On the eastern edge of downtown, Vancouver's Chinatown is one of the largest neighborhoods of its kind in North America. Settled by immigrants in the late 1800s, Chinatown today retains its history and culture, while also boasting trendy restaurants and bars and reclaimed historical spaces. Just two miles from downtown's Convention Centre district, the array of modestly sized hotel, dining and event venues in Chinatown is both convenient and exotic.
Chinatown is served by the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), located eight miles south from downtown Vancouver in Richmond, BC. YVR is Canada's 2nd-busiest airport, behind the Toronto Pearson International Airport, serving approximately 17 million passengers and approximately 300,000 take-offs and landings per year.
Hotel venues in Chinatown itself are scarce but abound in the immediately surrounding neighborhoods. The 180-room Georgian Court Hotel, on the southwestern fringe of Chinatown near BC Place Stadium, has 2,575 square feet of meeting space and a large meeting room of 734 square feet. Near the trendy Yaletown shopping district, the 217-room Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel features 3,000 square feet of flexible space and a 1,530-square-foot ballroom. One block over, the 207-room Westin Grand Vancouver has 3,689 square feet of meeting space, with its largest meeting room measuring 1,224 square feet. Other options include the 302-room Sandman Hotel Downtown Vancouver, with a large meeting room of 2,660 square feet, and the 155-room YWCA Hotel, with 1,144 square feet of meeting space and rooms to suit all budgets.
Chinatown has a variety of off-site meeting venues. At the neighborhood's southern fringe is Science World, a technology museum housed in a geodesic dome that boasts 81,000 square feet of space and room for 750 seated. Nearby, the elegantly restored 12,400-square-foot Rocky Mountaineer train station can accommodate 750 seated or 1,200 for receptions. With 12,000 square feet of meeting space, the Neoclassical Vancouver Public Library makes an ideal event setting and can accommodate 400 people seated. Other unique venues include the 200-seat Queen of Diamonds Yacht, moored in nearby False Creek, and – for truly large groups – the 60,000-seat BC Place Stadium.
Dining venues in Chinatown range from traditional to chic and contemporary. The Floata Seafood Restaurant, Canada's largest Chinese restaurant, seats up to 1,000 people in a banquet-style setting. For smaller groups, Wild Rice offers modern Asian cuisine for up to 120 people in a sleek, club-like atmosphere, while the fashionable Keefer Lounge serves dim sum-style dishes and handcrafted cocktails for up to 70 people. Chinatown is also a center of progressive and acclaimed restaurants serving other cuisines, including the rustic Italian-themed Campagnolo (space for 50 seated) and the Chambar Belgian Restaurant (space for 100 seated).