I stayed at O Canada House for 2 nights in April. It's in a very central location to lots of shopping, and restaurants as long as you don't mind walking a few blocks. There are 2 or 3 parking spots if you're driving, which is great considering most nearby hotels charge $30/night to park (and I'm sure plenty of B&B's do too) - the parking situation in this neighborhood is obviously tight.
First, I have to say that the breakfasts were absolutely delicious. Best breakast I've had at any B&B I've stayed in (and I've probably stayed in about 20+!). They made a delicious savory ricotta crepe with sausage one morning, and they start you off with some juice, coffee, tea or what have you, plus a cup of yogurt and granola. There's food all over the place, too, which is great - little dishes of candy, and even a 24/7 guest pantry if you want some freshly-baked cookies or biscotti, chips, tea, coffee, cereal or all kinds of other stuff. I wish every B&B had something like this.
The B&B is in a historic home where one version of "O Canada" was written, hence the name. The house is so cool! It's got a huge sitting room in the front, guest rooms upstairs, and a separate small studio in the back where the cottage room is located. This is where I stayed. Really the only problem with my stay was the room, which when you think about it (you're sleeping there 8 hours/night!) is not exactly minor. It can get pretty loud at night around here on Friday/Saturday nights when people are headed to/from the bars, and you can hear quite a bit through the thin walls. The cottage was clearly a renovated garage (maybe even an old carriage house) and whoever did the reno didn't do the best job at sound-proofing. Since "bed" is one half of the bed & breakfast equation, I had to take a couple of stars off for the room, even though the food was great and our host was amazingly nice and helpful.
The cottage room could do with an update - it looks like it's been the same since the 80's, I'd say. The bathroom is small and cramped, the door doesn't shut all the way, there are spider webs everywhere. The bed was comfortable enough, but the only source of heat is from the gas fireplace - easy enough to turn off and on, but there's no good way to keep the room at a decent temperature. It's either freezing colder after a little while because you've turned the thing off, or boiling hot because it's on. The only way to get a decent room temperature is to turn it up, wait for it to get boiling hot, and turn it back off again.
There are some cupboards in the room, but no real closet to speak of - it's that white, plasticky-looking manufactured wood material, and half of the cupboard doors didn't shut properly (the one with the mini fridge in it was the worst). We also found out that in one cupboard was a sliding panel in the side of the building that went directly to the outside, which was poorly ventilated and letting a great breezy draft into the room. Brrr!
One night of our stay, it sounded like a bum had set up shop on the other side of our wall - there was lots of clanging of metal as if they were rummaging around in the dumpster outside, and some talking/yelling. I didn't really want to go outside and confront some random person on the street in the wee hours of the night, so I tried to ignore it, but it went on for some time. I also knew that the B&B was full that night, so it's not like we'd be able to move our room to something quieter. I suppose the police could have been called, but ... well, hindsight is 20/20, eh? I was just glad the courtyard was fenced in so this guy wouldn't come around banging on the flimsy front door to our room or something (your imagination runs wild when you're sitting in bed trying to get some sleep) but the gate doesn't latch very well, so then again that could very well be a plausible scenario.
I would stay here again, but not in the cottage room, and I would suggest to the B&B owner that the cottage get a nice little update with better soundproofing, an updated bath, and more reliable heating. Patch up that strange hole in the outside wall, get a more sturdy door to the room, and reap the benefits of many return visits from your guests.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award-winning B&B and home of the Buchan version of the Canadian National Athem in 1909. Perfectly situated on a quiet West End residential street yet only minutes walking to Robson St shops and restaurants, Stanley Park, the cruise ships, English Bay Beach, Granville Island and the downtown centre. Perfect for sightseeing, romantic getaways or the business traveller. Full hot delicous breakfasts are included as well as parking and a guest panry. Vancouver's foremost B&B. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- o Canada House Hotel Vancouver