The Sylvia was Vancouver’s first high rise, constructed back in 1912 when the rest of the West End was all houses. Now most of the houses have been replaced by much higher towers, but the ivy-clad brick Sylvia quietly continues on. This hotel is beloved by locals and by many of its guests; others are less impressed by its unpretentious, even plain, decor. The big draw is, of course, the unbeatable location right on English Bay—that, and the great room rates. Each room has its own layout, which ranges from small bargain rooms to big suites with full kitchens. You’ll find more character in the old wing (coffered ceilings, crown moldings), and more convenience (king size beds, bigger bathrooms) in the new low-rise one. The best feature of all is the popular restaurant and lounge. It was Vancouver’s first cocktail lounge, back in 1954, and where the classic Vancouver Cocktail was invented. Enjoy one while you take in the terrific views of the beach and English Bay.