Scandinave Spa, Whistler 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and nothing says “I love you” better than time spent together. The lower mainland is not in short supply of spas, but the following top our list for their unique offerings specially tailored to couples. So relax, enjoy, and reconnect with what matters most: the heart of your home, your partner. Box of chocolates optional.


1. The Scandinave Spa in Whistler is renowned for its Scandinavian bath spa experience that is included with every massage. Whether you’re already enjoying time on the hill or making it a day trip, their Duo Massage with hydrotherapy is the perfect way to unwind.

2. Recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 spas, Spa Utopia at the Pan Pacific Vancouver offers an extensive massage therapy menu, esthetics, and even a salon. Truly relax with your special someone by extending your treatment to indulge in the hotel’s outdoor saltwater pool. Available to spa guests, it features picturesque views of the harbour and North Shore mountains.

3. The award winning Spa Wedgewood in the heart of downtown features a Duet Harmony Massage that can include a hybrid of Deep Tissue, Swedish, and Aromatic massage. Staying at the Wedgewood Hotel? In-Suite and After Hours massages are available as well.

4. Part of the Fairmont family, the Willow Stream Spa is synonymous with luxury. The Pacific Rim’s spa has a designated couples’ room with deep Japanese Zen tub and a variety of uniquely Canadian services, like the Van Active Body treatment should you be in need of recovery after the city’s variety of active offerings.

5. For a truly decadent experience, traveler’s choice Pemberton Valley Lodge is offering a Blissful Couples’ Getaway package. It featuring a massage for two, one-night accommodation, early check-in and relaxed check-out time, champagne, chocolate, and a long-stemmed rose as the finishing touch.

Any hidden gem spas that should’ve been on our list? Let us know!


Trish Knight Design


Your home is your sanctuary, the very essence of you. After all of the time and money spent acquiring it, you want someone who embraces your vision of what that home means, and what you want it to express to others. We’ve rounded up ten of Canada’s top interior designers, each with their own unique approach ready to style your home to perfection.



    1. 1. The award-winning Elizabeth Metcalf Interiors pairs understated elegance with modern luxury. Their fresh take on a classic feel has been serving clients in the Greater Toronto Area for over fifteen years. Helmed by Elizabeth Metcalf, the EM team is guided by the belief that a cohesive design philosophy between style and function can transform the home to enhance their clients’ well-being.

    1. 2. English import Alan John Marsh got his start in the Montreal offices of internationally acclaimed Design International, designing shopping centres, offices, and commercial spaces across North America. Turning his attention to residential properties in Toronto, Marsh’s signature minimalist aesthetic utilizes modern technology with recycled materials. The unifying thread is his acute attention to the details that make minimalism comfortable, beautiful, and personal.


    1. 3. Hailing from the prestigious Parsons School of Design in Paris and Italy’s University of Ferrara for Architecture, Vancouverite Patricia Gray is a multi-talented designer. Her own original artwork and custom furnishings add another dimension to the services she offers. Heading up Patricia Gray Interiors Inc., Gray’s name has become synonymous with exceptional design for functionality and contemporary luxury; it’s no wonder she has a celebrity client list to her credit as well.


    1. 4. The imaginative team of George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg lead the renowned Yabu Pushelberg, which oversees projects in sixteen countries from its East Coast base. Ranging from retail and hospitality to private residences, the experienced team and their partners create designs that evoke youth, adventure, and have a polished approach that comes through in every detail.


    1. 5. Vancouver-based Trish Knight’s namesake design studio aims to “create a home that reflects the values, lifestyle, and sensibilities of the people who inhabit it.” Her approachable style that combines sophistication with livability and that undeniably West Coast aesthetic is sought after from San Diego to Singapore.


    1. 6. Douglas Design Studio’s aesthetic is creating a space that is uniquely you. The self-named “lifestyle interpreters”, led by Jeffrey Douglas, have been transforming interiors since 1995 from what they were to what they could be. The firm prides itself on client relations and offers a passion for organization and a smooth process to take you from your current state, to your ultimate home.


    1. 7. Lisa Canning’s energetic approach that’s at once strategic and passionate will transform your home into an effortless sanctuary. The beauty is in the details, and making sure that every single one of those details works for you, so that you don’t have to. Her design savvy has caught the eye of Toronto’s well-heeled and media alike, her beautiful results are all that matter to her clients.


    1. 8. Toronto’s Laura Stein Interiors is an award-winning firm whose bespoke designs are brought to life by a team of skilled contractors and artisans. The woman behind the name, herself a picture of understated luxury with a contemporary edge, underscores every design created with the client’s personality and lifestyle in mind for ultimate livability and comfort.


    1. 9. Since 1982 Elaine Cecconi and Anna Simone have been transforming interiors across the world, all the while giving back to the community through their knowledge and experience, such as on HGTV’s Design Interns. Cecconi Simone adheres to the “whole design” philosophy, basing their interiors around the people who inhabit them and the lifestyle that arises from that relationship: functional, striking, unique.



  1. 10. Western Living’s Designers of the Year 2015 finalist Enviable Designs offers more than just interior design. Helping clients right from the planning stage through remodels, the ED’s team is there for whatever your home requires. With a distinctly elegant, West Coast aesthetic, the modern luxe result is nothing short of beautiful.


Anyone who should’ve made the list? Share with us!




Pristine white powder, world-class dining, shopping, and a host of other activities make these ski hills tower above the rest in amenities and customer service.

1. Mont Tremblant is consistently touted by SKI Magazine as their favorite Eastern Seaboard ski village. Voted #1 by resort vacationers, the colourful and charming pedestrian village stocked with shops, luxurious lodging, and unmatched gastronomy is nestled in the heart of the Laurentians of Quebec, Canada, and offers a unique experience of tranquility and award-winning skiing. A year-round getaway, Tremblant also features sprawling golf courses in summer.


2.No surprise to Vancouverites is Whistler Blackcomb’s reign as the the West’s best ski hill. Reminiscent of the Alps with its majestic peaks and huge bowls, the hill offers options for every level of skier and a village that rivals Tremblant; delicious restaurants, spa resorts, nightlife and shopping. Easy to navigate and seeming unlimited adventures makes for world-class skiing right at our doorstep.

3. California offers more than just a phenomenal coast: the twin mountains of Alpine Meadows and legendary Squaw Valley are known as an “extreme skier’s paradise”. Made famous by the 1960 Winter Olympics, the ski culture here in the heart of Tahoe is only rivaled by its hospitality. Squaw is a favourite of the pros, while the quieter Alpine is perfect for families.

4. Home to the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup, Beaver Creek Colorado offers up exceptional skiing worthy of the pros and tailored to your dream vacation. At once intimate for a unique getaway and yet bustling with shopping and gourmet options, Beaver Creek is made for families and thrill-seekers alike. The mountain’s new White Carpet Club gives guests the VIP treatment as part of its White Glove Services. Got tots? 3pm every day is cookie time: their chefs bake over 495,000 cookies each year!

5. Telluride Colorado lives up to its motto: The Most Beautiful Place You’ll Ever Ski. Condé Nast Traveler readers have ranked it the #1 Ski Resort in North America for the third year in a row. If it’s amazing trails and runs, well-maintained lifts and lines, and luxurious accommodations with breathtaking natural scenery you’re after, this is the place. The town’s National Historic District status lends unmatched character, and the après-ski scene isn’t too shabby either.

Bon voyage! We’d love to hear if you visit any of these amazing destinations, and let us know if you can’t rave enough about others we haven’t included in the list.


You’ve been thinking about it, you’ve scoured MLS for other options out there, you may have even chatted with a real estate agent. Selling your home is a big deal, and you want to do it the right way, the first time, and that can mean something different for everyone depending on your goals. However, there are some things all homeowners have in common when trying to sell:

1. We all want to receive the highest possible price,

2. We want the process to minimize inconvenience, and

3. We want a realtor that is professional and treats us with the utmost respect

For any homeowner, pre-listing preparation can minimize the chances of failure and heartache when selling your home. Laying this groundwork will ensure the best possible experience and outcome.

Your first step to success is to suss out a few great agents that work in and are familiar with your neighbourhood. Recommendations from friends and neighbors is a great place to get names. The key point is to ensure the REALTOR® works and has a good track record in your neighbourhood. Don't hire an out of area realtor. You want someone who has the experience you need and can provide you with realistic market value estimates to best achieve the sale.

Second is the preparation of your home. Depending on your home’s overall condition, this is the step that requires the most time and attention. A home full of clutter, obvious wear and tear, and in disrepair can cost you big time when it comes to your asking price, so don't ignore this critical step.

During this “staging” step, I recommend being ruthless and getting rid of stuff you don't need. Call in Junk Removal or your charity of choice to take possessions you no longer require. Even closets and storage areas should be reduced of stuff you no longer need; serious buyers do tend to check out every nook and cranny of their potential buy.

Next, walk through your home and identify any wear and tear issues that need repair. Damaged walls, peeling paint, old water stains on ceilings, lose knobs, leaky faucets, dirty grout or mouldy shower enclosures are just a few common areas. We always suggest homeowners have their own pre-listing Home Inspection Report obtained. This will allow you to identify problem areas.

If your home was built prior to 1965 and you have no evidence that an oil tank was ever removed, then obtain a scan for a buried oil tank. This costs $100 - $150 and is worth every penny. Hire an oil tank removal specialist to do this.

Whether you're selling in January or July, make sure your gardens are groomed. A nicely groomed garden shows pride of ownership. Grass should be repaired if there are bare patches, and bushes and trees pruned. Having some winter flowers go a long way and don’t forget to clean out the gutters.

The research and staging of your home for sale can be overwhelming. This is where having a good REALTOR® familiar with your area is invaluable. They can help with your pre-listing checklist and assist in coordinating 
all the work that needs to be done.


So, when is best to take that final step and put the For Sale sign up? This is a more personal matter. The best time is when it's best for you, the homeowner. It's tough trying to time markets. If you live in Vancouver and you're looking to sell in 2016, here is what we do know:


1. Housing prices are at all-time highs and overall market sentiment is very positive.
2. The supply of homes on the market is very low.


Chinese New Year is quickly approaching and has proven to be a great time to sell in our market.

Low supply, strong demand, positive sentiment and Chinese New Year are ideal reasons to be on the market for sale by January 25th. If you need any help, advice or a professional opinion, contact us any time. We are always here to help your next real estate transaction be a big success! Make 2016 your year.

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

Andrew Hasman

Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.