Archive for the ‘Vancouver Bike Rentals’ Category:

The Best Vancouver Parks – Our Top 5 Picks

The Burrard offers free cruiser bike rentals!

Vancouver is a city that loves its parks and beaches, and we locals have Opinions on these things (and that’s “Opinions” with a capital “O”). If you’re asking around for the best Vancouver parks, you might as well ask which kid is their favourite child. So with that in mind, we’re still going to wander into the fray and give you our opinion.


THE GUY NEXT DOOR: Josh Bloomfield, Cycle City Tours

Josh Bloomfield - City Cycle Tours

At The Burrard, we’re big fans of seeing Vancouver atop a set of wheels, which is exactly why we give all our guests the chance to burn up the bike lanes on one of our Brooklyn Cruiser bikes for free. But the first time you head out, you might want to solicit the services of a pro to show you around the city, pointing out the must-sees, and giving you the gossip on our neighbourhoods, parks and food scene. (Yes, we’ve been known to gossip about a park.)

That pro might well be Josh Bloomfield, founder of Cycle City Tours, a local company that offers a whole suite of biking tours from the highlights-driven “Grand Tour,” through to special interests such as “The Food Tour” and “The Pride Tour.” We asked him for his take on Vancouver from high in the saddle.


TAKE OUT: April 2014

Hey, winter? That’s a wrap! Cherry blossoms have been bursting forth outside our window for almost a month (really—check our Instagram) and we’re ready to trade our fireside Manhattans for G&Ts on a patio somewhere. This month’s event picks are making us giddy with fun-loving spring fever. If you’re looking for things to do in Vancouver, these should do the trick!

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
As if walking around looking at cherry blossoms and lording it over the rest of frozen Canada wasn’t enough fun, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival also includes plein-air blossom painting classes, walk and talk tours, and Bollywood dancing. Even better, if you’re staying with us, borrow one of The Burrard’s cruisers and join the “Bike the Blossoms” event on April 26.
April 3 – 28 all over Vancouver

Ken Hegan

Hide from death and the law in Vancouver’s retro Burrard hotel

News, Vancouver Bike Rentals  |  07.23.2013  |  
Ken Hegan

Ken Hegan


Spent a great night in a Miami beach motel last week. And it was 4,505 kilometers away from Florida on Canada’s west coast.

The Burrard hotel is a throwback, 4-storey motel in downtown Vancouver, BC. It’s located right across the street from St. Paul’s, an acute-care hospital that specializes in heart attacks (treating heart attacks, not causing them). So if your relative is on life support and you want to drink your worries away in a kitschy paradise, slouch on over to the Burrard.

Built in 1956, the Burrard turned seedy for decades until it was given a saucy hipster makeover last year. Now it’s an under-heralded art deco gem that you probably won’t find in local travel brochures. This pastel-painted motel will make you feel like you’re on the lam from a Tampa Bay bank heist gone awry and you’re lucky to be alive.

If you are a wanted criminal/celebrity and you need to hide out in a Vancouver hotel where no cop or paparazzi will ever find you, the Burrard’s a pretty safe bet. It’s the kind of refuge where you can (probably) slip the desk clerk 20 bucks to let you chill in a private room for a couple of hours so you can bleach and buzzcut your hair, fake-tan your skin, practice your new identity, then figure out your next lawless move.

In a classic motel layout, every room overlooks the rectangular courtyard below. As the website says, “It’s like Melrose Place, only there’s no pool to drown in.”

Instead, the courtyard is a forest of fauna and palm trees (planted in the early ’70s), vintage chairs, and giant Jenga game pieces. This 2nd-floor courtyard — a lovely oasis in an otherwise concrete urban jungle — is perched a few feet above the parking level. And I’m not just talking about parked cars here. The Burrard is the first hotel I’ve stayed at that offers your choice of a dozen cruiser bikes to bomb around the Vancouver seawall. Some bikes even have cute tote boxes attached to the back. Very cool

I stayed at the Burrard for a night last week. Room 424. Our nice, clean, hipster-approved room had a sunset view, a crooked HD flatscreen TV, and a sign pointed at the bath tub that read ‘THIS WAY TO THE POOL –>’

Kooky signs are a recurring motif. On the 3rd floor staircase, there’s:

There’s no bar or nightclub here, so I guess the 3rd floor is reserved for groupies.

Here’s the second floor:

Tell that to all the vacationing seniors on the 2nd floor. Meanwhile if you’re staying on the 1st floor, I’m afraid I have bad news for you:

Every time I walked past this lobby sign, I had to stop what I was doing and rush in to use the toilet:

The Burrard - Lobby Bathroom

If you’re actually hiding out from a bank heist gone awry, it gets lonely if you don’t call your mom. Trust me. So you’ll be happy to hear the Burrard gives you free phone calls to anywhere in North America.

The Burrard costs as low as $124 a night (low season) which includes free coffee, ice, and bottled water, and a seriously powerful room fan. Kids stay free. Pets are welcome for an extra 25 bones a night (and Bowser gets a bed, bowl, and treats). The Burrard’s website touts the bathroom as “stunning” so it’s got that going for it.

Maybe the best part is there’s no breakfast room. Instead, wipe the sleep out of your eyes, pop the collar on your golf shirt, and shuffle into the ground floor deli Betty’s. As you wait for your latte and sandwich, paparazzi may not spot you, but you will be noticed by other guests. They’re all just like you…fun-seeking retirees, hungover hipsters, and haunted offspring of terminal patients at St. Paul’s hospital. It’s a dreamy hotel for sure.

I’m not even sure the Burrard is real. I only stayed there two nights but even then it felt off-kilter and strange. It was like I’d already been there forever…but it wasn’t a hotel at all. Instead, it was a funky, playful waiting room for the final hotel across the street.

– Ken Hegan


Read all Ken’s travel stories here.

Twitter: @KenHegan

Photos supplied

Ken was a guest of The Burrard