Stéphane Mouttet

Chef Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Stéphane Mouttet was born in Montreal but moved to Grenoble, France, as a one-year-old when a French family adopted him. He graduated from the International Concierge Institute in Paris in 1990 and, after a year in the French army, moved to Canada to work as a concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and Toronto from 1991 to 1996. He was senior concierge at the Pan Pacific Hotel from 1996 to 2008, and has been the chef concierge of the Shangri-La Hotel since the fall of 2008. He is currently the regional director of Les Clefs d’Or Canada - British Columbia.

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    What are the best hiking trails in Vancouver?

    Hiking is a great way to explore the beautiful scenery and enjoy the nature that surrounds Vancouver.  There are many trails throughout Vancouver rated from easy to difficult and half day to full day hikes.

    Below are just three examples for excellent trails within the area:

    Lighthouse Park - 5 km (3 Miles)
    Elevation Gain: Small
    Time: 1.5 to 2 Hours
    Rating: Easy

    There are a number of trails through the park that take you past old growth Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees. The trails are all fairly easy with only a few having a short hill to ascend or descend. To make your way down to the shore, follow the main trail down to the rock bluff. Climb on the bluff and you can see the lighthouse, near the fence is a small trail that will take you to the rocks. Windy days in the fall are great at this spot. Find a sheltered spot in the rocks, sit back and watch the ferries.

    Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain - 3 km (1.8 Miles)
    Elevation Gain: 842 Metres (2,760 Feet)
    Time: 1 to 2 Hours
    Rating: Moderate to Hard

    The Grouse Grind, billed as the world's biggest stair-climb, is Vancouver’s most used trail and is known for the physical strength that is required to make it to the top.  The trail will take you over rocks, roots and wooden stairs as you maneuver along the east side of Grouse Mountain.  Once at the top, you have earned bragging rights by saying you have completed 'The Grind'.  Inside the Chalet at the top of the Grouse mountain, you can purchase the skyride ticket for $10.00 to download off the mountain.  www.grousemountain.com/Winter/vancouver-bc-hiking-trails-trips/

    Stawamus Chief (Squamish) - 6 km (3.5 Miles)
    Elevation Gain: 500 Metres - (1650 Feet)
    High Point: 560 Metres (1850 Feet)
    Time: 6 Hours
    Rating: Moderate to Hard

    A local favorite. The “Chief” is a popular hiking destination that offers scenic views of Howe Sound and several mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. This trail can get busy on a weekend, so arrive early or try it on a week day. Be ready for a steady climb and pay attention to the sign at the trail head.  This is not a trail to hike on in the rain due to the large number of roots and rocks on the trail.  www.stawamuschiefpark.ca
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    What are the best yoga studios in Vancouver?

    Vancouver is an excellent city for yogis and all fitness enthusiasts and we have a few recommendations in the downtown area for some excellent studios:

    Line5 Studio - www.ine5studios.com
    Group lessons are $18.00/class or $85.00 for a private lesson. The head instructor Ms. Mylene Perrier has fantastic knowledge and a strong following. I do have personal experience with her and can vouch to the effectiveness of her classes. This studio is located in Chinatown, a five minute taxi drive or 15 minute walk.

    The Space - www.thespacevancouver.com
    This studio is located in Yaletown, also a five minute taxi ride or 15 minute walk. The Space is a gorgeous studio complete with state of the art equipment. Prices are also the same at $18.00 for a drop in class and $85.00 for private lessons.

    Pilates Unlimited Inc. - www.pilates.ca
    Pilates Unlimited studio is the closets of the three here. Located on Alberni street this studio is a 5-7 minute walk from Shangri-La. So popular with the west end locals that they will soon be opening a second location, this attests to their quality training. Based on private instructing only at $89.00/hour or self directed training (using their machines with supervision) at $30.00/hour.

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    What are the best places to ice skate in Vancouver?

    The best place is at Kitsilano Community Center  for Ice Skating and to get some lessons or  at the West End Community Center. As an alternative, you can also go to a small outdoor ice skating at Grouse Mountain (frozen lake) or at the Robson Square Ice Ring located downtown (next the Vancouver Art Gallery). It is a fun place for a family or romantic evening!
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    What are the best places to ice skate in Vancouver?

    The best place is at Kitsilano Community Center  for Ice Skating and to get some lessons. As an alternative, you can also go to a small outdoor ice skating at Grouse Mountain (frozen lake) or  at the West End Community Center. For something outdoor, the Robson Square Ice Ring is a fun place for a family or romantic evening!
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    What are the best day trips near Vancouver?

    Bowen Island:

    A short ride to Horseshoe Bay and you can board the Ferry for Bowen Island. Upon our arrival at Snug Cove, we start our informed, nature walk through the rainforest, which takes us to Killarney Lake at the foot of Mt. Gardner. Coming back to the village we meet for a Gourmet picnic lunch prepared by an Olympic Culinary Chef.

    After free time to roam the quaint village of Bowen Island, our visitors board a floatplane (or ferry) and return to downtown Vancouver. For those who like something unique it's a 'one of a kind' experience that is unforgettable in its beauty and excitement

    Salt Spring Island

    Salt Spring is the largest of the Gulf Islands, but that doesn't make it big city: the island attracts artists, bakers, cheesemakers and craftspeople who keep their studios open to the public.

    You can hit them all in one go at the Saturday market — where the rule is that vendors need to "make it, bake it or grow it" — or you can drive around on your own time (Studio Tour maps are on the ferry).

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    What are the best kids’ activities in Vancouver?

    The HR MacMillan Space Centre located in Kitsilano allows you to discover the wonders of space. Kids can participate in live science demonstrations at Ground Station Canada as well as enjoy shows in a surround screen theatre. Gaze at the stars from the observatory. This is the perfect place for a unique experience.

    The Telus World of Science is located 5 minutes away by Skytrain from the Downtown.  This landmark opened 20 years ago for Expo 86 and it is home to hundreds of interactive exhibits in five unique galleries.  The Omnimax Theatre is the perfect place for a family.

    Playland is Greater Vancouver’s amusement park and fair. Every year since 1910, from June to September, Playland is open and showcases a variety of rides, games and food. The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) runs from the middle of August to the beginning of September and features free concerts (with admission to The Fair), dog shows, children’s events, petting zoos, and much more!Playland is Greater Vancouver’s amusement park and fair. Every year since 1910, from June to September, Playland is open and showcases a variety of rides, games and food. The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) runs from the middle of August to the beginning of September and features free concerts (with admission to The Fair), dog shows, children’s events, petting zoos, and much more!

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    What are the best things to do in Vancouver’s Gastown?

    Gastown is Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood, is the epicentre of the urban revolution. Designated a National Historic Site in 2009, Gastown was established the same year Canada became a nation. Block upon block of grand Victorian buildings hold memories of Gastown's reign as Canada's third-largest city and one of the most cosmopolitan. Today, these Old World aesthetics prove a glorious backdrop for today's urban lifestyle.

    Gastown is one of Vancouver's most hip and distinctive shopping and lifestyle neighbourhoods with over 180 shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs.  Gastown is the hub of creative talent, independent businesses, award winning bars and restaurants and fashion forward boutiques. Few neighbourhoods offer such a complete Vancouver experience. The Gastown district today retains its historic charm, independent spirit and distinctiveness. There’s no mistaking Gastown for any other area of Vancouver, or of Canada for that matter.

    Gastown is a refreshing mix of old and new, downhome and upscale, a place for tourists, Vancouver residents and office workers alike. Various shops have the streets buzzing during the day. And, A host of restaurants and nightspots keeps the area humming into the wee hours…

    Some restaurant recommendations: Alibi Room located at 157 Alexander Street www.alibi.ca, The Diamiond located at 6 Powell Street www.di6mond.com, Salt Tasting Room located 45 Blood Alley www.salttastingroom.com  and Cork & Fin located at 221 Carrall Street  www.corkandfin.ca

    One of favouite store is called: Bruce Eyewear. They have a very nice selection of glasses from around the world www.bruceeyewear.com
  • On March 7, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What are the best things to do in Vancouver’s Gastown?

    Gastown is Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood, is the epicentre of the urban revolution. Designated a National Historic Site in 2009, Gastown was established the same year Canada became a nation. Block upon block of grand Victorian buildings hold memories of Gastown's reign as Canada's third-largest city and one of the most cosmopolitan. Today, these Old World aesthetics prove a glorious backdrop for today's urban lifestyle.

    Gastown is one of Vancouver's most hip and distinctive shopping and lifestyle neighbourhoods with over 180 shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs.  Gastown is the hub of creative talent, independent businesses, award winning bars and restaurants and fashion forward boutiques. Few neighbourhoods offer such a complete Vancouver experience. The Gastown district today retains its historic charm, independent spirit and distinctiveness. There’s no mistaking Gastown for any other area of Vancouver, or of Canada for that matter.

    Gastown is a refreshing mix of old and new, downhome and upscale, a place for tourists, Vancouver residents and office workers alike. Various shops have the streets buzzing during the day. And, A host of restaurants and nightspots keeps the area humming into the wee hours…

    Some restaurant recommendations: Alibi Room located at 157 Alexander Street www.alibi.ca, The Diamiond located at 6 Powell Street www.di6mond.com, Salt Tasting Room located 45 Blood Alley www.salttastingroom.com  and Cork & Fin located at 221 Carrall Street  www.corkandfin.ca

    One of favouite store is called: Bruce Eyewaear. They have a very nice selection of glasses from around the world www.bruceeyewear.com
  • On March 7, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What are the best things to do in Vancouver’s Gastown?

    Gastown isVancouver's oldest neighbourhood, is the epicentre of the urban revolution. Designated a National Historic Site in 2009, Gastown was established the same year Canada became a nation. Block upon block of grand Victorian buildings hold memories of Gastown's reign as Canada's third-largest city and one of the most cosmopolitan. Today, these Old World aesthetics prove a glorious backdrop for today's urban lifestyle.

    Gastown is one of Vancouver's most hip and distinctive shopping and lifestyle neighbourhoods with over 180 shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs.  Gastown is the hub of creative talent, independent businesses, award winning bars and restaurants and fashion forward boutiques. Few neighbourhoods offer such a complete Vancouver experience. The Gastown district today retains its historic charm, independent spirit and distinctiveness. There’s no mistaking Gastown for any other area of Vancouver, or of Canada for that matter.

    Gastown is a refreshing mix of old and new, downhome and upscale, a place for tourists, Vancouver residents and office workers alike. Various shops have the streets buzzing during the day. And, A host of restaurants and nightspots keeps the area humming into the wee hours…

    Some restaurant recommendations: Alibi Room located at 157 Alexander Street www.alibi.ca, The Diamiond located at 6 Powell Street www.di6mond.com, Salt Tasting Room located 45 Blood Alley www.salttastingroom.com  and Cork & Fin located at 221 Carrall Street  www.corkandfin.ca

    One of favouite store is called: Bruce Eyewaear. They have a very nice selection of glasses from around the world www.bruceeyewear.com
  • On March 7, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What is the Capilano Suspension Bridge like near Vancouver?

    The Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions.  It offers a brilliant mix of history, culture and adventure and is a must see for anyone visiting Vancouver.  It is the oldest attraction here and was originally built in 1889. It stretches 450 feet across and is 230 feet (70m) above the Capilano river.  The newest addition to the park is the Treetops adventure which includes 7 suspension bridges through the evergreens elevating you 100 feet above the forest floor.  You can educate yourself and your family through guided tours or the Kids’ Rainforest Explorer program and Living Forest exhibit.  There’s music to be enjoyed and a beautiful gift store offering hand made native crafts, paintings, jewelry, and home made Canadian fudge!   (www.capbridge.com) Have Fun!

    You can also take the time to visit the  Capilano Salmon Hatchery  which is located in the lush canyon of Capilano Regional Park, the Salmon Hatchery provides a fantastic learning opportunity for all ages about the salmon life cycle.  Designed to replenish drastically diminishing Coho salmon and steelhead trout stocks, thousands are released into the wild each year in this diverse conservation plan.  The public viewing area contains display tanks with glass siding to offer an intimate glance at salmon as they fight their way upstream in the late summer and fall months for a chance to spawn. 
  • On March 7, 2013
    Stéphane Mouttet answered the question: Stéphane Mouttet

    What is the best way to see Vancouver’s Granville Island?

    Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district located in False Creek directly across from Downtown Vancouver, under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge.

    The “island” was once an industrial manufacturing area, but today it is now a major tourist destination and working neighborhood. In 2004, Project for Public Spaces named Granville Island "One of the World's Great Places".

    Imagine an island in the middle of a city. A place molded by a fascinating history and buzzing with a colourful artistic community. Granville Island is a living, breathing urban oasis filled with fine waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, studios, unique shops, cafes and one of the most spectacular fresh food markets.

    Add a vibrant and diverse mix of people and activities, and you have a destination so dynamic, no visit to the city is complete without spending at least a day here. Think of Granville Island as Vancouver’s Town Square. Where locals and visitors come together to be inspired, to be entertained or simply to breathe in some of its unique atmosphere.

    Getting to The Island:

    Granville Island is easily accessible by vehicle via West 2nd Avenue. From downtown, taking the Burrard Street Bridge is best. Granville Island provides 3 hour free parking as well as public pay parking lots. Public transit runs bus service by the entrance to Granville Island   approximately every 10 minutes during peak traffic hours on the #50 False Creek South / Waterfront Station route. Multiple hop-on hop-off style tours like the Vancouver Trolley Company (www.vancouvertrolley.com) have a stop at the entrance to Granville Island. The Aquabus provides passenger ferry service all the way along False Creek. For a nominal fee they provide transfers to and from downtown destinations such as: Hornby Street, David Lam Park, and Yaletown (www.theaquabus.com). Granville Island is located on Vancouver’s world famous ‘Seawall’ making it an ideal place for a stop during a scenic walk or bike ride (the Aquabus allows bikes too).

    Shopping:

    Shopping on Granville Island is an adventure. There are retailers tucked away into every nook and cranny of the Island. Many people will find that hidden gem tucked away, find the perfect item for themselves or a gift and feel like that particular store was placed there just for them. The Net Loft building provides multiple retailers in a mall-type setting. Four wings branch out from a central area that houses a café. Other areas of interest for shopping are the Shops of the Creekhouse, the Maritime Market, Cartwright Street, and the #1 place to find those “hidden gems”: Railspur Alley.