Staying at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time. Located in the heart of the city, this historic building is currently undergoing a renovation (complete July, 2017) that will see the magnificent castle brought up to modern standards while retaining all of it’s unique charm and rich history.
It took me a few years to finally stay at this property for a few reasons:
- Up until recently, most of the guest rooms were really dated, and in my opinion, not worth the price.
- The Fairmont Pacific Rim in Coal Harbour is one of my favourite hotels in the world, and my preferred property when staying in Vancouver.
- The Hotel Vancouver doesn’t participate in the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program, which is usually my preferred booking method, especially for short stays.
Due to it being the shoulder season in Vancouver, and likely because of the ongoing construction at the hotel, I was able to book a basic room for roughly $200/night with parking included, which was too good of a deal to pass on.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has one of the best locations in the city on Georgia street, with easy access to shopping, entertainment, dining and nightlife. The driveway is located off Hornby street where we were greeted by a friendly valet staff on arrival.
The exterior of the hotel is iconic, and really stands out amongst the modern glass towers.
Surrounding the hotel are some other unique Vancouver landmarks, including the Christ Church Cathedral across the street.
We were greeted by a friendly valet staff and directed inside towards the reception area. The lobby is not how I remembered it from a few years ago, with the check-in area now around the corner from the main lobby and concierge desk. There was a bit of a wait for check-in, as the dedicated line for Fairmont President’s Club members was unstaffed.
Thankfully there was a nice seating area just off the lobby to relax while waiting for the crowds to clear.
I was informed during check-in that we had been upgraded to a recently renovated deluxe room. I suggest requesting a new room if staying before July, 2017, as the unfinished floors are very outdated. Being Platinum in the Fairmont President’s club allowed for early check-in, late check-out, an upgraded room, and personalized welcome amenity, which added a lot of value to the overall experience. For those planning to stay at Fairmont properties more than 5 times per year, I highly recommend the American Express Platinum Card for accelerated elite status, which can easily justify the annual fee alone.
The elevators were down the hallway towards the main lobby and around the corner. I found the elevators to be painfully slow, especially after just staying at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport where there never seems to be a wait.
The main lobby features the concierge desk, and some high-end shopping, including Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci.
Our room was on the 7th floor, which was one of the only floors completely renovated. The new finishes in the lobby and hallways are really fresh, and a huge improvement over the other floors.
My first impression of the room was good, though there was definitely a lack of natural light with only one medium window on the far wall. The room had been nicely renovated with warm earthy tones, and high quality furniture. There was a large closet on the left side of the entrance, and double doors to the small bathroom on the right.
The closet was large, and featured plenty of hangers, a luggage rack, bathrobes, ironing board, and in-room safe. Just beside the closet was a small bench for additional storage if needed.
The main room featured two large (and very comfortable) queen beds with high quality linens and pillows. Fairmont always has a consistent bed, which I appreciate.
Between the beds was a nightstand with complimentary bottled water, a lamp, notepad and pen, telephone, and alarm clock.
On the other side of the beds, beside the window, was a small seating area.
Opposite the seating area was a nice office desk with two chairs. Upon check-in there was a lovely welcome amenity consisting of sparking water, delicious chocolates, and a welcome letter from the General Manager (we brought the champagne).
In front of the window was a dog bed, complete with dishes, treats, bottled water, and poop bags. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is very pet friendly, and charges $25 per night to bring along your canine companion.
In the middle of the room, opposite the beds, was a large television and minibar. The television had a wide range of free cable options and a good selection of pay-per-view titles. There was also a small cupboard with common connections to hook-up your own device.
The minibar was located just below the TV and featured a good selection of overpriced drinks and snacks. This hotel uses a sensor fridge, meaning you can’t remove items for personal storage without being charged. Luckily they were able to provide a secondary fridge free of charge for that purpose.
The bathroom had been completely redone, and looked really good, though still very small (hard to change that in old buildings). Something that surprised me was they opted to keep a small bathtub/shower combination rather than installing a large walk-in shower…
Unfortunately due to the ongoing construction, the pool area was closed during our stay, with complimentary rides to offsite pools if requested. We chose instead to have a couple of drinks at the recently opened Notch8, and were very impressed with the style and service!
I’m happy I finally took the plunge and booked a room at the iconic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver! While not as luxurious as The Rosewood Hotel Georgia, and certainly not as contemporary and upbeat as The Fairmont Pacific Rim, the hotel has a lot to offer and will appeal to a large group of travellers looking for affordable luxury in one of the best locations in Vancouver!