BUTTED UP AGAINST AN impressive chain of craggy mountain peaks, North Vancouver has long been the suburban community framing Vancouver’s blinking cityscape. It's a foreground pulled into focus for travellers visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge or those skiing and hiking in a trio of spectacular regional and provincial parks. Vancouver's pedestrian tourists are too encouraged to make the 12-minute SeaBus crossing from downtown Vancouver to Lower Lonsdale's waterfront Quay Market – and many do. They cruise across Vancouver Harbour and once at the Quay, they gaze back upon downtown Vancouver’s pretty skyline. They look, they lunch and they leave because generally speaking, North Vancouver has been a place to visit but not to stay.

Capilano Suspension BridgeCapilano Suspension Bridge Park

The North Vancouver I lived in just five years ago is nearly unrecognizable to me now. Doubly so for my in-laws who are 33-year residents of Lynn Valley. New high-rise apartments and ripped apart and rerouted roads might be a headache for resident commuters, but other changes have been warmly welcomed. Namely, the planned revitalization of the historic Shipyards District which has dramatically transformed Lower Lonsdale (that’s “LoLo” in local lingo) into a very happen’ hood.

In summer 2015, the 14,000-square-foot Tap & Barrel ale house opened. It quickly became a beacon for craft beer drinking millennials, but more than that, it gave pulse to a neighbourhood that typically turned down by 9 p.m. Next came Polygon Art Gallery in late 2017, a silver and glass, sawtooth-roofed contemporary gallery. Things were getting haute. But the area really started to buzz a few summers back when the longstanding Shipyards Friday Night Market reached critical mass. Residents, rushing to and from the SeaBus took pause and even Vancouverites made the crossing for food truck dining, to shop artisan vendors and tap their toes to live music. And this past October, LoLo welcomed a boutique luxury hotel: Seaside Hotel Vancouver. Finally, many reasons and a place to stay.

Seaside HotelJennifer Hubbert | Seaside Hotel Vancouver

I CHECK INTO SEASIDE HOTEL VACOUVER for a two-night, mid-week staycation. The lobby (if it can be called as much) is ultra compact. Sitting on the doorstep of Seaside Provisions, restaurant patrons squeeze by the short queue of suitcase-toting guests waiting to check in. Being that the restaurant is the only common space at Seaside, it’s helpful to know that nearby cafes (Caffè Artigiano and Nemesis Coffee) offer more appropriate places for hours-long laptop work or to contemplate a coffee.

At 71 rooms spanning just two storeys, Seaside Hotel is decidedly boutique. The design elements are inspired by the North Shore's outdoorsy persona and accented with nautical motifs – but not the garish kind. Think: less seashells and anchors, more Japanese glass floats.

Walking down the hall to my room, I trace my fingers over textured wallpaper, panels of reclaimed wood and murals. Underfoot, there’s a plush designer carpet.

Seaside Hotel VancouverOcean View Corner Suite | Seaside Hotel Vancouver

At the door to my room, I wave the key card over a sensor that rebuffs the standard hotel card reader. It’s the first indication that Seaside is teched out, from fully automated Roman and blackout blinds to an in-room tablet to the television inlaid in the bathroom mirror. 

Ocean View SuiteOcean View Corner Suite | Seaside Hotel Vancouver

At 650-square feet (60 m²), the ocean view corner suite is larger than my one-bedroom downtown Vancouver apartment. The door opens immediately to a kitchenette outfitted with an Illy coffee maker, a granite countertop, a stone-top table for two, a safe (that my laptop doesn't fit into) and covet-worthy built-in closets.

Ocean View Suite Seaside HotelOcean View Corner Suite | Jennifer Hubbert

Seaside Hotel VancouverOcean View Corner Suite | Seaside Hotel Vancouver

A sofa bed occupies one corner of the suite and concealed lights beneath the floating bed backlight the nest. In the spacious, marble accented bathroom there are L'Occitane toiletries but it’s the heated floor tiles and an oversize soaker tub that I really swoon for.  

Seaside Hotel Ocean View SuiteOcean View Corner Suite | Jennifer Hubbert

Standout features aside, the views are divine. Two large windows look west and two face south, looking directly upon downtown Vancouver. In the foreground, the SeaBus weaves around a freighter temporarily anchored in Vancouver Harbour. Tugs dart about and in the Seaspan shipyard, the marooned barge that ran aground on Quadra Island is being stitched back to together by a hive of workers. But it’s when the light of day fades into the Pacific horizon and darkness falls that the view really lights up. It's a view to behold – and tonight, one I'll bathe in. 

When You Go:

Eat here: Seaside Provisions

Seaside ProvisionsSeaside Provisions

Located just beyond the hotel's check-in is Seaside Provisions, the property’s seafood-forward restaurant. Provisions is stewarded by Chef Sandro Oliveri who previously worked at Giardino, Vancouver’s Umberto restaurant.

Seaside ProvisionsBeef tartare with torn toast | Seaside Provisions | Jennifer Hubbert

Overhead, light fixtures crafted from Japanese glass floats are suspended from a faux shiplap ceiling. Velvet cushions, blonde oak tabletops and woven leather chairs tease the eye. There are two bars; one overlooks the open commercial kitchen while the west-facing raw bar is dressed with Waterford-esque glassware beneath wicker pendant lighting.

It’s all very chic, but what of the menu?

Jennifer Hubbert | Seaside ProvisionsTot waffle | Jennifer Hubbert | Seaside Provisions

An emphasis on “shells, fins and claws” marries with Sandro's previous tenure in Spanish kitchens, resulting in a focus on coastal tapas that's right on brand for both chef and Seaside. 

My visit falls on a Tuesday (dinner service is offered Wednesday through Sunday) so my husband and I stop in for brunch. I’m really hungry and my order reflects peckish indecision. I order a signature "tot waffle" topped with smoked salmon, capers, shallots, crème fraiche and caviar ($19), beef tartare ($18) and I'm delighted to find Iberico jamon ($12) on the menu even though it is on re-order. A Belgian waffle made from potato instead of flour, Provision's tot waffle is my hands-down favourite dish. Chefs sends out a sea bass crudo (it’s tasty but my heart belongs to ceviche – which is also on the menu) and a brunch tower ($39) which handily feeds two, sending my husband and I into a proper food coma. Slightly adapted from what’s on the menu, our tower includes a tasty serving of shakshuka (eggs poached in a harissa-flavoured tomato sauce) served with grilled vegetables and Seaside Provisions’ toast-alternative: torn toast, which is closer to a flatbread and dotted with flakes of sea salt.

Relax & Rejuvenate: Seaside Spa


Seaside Spa opened in December. Located on the third floor, the efficient space occupies the building's southwest corner and overlooks Vancouver Harbour. There are two treatment rooms, a washroom-change room with lockers and stations for nail treatments.

I luxuriate in a signature facial which lasts 75 minutes and perfectly balances relaxation with technicality. My esthetician, Amelia, expertly walks me through the Dermalogica products she’s applying and offers some skin-related lifestyle tips, too.

Seaside Spa currently offers massage, facials, nail treatments and waxing but will roll out its full menu of services in the near future which will include medi-treatments.

In the Area

Welcome ParlourWelcome Parlour Ice Cream | Jennifer Hubbert

Seaside Hotel Vancouver is located in the Historic Shipyards district just steps from Lonsdale Quay Market and the SeaBus terminal, which offers convenient connections to YVR and downtown Vancouver. SeaBus service begins at 6:00 a.m. and ends at 1:00 a.m. (8 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Sundays and holidays) and departs in 10-, 15- and 30-minute intervals depending on the time of day.

In immediate proximity to Seaside Hotel are a handful of specialty purveyors and restaurants:

JamJar Canteen – An extension of the popular downtown location, JamJar serves up casual Lebanese fare.

Larry’s Market – A boutique grocer vending vegetarian, organic and local goods. A small deli and coffee bar offer light fare for dine-in or takeaway. 

Main Street Honey Shoppe – A cute, well curated purveyor of all things bee-made, from specialty honeys to beeswax candles.

Welcome Parlour Ice Cream - Natural, small-batch ice cream, sweets and chocolates to satisfy any candy-coloured craving. 

Reckless Shipyards – A fixture in the Vancouver bike shop scene, rent bikes or e-bikes or join a guided tour.

Caffè Artigiano – A Vancouver fixture, the Shipyards location offers unobstructed water views alongside strong brews. Our favourite indulgence is a Spanish latte made with condensed milk.

Tap & Barrel – A homegrown Vancouver brand, this massive ale house serves up 24-plus taps of craft beer and wine. (Yes, wine on tap. We recommend the Tightrope.) Hit up the waterfront patio during Vancouver's warmer months.


Introductory room rates at Seaside Hotel Vancouver are currently as low as $139 CAD per night. By May (high season), rates will climb to $319. Presently, an ocean view corner suite starts at $550. Note: the features of the ocean view corner suite described above are not representative of all room categories. 

Disclosure: My stay was hosted and comped by Seaside Hotel Vancouver. All opinions are my own. 


  Travel the world with Canadian Traveller

Experience The World Subscription Box 

Do you want to travel to a new country every three months? You can! 

Each season, Canadian Traveller ships a destination-themed box curated with 5+ items that evoke the sights, flavours and decor of a country.

Take a peek at our Fall 2019 ETW box which brought our readers to Bali. 


Click to subscribe!