The 6 must see attractions of English Bay


The Best Western Sands Hotel is located in one of the best locations in downtown Vancouver, nestled comfortably next to English Bay. English Bay encompasses the West End and Stanley Park and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Vancouver. The area has everything a person could ever need- restaurants, cafes, bars, beaches, parks, entertainment plus exciting outdoor recreation. No matter if you’re visiting Vancouver for the food or the outdoor fun, the 6 must see attractions listed below are sure to please every type of traveler in your group.


English Bay Beach

English Bay Beach just off Beach Avenue is Vancouver’s most popular beach, offering a slew of fun activities throughout the summer months. The beach was home to the city’s first official lifeguard, Joe Fortes, who now has a famous restaurant named after him on Thurlow Street in downtown Vancouver!

The Best Western Sands Hotel is a mere blocks from English Bay Beach, giving guests quick access to a beach known for its breathtaking pink and orange sunsets. English Bay Beach is also a hub for annual events in the city, including the Polar Bear Swim in January, an international fireworks display mid-summer and the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival at the end of July.


Stanley Park

The world-renowned Stanley Park is a 1000 acre outdoor oasis for both travelers and local residents, providing the ultimate urban nature experience. Surrounded by English Bay and the Vancouver Harbour, Stanley Park features a host of fantastic outdoor activities for the entire family including the famous Sea Wall, an 8.8km waterfront path around the park for cycling, walking or jogging. Stanley Park also features a children’s water park and miniature railway, a lawn bowling club, as well as the Vancouver Aquarium, the largest aquarium and aquatic life conservation centre in Canada.



One of Vancouver’s most popular annual events is the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition in the middle of the summer. Taking place in English Bay every year, this world-class fireworks display spans three nights and features fireworks by a different country every night. This year, the Netherlands, Australia and the United States take the spotlight, showing off their pyrotechnics skills to the crowds of spectators on July 23rd, July 27th and July 30th 2016, respectively. Claim your spot early though! With hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to attend, prime seating will go quick.


Denman Street

Group Of Friends Enjoying Meal In Restaurant

Vancouver is known for many things, including its fine array of delicious restaurants. There are many neighborhoods known for their dining located throughout the downtown core, Denman Street being one of them! Denman Street connects English Bay to Coal Harbour and features dozens of restaurants, cafes and shopping boutiques. It’s famous for its eclectic range of restaurants, offering every type of cuisine under the sky. Italian, Thai, Japanese, Mexican…you name it, the neighborhood has it. Denman Street is a definite must-see when touring English Bay so take a walk down the one kilometre stretch, enjoy a meal or two, and then take in the sights of Coal Harbour on the other side!


Water Sports

English Bay is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering the best in water sports and activities in the region. Visitors can choose from a list of fun options like kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, jet skiing and scuba diving. The best part? All of these activities come with an amazing view of downtown Vancouver, with the ocean and mountains in the same frame.


Granville Island

Shot from above Granville Island Market and Vancouver skyline

While not located directly in English Bay, Granville Island is only a few minutes from the bay area. Located across from False Creek, Vancouver’s very own island is a must see for any tourist visiting the city for the first time. It has its very own public market, filled with the best local products including baked goods, meat, fish and crafts. There’s a waterfront courtyard to take in the sights of the downtown skyline and even a Kids Market, with a water park, magicians and an indoor Adventure Zone. Granville Island also plays host to a slew of improvisational comedy, theatrical productions and classic plays.

Downtown Vancouver hotel 20% off

Book the INTERNET ONLY RATE and receive up to 20% off on stays before November 24th, 2013. Plus, Best Western Rewards® members who register PRIOR to their stay and book on will also receive 1,000 bonus points per stay before November 24, 2013. Elite members get 500 more bonus points per stay.*

Frequently Asked Questions >

One million cups of coffee



WE Vancouver features an article on our dear Jana

We value our customers and employees, they made us who we are today and we are very thankful for people like Jana. We would like to take this opportunity to invite our guests to the gastrobup downstairs, The Park at English Bay to experience some of the dedicated service of the kitchen crew.

“After pouring more than a million cups of coffee at the Sands Hotel’s restaurant over the past 40 years, Jana Zadera retired on her 70th birthday.”
Thank you Jana, happy retirement!



Summer vacation isn’t just for the kids! EVERYONE qualifies for this sizzling’ Summer savings when they make a hotel reservation on and choose the Internet Only rate.

Participants receive up to 20% off of the hotel’s Best Available Rate and 1,000 bonus Best Western Rewards® points.*


  • Book a reservation on the Internet Only rate using the FIND A HOTEL module on the left navigation of this page
  • Your credit card will be charged immediately upon receipt of the reservation for the full amount of the entire stay
  • Best Western Rewards® members that provide their Best Western Rewards® number on their reservation will receive the 1,000 bonus rewards points.
  • Reservation cancellation or modification policies may vary by hotel
  • This rate is only available at participating Best Western hotels

Offer Details: Register PRIOR to your first stay, and then stay 3 separate times between June 17 – August 18, 2013, and earn a FREE NIGHT voucher.* Registration ends July 28, 2013. Earn even more when you use your Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®**.

Plus you could win a chance to meet the stars of the Disney Channel Original Movie Teen Beach Movie and get an autographed surfboard!† US residents click here for details. Canadian residents click here for details.

*See Terms and Conditions for complete promotion details.

Christmas in Vancouver

The Best Western Plus Sands Hotel in downtown Vancouver is a great place to be for a West Coast Christmas. Although there may not be a guarantee of snow, you can always head out to Grouse Mountain if you want to stomp around in the white stuff. Only 15 minutes north of downtown, Grouse Mountain delivers a true white Christmas in Vancouver. You can enjoy sleigh rides, skating on the outdoor rink and looking at the view of Vancouver from the mountain top. You can even arrange for your kids to have breakfast with Santa!

While you are on the North Shore, you should check out the world-famous Capilano suspension bridge. In true Christmas spirit, you’ll see the bridge and canyon like never before thanks to the incredible display of Christmas lights.

If you like Christmas lights, the Stanley Park Christmas train is a must do. You can buy tickets ahead of time by visiting All aboard! Another great spot for fans of Christmas lights is Van Dusen Gardens (7th & Oak St.), which puts on a stellar Christmas lights display every year. But that’s not all… they also showcase a community choir, a Candy Cane Tree and a Gingerbread Walk.

Perhaps you’re looking for some last-minute gift ideas.  If so, the Vancouver Christmas market is open daily November 24 to December 24 from 11am-9pm.  Located in downtown Vancouver at the corner of West Georgia and Cambie streets, it’s close to the Best Western Plus Sands Hotel, your conveniently located downtown Vancouver hotel. The Christmas market has a German theme and offers affordable European style handmade crafts. Bring your appetite with you because the European style food is incredible!

For a lot of people, Christmas is a time of giving . If you wish to spend some time volunteering, connect with the Union Gospel Mission,  the Canadian mental health Association, the Greater Vancouver food Bank or the Salvation Army.

What would Christmas be without a parade? The annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade in downtown Vancouver attracts over 300,000 spectators every year. With marching bands, Christmas floats and dancers, the Parade winds its way from West Georgia and Broughton to its finish at Howe and Davie.  Put the date on your calendar – Sunday, December 2, 2012.
In the event your ideal Vancouver Christmas includes a lot of people and you’re looking for a Vancouver-based banquet hall, the Best Western Plus Sands Hotel can help you. We can serve a delicious Christmas dinner that will have your guests hoping it’s an annual event!

Enjoy downtown Vancouver with Best Western Hotel at English Bay

Vancouver is the busiest and largest port in Canada and it is also the most densely populated municipality. There is so much to do in the downtown area that a vacation can be filled with fun and memorable times. If seeking a great hotel downtown Vancouver, the Best Western Hotel near English Bay is a great option in a place to stay. The following explains a little bit more about this lovely area and its surroundings.

Stanley Park

Vancouver’s oldest, largest, and most popular park is one of the city’s main tourist attractions. This quote reflects how a lot of people feel about this beautiful Historic Site. “A city that has been carved out of the forest should maintain somewhere within its boundaries evidence of what it once was, and so long as Stanley Park remains unspoiled that testimony to the giant trees which occupied the site of Vancouver in former days will remain”
The News Herald – October 30, 1939


If you want your experience in Vancouver to be one that is filled with great shopping, the Best Western Hotel at English Bay is a wonderful spot to stay. It is close to the Pacific Centre Mall shopping districts which feature great shops and venues for your commerce needs. You can shop the stores and return to your room in no time. Everything is within a short distance and you will be sure to fill those shopping bags quickly with great trinkets, souvenirs, and more from your stay in Vancouver.

English Bay

The Best Western Hotel may be a great hotel downtown Vancouver but its location at English Bay allows for more than just the metropolitan feel. Here you will find many different options for you including a great beach stay where you can relax on the waters. The scenery is amazing and just by looking out your hotel window you can find serenity in the scenes around you. With so much to say and do here, there is nothing like this option in a staying spot.


The hotel downtown Vancouver Best Western has great internal amenities as well. The Best Western Hotel by English Bay has an amazing array of high quality rooms and suites. Here you will find that you can choose from among one-hundred and twenty different rooms. Each is air conditioned for premium comfort and comes with either a single double bed or two to suit your needs. The bedding is of high quality and the technology in the room is a great addition, too. Great restaurants are also located in the hotel which means that you can enjoy a great meal in a hotel that you are going to rest in. Pricing options and availability may vary. For the most recent and best information on whether or not you can book your stay, contact the hotel itself. A customers who have stayed before say, it is a wonderful hotel in a great location for your Vancouver accommodation needs.