My family just returned from a 7-night Alaskan cruise aboard the Disney Wonder with 5 nights in Vancouver tacked on to the beginning of our vacation. The only way to keep me from being sad about our trip being over is to write about it in detail to re-live the memories. (See my pre-trip report and my brief post the day before we left for our trip).
Although our trip wasn’t perfect (what trip ever is?), nothing went horribly wrong. The worst things that happened were sibling arguments (daily), a major meltdown by one of my kids, and that time a Disney cast member referred to me as my daughter’s Grandma instead of her mom (oh, the horror!) Nobody got sick and nobody got lost, so all things considered we can’t complain.
I’ll cut to the chase: Overall, our trip was fabulous! Don’t put Alaska on your “bucket list”. Put it on your “now” list! You will be able to handle more of the excursions when you are younger.
I always make a music video of our vacations. My kids insist on this for every trip, even a short weekend getaway. I took over 3000 photos/videos, so I had a hard time narrowing it down to less than 7 minutes.
Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Before I dive into the details of our time spent in Vancouver and Alaska, I will first review our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
Many of you know that I’m a big fan of the Hyatt brand, so it was a no-brainer for my family to consider this hotel when I first looked into hotels in Vancouver. It’s a great value at 12,000 Hyatt points per night (which you can also transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards points).
The hotel is located just a few blocks from the waterfront. It’s 34 stories high.
The interior of the hotel was much nicer than I anticipated. It reminded me a lot of the Grand Hyatt Denver.
I was upgraded to a corner room on the 32nd floor (because of my Hyatt Explorist status). Our room had an interior hallway where we stored our luggage.
Sharing a full-size bed (as opposed to a queen bed) is not ideal, so I called the front desk to inquire about a rollaway. There was plenty of room for one in this room. The hotel staff told me it would cost $30 Canadian for the duration of our stay (5 nights). Totally worth it! So we added the extra bed.
Pool and Gym
Of course, my kids wanted to check out the hotel pool on the first day. We ended up going every day, even though outside temperatures were in the 50s. It was nicely heated!
A Starbucks is conveniently located right in the lobby.
On our first night there, we decided to eat in the restaurant inside the hotel. I’m normally not a fan of hotel restaurants. Usually, the food is expensive and not very good. However, my kids kept seeing a photo of a chocolate cake in the elevators that was an advertisement for the hotel restaurant. They begged and pleaded. It was either this or McDonald’s, which we already had for lunch. I decided this was the better choice.
I ordered salmon tacos based on the recommendation of our server. They were delicious!
Since I was traveling alone with two kids for the first two nights of our trip, I loved having some fast food locations convenient to the hotel. We could walk just past the reception desk to get to the mall, with a McDonald’s and a Tim Horton’s very close by. Or, we could step outside and walk one door over to get there.
If we went around the corner, there was also a larger mall food court. We did not visit that on our stay, though.
One of the best things about the Hyatt Regency Vancouver is its location. It’s only three blocks from the waterfront and cruise terminal. Even with three large rolling suitcases, my family walked to the cruise terminal on the morning of our cruise.
Hyatt Regency Vancouver is also one of the stops on the free bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and the Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley. The SkyTrain station is right next door, which makes it convenient to get to/from the airport and other local attractions. We just took a taxi from the airport for around $35 Canadian.
Points and Discounted Rates
As I mentioned above, you can use 12,000 Hyatt points to book a room. Summer rates are over $400 Canadian per night, so this is a great value. See this post on the Chase Sapphire Preferred to learn how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt for award stays, and see Leana’s recent post on the Chase Hyatt credit card.
Several people on Alaska cruise boards also report finding discounted rates for the Hyatt Regency Vancouver on Hotwire.
The Hyatt Regency Vancouver is an upscale hotel with a great location in Vancouver. It has many restaurants nearby and a great restaurant inside! My kids loved the pool and hot tub, and my husband appreciated the gym. Although the rooms for four people have full-size beds instead of queen beds, I would call to see if you can get a rollaway.
I would not hesitate to stay here again.
Readers, have you stayed at this hotel?
Up next for the Alaska trip report: Vancouver Part 1: Arrival in Vancouver, Stanley Park, Sea to Sky tour with LandSea
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Nancy is a contributing writer for Miles For Family. She enjoys traveling to the beach and is a big fan of Disney. Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids.