Vancouver/Victoria

May 29th, 2006, 10:43 AM
  #1  
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Vancouver/Victoria

We are a 57 year old couple who travel frequently but have never been to BC. We plan on spending about 10 days (includes flying days from and to Boston) on the trip that would include Vancouver, Victoria and anything else we will have time to see. Travel date possibilities range from August 27th through mid September. Going either before of after Labor Day makes no difference to us. A particular concern we have is how to allocate the days, i.e., how many days in each location. Since we leave Vancouver on a 7 am flight returning home, the last night would have to be in Vancouver.When traveling we like to pay between $100 to $150 per day for accomodations. Any general advice is greatly appreciated.
Iguazu is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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If you are taking a flight from Victoria to Vancouver then do 4 days in Victoria and 6 days in Vancouver, if you are taking the ferry (really nice through some of the small islands) i would split 3.5 days in Victoria, .5 on the boat (only couple hours), and 6 in Vancouver. Just my preference, I have been to Lower Mainland 3 times and to Victoria about 15 times (grandparents live there), and find both gorgeous, with Victoria taking the crown because of its cleanliness and old city charm (for Canada).
roblowther2002 is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Victoria and Vancouver are delightful cities. As roblowther2002 has indicated, they easily could take up all the time you have.

If you want to spend some of your time in a more natural setting, however, you could include Tofino, which is on the west side of Vancouver Island. There you could walk in old growth temperate rainforests and observe wildlife, both on land and in the ocean. But I don't think it's worth going to Tofino unless you're willing to devote at least two full days to it, not counting the time it takes you to get there and back.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Just got back from BC. We only had 2 nights in Victoria and 2 nights in Vancouver. Loved Victoria because it is compact. Vancouver had great sites, especially Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Have dinner at the Observatory at the top of Grouse mountain, they include the $30 gondola ride. Side trip to Whistler if you have time. Enjoy!
Kappy9857 is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 12:22 AM
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If you can, I would check fights directly out of Victoria instead of having to return to Vancouver.
Tanya is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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I disagree with trying to go to Tofino. It takes the better part of a day to get there and another to return. Just stick to Victoria and Vancouver and come back for another visit when you have more time! I would book your hotels on Priceline and travel after Labour Day. You can get some great deals on Priceline if you start low on your bidding. They do have hotels in the Vancouver airpot area.
wrldtrvlr05 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 09:01 AM
  #7  
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I would like to thank everyone who responded; I appreciate your advice. Of particular interest was Tanya's suggestion that we fly home to Boston from Victoria, rather than traveling back to Vancouver to return home. That suggestion made a lot of sense. I am almost finished making our plans. Other than booking accomodations in Victoria, we are ready to go.
Iguazu is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 10:14 AM
  #8  
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One last question, any thoughts on hotels in Victoria? I am looking at the Delta ($169 per night) and The Grand Pacific ($177). Preference between the two? Any other suggestions of hotels of comparable quality? I love a hotel that gives free breakfast. Thank you.
Iguazu is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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The Grand Pacific is my favourite. It is also in a better location.

Just curious about your name - I visited Iguazu Falls last January prior to an Antarctic cruise. What an amazing place. The falls were the most spectacular sight I have ever seen.
wrldtrvlr05 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 09:33 PM
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The Delta is about a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of town. I find it somewhat concrete and remote in its ambience. Grand Pacific is very centrally located, but on the large side (for Victoria). You might wish to consider the Magnolia Hotel: www.magnoliahotel.com. Also centrally located, medium-sized, modern, nice restaurant.

I am not always a Priceline fan but, in Victoria, it really works. There are only a handful of 4 star properties and you wouldn't suffer in any of them. I got the Magnolia in May for US$115 (plus 17% tax) when the cheapest (AAA) rate was about US$195.
littlemountain is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 05:03 PM
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In answer to your question, when I first registered with Fodors and was told to select a name, every name I entered was already taken. After many attempts, just when I was beginning to give up, I thought of Iguazu. I decided that no one would be known as the name of a city on the borders of three countries, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. I was correct and was in the system. And yes, I have been to the falls. To me it is the eighth wonder of the world. It took my breath away. Actually, I go to Buenos Aires (2 hours south by plane) frequently. I realize this is not the forum but if you have Argentina questions, particularly Bs. As., just ask.

As for trying Priceline, I would love to try it but I am a bit of a coward, afraid I'll be staying in a refrigerator box. If someone can assure me I am being a little too neurotic, I'll take the plunge.
Iguazu is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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That is really interesting how you came up with your name. I remember when they drove us from the Argentinian side of the falls to the Brazilian side we could see Paraguay as we crossed the river. It was such an experience seeing three countries at one time. I must say that I totally fell in love with Argentina. We flew to Buenos Aires first and spent a couple of days there before going to the falls. The cruise left from Rio so we visited BA again on the cruise ship. We did a full day tour there at that time as well but I am so impressed with the country and Buenos Aires itself. Of the countries I saw Argentina was certainly a favourite.

As far as Priceline goes - just bid on four star in Victoria - you can't go wrong. The hotels they use as four star are all excellent. They are the Marriott, Delta and Grand Pacific. Try a bid of $80 and I wouldn't be surprised if you got one of them for that especially if you are going there after Labour Day. By the way I love Boston too!!!!
wrldtrvlr05 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2006, 06:35 AM
  #13  
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Based upon your suggestion, I'll try Priceline and let you know the results. And yes, we are going to be in Victoria after Labor Day.

As for Argentina, it is such a large country that there is something for everyone. Did you know that at the beginning of the 20th century Argentina was predicted to be in the same economic strata as Canada and Australia? Sadly, that never occurred and I expect it will always be in the third world.

I have also traveled to Pategonia and stayed in Bariloche, a beautiful town not too far from the Andes and the Chilean border. However, because my friends all live in Buenos Aires, I generally go there. In our winter, their summer, I join them in Punta del Este, Uruguay, a beautiful resort town.

I'm glad you like Boston, too. Our tourist season is starting now and I expect there will be plenty of visitors here this summer.
Iguazu is offline  
Jun 12th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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Good luck with Priceline and don't be afraid of it!! Just so you know a few years ago we did a Canada/New England cruise out of Boston. I wanted to spend a few days in Boston after the cruise (thats when I fell in love with it). I did my homework on the neighbourhoods before I bid on Priceline for the hotel. I decided I wanted to stay in the back bay area. So I bid $90 for a 4 Star hotel in the back bay. We got the Westin and I was just delighted with it.

Speaking of Argentina you mentioned that it is third world. That is what surprised me so much when we were there. It isn't like any of the other third world countries I have been. Although I realize that there is the great disparity between rich and poor etc it really isn't as obvious as in other countries. The people were wonderful, the countryside was lovely - the wine industry seems to be overtaking Chile with quality of wines.
We dined in excellent restaurants and couldn't believe how inexpensive they were.

Anyway let me know how you make out with your Victoria hotel. Good Luck.
wrldtrvlr05 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Igazu

When in Victoria you might drive out to Botanical Beach 2 hrs west of the city. Check so you go at low tide when the sandstone shelf w/pothole tidepools is eaxposed. Killer whale often off the Beach and a lovely 15 minute walk down through the forests

There is a boat that goes out to Uculueut ferom Port Alberni that wil get you a bus ride away from Tofino
AndrewDavid is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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I tried Priceline and bid $80 for a four star hotel in Victoria. I received a response that it was unlikely I would receive a room because of my low bid. I was not certain what to do next so I did nothing. Should I bid more? Am I more likely to get a better hotel if I bid more than if I bid $80 or $90?
Iguazu is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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I would bid anyway. I have received that message most times I bid and still get the hotel. The worst that can happen is that you don't get it and you wait the required time (I think its 24 hours) and bid a bit higher if necessary. I wouldn't go down to three stars. Hang in there.
wrldtrvlr05 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 05:54 AM
  #18  
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I bid $80 and was rejected. I suppose I should try in a day or two, perhaps raise to $90.
Iguazu is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 04:42 PM
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I bid $80 for several days then went to $90. Still no success. Any suggestions? Dates are after Labor Day.
Iguazu is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 07:26 PM
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Why don't you try $95 - I see another poster got the Westin Bayshore for $90 so keep trying. Perhaps wait a couple of weeks if the $95 doesn't work. Perhaps because they are in peak season right now they aren't worrying about vacancy rate in Sept. Good Luck!!!
traveller69 is offline  

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