Author Archives: VancityAsks

Best Student Banking in Vancouver

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Moving to a new country can be difficult. Thankfully if you’re relocating as a student, there are plentiful support networks that can assist you with your transition – if only you knew. Reach out to the university you will be attending to inquire what knowledge resources they have available to help with your move to a new city or country. There are generally several essentials you need to settle upon arriving, one of them includes most critically a student bank account in Vancouver, BC. ūüėÄ

We hope to help you by suggesting a few recommended student bank account out of the five major banks in Vancouver. We hope this summary of information will enable you to make your decision better; helping you find an ideal student bank account to support and facilitate your daily banking needs throughout your studies and beyond.

We will be considering (1) Student Banking Plans (2) Student Banking Benefits (3) Student Banking Cost (4) Convenience and accessibility – inclusive of online banking services (5) Service. We will also give attention to future considerations such as room for growth once you’re finish your studies – what are the costs associated to your everyday banking once you’re completed your four (five or sometimes six) years of studies and discounted student banking plans.

The good news is that most major banks (and credit unions in BC) provide free banking services for full time students. Some banks like BMO may require for you to verify your enrollment yearly whereas certain banks like CIBC will allow you to save the inconvenience and hassle of going into your branch to verify in person yearly such as BMO student banking plans (else it will automatically charge you their standard banking fees) and confirm your student enrollment once for the entire period of study for the student banking plans. Certain banking institutions will provide special student banking benefits such as an SPC card (BMO) or free movies (Scotiabank). Certain banks however like CIBC while not providing such added incentives/benefits, offer completely free unlimited student banking (comparative to BMO which charges you on two tiers of student banking in Vancouver. In comparison, CIBC delivers more value long term, saving you $5 monthly….just buy your own SPC card if you want one. It’s only $10. They make money from having the volume of student loyalty leveraged for these businesses not your $10 fee.)

Which student banking plan is best for you comes down ideally towards the customer service, convenience, and quality of banking service when looking at the bigger picture. You don’t need to save the $9.99 you’d spend on a Student Price Card only to fork out an additional $9.99/month for the next tier of banking plan or put up with more inconvenience of an under-developed online banking system. (Some credit unions like Coast Credit Union however still render much of their services manually so I suppose that’s an improvement from that but as you were taught – at least hopefully – never compare with the worse but the best.)

Before this introduction gets on too far, welcome to our student series to help incoming students to post-secondary education with their transition to Vancouver by recommending the ideal (in our opinion) necessary services for them. We hope this will help you to make an informed decision and save time with knowledge gathering and comparing from various banking websites separately. We have tried to maintain as accurate information as to our knowledge added with personal opinion and experience however no warranties can be made on the accuracy of the content.

While this content is intended primarily to help incoming students to Vancouver find the right student banking plan for them…locals would also consider this list to be exhaustive (hopefully) and useful for their own considerations in looking for a Vancouver student banking option. There isn’t much varying consideration in student banking for a local or international student – except international students may find it beneficial to utilize a more globalized bank like HSBC.

Comment bellow which student banking institution you use in Vancouver! (or credit union for your student banking.) …how you like the service afforded.

 

Here are our recommendations for the Best Student Banking Plans in Vancouver from #1 to #5 (as usual of our list consisting the top 5).

1) CIBC – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce:

Student Banking Plan – FREE Unlimited student banking plan.

+ Unlimited e-transfers

+ Unlimited interac payments

+ Unlimited transactions

+ No fee withdrawals on CIBC ATMs

+ FREE

Pros

+ One of the BEST ATM networks in Vancouver (and Canada). Save on ATM fees. ¬†At last count, CIBC has 4100+ ATMs. Especially in Vancouver, you will find a CIBC ATM at just about every corner you may require to withdraw cash. However, in today’s electronic world, most of our transactions are online and digital such as credit cards which leads us to point #2.

(Note that CIBC used to operate PC Financial with President Choice providing ATMs at every Superstore. This however will begin to change with the recent change to PC Financial. CIBC will be moving forward with Simplii – a similar concept to EQ Bank and Tangerine – and the ATMs at Super Stores will no longer be operated by CIBC.)

+ One of the BEST Online Banking platform. CIBC regularly invest into their online banking experience to ensure it’s secure and convenient for their customers. Their online banking platform provides a seamless user experience allowing you to perform payments, instant transfers to your credit card, and check transactions up to six months prior. You can also send secure and private messages online to a customer service representative through your CIBC Online Banking Inbox…another alternative if you have questions or require non-urgent banking service.
(It is worth noting that CIBC also has a solid mobile banking product however I find their mobile apps and mobile website more limited in functionality. You can choose to access the desktop browser version or the mobile browser version when visiting CIBC Online Banking with your phone.)

+ Professional and friendly telephone banking service. If you require to complete activities or inquire with a live service personnel, CIBC has a 24 hours telephone banking call center. They are generally prompt and eager to help (most likely scripted replies I’m sure but it works) with the exception of one individual (base on personal experience). You can generally tell if someone is eager to serve base on their tone of voice. If you get a bad experience, just call back – as with customer service, your experience can vary base on the service personnel.

+ Fast and efficient in-branch banking services. The service in CIBC branches are on the whole, friendly, quick, and professional. I suppose with their emphasis on improving and maintaining their digital banking platform and their widespread ATM/ABM network, there is little need to go in to your local branch for everyday banking or student banking in Canada. As a result, lines in local branches are rare. If you do require to visit your local branch after setting up your account and verifying your documents, you can be assured the service on a whole is friendly and efficient. (If you do require to see a banker, set an appointment online.)

Presuming you are attending UBC, you will find a CIBC branch right at University Village. There are no banks on SFU Burnaby campus except Scotiabank.

Perks – None. While CIBC doesn’t offer any student perks, if you need a quality and functional everyday banking plan without the excess fees, then CIBC Student Banking Plan is the ideal option for you as a Canadian or International student in Canada. (personal opinion) You don’t get the fancy perks like an SPC card or like free movie tickets with your Interac usage (which in my opinion doesn’t really matter anyways – put all your purchases onto your credit card instead of interac, let the merchant pay the fees, and get a 1-2% cashback. Travel rewards are better however as you get experiences over a rebate.) however, you do get a solid banking product and service that’s free for students. They also provide easily accessible student line of credits and student credit cards that provides fair incentive.

This is the ideal option if you’re looking for a bank that will serve you well throughout your student years and beyond. After you graduate your student banking plan, just pay $12.99/month for unlimited transaction banking. It keeps it simple. You also get great service at CIBC.

There is actually a student banking contest going on currently to win four years of tuition ($35,000) for opening a new student bank account in Canada, student credit card in Canada, or student line of credit in Canada. However, let’s face it, odds are not in your favor for this contest.

 

[Side rant here: Truthfully, the Student Life Contests are just a HUGE scheme to get your personal information and then spam you on their social networks with irrelevant content about why your degree isn’t worth it…

I registered for it in 2012. Please don’t waste your time.

You’ll see loads of badly created social media content with annoying and kiddish click-bait headlines telling you why university is a big scam and you can get your dream job without a degree. They probably think this would resonate with the youths and students – yourself, but if you’re spending four years of your life at college or university, I don’t think you need to be told why its a waste.

Honestly, university matters. Value it. Don’t be delusional, in today’s society a degree is still the pre-requisite to many jobs.

More than that, your fours years of university is worth while and for the most part will be a significant portion of your life. It is what you make it to be.

(1) Take the time to seek out experiences. Endeavor to go on an exchange program with Go Global. Find your interest and passions with various student clubs and residence communities.

(2) It’s about people. Use the opportunity to surround yourself with like minded individuals. People who will stir you on, motivate you, and hold you up if needed.

An observation, the people at various colleges/universities differ – you will be surprise, how distinct it is. In Singapore, comparing the drive and ambition of people attending NUS, SMU, or a Polytechnics (community college) varies significantly – both in habits, eagerness to learn, and human interactions.

University is an excellent opportunity to network and surround yourself with like minded individuals to grow and be a better you. People with ambition and drive but never look down on anyone and always be kind. (Time and chance happen to all.)

(3) Training grounds. University is a great opportunity to stress test your load and learn how to manage your time, responsibilities, and social life. (The worse you could do in university is fail.) The knowledge you learn will be basis for learning skills that you can apply in the real world. Much of your practice and habits in society will be built while you’re completing tertiary education.

(4) Pursue your passion. University is a great time to find what you love to do and do it. Try your entrepreneurial endeavors. Try making something from your hobbies.

University is an excellent opportunity to pedal the wheel while you do what you really love and see if you can kick-start a life long pursuit in that field.

University is a safe space to fail like no other. Especially so when your responsibilities and obligations are low and your energy high in your youths. Unless you’re looking to pursue a masters degree or doctorate degree, stress less about your grades and spend time rather pursuing your passions.

Your four years at university allows you to take risks and try with a back-up plan and an incredible amount of support (society generally regard students well with their future spending power, financing available, alumnis, and professors in your field of interest.)

(5) At the very lest, university is a great time to get cheap subsidized accommodation in Vancouver (which is awfully rare in Vancouver), a network of adults eager to help you and connect you – your professors, an opportunity to find ambitious young adults to network, connect, and keep in contact for life – you never know where they may go or who you may need in your team in the future…now is a great time to gauge out individual personalities.

University in a sense is a safe space to try and fail, to learn and grow. One important thing to learn early on is the importance of human capital, university is an opportunity for you to find and bank that human capital (by making friends carefully). Here’s an example, Singapore is a nation that was built on the believe in human capital – with no natural resources, they pushed their efforts on efficiency and on education for the youths. They took a no-nonsense approach to ensure investors had confidence in the society. They are doing pretty well moving from being a third world to a first world country within one generation… ¬†not without it’s toils and tribulations of pioneers.

University provides you an ideal environment to do what you love to do without the judgement of society and peers. Without the stress and pressures if you entered immediately into the working world. Whether you like it or not, our emotional well being and our opinion in society affects us and our pursuits larger than you know. Your college years, for many, will be your opportunity to do what you love without these stresses. – for the most part most people are doing stupid things during college anyways. So while people are spending their weekends at frat parties getting dead drunk, while people are chasing girls or guys, while people are binge watching GOT in your dorms. Spend your time honing your personal hobbies and seeing if you can make something of what you love to do. If you don’t know what you love to do, congrats, get out and try out the numerous topic orientated clubs in your college as an opportunity to meet people and find what you love to do.

So in conclusion, your university degree matters. It’s the people and experiences that you will gain.]

 

Cons – There aren’t many cons to be considered.

– Fewer branches than RBC, Scotiabank, and TD. But then again, how often do you need to visit a branch when you can do everything online?

– No student perks. Flashy bells and whistles in our humble opinion. What you need is reliable, friendly, and cheap student banking solution for your four years (or more) of your student life. (the best vacation you have in life.)

Opinion: Whether you’re a student or working adult, CIBC, in our opinion is the ideal everyday banking option. Their student banking plans for Canada can’t get any better…it’s free. There aren’t as many student perks but you have a solid banking product that you can continue to use even after your studies (for a reasonable service fee.) You get professional and convenient banking services which will save you more money than any student banking perks considering the opportunity cost of your time and sanity.

I would have no hesitation recommend CIBC if you’re looking to open a student bank account in Canada. I’ve been banking with CIBC for several years and have always found their banking services consistent, quick, and friendly. They provide excellent plans both for student banking and everyday banking; making it convenient to maintain your account even after you finish your studies (without having to exorbitant fees for daily banking) I am impressed with their level of service (generally), their advance and easy to use online banking solution, and convenience. It certainly beats using a credit union with slower processing times and more archaic technology. (The main draw to using a local credit union is precisely about your community and its members however. If you’re looking for functional and convenient banking, choose CIBC.) Taking a look at their credit card products, they also seem to offer some excellent incentives for student credit cards ranging from cashback to travel rewards with Aeroplan points or CIBC’s own Aventura. The Aventura seems like the best offer at this time with a 2500 points for opening a no-fee account and what appears to be 1 point per $2 spent.

You can inquire about a student bank account here or apply for a student credit card here. To open a bank account, you would have to visit your nearest branch to verify documentation. Opening a bank requires you to bring a government issued photo ID And another identification such as your BC Card.

 

2) Scotiabank

Student Banking Plan – Free UNLIMITED Student Banking Plan with Cineplex Rewards!

Pros

+ Unlimited

Perks

Cons

Opinion: We like the service and options provided by Scotiabank student banking plan. You have unlimited transactions with a free student banking account (rack up those Interac transactions) and gain scene points (get free movies at Cineplex) even with your debit purchases. (Which barely any bank offers incentives for Interac purchases. That would be counter intuitive to leveraging your deposits.) They also offer a very attractive everyday banking plan known was the Scotiabank Momentum Account. It provides you unlimited transactions for $15.99 (similar pricing to CIBC Smart Banking plan at $14.99.). The Scotiabank Mometum Account also provides some incredibly attractive benefits and bonuses such as a Global ATM Network, 1% rebate on all interac transactions and two free non-Scotiabank withdrawal.  Click here to register for a free student banking account with Scotiabank.

Scotiabank is also the ONLY bank we know that offers rebates on debit/interac transactions. With their Momentum banking plan, you can get 1% rebate for all Interac transactions in-store up to $300 yearly.

Scotiabank is also one of the few Canadian bank that is part of a Global ATM Alliance. You do not pay access fees on your withdrawals in overseas countries by using ATMs that are part of this Global ATM Alliance. For example in United States, you can use Bank of America ATMs with your Scotiabank debit card without paying access fees. (I remember spending $5 USD for each withdrawal at Wells Fargo in Los Angeles and $3 USD at Bank of America ATMs with my CIBC debit card….in addition to the CIBC’s non-CIBC atm withdrawal fee of $3 plus 2.5% administrative fee…that works out about $10 CAD per withdrawal; that is equivalent to a Kurobuta Terimayo at Japadog. Had to fit Japadog in there some how….by the way, you can use Interac at Japadog too!)

Scotiabank also provides 2 free Non-Scotiabank ABM withdrawals per month. This saves you paying $2 per withdrawal.

We really like that Scotiabank provides student banking plan with unlimited transactions. It’s Free! …and get free movies too using Interac. This bank really like marketing to students and a significant proportion of the clients are students. As a result, you can expect excellent service from CIBC and not any second-grade service with your student banking plan at Scotiabank.

 

3) Royal Bank of Canada

Student Banking Plan

Pros

Perks

Cons

Opinion:

 

4) Bank of Montreal

Student Banking Plan

Pros

Perks

Cons

Opinion:

 

5) TD

Student Banking Plan

Pros

Perks

Cons

Opinion:

 

+ HSBC: HSBC may be a useful consideration for international students as they have a few branches in Vancouver and BC at large. Many may already have a HSBC account from their country of origin. There aren’t many HSBC branches in Vancouver or BC relatively to Asia however it is a worth while consideration for international students who are looking to bank with a bank that has an established presence in their country of origin which may make it easier for transitions back home.

+ Vancity Credit Union: I would not recommend a credit union for an international student because credit unions tend to have less developed technologies and accessibility that bigger commercial banks already utilize. This may make it harder for you to complete your banking activities however a credit union is member owned. A credit union often works to contribute back to the community it operates within. This is a note-worthy cause. The Vancity Credit Union is often involved in community causes and provides funding for local businesses that work to serve you (so do the other banks) but Vancity Credit Union does so with more consideration on community benefit than most commercial for-profit and publicly owned banks.

 

These are only five banks we’ve recommended for their student banking plans out of many banks and credit unions that operate in BC. For a full list of banks and credit unions in Canada out of curiosity, you can check out the respective links above.

 

Student banking and Free Money?

There are several offers currently running that gives you cash incentives for opening a bank account. It is definitely worth considering. Here is a list of all such offers that apply to Canadian banking plans that we could find. Take your pick!

These offers require you to open a bank account and set a direct deposit (or sometimes just deposit $50 like Tangerine) to get a bonus. Each bank has a different offer and some provide you more cash incentives for further actions!

 

Coquitlam Hotels: Best Hotels in Coquitlam

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Visiting Coquitlam, British Columbia? Here’s everything you need to know about Coquitlam, BC.

Find bellow, a local’s guide to finding the best hotels in Coquitlam for your business, leisure, or family visit to Coquitlam, BC. Discover useful tips for booking a cheaper Coquitlam hotel, and which Coquitlam hotels to avoid. (There are only two Coquitlam hotels you should consider staying at.)

 

Best Hotels in Coquitlam, BC

We’ve taken an extensive look at some of the best hotels in Coquitlam, BC and here are our recommendations for the best hotels in Coquitlam from a locals point of view.

Whether you’re looking to visit family in the tri-cities, if you’re in town on leisure, or if you’re in town for business, these are tried and tested accommodation for your stay in Coquitlam, BC.

Tip #1 – Avoid the AirBnbs as your experience can be good or bad; hotels are safer, more conducive to the community, and comfortable …with amenities you won’t find at AirBnbs. AirBnbs do not have a good reputation locally in Metro Vancouver (more so the City of Vancouver with low vacancy rate of rentals – it is less frowned upon in the suburbs) and many locals do not take kindly to AirBnbs in Vancouver. There was also a recent story of an AirBnb in Canada with hidden cameras embedded. (Specifically, in the City of Vancouver short term rentals are banned without a proper license.)

We’ve taken the effort to visiting and trying quite a few of our recommendations for Coquitlam hotels first-hand so these are not blind recommendations.

 

About Coquitlam, British Columbia:

Presuming you’re looking to book a Coquitlam hotel, you would like to know a little more about Coquitlam, BC to help you with your hotel choice. As such, before we get to our list of the best hotels in Coquitlam, we’d like to share a few tidbits about what you should know about Coquitlam. (A more extensive guide about Vancouver can be found here.) We will also share more about Coquitlam, BC after our write-up on hotels in Coquitlam. (Edit – A complete guide to Coquitlam, BC can be found on another VancityAsks article linked above.)

  • Coquitlam is a city in Metro Vancouver (Metro Vancouver consists of 24¬†municipalities).
  • Coquitlam derives its name from Coast Salish (natives) language¬†Hun’qum’i’num; Coquitlam means “small red salmon” (we have salmon spawning season where many of Coquitlam’s rivers are filled with spawning salmon) as well as “stinking of fish slime”. You can certainly smell the stink around fall when the salmon dies in the river after spawning.
  • Coquitlam is approximately 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver (without traffic) and 1 hour from downtown Vancouver by transit (using Translink SkyTrain).
  • Coquitlam is surrounded by Port Moody (to the West) and Port Coquitlam (to the East) with Burnaby (a larger municipality of Metro Vancouver) after Port Moody. (Port Moody is a small but quaint town about 1/5th the size of Coquitlam)
  • Coquitlam has a population of¬†139,284 people as of 2016; it is a rapidly developing suburb however by and large with its size, there are not many options for hotels in Coquitlam. There are many hotels in Metro Vancouver however and downtown Vancouver which is a mere 30 minutes from Coquitlam, BC.

 

The Best Hotels in Coquitlam:

These are hotels located within Coquitlam, BC.

There aren’t currently any hotels by Coquitlam Center¬†unfortunately (where most of the residents live in high rise condos, along with Coquitlam Centre Mall by Morguard, and City Hall). Most of the hotels in Coquitlam currently are located towards Lougheed Station also known as Korean Town along the Trans Canada highway.

There are only five hotels in Coquitlam, BC and only two worth booking at. You’re better off booking at a hotel in Burnaby or New Westminster if either of these two hotels (#1 and #2 respectively) are not available. We would suggest Accent Inn Burnaby if you’re looking for a reliable budget option or the Hilton Metrotown in Burnaby as well as the Inn at the Quay in New Westminster if you’re looking for a hotel with more amenities.

 

1) Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel – Executive Plaza Hotel Metro Vancouver:

If you need to be in Coquitlam, BC then the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is where you want to book out of all options currently available as far as Coquitlam hotels are concerned. It has recently been re-branded as the Executive Plaza Hotel Metro Vancouver, however the rooms and management is the same. This is by no means a spectacular hotel but it is the best option available in Coquitlam, BC with a reasonable price point usually around $150+ for the non-peak periods and $250+ for the peak periods. (Note: If the re-branding as Executive Plaza Hotel Metro Vancouver, they have also raised their room-rates by 20-25% from what it was before. This might mean it is not as good a deal as it was before the re-branding. The re-branding was likely done to increase their room rates by targeting Vancouver visitors beyond Coquitlam hotel market.)

Expedia +VIP Benefits at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel¬†– The Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel participates in Expedia’s +VIP loyalty program so Expedia Gold and Silver members will receive a complementary upgrade or fruit basket on arrival. The most common benefit at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is a fruit basket containing quarter pineapple, handful of grapes on a vine, apple, pear, orange, nicely wrapped in a basket… and occasionally a variety of other fruit selections.

Secret Deals at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel – The hotel can be found on Priceline’s and Hotwire’s Secret Deals for a Coquitlam Hotel providing substantial discount for last minute deals in the off-peak season. (and occasionally peak season)

 

Pros –

+ Great service: The front desk customer service is phenomenal; they are generally friendly, professional, and prompt. They are compassionate and preemptively considering customers’ needs and wants as with most Executive branded hotels.

+ Convenient location: Especially with the SkyTrain station bringing you to Coquitlam in 15 minutes or downtown in 25 minutes. This makes the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel a convenient option even for those visiting Vancouver, BC proper.

The Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is just a 5 minute walk from Lougheed Skytrain Station providing access both to the Expo and Millennium lines connecting to Canada Line towards Richmond and YVR airport at Waterfront Station.

This means, you have access across the Metro Vancouver from a clean and comfortable based in the beautiful city of Coquitlam, BC. You can also get to the airport effortlessly within 90 minutes by transit. (I’ve personally had friends visiting Vancouver who stayed at this hotel using the SkyTrain across Metro Vancouver and noted a pleasant experience.)

The Executive Plaza Hotel Metro Vancouver is the nearest hotel to the Lougheed SkyTrain station which is a split track to Vancouver, Coquitlam-La Farge, Burnaby, and Surrey. This means you will have easy access to most of Metro Vancouver by SkyTrain.

 

Cons

– Old property: some rooms require some maintenance.

– Housekeeping can be inconsistent: Rooms are generally clean but you may notice the occasional need for extra attention.¬†(The first time I stayed at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel, I’m certain the bed sheets wasn’t changed but that was dutifully addressed.)

Property Class – 4 Stars

Price Range

– Average $120+ per night for Double bed Room (on Expedia)

– Average $134+ per night for King Room (on Expedia)

– Average $158+ per night for One Bedroom queen Suite (on Expedia). Their one bedroom queen suite isn’t much larger than their King Room. The key difference being a dividing door between the bedroom and the lounge area.

(These prices are observed prices during the low season. Peak season pricing would generally add a significant premium around 50-200% higher.)

Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g181718-d226323-Reviews-Executive_Plaza_Hotel-Coquitlam_British_Columbia.html

Address: 405 North Rd, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3V9

Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel Pictures:

 

Extra Notes about Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel –¬†I have stayed three times at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel and the experiences keeps getting better. They have a record of all your previous stays and are preemptive in ensuring you have a positive experience. While the property could use some touching up, they emphasize specially on the service and improving the guest experience. If you’re looking for a hotel to book in Coquitlam, the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is a safe choice. There was a period of time where I was out of Vancouver most of the year so had the opportunity to try various hotels in Vancouver for the several sporadic weeks in town. Booked several times in Coquitlam as I needed to be in the area and was pleasantly surprised by the experience at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel. (as it was known then – now it appears to be re-branded as Executive Plaza Hotel Metro Vancouver) Usually, I would prefer to book a hotel near to the airport in Richmond or Downtown Vancouver for convenience (there’s more to eat around the area haha …and lively) – and would suggest doing so as well noting that Vancouver to Coquitlam, BC is only 30 minutes – but this is a good option if you need to be in Coquitlam and the price is good. (usually cheaper than downtown Vancouver hotels during the off-peak period due to its suburb location. For example with a test date of October 10-11, it is showing $106 for a basic double-bed room whereas other four-star hotels in Vancouver like the Georgian Court Hotel BW Premier Collection is $174 for a double-queen room.)

Hanamori Sushi in the same complex as the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is a recommended dining choice.

 

2) Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre:

NOTE – Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre will be closing after September 2018. It is being replaced with 5 condo towers and 1,386 residential units.

Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre is a low-rise hotel right on the edge of Korean town and the Trans Canada highway. It is highly accessible to the SkyTrain station along with various dining options within the vicinity. Highway traffic noises may be noticeable from this Coquitlam hotel.

Pros:

+ Convenient location: The Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre is surrounded by many restaurants, cafes, salons, and two Korean themed supermarkets. There is also a liquor store attached to the hotel. The Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre is also conveniently accessible to the Trans Canada Highway. It is also a mere 15 minutes walk to the Lougheed SkyTrain Station. (A slight distance away from the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel which is nearer to the hub of Lougheed Town Centre – the Lougheed Town Centre shopping mall hosts a large variety of shops along with anchor tenants like Walmart and The Bay for your shopping needs.) You should have no problem with the convenience of the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre if you’re looking for a hotel in Coquitlam, BC.

+ Family Friendly: The hotel is very well suited for families with a variety of room types including double queen rooms and even a two bed-room suite. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool similar to a tropical theme. For the most part, Best Western branded hotels are not swanky hotels but more catered towards families and leisure travelers. It’s a clean and comfortable accommodation in Coquitlam that’s not pretentious making it excellent for families with kids who are afraid about disturbing guests with their kids playing.

+ Business centre available: If you’re looking for an area to print boarding passes or get some work done with office supplies, there is a small business centre located in the hotel. It should be noted WiFi is complementary as with most hotels these days.

+ Friendly service: Guests can expect friendly and accommodating service at the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre.

+ Clean & Consistent Hotel in Coquitlam: The wonderful thing about the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre is the consistency of the rooms at the Coquitlam hotel. You can expect a simple, clean, and comfortable room to retreat to when you visit Coquitlam, BC. It may not be fancy and certainly not an astonishing experience but you can expect a consistent three-star hotel in Coquitlam with the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Centre. A sure bet for a clean and comfortable hotel in Coquitlam.

Cons:

– Old Property: As with most hotels in Coquitlam available at the moment, the Best Western Coquitlam Inn and Conference Centre is a very old low-rise building. The building has been reasonably well maintained however, you can certainly see its age. The property is also similar to a motel set-up where guests have to access their rooms separate from the check-in/front-desk counters.

– Paid Parking: Self-park carries a $5/night fee.

– Outskirts of Lougheed/KoreanTown area: The hotel is located on the edge of the Trans Canada Highway and towards the outskirts of Korean Town. It is the last strip-mall/plaza to the highway. There are several concerns about this. It may mean a noisier stay or it can also typically mean you will find loiters around the area. One thing about Vancouver and Metro Vancouver is that there are more homeless loiters than many other cities, they tend to keep to secluded areas like the outskirts of a populated area. (You will observe many at East Hastings in downtown Vancouver along with parts of Burnaby… as well as the transit.) It is a less populated area. Security is good however.

– Value lacking: If you are comparing the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre to other Coquitlam or Burnaby Hotels, you may find better options for your costs. While it is certainly a reasonably priced 3-star hotel, especially during the low season, there are many excellent hotel deals to be had and with Metro Vancouver’s competition among hotel, you can book hotels with better amenities for less. For example, nearby with the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel, you will find a four-star hotel for approximately $106 per night instead of $225 per night at the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre (counting on a free upgrade or fruit basket with Expedia +VIP membership and you got an incredible value – the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre is not a Expedia +VIP hotel so members do not get added benefits.) If you’re willing to search further, you can book the Accent Inn Burnaby for just $93 per night which is another 3-star hotel not much different from Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre… except with slightly lesser location amenities (it is in a more industrial area of Burnaby nearing a power station) but better & friendly local service. Basically, there are better value options to be had than the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre if you’re looking for your value per dollar… both booking hotels in Coquitlam and Burnaby. The Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre is a reputable and reliable hotel however for those looking for a good Coquitlam hotel. (Simply that you can find better value within the same property class or booking a higher property class for the same price. The Inn at the Quay in New Westminster for the same period runs at $138 per night which is also an Expedia +VIP member hotel – meaning you get a complementary upgrade where available. For this hotel, you will have to call into Expedia or request the hotel to call in, when checking-in to get the upgrade added. I checked before.)

Property Class: 3-Stars

Price Range:

– Average $225+ per night for Queen Room (on Expedia)

– Average $238+ per night for Queen Room with Jetted Tub (on Expedia)

– Average $234+ per night for Two Queen Beds Room (on Expedia).

– Average $288+ per night for Two-Bedroom Suite with 3 Twin Beds (on Expedia)

(These prices are observed prices during the low season. Peak season pricing would generally add a significant premium around 50-150% higher.)

Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g181718-d182107-Reviews-Best_Western_Plus_Coquitlam_Inn_Convention_Centre-Coquitlam_British_Columbia.html

Address: 319 North Rd, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3V8

Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre Pictures:

 

Extra Notes about Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre –¬†

The hotel is closing September 2018 slated for redevelopment (we will remove this description 6 months after hotel closure) for your reference – as the location description will still be relevant to readers.

Sushi Itshoni is located nearby to the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre which is an excellent sushi restaurant in Coquitlam that is worth trying out. The sushi here is more so a Korean-Japanese style but fresh and good value. It is located five minutes from the hotel in the adjacent strip-mall complex opposite H-Mart at 550 North Road.

H-Mart and K-Mart both are Korean-themed grocery stores which serve a variety of hot-foods and baked goods as well. It is worth while visit if you’re looking for a quick-bite to go, perhaps in the morning before rushing off to your meetings/obligations.

Dasarang is a Korean restaurant located opposite from the Best Western Coquitlam Inn and Conference Centre which is well known for Korean fried chicken (fried chicken coated in sweet Korean chili or a variety of sauces served with preserved daikon radish). It makes for a good supper spot to grab beer and fried chicken by yourself or with friends.

Dae Ji Cutlet House is a Korean fast-food restaurant that serves only pork chops along with chicken chops & fried fish fillet. It makes a good choice for a quick meal in around the area. Served with rice, salad, and your choice of pizza topping, curry sauce, or their Dae Ji signature sauce. They also serve¬†dok bok ki and a few other Korean dishes like kimchi fried rice. This was the original Dae Ji Cutlet House which has since opened several more locations across Metro Vancouver including one right in Coquitlam Central and another two more in downtown Vancouver. Perhaps, trying it at the original location will provide a better “original” experience while in Vancouver. Haha. Just kidding.

If you’re looking for places to get your morning coffee while staying at Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre (and as more often than not, the hotel packet coffee doesn’t do the trick) then you will be glad to know that there are MANY cafes around the North Road area. Two notable ones nearby to the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre is¬†Black Milk Water and¬†Juillet Cafe. Black Milk Water is my preferred coffee shop when visiting Coquitlam. It is located right beneath the Dasarang restaurant in the same strip mall complex. Juillet Cafe has also Ok coffee but is more known as a Wedding, Spa, and Design studio than a cafe. It is located opposite to Black Milk Water in the next strip-mall complex (there are many strip mall and low-rise mall complex in North Road and Lougheed Area.)¬† Black Milk Water serves coffee from a local Vancouver Roastery, known as Timbertrain Coffee Roasters (in Gastown – very good coffee) and Juillet Cafe serves coffee from a local Coquitlam coffee roaster known as Creekside Coffee Roasters. (If you asked my preference, I’d suggest Timbertrain Coffee Roasters has better coffee if you like flavorful roasts than the watery kind.)

 

3) Best Western Chelsea Inn – SURESTAY PLUS by Best Western:

The Best Western Chelsea Inn is a Coquitlam, BC hotel just off the edge of Trans Canada Highway and towards Maillardville community of Coquitlam, BC. It is truly only accessible by car as the area is rather industrial or residential around this hotel. The standards fall short of most three star hotels with many guests reporting unsanitary sheets with uneven furnishing (patch work and mirrors that aren’t remotely straight). Overall, you’re better off looking towards Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Convention Centre or the Executive Hotel Metro Vancouver (as it is now known instead of Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel) if you’re looking for convenient and reliable accommodations in Coquitlam, BC.

Once again as a friendly reminder, Coquitlam is a suburb of Vancouver and you shouldn’t find much a hassle choosing a hotel in Metro Vancouver such as Burnaby’s Hilton Metrotown or New Westminster’s Inn at the Quay if you prefer more options choosing Coquitlam hotels. As you will find on our Burnaby Hotels guide, an excellent budget option in Burnaby is the Accent Inn Burnaby (which is a local brand to British Columbia – their sister hotel, the Accent Inn Vancouver Airport Hotel is featured on our (extensive) best Vancouver airport hotel resource.)

 

What you need to know about Best Western Chelsea Inn:

Pros:

+ Cheap Prices: If you’re looking for a cheap hotel in Coquitlam, BC then Best Western Chelsea Inn (or SURESTAY Plus by Best Western) is a valid choice. Rates at the Best Western Chelsea Inn is typically one of the lowest or cheapest hotel in Coquitlam for good reason. Running around $93 per night during the off-peak period, it does price itself very low for a three star hotel in Coquitlam.

+ Complementary breakfast & WiFi: The Best Western Chelsea Inn including a complementary continental breakfast and complementary WiFi. There have been no complaints about the WiFi speed and the continental breakfast is the standard fare of muffins, fruits, yogurt, and coffee. It may help start your day better but providing you were able to sleep in the standard of cleanliness. (Note cleanliness and room quality differs by individual experience – it depends on the room you get and the housekeeper who prepared the room. You may find a few surprises like an old, used underwear under the bed or some left over peanuts if you get the wrong room assignment. Otherwise, there has been reports of moldy showers with gut. It’s a draw of luck; you may have a good experience. There have been some happy visitors at SURESTAY by Best Western Coquitlam.)

+ Occasionally friendly service: The Best Western Chelsea Inn has good staff who try to care for their guests. Unfortunately, it appears they have a sub-standard property and the owner/manager who doesn’t take much attention into improving the guest experience through regular renovation maintenance and updates. Many guests have noted that the staff at the front desk tries to go above and beyond by offering assistance.

Cons:

– Cleanliness is lacking: How do you put this… the Best Western Chelsea Inn (SURESTAY by Best Western) is a dump. Clearly the house keeping is not keeping up with things because guests have reported repeatedly of sticky remotes, lady’s undergarments under the bed, along with white dust on the air conditioning. Base on the descriptions, we would venture a guess to say the bed sheets are not always changed either. Seriously, if you are concerned about cleanliness of your hotel stay then Best Western Chelsea Inn (SURESTAY by Best Western) is probably not the right Coquitlam hotel for your time in Coquitlam, BC.

– Old & musty interiors: Many guests have noted the building is old and musty; also, that the smell of must remains on your clothing even after leaving the Coquitlam hotel. (eek) This is certainly one of the older hotels in Coquitlam, BC and likely built mainly with wood hence it can be a fair presumption that some of the wood has begun to decay over time especially if moisture is not properly removed. This is a common problem with wood-framed buildings as witnessed in a few other hotels built primarily with wood. (That are not properly maintained.) The interiors surely show their age although they have been recently renovated in 2016 or 2017, the musty smell is hard to remove.

– Old and dirty furniture: Perhaps, one of the easiest remedy to an aging and decaying Coquitlam hotel is refreshing the furniture but of course this takes money. The Best Western Chelsea Inn shows its age and guests have noted that furnishing at this SURESTAY by Best Western in Coquitlam is also fitted with old and dented furniture. When they re-branded to SURESTAY, they should have taken the opportunity to update their furnishing and renovated the hotel (as some unimpressed guests have suggested taking a good time off market to fix the aging Coquitlam hotel) however it appears they didn’t (beyond some minor renovations). Since Best Western is a non-profit co-op (until recently) they don’t really penalize brand deviations as much as major chains like SPG or Hilton.

– Old & lumpy pillows/bed: It can be difficult enough sleeping in a bed other than your own, however the Best Western Chelsea Inn gives you another bigger challenge… sleeping in a bed with dirty, old, and lumpy pillows. Neither do you want to know what happened on the bed many times before you… (base on reviewers’ comments of dirty woman’s underwear underneath the bed as well as another Trip Advisor review mentioning that such hotel should be sold hourly.) Expect, saggy beds and not new, refreshing, plush, and comfy beds as you might at the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel or Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre. Unfortunately, this Best Western has appeared to truly drop the ball on the quality and experience of guests by the hard products. Service appears to be on par.

– Inconvenient location: The location of SURESTAY by Best Western Coquitlam or the Best Western Chelsea Inn is not the most ideal for travelers or visitors to Coquitlam. It is not near any public transit but it is accessible by car. It is near to the Trans Canada Highway which may make for a noisy stay as well if you are sensitive to traffic noises. (If you’ve lived downtown for a while you are probably now accustom to the traffic noises.) However, there is not much going on around the area of Best Western Chelsea Inn in regards to food and beverage options or convenience stores. Actually, it seems to be snuck inside a cleft between a major road and the Trans Canada Highway. If you have a car, driving five minutes will bring you to Millardville in Coquitlam which is a small neighborhood with a few restaurants and shops. Ikea is also five minutes drive away as is School House neighborhood of Coquitlam being 10 minutes drive away. At School House neighborhood of Coquitlam there is a movie theater along with a bowling alley and restaurants (pho & bubble tea are good) as well as a Superstore near the complex. Effectively, if you have a car there are options around the area within a short drive but seldom do you want to go driving to look for food when you’re checking into a hotel. There is unfortunately, no dining option or convenience option within walking distance of the hotel as the hotel is near an industrial road and a highway. This is in significant contrast to the convenience value of the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel and the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre.

Property Class: 3-stars

Price Range:

– Starting from $108/night standard room with two queen beds during off-peak periods. (October to May)

– Starting from $178/night standard room with two queen beds during peak periods. (June to September)

Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g181718-d182108-Reviews-or5-SureStay_Plus_Hotel_By_Best_Western_Coquitlam-Coquitlam_British_Columbia.html

There are only two reliable hotels in Coquitlam. There are a total of five legitimate hotels in Coquitlam (along with numerous AirBnb.) These three hotels however are not recommended; the quality and your experience in Coquitlam would not be pleasant. These Coquitlam Hotels should be avoided as hygiene and room cleanliness is a concern.

Best Western Chelsea Inn (Sure Stay Plus Hotel by Best Western Coquitlam) Address: 725 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6A6

Best Western Chelsea Inn Pictures:

 

Extra Notes about Best Western Chelsea Inn –¬†

The Best Western Chelsea Inn has been rebranded as the SURESTAY Plus by Best Western (Coquitlam). SURESTAY appears to be a brand of Best Western that provides breakfast (not all do). This instance of “SURESTAY” is absolutely not sure however. We wanted to like it because there are so limited choices of hotels in Coquitlam, however reviewers and a closer look clearly show this is one Best Western hotel in Coquitlam to stay away from until there is a proper update or re-development. We want the BEST for you so you can have a pleasant experience in Coquitlam and Metro Vancouver. If you’re looking for a three star hotel and either the Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel or the Best Western Coquitlam Inn & Conference Centre are available then perhaps consider the Accent Inn Burnaby which hovers around the same price-range as the Best Western Chelsea Inn but with a more consistent quality, cleanliness, along with local service. You can book the Accent Inn Burnaby on Expedia here. (Recent checking shows the rate to be $93 CAD for the off-season of October 10-11 which is a remarkable price and value for a Metro Vancouver hotel.)

The experience of guests on Trip Advisor was largely consulted for this description as there is no first hand or second hand experience of the Best Western Chelsea Inn. This was paired with local knowledge of the area to compose this content.

 

4) Ramada Coquitlam:

Ramada Coquitlam is located a few minutes drive away from Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel. There is truly nothing around the area except a busy road unless you’re able to drive five minutes to North Road/Korean Town where Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel is or five minutes to Schoolhouse where the Superstore & Silvercity Theater is located. To put it flatly, the only thing going for Ramada Coquitlam is its price which during the off-peak period hovers around $90+ per night. With this said, it would be advisable to book at Accent Inn Burnaby for $93/night instead OR “splurge” another few dollars to book at Coquitlam Executive Plaza Hotel for $120+/night providing a much more pleasant (and convenient) experience if you need to find a hotel in Coquitlam, BC. (and prefer not booking all the way in Burnaby, BC at Accent Inn Burnaby – which is only a 10 minutes drive from Coquitlam.)

Pros:

+ Cheap Coquitlam Hotel: Ramada Coquitlam is a 2-star budget hotel. The prices are relatively cheap ranging around $100+ during the off-peak periods and $180+ during the peak period. Still, while the price is considered cheap option as a Coquitlam hotel, it is not necessarily the best value hotel in Coquitlam. During the off-peak periods you can get a much better room and service for approximately 33% more at Executive Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre Metro Vancouver (#1 on our best hotels in Coquitlam) or book at Sure Stay by Best Western Coquitlam for 10% more (not a great option either). If you’re flexible on your hotel location and looking to keep within a budget, we would suggest looking at Accent Inn Burnaby which is usually around the same price point of $100 for a

+ Restaurant on hotel property: This is probably the best thing about Ramada Coquitlam – their onsite restaurant Char 631 which is reasonable for a hotel restaurant; it is a steakhouse in Coquitlam.

Cons:

– Lack of cleanliness: Ramada Coquitlam is not known for clean and immaculate rooms. It is a budget hotel, and it is what you might expect of a highway roach motel. (Which in a sense, it is by the Trans Canada Highway – so a viable option for those looking to stop for the night on their drive.)

– Bad room conditions: The room ain’t pretty; let’s keep it at that.

– Bad guests: These type of property level attract an undesirable demographic of guests most often (much like Coquitlam Sleepy Lodge) as many real guests have noted in their reviews of Ramada Coquitlam. This makes it a less ideal option for families, women, or legitimate guests looking for a restful end to their day.

– Mixed guest experience (inconsistent): One important characteristic you want with a hotel anywhere you go is consistency. This is one reason franchises are very successful in maintaining their customer’s loyalty; you know when you’re going to an SPG, Marriott, or Hilton hotel that there is some measure of standards you can expect at the minimum (service may vary as it always does – but you can still expect professionalism and a baseline of hard and soft products).

A tangent aside, some franchises like Marriott hotels requires operators who have more experience in the hotel industry for their franchisees. Unfortunately, the Ramada is quite known for the opposite. Ramada is a low-end property franchise (which honestly at this point, level or property category, there is little value in a franchise because you’re not benefiting at all from their customer base with brand reputation or reliability. If the owner was looking for economies of scale such as bulk purchasing or operational expertise/guidance ~ clearly you already don’t care about your property standards so it wouldn’t add much value being in a franchise. The owner is better off hacking it on their own with a local motel brand – that perhaps emphasizes on local hospitality and owners who care, something that Accent Inn does – than joining a franchise like Ramada. Effectively, they have very little brand loyalty or a customer base to rely on – and presumably the customer base they have on their program isn’t very worthwhile reaching because the demographic Ramada brand fits. Reference the point above about Bad Guests. Likely higher probability of room damage and problem charges which is probably why the room incidentals at Ramada is noted to be $200 per night …when there’s no room-service or chargeable service. Relatively, most higher-end hotels hold nothing.)

– Low value: Overall when you consider the price along with the amenities and room conditions, the Ramada Coquitlam isn’t ideal value. (Generally, you get better value when booking at a higher-end hotel or mid-range hotel then a bottom barrel budget hotel. If you know how to utilize loyalty programs and OTAs depending on the season, demand, city, and promotional periods – you can really get excellent value at mid to higher end hotels. This however is not available at lower property ranges like those bellow 2-stars since there isn’t really any extra value that can be discounted on. You’re getting the dirty spoon and bottom prices already. )

Property Class: 2-stars

Price Range:

 

Trip Advisor:

 

5) Coquitlam Sleepy Lodge:

The Coquitlam Sleepy Lodge is hardly a hotel; at least, not one advisable to stay at. It’s nestled between Port Moody, BC and Lougheed Town Centre in Coquitlam; the location is

 

Pros:

Cons:

Property Class:

Price Range:

 

Trip Advisor:

 

If the first two Coquitlam hotels are not available, it would be recommendable to look at the alternatives in regions surrounding Coquitlam like New Westminster or Burnaby.

 

Hotels near to Coquitlam, BC:

Accent Inns Burnaby:

 

Hilton Metrotown:

 

Elements Metrotown:

 

Inn at the Quay:

 

Holiday Inn Metrotown:

 

More Hotels near Coquitlam: Coquitlam neighbors a few other cities that have more varied options for accommodations. It is recommendable that you also consider a few of these other options.

Best Hotels in Burnaby – Some hotels to consider in the city of Burnaby which is nearby to Coquitlam, BC.

Best Hotels in New Westminster – New Westminster is also short of good hotels however there are a few options to consider in New Westminster which is almost adjacent to Coquitlam.

Best Hotels in Downtown Vancouver – Downtown Vancouver is only 30 minutes from Coquitlam, you should have no problem staying in downtown Vancouver and visiting Coquitlam.

Best Hotels in Richmond BC – Richmond, BC is very accessible to Coquitlam through Highway 91. You may consider booking a hotel in Richmond, BC if you’re arriving in YVR and wish to find a hotel nearer to the airport. It can be a hassle getting to Coquitlam from Richmond if you do not have a car. (Vancouver does not yet have Uber or Lyft.)

Best Boutique Hotels in Vancouver – If you’re visiting Coquitlam and would prefer enjoying a boutique hotel experience, here are a few recommendable boutique hotels in Vancouver for your consideration. Most of our recommendations are in downtown Vancouver which is very accessible to Coquitlam, BC by car or transit. There are a few boutique hotel options in North Vancouver and across Vancouver proper as well.

 

Thanks for reading about Coquitlam Hotels on VancityAsks – your guide to Vancouver:

Thanks for reading about the best hotels in Coquitlam on VancityAsks.com. We hope this guide may be useful for you choosing a hotel in Coquitlam for your visit to Coquitlam, BC. Please leave a comment bellow and feel free to use the Contact Us form should you have any thing we may be able to assist with regarding your visit to Coquitlam, BC! We’d love to help.

If you’ve stayed in one of these Coquitlam hotels or have any questions about these hotels in Coquitlam, please leave a comment bellow with your feedback or your question and we’ll do the best to respond within 24 hours.

 

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