The Fairmont Pacific Rim is my favourite hotel in Vancouver, and certainly in my top 5 worldwide. The building is stunning, with lively common areas, and rooms that feature all the comfort and technology one comes to expect in a luxury hotel. What really stands out, however, is the service. Fairmont never fails at making you feel special, and in my opinion, is what really sets them apart from other brands.
We decided to book the Pacific Rim for New Year’s Eve to celebrate in style with a couple of close friends. I checked availability back in September and was delighted to find plenty of space. Surprisingly, there were no blackout dates for certificate use with the Fairmont President’s Club, and I was fortunate enough to book a room using a complimentary night certificate. We also decided to bring our two dogs on this trip, which was no hassle. The Pacific Rim is one of a few properties that don’t charge pet fees on top of their rate and offer dog beds, dishes, and treats for each pet.
Arriving at The Fairmont Pacific Rim
Arriving at the hotel was a bit chaotic. We had early check-in confirmed and arrived shortly after 12pm. The streets were busy, with a lot of blocked roads and snow falling. The Pacific Rim is ideally located in Coal Harbour, opposite the Vancouver Convention Centre.
As we pulled up we were warmly greeted by a doorman. Parking at the hotel is reasonable for Vancouver – $49 per night valet with full in/out privileges. The exterior of the building is stunning.
The front entrance has very attentive doormen, who are always keen to open doors, offer umbrellas, provide directions etc.
The lobby at The Pacific Rim is beautiful, and usually quite busy. Some people I’ve talked to don’t like the open concept, as it tends to get quite noisy at times. The Lobby Lounge is a Vancouver hotspot and gets very busy at night. The lobby was busy on arrival, although mainly with people checking out. Directly to the right of the front door is the concierge desk and check-in area, and to the left is the Lobby Lounge.
The front desk was busy with people checking out but the staff were very efficient in moving people along.
Within minutes, we were greeted by a friendly front desk agent. They welcomed us back and happily informed us we had been upgraded to a Signature Harbour Mountain View Room. This is the hotels top standard room and a significant upgrade from what we booked. Check-in was super quick, taking less than a couple of minutes. Signing up for The Fairmont President’s Club prior to arrival will ensure a fast and efficient check-in process.
The elevators are just a short walk past the lounge and RawBar at the far end of the lobby. The lounge almost always has some sort of live music.
Our room was located on the 16th floor, which is about 2/3 of the way up. The top floors of the hotel are residences and not accessible through the hotel lobby.
The hallways in the Pacific Rim are immaculate and spotlessly clean. The decor is contemporary and very west coast, with beautiful neutral tones and wood finishes.
The Signature Harbour Mountain View Room comes with either one or two beds. We chose a room with two queen beds and found the layout slightly more cramped than the version with one king. Regardless, there was still plenty of space for the four of us (and our two dogs). Directly inside the room is a foyer with a closet on the left hand side. The closet was large enough for all of our bags and housed the in-room safe.
The rooms at The Pacific Rim are beautiful. The hotel is now aging a bit, with some normal wear on the furniture and carpets, but housekeeping has done a phenomenal job minimizing it. The colours are warm and relaxing, with contemporary and functional design. The floor to ceiling windows are the centrepiece of the room, showcasing the Vancouver harbour with views to Stanley Park and The Lion’s Gate Bridge.
The room featured two queen beds, and, as is the norm with Fairmont, they were insanely comfortable with high quality linens and pillows. In between the beds was a side table with phone and iPod dock alarm clock. There were also individual reading lamps for each bed.
Opposite the beds was a long desk with a large television mounted above. I really like the style and functionality of the desk.
There was a bottle of champagne and gummy bears from Giovane Cafe in the room upon our arrival alongside a hand-written note from the new General Manager, Frederic Bellone, welcoming us back to the hotel.
To the left of the desk was a small but comfortable sitting area. It’s sort of a shame it faced towards the room and not to the beautiful harbour.
The desk featured a very comfortable chair and had all the usual stationary you would expect in a luxury hotel. For what it’s worth, I really love the Fairmont pen. It also housed the in-room iPad, which could be used to control the temperature settings, lighting, and drapes. The iPad could also be used for various service functions such as in-room dining orders. There was also a case of cords provided for any device that might need charging.
The minibar offerings were good, with a drawer full of treats and a stocked fridge. I like that the Pacific Rim doesn’t use a sensor fridge, which can be annoying if you want to store any personal items. There was also a Nespresso machine, which I love.
The Signature Harbour Mountain View Room has a large bathroom with separate deep-soaking bathtub and rainforest shower, a separate water closet with toilet, and a large counter space with two sinks. The mirror features a small television viewable from the shower and bathtub, which is a fun feature. There’s no shortage of plush towels and bathrobes under the sink. Like all Fairmont properties, amenities are by Le Labo and of exceptional quality. The finishes luxurious with lots of marble, whites and wood.
Complimentary services include BMW bike rentals (based on availability) and an in-house BMW car service for short trips within the downtown core using a brand new BMW 7 series sedan. Fairmont President’s club members also get access to Fairmont Fit – a unique partnership with Reebok which provides complimentary workout apparel to Premier and Platinum members.
The Pacific Rim has no shortage of services on property consisting of multiple dining options, a full service spa, a modern health and wellness facility, and fantastic pool deck.
New Year’s Eve was insanely busy, so we decided not to eat on property. My understanding is that the main restaurant, ORU, is now permanently closed and will re-open in spring with a new name and menu. Other dining options include the Lobby Lounge and RawBar, featuring some very delicious cocktails and a Japanese inspired menu. There is also Giovane Cafe, a small eatery specializing in Italian Cuisine.
The Willow Stream Spa at The Pacific Rim looks gorgeous. Fairmont President’s Club Platinum members get $100USD in Willow Stream spa or dining certificates annually. Unfortunately, the spa was booked and we weren’t able to get last minute treatments. The health and wellness reception is on the 5th floor, with the gym to the left and spa treatment areas to the right.
The gym is full service, with plenty of modern machines. Not surprisingly the gym was packed on New Year’s morning, yet there were still quite a few empty machines. There is a small seating area near the change rooms and complimentary fresh fruit and infused water at the entrance. In the back of the gym is a large conditioning room, with large floor to ceiling windows looking out to the city.
The pool area is located on the 6th floor directly opposite the Vancouver Convention Centre. Unfortunately due to its placement on a lower floor, you don’t get direct views of the harbour from the pool deck. The hotel has done a great job at creating a tranquil space in the middle of the city with plenty of seating, cabanas, and palm trees. There is also a small bar which was closed during our stay. It was a unique experience sitting out in the jacuzzi on New Year’s Eve while it was snowing!
The Fairmont Pacific Rim is a top choice for anyone looking for a luxury hotel in Vancouver. Large contemporary rooms with amazing harbour views, great dining options, and a full service spa paired with phenomenal, bespoke service have made this a top property in the city year after year.