Hotel Review: Fairmont Pacific Rim (Gold Floor Experience), Vancouver, BC

Hotel Review: Fairmont Pacific Rim (Gold Floor Experience), Vancouver, BC

By |2019-02-20T15:53:07+00:00February 17th, 2018|Categories: British Columbia, Canada, Fairmont, Gold Floor, Hotel Reviews, North America|Tags: , , , , , |

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Room Introduction

While a full review will follow shortly, I wanted to share my initial impressions of The Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor from our recent stay, along with 10 photos from the property. Admittedly, this wasn’t a good stay, with some serious service issues, though I’ve recently been in touch with the Director of Rooms, Tugce Atabay, who assured me this wasn’t the norm. Tugce and I were first introduced a few years ago when Brad and I had our first stay at the property, and I appreciated her reaching out to me after our stay, and trust her when she says this stay was a complete anomaly.

We booked the room through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, which includes daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4pm late checkout, and a $100USD food and beverage credit. The hotel confirmed an upgrade to a Harbour View Room with jacuzzi bath prior to our arrival, which was appreciated. In hindsight though, I’m not sure booking the Gold Floor through FHR was necessary, since Brad and I both have Platinum status in The Fairmont President’s Club, which includes late check-out and early arrival, and breakfast is included in the lounge. If I ever book the Gold Floor again, I may look at booking a discounted, non-refundable rate directly and using Life Experience Gift Certificates to further discount the stay by 25% and forego the property credit.

We arrived at the hotel shortly after 12pm, and found a little bit of construction going on in the driveway. The hotel exterior is stunning, and I love the art installation by UK artist Liam Gillick which wraps around the building (it reads ‘Lying on top of a building the clouds looked no nearer than when I was lying on the street’).

We were greeted at the door by the always friendly valet staff, who directed us inside for check-in. I was a bit surprised we weren’t offered check-in on the Gold Floor, which is the norm at most properties, including the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel. Regardless, it wasn’t a huge issue, since the lobby of the Pacific Rim is beautiful.

The front desk staff informed us the room wasn’t ready, with the current occupants just checking out. She suggested we have a drink in the lounge while we wait, but since we were travelling with our dogs, that wasn’t going to work (this hotel is one of our favourite pet friendly properties in Vancouver, and doesn’t impose fees, which is awesome). I asked about guaranteed early arrival through the Fairmont President’s Club, at which point she offered us a day room while we waited. I personally don’t like day rooms, since I always tend to forget something if I unpack, but it was better than nothing.

Unfortunately, this is where the service started to deteriorate. I won’t go into the full details now other than to say expectations weren’t managed well by the Gold Floor team. We were initially told it would be about an hour wait, with housekeeping prioritizing our room. Unfortunately, it ended up taking nearly 3 hours, and the room assigned was in very poor condition, with worn and dirty furniture and filthy baseboards. Brad and I were visiting a friend for an afternoon tea, and were assured they would assign us a new room for when we returned, which they did, though it felt smaller and only had one chair for seating, which was disappointing. They did bring up a lovely welcome amenity consisting of some treats and a chilled bottle of champagne, which was appreciated.

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Amenity

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Amenity

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Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Room

The room we ended up being assigned felt like any other Fairmont Room, with no distinguishing features from the Deluxe Harbour View Room we stayed in on our last stay, except for the addition of an outdoor patio. Interestingly enough, the day-room we had earlier was much nicer, with a larger seating area with beautiful high-back leather chairs, dark marble bathrooms, and nicer finishes around the bed. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a bath, and the view was not that great, otherwise, we probably would have just stayed there.

Now, saying the room is ‘just like any other Fairmont Room’ is not necessarily a bad thing, since even the most standard rooms are really nice. The hotel is almost 10 years old and I think the rooms have aged really well. I believe the Gold Floor rooms feature an improved mattress, though I always find Fairmont beds comfortable and didn’t really notice a difference.

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor King Bed

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor King Bed

The bathrooms are really nice, with lots of marble, a deep soaking tub (jacuzzi in this room), walk-in shower and partitioned toilet.

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Bathroom

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Bathroom

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Lounge

I had heard really good things about the Pacific Rim Gold Floor lounge, and my expectations were high. When we were staying at the Fairmont Singapore on the executive floor, one of the staff actually mentioned the Pacific Rim, stating it was one of the nicest lounges of all of the properties.

The Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor is actually spread out over 3 floors (20-22), with the lounge on the 20th floor. There is a beautiful spiralled staircase for entrance from the 21st floor, though guests any higher will need to take the elevator.

Beautiful Entrance To The Lounge From The 21st Floor

Beautiful Entrance To The Lounge From The 21st Floor

The lounge is beautiful, with plenty of seating and an outdoor patio featuring commanding views of Coal Harbour and Stanley Park.

Views From The Gold Floor Patio

Views From The Gold Floor Patio

I found the seating to be comfortable, and the space never felt crowded, which can be a major problem at other hotels that allow lounge access with status. While I would love to see Gold Floor lounge included for Platinum members when Le Club AccorHotels replaces the Fairmont President’s Club (similar to what’s offered at Sofitel hotels), I don’t think that will happen and should preserve the exclusivity of Fairmont lounges.

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Lounge

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Lounge

Like many lounges, there is a generous selection of food and beverages (complimentary non-alcoholic and honour bar for cocktails, wine, and beer). Food includes breakfast, mid-day snack, and evening canapés. Brad and I were out for an afternoon tea and returned just as the evening service was closing, and found the selection to be quite sparse. We were told by staff that guests can ask for some food to be put aside if they’re out, which is fantastic, but something that maybe should be mentioned during check-in.

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Lounge

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Lounge

The service in the lounge was…disappointing. We weren’t greeted by any staff on our first visit, and found it weird nobody offered to explain the services/benefits, considering it was our first stay on the Gold Floor. There was also someone walking around in socks, and another person sleeping on a couch. The staff noticed this, but failed to say anything. I used to work in the service industry where there was a strict dress code and can empathize it’s an awkward conversation to have with people, but allowing this guest to walk around in socks really took away from the experience.

Breakfast is included for all Gold Floor guests in the lounge, though due to the poor service and strange atmosphere, we opted to eat at Botanist downstairs instead since it was included through our Fine Hotels and Resorts reservation. We’re so glad we did, as the service and food at Botanist is truly world-class. The front of house staff greeted us by name as she remembered us from our last visit in May, when we celebrated our anniversary. Food was delicious and ended up being the highlight of a disappointing stay.

Botanist Breakfast At The Fairmont Pacific Rim

Botanist Breakfast At The Fairmont Pacific Rim

Interestingly enough, The Gold Floor manager thought that during breakfast would be a good time to introduce herself and talk about all of the service issues from the night before, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way. This conversation should have happened the day prior, and re-hashing all of the disappointment during an otherwise perfect breakfast was another example of how staff really dropped the ball on this visit.

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Bottom Line

Based on this experience alone, I wouldn’t recommend paying extra for the added benefits of the Gold Floor. Thankfully the Director of Rooms reached out to me and personally apologized, which felt sincere, and I trust her when she says this isn’t the norm. Without that call, I’m not sure that Brad and I would return, given there are several other properties in Vancouver for less money that are consistently able to deliver, such as The Rosewood Hotel Georgia or The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.

I’ll go into the full details from our stay in a comprehensive review coming soon, and am still on the fence on whether or not I’ll be returning to this property (though I’m leaning more towards yes after having a long conversation with management this morning). Brad and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together, so when we do, it needs to be great. Nothing about this stay was great, and we both felt robbed of an experience. At roughly $500/night in the off-season, this isn’t a cheap room, and the service failures on so many different levels are just completely unacceptable.

If you do want to experience this property, I would suggest either booking through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts with your Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card (especially if you don’t have status), or alternatively, book a discounted rate through the property (likely non-refundable) and purchase some Life Experience gift certificates to save an additional 25% off the lowest available rate!

Have you experienced The Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor? How did it compare with our visit?

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About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style.

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