Originally a Canadian National Railway hotel (recognisable by its stone exterior and oxidised copper roof), the Hotel Vancouver is a city landmark in the heart of downtown. It has changed a lot over the years and, as a result, the rooms vary greatly in size and shape. However, all have been refurbished recently with new plasma TVs and automated mini bars. Best to avoid the lower floors where some of the rooms have been converted from meeting spaces and can be vast and impersonal. For an extra $100 or so, the Fairmont Gold floors provide a private lounge with complimentary snacks, drinks all day and a hearty breakfast. Alternatively, Griffins restaurant serves its own copious buffet breakfast with an Asian option featuring eggs, smoked fish and steamed rice. In the open yet cosy lobby bar they serve free hors d'oeuvres every night from 5-7pm, followed by live jazz until 11pm - sometimes later.