the iNsiDer’s holiDay GuiDe
Hotel concierge Verinda Doman shares some of her seasonal favourites for sightseeing, dining and more
A marriage proposal while skydiving. A Neil Diamond impersonator singing “Sweet Caroline.” A Canadian-themed feast featuring poutine, Caesar cocktails, ketchup chips and more—all delivered to a private plane. “I’m always prepared to make the impossible possible,” says Marriott Pinnacle concierge Verinda Doman, of the magical moments she’s orchestrated for guests over the past 25 years. Spoken like a true member of Les Clefs d’Or, an elite international association of concierges.
Want to create your own magic? Try Doman’s “Vancouver Holiday Bucket List”: meet Santa’s reindeer at The Peak of Christmas (page 51) at Grouse Mountain, and belt out seasonal tunes on a carol ship (page 51) or on a Karaoke Christmas Lights Trolley Tour (page 51). Catch Scuba Claus diving at the Vancouver Aquarium (page 57). Explore dazzling displays at Canyon Lights (page 51) at Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Festival of Lights (page 51) at VanDusen, or ride the miniature train at Bright Nights in Stanley Park (page 50). Hop aboard False Creek Ferries (page 57) to reach Granville Island (page N2), where one-of-a-kind boutiques and art studios bring joy—and unique gift ideas—to the world.
Of course, merry-making has a way of working up people’s appetites. “Vancouver is a world-class culinary haven,” Doman declares. Recharge your holiday spirit with West Coast–inspired tastes at Showcase (page 65), fresh seafood at Ancora (page 69), innovative Indian cuisine at Vij’s (page 73) and classic French flavours at Jules Bistro (page 71). Seasons in the Park (page 74) is blessed with “one of the best panoramic mountain and city views,” perfect for extra-special occasions. And what’s more special than the most wonderful time of the year?
Scuba Claus takes a break from the chilly Arctic Ocean to explore the Strait of Georgia habitat at the Vancouver Aquarium