Winter Olympics got you in a sporting mood? Here's your chance to earn your own gold (participation) medal. The Bobsleigh Ride Experience at the Whistler Sliding Centre gives you and a few friends/strangers the opportunity to rocket down the former Olympic track. The day begins with an orientation, helment fitting, etiquette discussion — no inappropriate touching inside the sled — and safety walkthrough. You'll then meet the track crew and be secured into the professionally-piloted sled for a run down the ice at speeds approaching 80mph. All of which sounds like way more fun than another night of Ice Dancing.
It's certainly not cheap, but if you're looking for the finest place to stay in Terminal City, the Fairmont Pacific Rim should be at the top of the list. This upscale property features 377 rooms with luxury linens, Stearns & Foster beds, marble bathrooms, and wall-mounted LCD TVs, as well as iPad-powered concierge services. In addition, the hotel is home to two restaurants — the Pacific Rim-inspired ORU and the Italian-style café/winebar Giovane — a lobby cocktail lounge offering live music every night, and a full-service spa. With a convenient downtown location, you're also in great position should you actually want to leave the grounds.
Normally, when a chef is bold enough to put his name on the restaurant, it's either a sign of an over-active ego, or a signal that the food inside is worth staking one's reputation on. Thankfully, in the case of Hawksworth Restaurant, it's definitely the latter. Set inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia and helmed by Chef David Hawksworth, this upscale spot serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with each menu featuring fresh, contemporary dishes built upon locally-sourced, organic ingredients that are a treat for the eyes as well as the mouth. Even if you skip the eye-popping dining areas and head for the bar, you'll find tasty plates that pair well with the equally impressive cocktails and craft wines and beers.
It's not really that old, but it certainly feels that way. The Clough Club is a cocktail tavern set inside a 110-year old Gastown building that's been completely restored, preserving as much of the original structure as possible while adding new decor that compliments the existing space. The drink menu has a decided dark-spirit slant, with many house made, barrel-aged recipes sitting alongside a carefully curated selection of beer and BC and Chilean wines. Feeling hungry? The food menu sports a number of South American tapas made using local, organic ingredients that are sure to satisfy, and should should you happen to stop in on a Tuesday, you can opt for a papu platter and wash it down with island-inspired cocktails.
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, the River Rock Resort and Hotel has you covered. In close proximity to downtown Vancouver — and even closer proximity to the airport — River Rock offers over 200 suites ranging in size from 525 to 2,800 square feet, each decked out with a sofa bed in the living room, custom Euro-top cashmere beds, and modern baths. Outside your room, you'll find a 70,000 square foot casino, a 950-sear theater, a large fitness center, an indoor pool with water slide (hey, you're never too old for those), and three restaurants: the high-end Tramonto, an International Food Court with a bevy of culinary options from all over the world, and, of course, a buffet.
What an appropriate name. Haven provides a great alternative to the department store for sartorially-concerned gentlemen. Located in Gastown, it offers an outstanding selection of goods from brands like a.p.c., Converse, Adidas, comme des garcons, Levi's Vintage, Nike, and Undefeated, all in a raw, industrial setting that keeps the spotlight where it should be: on the clothes.