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Profile Feature: Skwachàys Lodge Aboriginal Hotel

Accommodation and Culture & Community, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Located in the heart of Vancouver, in the historic downtown district of Gastown and on the traditional and unceded lands of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh, sits a remarkable building and social enterprise named Skwachàys for 'the place of abundance and transformation' it was to these original peoples. Skwachàys' urban boutique hotel and the associated Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery provide an authentic Indigenous art and cultural experience combined with and supported by exceptional hospitality. The profits from the Aboriginal Hotel and Gallery provide a housing program and studio space that assists Indigenous artists-in-residence to advance their careers and transform the community. Skwachàys is a wonderful example of tourism and community coming together to create a better more vibrant world and that is why we are so excited to recommend them as the Vancouver accommodation experience of choice for socially responsible travellers.

The Hotel and Gallery were opened in 2012 by the non-profit Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS) as part of their program themed "Community Building Through the Transformative Power of Art". The original historic structure was renovated and traditional architecture added that transformed the building into an exquisite representation of cooperation and a unique city landmark. The 18 guest suites each reflect individual themes of importance in Aboriginal culture. The designs are an inspired collaboration of Vancouver's top interior designers and Indigenous artists and naturally feature stunning original works of art. Each suite expresses its unique spirit and story of traditional life taking guests on an overnight journey to its namesake experience such as a Drum Circle, a Longhouse visit or on a vision quest with the Forest Spirits, as respectively illustrated below.  

Not only is this a great place to stay, but it is also a place of gathering where Indigenous artists and visitors from all over the world can come together for conversation and celebrate traditional culture. The Kayachtn 'Welcome' Room pictured below, is designed as a place for guests to connect and enjoy food and beverage. For those seeking a more in-depth experience, the artists-in-residence offer cultural sharing programs and ceremonies in the rooftop Smudge Room and Longhouse Patio. These special places also provide a peaceful retreat when you're not exploring the surrounding city life, sightseeing or biking along the waterfront on the rental you picked up at the Lodge.   

To learn more about this urban Indigenous experience, the themes and stories behind each of the individual guest suites and to book your accommodations directly - ensuring your overnight tourism investment all flows to the Hotel and the artists-in-residence they support - follow the links to their website in the Skwachàys Lodge Aboriginal Hotel and Gallery Directory Profile.

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