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Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Introduction
As mentioned previously, I decided to publish this stay in a series of posts, rather than just one large one. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I felt there was just too much to talk about for one review, including the new Pampered Pooch pet program, resort dining and amenities, the room itself, and this review, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor lounge.
I’ve had the opportunity to stay on multiple Gold Floors at various Fairmont properties around the world, including:
I was thrilled to learn we had been upgraded to the Gold Floor in Whistler, which, in my experience, is really rare. While Brad and I are both Platinum’s in the Fairmont President’s Club and are accustomed to some pretty nice upgrades, Gold Floor is usually excluded and reserved only for those paying for the enhanced services. I was told the upgrade was a courtesy due to our loyalty to Fairmont, and also because we booked through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts using our Platinum Card, which comes with room upgrade subject to availability. While technically FHR only offers a one-category upgrade, I generally get into the best available standard room, or sometimes even a speciality suite!
The Gold Floor at this hotel is just a portion of the 8th floor, and I would guess there are about 40 rooms with access, including speciality suites on the top floor. I did hear from one of the staff members that the Gold Floor will be undergoing a large renovation in 2019, at which point the lounge will be expanded, and additional rooms will be added (assuming they make the entire 8th floor Gold).
The reception area is a nice change from the main lobby, where the hoards of crowds and tourists can remind you just how big the resort is. Fairmont Gold claims to be ‘a hotel within a hotel’, and I don’t think I’ve ever agreed more than at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Service
We arrived to the hotel in the early afternoon and were directed to the 8th floor for Gold floor check-in. Every single person we interacted with on this trip were friendly and professional, and the Gold Floor staff were amongst the best I’ve met anywhere in the world.
I find sometimes it can be tough for hotel staff to provide friendly and personalized service without coming across as robotic, something I like to call ‘hospitality bot’. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor lounge staff have it down though, with that perfect balance between being friendly and sincere without losing their polish.
The Gold Floor was completely occupied during our stay, with some guests requiring some extra attention, but none of the staff seemed stressed. I will add that a few of them that I spoke with had been at the hotel for many years, which is quite rare for Whistler, given the transient nature, and it makes a big difference on overall service level.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Seating
The lounge is surprisingly small given the size of the resort, though I guess the number of rooms with access is relative to the space. While we were there, seating was never an issue, with only a handful of tables occupied during breakfast and canapés. The lounge staff indicated that many of the rooms were being occupied by groups, and when this happens they tend to see less people in the lounge.
There is a variety of seating, including comfortable chairs and sofas along with dining tables around the perimeter, with views overlooking the forest and resort pool.
There was also a small patio at the far end of the lounge with seating for two, with views overlooking the resort pool and slopeside in the distance.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Food Presentations
The food in The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor lounge was probably the best I’ve experienced in North America, with a good variety of high-quality dishes. Like most lounges, there were different food presentations throughout the day, including:
- breakfast 6:30-10:00am
- mid-day snacks 1:00-3:00pm
- evening canapés 5:00-7:00pm
- desserts 8:00-10:00pm
There was also a fully stocked honour bar and a selection of soft drinks (complimentary) available throughout the day. I don’t quite get the concept of an honour bar in North American lounges, as the prices are often more expensive than the restaurants on property and don’t feature any sort of bar service. I suppose it’s self-serve, meaning for $18 you could technically fill your wine glass up to the rim…
Anyway, Brad and I had the opportunity to have breakfast one morning, evening canapés the evening of our arrival, and mid-day snack on the day of departure, which are broken down below.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Daily Breakfast
The breakfast spread was really impressive. Admittedly I normally gravitate towards the bacon and eggs, but there was such a nice selection of fresh food that I actually opted for a healthy breakfast (well, healthy for me I guess). Fresh items available included fruit, deli meat and cheese, smoked salmon, ham and cheese croissants, yogurt and granola, oatmeal, and cereals. Hot items included, bacon, eggs, sausage, waffles, quiche, and breakfast potatoes. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
We chose a seat by the window to take in the morning views, and were promptly offered a coffee or tea by one of the friendly servers.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Evening Canapés
The evening presentation, like breakfast, offered a variety of fresh snacks and a few hot items. There are a lot of people who like to consider these evening offerings dinner replacements, which it could be, but please do yourself a favour and save your appetite for one of the amazing dining options in Whistler. Brad and I ate at The Wildflower Restaurant in the lobby and were blown away.
If, however, you want a snack before dinner, this is the place to do it! Options included meats and cheeses, vegetables, bread, and a variety of house made dips and chips, in addition to a few hot items. Everything tasted fresh and delicious, and it took all of my willpower to save room for dinner!
The honour bar was fully-stocked and featured a variety of spirits, wines, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. All soft drinks and juices were complimentary, but alcohol was payable on an honour system where you complete a slip with your room number and what was consumed. Prices were high, like minibar prices high, with an imported beer coming in at $11, and a glass of wine around $18.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Mid-Day Snacks
While most lounges will offer some basic fruit and chips/nuts throughout the day, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler actually offers a food presentation, with sandwiches, cheese, crackers, bread, and fruit. Brad and I had the chance to grab a quick bite before leaving, which saved us from hitting a drive-thru on the way home!
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Bottom Line
Easily one of the best hotel lounges I’ve experienced, and far beyond what I was expecting for a resort in North America. With 3 substantial food presentations per day, there’s a lot of value to be had if you’re someone who routinely eats at the hotel.
Even better than the food was the service, which I would sum up as 10/10. The staff couldn’t have been more charming and professional, striking that perfect balance of friendly and inviting without seeming robotic or scripted. Any request we had was immediately tended to, and all questions were answered with enthusiasm and knowledge. It’s clear these people really love their jobs, and it shows!
What I loved about the lounge:
- Friendly, courteous, and down to earth staff
- Never felt crowded, even during food presentations
- high-quality food and beverages
- Charming mountain decor
What could be improved:
- Breakfast should go beyond 10am – because who doesn’t love to sleep in on vacation?!
- It’s expensive – nearly $250 more than a standard Fairmont room, which is higher than most properties charge for access to Gold
Service in resort towns can be underwhelming, even at luxury hotels. I would recommend anyone who values service over all else consider the Gold Floor at The Fairmont, which I believe is the most personalized hotel experience in Whistler.
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