Design Destination: Skwachàys Lodge In Vancouver – Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good


If you’re looking to fold a bit of history into your visit to Vancouver, consider Skwachàys Lodge. Forging a connection to the area’s Aboriginal heritage, the hotel, atop a complex which offers affordable housing for Aboriginal people, promotes a unique model for the socially conscious traveler. The beautiful rooms are not only a treat for the senses, but for the heart as well: room rates subsidize the rent of the Aboriginal artists who live on the three floors immediately below the hotel.


Situated on the border of Gastown and Downtown Eastside, The Lodge, built on the site of a former SRO hotel, is hard to miss.  It’s marked by a forty-foot Totem pole sitting atop a First Nations longhouse, containing a sacred smudge room and a terrace with a ceremonial sweat lodge.

Remnants of the old building can be found in the structure’s Victorian façade and the Douglas fir that has been repurposed for the Kayachtn Room’s fireplace, table, and wooden ceiling. 

The beautiful art found in each of the Lodge’s 18 rooms is the creation of twelve Aboriginal artists who were paired with six of Vancouver’s top designers.  The rooms also boast first class amenities including Hypnos beds (the Royal Family’s bedmaker), hypoallergenic duvets, Roku streaming television, and more. Find their art and other pieces in The Urban Original Fair Trade Gallery downstairs.


Skwachàys serves breakfast and lunch—including Aboriginal-inspired salmon, bison, and bannock dishes—in the Kayachtn Room. For dinner, the area has some of the most exciting restaurants in the city including Ask For Luigi, Cuchillo, Belgard Kitchen, Pidgin, Pourhouse Restaurant, Flying Pig, and Salt Tasting Room.

For more info, visit Skwachàys Lodge, Aboriginal Hotel and Gallery’s website.