Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
900 West Georgia Street
British Columbia, Canada
TEL + 1 604 684 3131
My Rating: 84%
Price Rating: $$$$
Summary of Stay: I’ve stayed at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver dozens of times and I have collected any overwhelming number of memories there. I’ve ended a relationship there. I have spent Halloween, Christmas, New Years and my birthday there. I’ve been there with my parents, groups of friends and by myself. It has often been my home while I’ve been in town for concerts, conferences and festivals. The hotel is classic and timeless and always welcoming.
As you approach the hotel, you understand why it is nicknamed the “Castle in the City.” The gothic chateau stands out in a city filled with glass skyscrapers. It’s signature green copper roof can be seen for a mile away and is reminiscent of a classic CP Hotel.
Check in has always been a breeze and the attendants are more friendly and accommodating than at most hotels. Usually I receive an upgrade without asking and the one time I wasn’t happy with my room, I was quickly and easily moved into a lovely corner suite.
This is a historic hotel and rooms are a mixed bag. I was once given a room that was the size of a small walk-in closet—honestly my luggage did not fit in the room. But as mentioned, the hotel swiftly handled my concern and I was moved to a much more spacious room. Most rooms are decently sized and have multiple windows. Nowadays, I tend to book a One-Bedroom suite or a Gold Floor room. The One-Bedroom suites are especially large with a completely separate living room area which is perfect for entertaining. Their Gold Floor lounge is a nice feature of the hotel and just adds to the luxury of any stay. Gold Floor rooms are also a more comfortable alternative to a regular Fairmont room. Rooms are richly and classically appointed and transport you back to 1939 when the hotel originally opened to welcome King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
In recent years, the hotel has undergone some renovations—primarily to the lobby and restaurants. Griffin restaurant shut down and has been converted in to retail space. 900 West has been given a facelift and expanded into a restaurant and lounge renamed Notch8. Notch8 is the Fairmont’s attempt to score points in Vancouver’s trendy culinary scene. Beyond this, room service has always been consistently satisfying.
The hotel has a very well equipped gym on site and it is popular with guests. It also has a large pool and hot tub area which should be the next place renovation money gets allocated. In its current state, it is adequate at best.
The hotel is also home to a few of the best shops in town. Some of the international names include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, St. John and Omega. They can even charge and deliver your purchases directly to your room.
Highlight of the Hotel: Location, location, location. Vancouver is a very walkable city and Hotel Vancouver is in the centre of it all. In one direction, you can head towards the harbour front and Gastown. Hit the seawall and head down to Stanley Park to check out the totem poles. Go the other direction and you’ll hit trendy Davie St. and the gay village which will lead you down to English bay. Stick right on Robson St. and check out the best shopping in the entire city. Follow Robson down and you run into Yaletown and eventually Chinatown. Just remember to take the hotel umbrella in your room as you never know when you might encounter a drop of rain. And if you time I suggest you take Mavis, the Hotel's Canine Ambassador, for a walk through the neighbourhood.
Highlight of the Stay: On one instance, my mother and I were staying at the hotel just before Christmas. The Gingerbread Tea, the seasonal version of their afternoon tea, was very highly recommended by the concierge. At that time, tea was served in one of the lounges but now they have relocated it to the Panorama Roof on the 15th floor where you have a beautiful view of the Vancouver skyline. It was certainly a highlight and my mother still talks about their curry chicken sandwiches. (Hotel Vancouver, if you’re reading this I’ll do anything for the recipe!) But afternoon tea is a great tradition and where better to have it than Vancouver’s castle?
Drawbacks: After 75 years, the hotel occasionally shows it’s age. The pool area needs a refresh and hallways needed a bit of TLC. I miss having more dining options on site but if you walk out the doors, you have hundreds of worthwhile dining options within a 5 minute walk.