The history of the city and its railroad is entwined with the history of this former Canadian Pacific Railway hotel. Guests can learn some of the story in the vast lobby space, which has much of its fascinating past on display, alongside designer outlets like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. The iconic copper-green fairytale castle roof soars over the city and is a much-loved central downtown landmark for locals.
Decor in the pleasingly spacious guest rooms tends to be traditional, with dark wood carved headboards contrasting with lighter honey and vanilla shades and bright accents of pewter and cornflower blue. Adjoining suites make it a solid choice for multigenerational families. The Fairmont Gold "hotel within a hotel" concept is available on the 9th floor, with private check-in, an exclusive lounge, a dedicated concierge, and complimentary breakfast, snacks, afternoon tea, and other treats. Anyone can sign up for the free-to-join Fairmont President’s Club to score free Wi-Fi and other goodies.
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Between the shopping temptations and foodie delights of Robson Street and West Georgia Street, guests can also pack in a bit of culture thanks to the hotel's proximity to a great art museum. The Vancouver Art Gallery is right across the street from the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, and it's packed with Canadian and First Nations art as well as excellent visiting collections. Take a stroll down Robson, following the heavenly scent wafting from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, where visitors can find maple syrup fudge and candy apples, which make perfect take-home gifts.
Need to Know
Rooms: 508 rooms, 49 suites; from $170. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Opening in early 2015, after a $12 million renovation of the lobby, breezeway, and restaurant space, the new Notch8 restaurant promises French-inspired food made with West Coast ingredients. Snuggle up in a banquette and feast on local Vancouver Island oysters served on the half shell, wild salmon, and duck confit. The lounge bar serves classic cocktails and lighter bites. Spa and gym details: There is an independent Absolute spa on the lower level. The large, full-service fitness center is open 24 hours. The recently renovated pool with hot tub, sauna, and children’s pool is open from 6 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.
Who’s it for: Business guests who appreciate the convention space, and leisure travelers who want to be in the heart of the downtown shopping district. Architecture buffs will enjoy the Hotel Vancouver’s history. Our favorite rooms: The Fairmont Gold Loggia rooms, with their summer veranda-style doors, ruched blinds, and mini chandeliers, offer abundant space and even a pull-out sofa in the separate lounge area. The Fairmont One Bedroom suites, which overlook Hornby Street and the city art gallery, have rooms large enough to host yoga classes, and walk-in closets so big they positively dare guests to go shopping so they can be filled up. Furry welcome: Head to the lobby to meet Fairmont’s canine ambassadors and most popular employees, Mavis the golden lab and Beau the retriever mix. Guests can take them for a walk or just enjoy a cuddle.