how a luxury hotel brand welcomes and embraces its tiny guests, and makes it easy for families to enjoy Vancouver from the heart of the action in Yaletown.
I was reluctantly impressed with Vancouver right off the bat – pretty much from the moment I stepped off the plane and onto a Skytrain that brought me directly downtown in less than 30 minutes and for less than ten dollars. I say “reluctantly” since, as a lifelong Torontonian, I’ve been raised to believe that Toronto is the best city in Canada! And of course that is true, but in terms of quick and easy access to downtown from the airport, it’s Vancouver: 1 Toronto: 0. The Four Seasons Vancouver is mere steps from the Vancouver City Centre stop on the Canada Line, as well as the Granville Station on the Millennium and Expo Lines. The “driverless” Skytrain offers up a “driver’s seat” on the first car of each train, and I know my kids would just love to ride the train everywhere. Not needing a rental car on a family vacation is a big bonus.
Yaletown is steps away from Stanley Park, and the perfect place to let the kids roam amongst the trees and totem poles. A short bus ride brings you to Granville Island, where I know that in between gelato tastings we would have polished off several cartons of the most delicious-looking berries and cherries. Although I was in Vancouver on business, being surrounded by so many wonderful places and attractions for families certainly kept my kids on my mind.
And the Four Seasons Vancouver was no exception. I saw so many babies, toddlers, and preschoolers make their way through the lobby, and I’m certain their parents appreciated the many ways in which children are welcomed. The on-site restaurant, YEW, has plenty of kid-friendly (and wallet-friendly) options for children, and parents can enjoy complimentary coffee and fruit while watching their kiddos splash in the indoor/outdoor pool. Year-round, they offer a savings of 50% on a second room for children 18 years of age and under and age-appropriate in-room amenities for children. If you visit before September 5, their Kids In The City package also includes complimentary breakfast for kids 12 and under at YEW, access to the Playzone games room, a “Kids in the Kitchen” experience (meet and make cookies with the Hotel’s pastry team), and a daily activity on the pool deck (e.g., craft day, face painting, scavenger hunt).
A stay at a Four Seasons hotel is not a budget vacation, however when you factor in the savings of no rental car, plus the many free attractions and affordable food options in and around the hotel, you just may find that it’s worth the splurge. Careful, though – you may become used to it!