Most LGBTQ travelers can find a welcoming hotel in Vancouver, BC in exactly the same way everyone does: by searching for the right location and price. By which I mean: because Vancouver is a progressive city, you should feel welcome anywhere you choose to stay. Most of my LGBTQ friends who travel up from Seattle use the same searches as my straight friends who travel up from Seattle, and they have all had positive experiences.
That said, there are areas of the city--and hotels--that are especially gay-friendly, either because of their location (near gay nightlife and hotspots) or because of their attitude and atmosphere. That's where this list comes in.
Choose accommodations in Downtown Vancouver or the West End: The best gay-friendly hotels in Vancouver are in two neighborhoods: Downtown Vancouver (the middle of the downtown peninsula) for its convenient access to attractions and shopping and the West End, Vancouver's most historic gay neighborhood, bordering Stanley Park on the downtown peninsula, with its easy access to the Pride Parade and festival.
Let's start with a hotel that has a very arty aesthetic (pun intended): the Listel Hotel in Downtown Vancouver. Both a boutique hotel and an art exhibition space, all of the rooms at the Listel showcase either contemporary Northwest Coast Art or modern art. The Listel is also one of the Vancouver Pride Society's partner hotels and a sponsor of the Vancouver Pride Parade.
Modern and functional, Sandman Suites Davie Street makes this list for its location, which is perfect for clubbing and bar-hopping: it's on Davie Street, literally just one or two blocks from many of Vancouver's hottest gay clubs, including Celebrities and Score. Plus, its large suites have sofa beds and "sitting areas," making it a good choice for groups of friends.
Neighborhood: West End
Walking distance to: Gay & LGBTQ nightlife, casual dining, Sunset Beach, English Bay Beach, Pride Parade route
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is one of Vancouver's top luxury hotels and is also dog-friendly. It's centrally located in Downtown Vancouver, close to everything, and has a storied history, including its own ghost (the famous "Lady in Red").
If you love luxury shopping, you don't even have to leave your hotel; the hotel is home to the largest Christian Dior boutique in North America, as well as several other luxury brands.
Neighborhood: Downtown Vancouver
Walking distance to: Casual and fine dining, Downtown shopping, Downtown attractions, Canada Line rapid transit, Gastown
One of the best bed and breakfasts in Vancouver, Barclay House has a wonderful, quaint charm and visceral sense of place. Built in 1904, this heritage home offers a quiet retreat in the residential section of Vancouver's West End neighborhood that's still accessible to nightlife, dining, and shopping (though you will need to either take a bus or use a car for sightseeing).
If you love heritage homes, visit the Roedde House Museum just down the street during your stay.
Neighborhood: West End
Cost: Mid-range to high-end
Walking distance to: Gay & LGBTQ nightlife, casual and fine dining, Robson Street shopping
Finding LGBTQ-Friendly Rentals on AirBnB & VRBO
AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) are both great resources for finding accommodations in Vancouver, especially for people traveling with kids (who want a larger space / entire house), for large groups, and for people looking for budget options (as in: places for under $100 CDN a night).
For LGBTQ travelers, these are the neighborhoods to look for--and use as search terms--on AirBnB and VRBO:
- Downtown Vancouver
- West End
- Coal Harbour (upscale area next door to the West End)
- Yaletown (upscale area that covers the southeast portion of the downtown peninsula, with access to Canada Line rapid transit)
- Kitsilano (progressive family neighborhood south of downtown)
- Commercial Drive and Trout Lake (progressive family neighborhood in East Van)
With regards to Commercial Drive, stick to places closest to the Drive, between Broadway and Venables. Commercial Drive is a center for Vancouver's lesbian community and is great for kids.
In all cases, make sure to ask about access to public transit and/or parking. More tips: How to Use AirBnB & VRBO in Vancouver.
Again, because Vancouver--especially Downtown Vancouver--is progressive, you should feel comfortable at any of these top 10 family hotels in Vancouver.Two budget-friendly stand-outs from that list: