Orientation to Vancouver – Where to Stay?

We’re thrilled to welcome you to Vancouver—a beautiful city, rain or shine.
Pull up a map of Vancouver on your device, and we’ll give you a quick tour:

Notice YVR Airport (check out the art there as you are walking through) at the western edge of the city (it’s on its own island). From the Vancouver Airport (located in Richmond) you can take the Skytrain straight into town. Or take a cab/Uber/Lyft. You’ll be heading north.

Looking north, do you see a large peninsula with a big green park at the tip? The park is Stanley Park, and the peninsula holds our downtown. North of the downtown peninsula is the harbour, and beyond that are the North Shore mountains. East of the peninsula, the city stretches until it ends in farmland. South of the peninsula it spreads to the US border.

Look closely just below (south) the downtown peninsula. There’s Granville Island – the home base for AIN ’23. It’s not really an island – there is road and pedestrian access from the south side. And on the north side, two fleets of pedestrian ferry boats will take you to/from Granville Island and downtown, or you can walk up and over the bridges if you are feeling energetic and have lots of time.

We have blocked off rooms on Granville Island, just north and south of it.

Here are our accommodations suggestions:

Note: All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars. You can expect 16% tax on your room.

On Granville Island. The Granville Island Hotel (here is their website) is the closest (and priced accordingly) of our three. In their words: “The Granville Island Hotel, a boutique hotel, offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Located just minutes from downtown, the GI Hotel is the perfect get-a-way spot for couples, families, or business travelers looking for a quiet alternative to staying downtown. With welcoming staff, elegant rooms, and breathtaking waterfront dining, the Granville Island Hotel is truly Vancouver’s best-kept secret.”

A block of 20 rooms has been set aside at The Granville Island Hotel. The rate is approximately CAD $500/night. The booking code will be provided in early February; until then, please phone or email them (The Granville Island Hotel) directly mentioning that you are booking a room for the conference. We anticipate that these rooms will go fast.

South of Granville Island.The Holiday Inn on Broadway. (Here is their website). 5 minutes away by car or a nice 25-minute walk along the parks and shoreline seawall of False Creek. We have 35 rooms being held.

  • 1 king bed - $309 CAD/night + tax
  • 1 queen bed - $289 CAD/night + tax
  • 2 double beds - $309 CAD/night + tax
  • Breakfast is not included.
  • Book by contacting the hotel directly. The discount booking code is “AIN” (without the quotation marks)

North of Granville Island. The YWCA Hotel (here is their website), our most inexpensive option, puts you near historic Gastown, a short stroll from shopping, and an easy walk to one of those cute pedestrian ferries. In their words:

“The YWCA Hotel offers a warm welcome to all travelers and is a comfortable and affordable place to stay in downtown Vancouver. All rooms are private and there’s a choice to suit your needs and budget -- single or double room, with a choice of private, semi-private or hall bathrooms. Our 220 room facility has air-conditioning, mini-fridges, telephones, TVs, guest area kitchens, laundry facilities and wireless internet.
The YWCA Hotel is a social enterprise hotel; all revenues generated go to support the YWCA community programs and services.”

  • SH: one single bed, hallway bathroom (1 person only) - $108.00 CAD/night + tax
  • DS: one double bed, semi-private bathroom (1-2 people) - $135.00 CAD/night + tax
  • DP: one double bed, private bathroom (1-2 people) - $207.00 CAD/night + tax
  • DDP: two double beds, private bathroom (1-2 people, or up to 4) - $228.00 CAD/night + tax
  • QQP: two queen beds, private bathroom (1-2 people, or up to 4) - $239.00 CAD/night + tax 

How to Book:
Rooms: https://ywcavan.org/hotel/rooms (please note bathroom type when choosing)
DDP and QQP rooms can accommodate up to 4 people (extra $20pp/night)
Group name: AIN July 2023 Conference
Reservations: [email protected] / 604 895 5830 / 1 800 663 1424 (N. America only)

Also North of Granville Island.  There are over 13,000 hotel rooms in downtown Vancouver that you might also consider. Given that this is peak tourist season with big events going on (including the Global Positive Psychology Congress the week before and PRIDE the weekend after) many or most of those will book up far in advance! You’ll find that the majority are around approximately a 20-minute walk to the pedestrian ferry that would take you to Granville Island or a short Uber/Lyft ride. For any place you might be considering, definitely check Google maps or something similar for walking & driving distances to Granville Island or to the nearest dock serviced by False Creek Ferries or Aquabus. If you book within walking distance of Vancouver City Centre Station (at Georgia & Granville) you can easily take the train from/to the airport.

Airbnb or VRBO. If you are looking for a little distance or perhaps to share with others, there are many homes and condos for rent within a small radius of Granville Island. You’ll find mostly apartments or suites in the downtown peninsula (The West End or Yaletown), and both houses and apartments in the area south of Granville Island (Fairview, False Creek, Kitsilano, Arbutus, Shaughnessy, Cambie, Mount Pleasant). If you are driving to Vancouver you might consider the better bargains further away, but know that you can’t park all day on Granville Island (3-hour limit paid parking) so you probably won’t drive to the conference events.

FREE! Another accommodation option we’re working on is arranging free housing in local homes (known in Canada as “billeting”). So if budget is a concern for you and you’re open to the idea of sleeping in a friendly Vancouverite’s home for a few days, let us know and we’ll try to match you up! How is this different from Airbnb? Well, for one thing it’s free. For another, accommodations are variable and can range from a whole apartment or house to … well … a mattress on the floor. We’ve put out a call to some friendly people and will share more specifics once we’ve got some places lined up. In the meantime, drop a note to our housing coordinator Avril at [email protected] to indicate your interest, and she’ll put you on her list for future communication.

We look forward to seeing you in-person!