Urge to splurge: 6 luxurious experiences in Vancouver

By Nancy Baye

If you’ve got a taste for the finer things in life – and a budget to match – there’s no shortage of luxury experiences to be had in Vancouver. Whether you’ve got a bulging bank account, or are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime splurge, the experiences listed here will add some serious luxury to your lifestyle. [Image credit: iStock.com/mevans]

Urge to splurge: 6 luxurious experiences in Vancouver

Drive it

From May to September, Scenic Rush will put you behind the wheel of four luxury cars on a thrilling eight-hour trip from West Vancouver to Whistler and back. Speeds might not exceed the legal limits of the spectacularly scenic Sea to Sky Highway, but it will sure feel like it. Cost of gas is included, as is lunch at Nicklaus North Golf Course’s Table 19. Predetermined stops offer photo ops while drivers swap vehicles. That ensures fair time behind the wheel of the Ferrari F430 Spider, the Lamborghini Gallardo, the Nissan GT-R and the Audi R8. It’s a mere $1,495 to be Lewis Hamilton for the day, but only $195 to add a second driver, which drops the price down to $845 each. There’s a group discount too, but you don’t need that, right?

Fly it

Scenic Rush also offers the Sea to SKY Helicopter Experience, the same exhilarating chance to drive four luxury cars but with an extra layer of luxury. A half-hour helicopter trip is provided by SKY helicopters. Lunch at the Furry Creek Golf & Country Club is included. This five hour trip covers 120 km, from West Vancouver to Squamish return, and might be considered a bargain at $1,095. Reviewers rave the experience is worth every cent, all 109,500 of them.

Eat it

Stepping into Glowbal’s triple-tiered Black+Blue is a luxurious experience in itself. The elevator sports glass walls. A dry aging cellar glows with a wall of Himalayan salt. From the main floor New York-style bar to the fine dining room upstairs to the rooftop patio, this place is all about steak. Mouth-watering hunks of beef are double R ranch USDA prime. At the top of the price scale is the Japanese Wagyu Rib-Eye Cap. This steak is of the highest grade in Japan. At $26 per ounce you might want to fill up on bread before asking for a 10-ounce steak at $260.

Drink it

The Macallan Highland single malt Scotch whisky is finely crafted by masters of the malt. Connoisseurs offer descriptors like, firm and dry, with notes of spice … a chewy spirit with a long finish. The liquid amber is from the Speyside region of Scotland, but you can savour a glass closer to home at Gotham for $220, definitely cheaper than a trans-Atlantic flight.
If it’s wine you crave, Gotham’s Coravin system allows the sommelier to pull wine from a bottle without pulling the cork. A needle is inserted into the cork, creating a tiny hole to allow a pour. The cork then rebounds and reseals the precious liquid inside. Enjoy a glass of white Bordeaux by Chateau D’Yquem ‘Y’ SB Semillion 2013 for $178 or splurge on the whole delicious bottle for $650.

If your tastes lean to red, opt for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2011, from the Napa Valley. This heady red is complex and plummy, with smooth tannins. At $625 it’s easy to see why Gotham invested in the Coravin System. Heck, just get the whole bottle for $2,500.

Smoke it

Vancouver’s “no-fun” rep might be a result of things like its smoking laws, which prohibit smoking lounges. But that’s not going to stop you from finding stellar cigars around town. Private shops mean knowledgeable staff, and a chance to connect with other smokers. City Cigar has a variety of aged Cuban cigars, humidors, clippers and lighters, not to mention its old-style charm. Drew Estate’s Liga Privada flawlessly blends seven distinct aged tobaccos. This private blend is available in limited quantities due to quality control that restricts how many are handcrafted each day, part of the reason for the $70 price tag on each stogie.

In the heart of the city, Two Thousand Cigars has a reputation for selling to Hollywood North. Wander into their divinely aromatic 250 square foot walk-in humidor and marvel at the eye-popping selection of fine smokes from around the world. The cedar-lined, electronically environment keeps brands like Arturo Fuente, Fonsecca and Bolivar pristine.

Forget it

Nothing takes worries away like a day at the spa. This remains an ultimate luxury experience and nobody puts the ah into spa quite like the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Willow Stream Spa, who pimp up their treatments with appies and wine. Named one of the best spas in the world by CN Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2015, the spacious venue features fireplace-studded lounges, fitness and yoga studios, an outdoor deck, meditation pods and city vistas. Treatments are augmented by a hydrotherapy shower with 20 different shower heads, plus multiple temperature, pressure and mist options. Check out the jacuzzi, steam room and let the infrared sauna’s radiant heat penetrate your muscles and joints. A customized massage, like the Ocean Currents, runs around $399. Energy Journeys last four hours and clock in at $559 for the Healthy Glow. Of course, you’ll be flat out and so relaxed you won’t care.

Ah, the good life. We could get used to it.

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