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When famously reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes was on the lam from U.S. tax authorities back in 1972, he holed up at the Bayshore for a year. And why not? This cool, modern hotel has an outstanding location at the entrance to Stanley Park, with stellar views of Coal Harbour and the North Shore Mountains. Plus it’s the only hotel in Vancouver with its own marina, so an easy getaway was, and is, close at hand. The original, low-rise Bayshore was built in 1961, and has since been joined by a tower. The hotel features 40 meeting rooms, so it is as popular with business travelers as it is with leisure visitors. The entire property was updated in 2009, and guest rooms now feature the Westin Heavenly Beds and Bathrooms, as well as elegant, low-slung, modern modular furniture, glass sinks, and fabulous showers, all done up in cool West Coast modern decor with lots of glass and pale wood. But the real attraction is that view, captured in the floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel has two restaurants—Currents and the Seawall Bar & Grill—but locals still lament the loss of the old Trader Vic’s, once one of the city’s top dining establishments, and the source of fabulous tiki drinks to enjoy by the outdoor pool. Note that there’s also another Westin, the business-friendly Westin Grand, up near Rogers Arena and BC Place (433 Robson St.; [tel] 888/680-9393 or 604/602-1999; www.westingrandvancouver.com).