Kim Cattrall, who plays sultry Samantha Jones in the HBO comedy smash Sex and the City, was just a baby when her parents immigrated to Vancouver from Liverpool. Sixteen years later, the rising star studied acting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, but returned to Vancouver six months later. Her first professional stage performance was at a local doughnut-shop-turned-lunchtime-theater, where she earned a total of $75 for the show's run, and supported herself with various waitress jobs on the side. Still, Cattrall remembers those years in Vancouver as "a very cherished time." Her struggles soon paid off when she snagged a Universal Studios contract, which led to roles in television and films. Today, the actress lives in New York and Long Island Sound with her husband, audio entrepreneur Mark Levinson, but regularly visits her family back in Vancouver. This month, don't miss Cattrall's new book, Satisfaction (Warner Books), which she wrote with her husband, or the six "bonus" episodes from the fourth season of her award-winning series premiering January 6. For now, tag along as the actress takes you on a guided tour of her hometown - indoors and out.
"I'm a big fan of The Sutton Place Hotel, which has a hotel part and an apartment part with full kitchens. I like the location, too. It's very central, right downtown with a lot of shopping nearby. It has a great bar called the Gerard Lounge, which is like a French bistro. I also like the old Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Some of the rooms have fantastic views. It was one of the original Canadian/Pacific hotels built around the turn of the century. I have a kind of nationalistic attachment to that hotel. And, of course, there's the Westin Bayshore, which is right on the harbor. It's quite famous because it's where Howard Hughes stayed for a time. You're enveloped in the best of British Columbia, the mountains and the water, at the Bayshore."