To learn about what we did on our one-night winter staycation, and for tips about staying at The Westin Bayshore, continue reading. To learn about what we did on a similar getaway in the summer, read our article about Our Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver Summer Staycation.
For the hotel’s official website, visit marriott.com.
Staycationing at The Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver in Winter
We stayed at The Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver on the first weekend of February in 2023. Although just a one-night stay, it was wonderful! During our 22-hour holiday, we soaked in the hotel’s hot tub, relaxed in its saunas, swam in its pools, and dined at its restaurants. We left feeling wonderfully rejuvenated.
If you get the chance to have a one or two-night staycation in Vancouver, even if it’s on a rainy winter weekday or weekend, we highly recommend it!
Below we describe what we did during our overnight stay at the hotel and provide tips in case you plan to do the same.
Checking In and Happy Hour at the Westin
We arrived at the hotel and checked in at about 4:30 pm. The process was fast and easy, which meant we still had just enough time to get to the H Tasting Lounge before Happy Hour ended at 5:00 pm. There we had a beer, a creamy cocktail and a couple of burger sliders. The bill came to about $25 before taxes and tip, which was reasonable for what we got. The food and drinks were delicious. The H Tasting Lounge is an inviting place with its fast, friendly service and modern, pleasant decor.
To book a stay or for the hotel’s official website, visit marriott.com.
Tips and Things to Know
Below are some suggestions and useful things to know when staying at The Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver. Here we provide tips about checking in and parking.
Tips About Rooms and Checking In
TIP #1: Check-in time at the hotel is 4:00 pm. If you arrive early, you can ask if your room is available early. If not, you can still register, park your car and then go for a walk or have a drink or some food at one of the restaurants, and then come back at 4:00 pm.
TIP #2: When checking in, you can always ask if it’s possible to get an upgrade. If the hotel has lots of availability, that’s sometimes possible, especially if you are a member of the hotel’s Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. Even if you aren’t a member, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
TIP #3: The Westin Bayshore Hotel is a smoke-free property, which means there is no smoking of any kind in the rooms or on the property (including vaping and e-cigarettes). This is awesome if you aren’t a smoker. Important to know though if you are.
TIP #4: Dogs up to 40 kilograms in size are welcome in designated dog-friendly rooms. We left our dog at home. It’s good to know though that there is this option.
Tips About Parking
TIP #1: Parking when we went cost $45 for self-parking or $55 for valet parking. Check-out time is at noon, but your parking is valid until 5:00 pm (which is great)! You also have in and out privileges, so you can come and go as you like.
TIP #2: Parking is in a parkade across the street. You can park anywhere that doesn’t have a reserved sign (which means at least one or two levels down).
TIP #3: If you are on a tight budget, then it’s worth saving $10 for the self-parking option, especially if you plan to come and go once or twice with your car during your stay. On the other hand, however, if it’s raining, or if you’re in a hurry or money isn’t a problem, then the valet parking service is very convenient, and it’s only $10 extra (plus tips).
Our Hotel Room
Our hotel room was very nice. The last time we stayed at The Westin Bayshore, in the summer, we had a north-facing room on the 18th floor in the tower overlooking Coal Harbour and Stanley Park. This time we were on the 8th floor of the hotel’s original wing with a room facing east and overlooking the marina and the city. Both views were spectacular, but in different ways.
Our room during both our stays was modern, nicely renovated and very comfortable. It didn’t have a balcony where you could sit outside. It did, however, have large sliding glass doors that you could open, but with a railing right outside. We took advantage of that for the views and to take some photos.
Our room came with a very comfortable king-sized bed, large TV, standard desk area, Wi-Fi, a couple of chairs, chest of drawers and mini fridge. It also came with complimentary bottled water and a machine for making tea and coffee. The bathroom was also very nice, with modern amenities and a glass and tiled shower.
To book a stay of your own, visit the marriott.com website.
The H2 Kitchen + Bar Restaurant
For dinner we went to the H2 Kitchen + Bar which is the hotel’s main restaurant. Whereas Happy Hour at the H Tasting Lounge went from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm, at the restaurant it went from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm. We got to the restaurant just in time for a very tasty Happy Hour white rum and apple cider drink and a $4 draft beer. Yes, at the restaurant (but not the H Tasting Lounge), they have a selection of $4 local craft beers on tap during Happy Hour. That’s a really good deal!
Dinner at the H2 Kitchen + Bar was delicious! The annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival was still happening, where area restaurants offer special three-course menus at extra-reasonable prices between mid-January and early February. Most higher-end restaurants offer dinners for between about $45 and $55 per person during the festival, and sometimes up to $65. The H2 Kitchen + Bar, however, offered one of the region’s best deals.
For dinner one of us had the Dine Out Vancouver Festival special which featured a couple of appetizer options and your choice of three entrees, plus dessert. We also ordered an H2 Cobb Salad off the regular menu. It included lots of delicious and nutritious things like pulled rotisserie chicken, egg, avocado, bacon and various other salad items. The H2 Cobb Salad was a full meal and very tasty.
With the Dine Out Vancouver Festival special, the other member of our party chose the Harvest Salad and Texas Smoked Beef Brisket with waffle fries and coleslaw. That, plus a banana pudding butter cake dessert, cost just $35, which made it an exceptional deal, and very delicious as well!
Restaurant Tips at The Westin Bayshore
Below are some useful things to know when eating at one of the restaurants at the hotel.
TIP #1: The H2 Kitchen + Bar and H Tasting Lounge are both great places for drinks and food. They have different menus and different operating hours, including slightly different Happy Hour times. If you want a full dinner, or $4 Happy Hour craft beers, then go to the H2 Kitchen + Bar. It’s also the place to go for rotisserie chicken and slow-smoked Southern-style barbecued dishes. The H Tasting Lounge, on the other hand, is known for its seafood and signature cocktails.
TIP #2: Both restaurants have outdoor patios which are wonderful in the summer and other warmer months. Both venues also feature live music on certain evenings.
TIP #3: The H Tasting Lounge sometimes has special dining domes out on its patio. There are about half a dozen of them where you and your party of up to six people can pamper yourselves with an intimate and exclusive dining experience. In winter it’s called Winterlust. We’ve never had the pleasure of the experience, but it looks wonderful.
What Did We Do at the Hotel?
Other than eating, drinking and sleeping, what else did we do at the hotel during our staycation? We discovered the resort’s barrel saunas and had swims in both the outdoor and indoor pools. We also soaked in the hot tub.
The Outdoor Pool and Saunas
The Westin Bayshore Hotel has a huge, beautiful, round, outdoor swimming pool. It’s heated, so pleasant to swim in even in February (although getting in and out for us was freezing cold)! That’s why we loved the barrel saunas so much!
Outside in the hotel’s courtyard, not far from the pool, there are three barrel saunas. One of the saunas was right at the side of the pool. Two others were further away, at the edge of the courtyard by the hotel.
Each sauna can comfortably fit up to about six or so people. They are lovely inside! Even though the hotel was fully booked during our stay, because of a convention, we could always find an empty sauna to lie down in, and relax, just the two of us. It was so nice!
The Indoor Pool, Hot Tub and Fitness Room
In addition to the large outdoor swimming pool, there is a second very nice pool indoors on the ground level of the hotel. That’s where you’ll find the hot tub (which we definitely used), and the fitness room (which we didn’t use, but it did look like a really good one).
The indoor pool is smaller than the outdoor one, but still a good size. It’s about 3.3 feet deep at one end and 5.5 feet deep at the other. It’s not deep enough to dive in, but is good for swimming lengths and playing with children. The same as with the outdoor pool, during our stay the water temperature was very pleasant and made it easy to get into.
The hot tub was also very nice. It was slightly warmer than other hot tubs at hotels we’ve stayed at recently, which we very much appreciated. We like hot Jacuzzis, and this was a good one.
Pool and Sauna Tips and Things to Know
Below are some suggestions and things to know regarding the pools and saunas at The Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver.
TIP #1: When we went, because it was winter, towels by the outdoor pool were in a heated box. That’s right, you could dry off with a toasty towel if you wanted to! That was nice!
TIP #2: Bathrobes and slippers are available for guests, but they don’t come automatically in all the rooms. If you’d like a bathrobe, and/or slippers, ask for them at the front desk and someone will bring them to your room.
TIP #3: The hotel washes and reuses the bathrobes, as you would expect. For hygienic reasons, the slippers though are single use. This means you can take them home with you and wear them again in the future, like when you next visit the Westin Bayshore.
TIP #4: The indoor pool is completely indoors. It has very large windows that open in the summer, however, which makes it extra nice in warmer months. Fortunately, in winter, the windows are always closed.
To book a stay or for the hotel’s official website, visit marriott.com.
Things to Do in the Area
In addition to hanging out in the pools and at the restaurants, during our stay at the hotel we went for a walk and saw a film at FlyOver Canada.
The Westin Bayshore Hotel is in an absolutely gorgeous part of town. It’s right on the Coal Harbour Seawall. If you walk, jog or cycle in one direction (west), you’ll reach world-famous Stanley Park. That’s where we went when we stayed at the hotel last summer. During that staycation we rented e-Scooters from Go Scoot which is located right at the hotel. That was so much fun!
If you go in the other direction along the seawall from the hotel, heading east you get to the Vancouver Convention Centre and Canada Place. Canada Place is about 1.5 kilometres or a 15-minute walk away. Whichever direction you go from the hotel, east or west, the views from the seawall are spectacular!
During our one-night winter staycation at the hotel, for our walk we headed east, to Canada Place. Along the way we admired the scenery and saw a festival happening in Jack Poole Plaza. Then we went to FlyOver Canada which is the multidimensional theatre experience located at Canada Place. There we saw Soar Over Taiwan which happened to be showing at the time. What a great film that was! We had no idea that Taiwan was so beautiful, and mountainous! FlyOver Canada is always such a fun and interesting place to visit!
Tips and Things to Know About the Area
Below are some tips and things to know about the Coal Harbour Neighbourhood.
TIP #1: Coal Harbour is a beautiful, affluent and safe neighbourhood. The Westin Bayshore might not be the most centrally-located hotel in downtown Vancouver, but it makes up for it by the many other attributes of its location.
TIP #2: There are few urban places in the world more beautiful to walk around than what you’ll find on the doorstep of The Westin Bayshore. And if you don’t want to go for a jog or a stroll, you can rent bicycles from the hotel or from any one of a number of nearby rental shops. E-bikes and e-scooters are also readily available for rent in the area.
TIP #4: We highly recommend the shows at FlyOver Canada, especially if you’ve never seen one before, or if you have friends coming from abroad for a visit. If seeing a film there, be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. If you do that, you’ll save a few dollars compared to paying for admission at the gate.
To book a hotel stay of your own, visit the marriott.com website.
Breakfast at the Hotel
For breakfast at the H2 Kitchen + Bar you can have a variety of a la carte entrées like Eggs Benedict, pancakes, bacon and eggs, a bowl of oatmeal and other traditional breakfast items. You can also order a green smoothie bowl that’s a mix of mango, spinach, banana, coconut milk and other healthy things.
The restaurant also offers your choice of a full buffet breakfast with both hot and cold stations or a continental buffet with just a cold food station. The former includes things like made-to-order eggs and omelets, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, bacon and sausages, plus all the cold station items. It costs $39 for adults and $14 for children (ages 5 to 12). The continental buffet, on the other hand, costs $28 (or at least that was the price at the time of our visit).
We went for the continental buffet option, in part because we were on a budget, but also because it all looked delicious and more than we could possibly eat. The station was also full of all kinds of healthy options. Consequently, we loaded up on the fresh fruit, smoothies, muesli, fancy toasted breads and smoked salmon with cream cheese.
In short, we had a marvelous one-day winter staycation at The Westin Bayshore Hotel in February of 2023. We highly recommend locals treat themselves more often to nights out in downtown Vancouver, and The Westin Bayshore is an exceptional place to do that!
This article was about our stay at The Westin Bayshore in winter, and on a rainy weekend. To read of our experience at the same resort in the summer, see our article about Our Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver Summer Staycation.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- H2 Kitchen + Bar Restaurant
- Vancouver Vacations & Staying Downtown
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- Best Places for Shopping
- Vancouver Bars and Restaurants
- Vancouver Sightseeing Tour Companies