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“A disappointment” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont Waterfront

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Fairmont Waterfront
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L5, Canada (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #11 of 96 Hotels in Vancouver
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Essex
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2009

We stayed for three nights in June. Yes, the position in the harbour is good and the staff are friendly enough on arrival and during the stay (although one waiter at breakfast was far too overbearing, explaining what the butter was for and other useless comments). Also, do book the bed and breakfast rate as its well worth the additional cost when booking on line. However, the hotel needs a real makeover (once the new Fairmont opens a few blocks away, it doesnt stand a chance). It seems some of the 'top' hotels in Vancouver think that if they erect a modern looking entrance to the hotel, guests wont notice the rest of the hotel hasn't changed since the 80's. The communal areas are nice enough but the corridors and rooms (I went in 2 different ones) are so old fashioned. The curtains and drapes in our room were threadbare in part. The windows needed a good clean, inside and out. The bathrooms certainly hadnt been changed for years and years and were small by comparison to other hotels we stayed in BC. Simply, Its just not what you expect for £200 a night. We were upgraded (Presidents Club members) so we are grateful for the better view, but the beds (as per another review I read) were tiny by North American standards.
A real shame as we have come to expect a lot from the Fairmont Brand.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Great Britain
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
200 helpful votes 200 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2009

This superb hotel sets the benchmark for 5 star hotels. A shiney modern hotel with all the best and latest facilties, spotlessly clean and run to the very highest standards.

My wife & I rarely return to hotels as they never seem the same or as good as you remember, but this one is outstanding, we have been to this hotel 3 times now and plan to return again, it’s so difficult to find fault with, everythng is well managed, from efficient check and check out to the notes left in the room from the maid as well as personnaly addressed weather forecasts. The staff are all the friendliest in the business and can’t do enough for you.

Fairmont Presidents Club; well worth enrolling in this free loyalty club as you get immediate benefits such as free broadband in the room, morning newspaper, preferential room rates, upgrades and discount vouchers for hotel dining and spa.

Location; set in a prime location and as the name implies it is set on the waterfront directly opposite the Canada Place Convention Centre, Pan Pacific Hotel & Pier where cruise ships birth. There is a fantastic view from waterfront facing rooms, you can watch float planes taking off & landing, cruise ships arriving and leaving and all kinds of watercraft buzzing about, never a dull moment. Convenient for those on business and perfect for tourists, being near the main shopping areas, will be well used for the 2010 Winter Olympics as it is close to the brand new grass roofed Convention Centre which will serve as the Olympics Media Centre. Fairmont is building another hotel directly opposite the media centre, so there may be some spare capacity after the Olympics are over and prices may drop.

Convenience; all of the major tour coaches and operators pick up and drop off at this hotel using the hotel layby. There is also a small shopping mall and food court under the hotel as well as a Translink rail station.

Rooms; standard rooms are of good quality and reasonable size, cheapest have city view and if you aren’t bothered about the view then these are perfectly acceptable and represent good value. Next up are the Harbour and Waterfront View rooms which are basicaly the same as the City View rooms but have superb views of the harbour, some rooms have floor to ceiling glazing. Next up are the suites, we had a waterfront facing suite for one stay which had separate lounge & bedroom, TV & CD player in both areas and the loan of some CDs. The same high quality toiletries are used throughout the hotel regardless of room type.

Restaurant; we used Herons Restaurant for breakfast & evening meals which serves the second best buffet breakfast we have ever had anywhere (the Fairmont in Banff will take some beating and needs to be seen to be believed). You will be addressed by name at Herons. As with all good quality hotel restaurants they cook eggs to your individual requirements and make a superb eggs benedict. In fact they say if there is anything you want but can’t see it, they will get it for you. It should be noted that you can dine in the evening at Herons and choose from the a la carte or bar menu, so you can enjoy the ambience on a budget, but prices are very reasonable and it should go without saying that the food is fantastic, using fresh herbs from the hotel roof garden, they really have superb chefs and the freshest ingredients. The room service menu is the same as the bar menu, but with a 12% gratuity and $4.50 delivery charge added, plus GST.

Pool & fitness suite; one of the rare hotels in Vancouver to have a swimming pool, set on level 3, the same level as the roof gardens where herbs are grown for the restaurant, flowers for decorations and bee hives for honey used in cooking. Nice outside heated pool, reasonable size, nice temperature and surrounded by a terrace with comfortable sun loungers, tables & chairs, towels obtained from the fitness suite you pass through to get to the pool area, could do with some parasols as the weather was unseasonably hot while we were there and there was no shade. The fitness suite has plenty of modern equipment as well as a Jacuzzi pool.

Conclusion; nice modern hotel getting it right in every respect, difficult to find fault, clean, nice friendly staff, sets the standard for benchmarking other 5 star hotels, it really is good.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
384 helpful votes 384 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2009

I am a very, very lucky man. I have been blessed with a wonderful life and have stayed at some of the most magnificent hotels in the World. In the course of our 3 month summer vacation, my wife and I chose to stay 9 nights in the 2 bedroom Royal Suite of this hotel. Vancouver is a spectacularly beautiful city, but it has a reputation for its hit-and-miss hotels. Returning to Vancouver is not a choice for us as we have friends and family in the city. We chose this hotel based on a previous short-term business stay and its magnificent Royal Suite in which the Her Majesty the Queen stayed in, in 1991. We had stayed in this suite in the past and were pleased with the setting and property at the time, however we decided to try some different Vancouver hotels last year and the year before. Returning to the property this year was a spectacular surprise. The property had aged gracefully but it's staff, their thoughtfullness and genuinely helpful and exceptional service completely floored us. If you have a spouse as thoughtful and surprising as my own, you never get to choose the location of your 40th birthday. In order to exact maximum surprise, my wife decided this was the property she would spring the trap on me at (6 weeks early no less). Everything relating to that celebration was flawless.. Our stay in the hotel was perfect leading up to the event, caring, diligent, detail oriented is the best we to describe its people.. The amount of effort and attention this property's staff put into our stay dramatically eclipsed the economic value any guest could expect to bring to the property. They tried so hard - made things so perfect and gave such an exceptional effort that the outcome from a guests perspective was heartbreakingly beautiful and ultimately motivated me to write this review so that others could know of it. I highly recomend this property to others seeking an exceptional hotel experience in the Vancouver area and thank those at this property sincerely for their outstanding work.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Ontario
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
97 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2009

The Waterfront Hotel couldn't possibly be any closer to the waterfront. The view from my room on the 20th floor was stunning. It overlooked the ferry teminal and had an unobstructed view of the harbour. The hotel is located in an excellent location within walking distance to Burrard and Robinson streets and the local bar scene at night.

The staff are very friendly, courteous and helpful. I arrived around 10 AM after a long flight from Asia and needed to get washed up and dressed for a meeting with my client in a couple of hours. There was no problem getting a early check-in and she also made sure I got a room with a great view on a high floor.

The gym has a few cardio machines but not much for weights. That being said, I am sure there are gyms close by if you want to get in a good workout. The pool and hot tub both were great.

I did not eat at any of the restaurants or order room service so I cannot comment on the food, but I am sure it would up to Fairmont standards since everything else was.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
218 reviews 218 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2009

We stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront after a cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, the hotel was just across the street from the cruise terminal which was perfect. We got off the ship, crossed the street and checked into our room. The room was large with a nice sitting area and great view of the city. Service was excellent as I've experienced at every single Fairmont I have visited over the past few years. We didn't eat at the restaurant because of the large selection of restaurants within walking distance. I highly recommend this hotel if you're taking a cruise into our out of Vancouver, it's so convenient and relaxing.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
71 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
232 helpful votes 232 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2009

Having just returned from a recent night at the Fairmont Waterfront, I can say I came away very impressed with this hotel as it more than exceeded my expectations which were alread set fairly high going in having stayed at several Fairmont's elsewhere in recent years.

Having had plenty of notice of an upcoming business stay at the hotel I managed to reserve one of the lower rates in the standard Fairmont rooms which are well appointed though usually on lower floors and with less of a view than the upgraded room categories. For business though they're more than alright and so I was very pleasantly surprised to have been given an unsolicited upgrade to a corner room which features both city skyline as well as harbour views from both the bedroom and the bathroom. It seems rooms ending in either 16 or 24 are corner units in the hotel, which is a triangluar shape, and I was in 1524, a Signature room category I believe it is called. The photo's I've included do not do the room justice but the most interesting feature was the floor-to-ceiling wildows in the bathroom that allowed you to soak up the Stanley Park, Vancouver harbour and city skyline vistas while soaking in the large and deep tub. A great way to wash off the jet lag and prepare for meetings next morning.

The hotel is location across the street from Canada Place, which is home to the Vancouver Convention Centre, The Pan Pacific Hotel and Cruise Ship Terminal so a busy corner when two huge cruise ships are disembarking 5,000+ passengers and embarking as many in the same day. Somehow it works and the staff do their best to handle the ebb & flow on these cruise ship sail days but you can't help notice how crowded the lobby is with luggage and how hectic the front desk really is. That having been said however I was quietly amazed at how well the staff took the pace in stride and seemed to deliver a consistently professional and courteous level of customer service.
I left my luggage after checkin out at the Bell Desk for a few hours while I did a bit of Gastown sightseeing and the staff there was efficient and pleasant as well. A walk in the opposite direction would get you to the famous Stanley Park, which is a big draw for it's walking, cycling and jogging paths with stunning mountain and harbour views.

Note that the airporter shuttle service in from Vancouver International Airport alternates service between the Fairmont Waterfront and the Pan Pacific across the street, stopping at one hotel one hour and the other the next however as they're literally facing each other even having to negotiate the short walk isn't too much of a downside. By the way, I found the airport shuttle very inexpensive at CAD$22 roundtrip.

We had a working buffet breakfast at Heron's and enjoyed the spacious almost outdoor patio setting of the restaurant. Those guests opting to upgrade to a Fairmont Gold level room receive as part of the extra ammenities a private breakfast area that is much quieter than Heron's but like most hotels when you pay more you get more and such is the case here as well.

Unlike many other Fairmont's the Waterfront isn't a restored heritage hotel and is modern in both decor and ammenities. Conference rooms and business services are also state of the art, though didn't have enough time to try the fitness facilities out during my short stay. A heated outdoor pool set on a terrace a few stories above street level offers a nice oasis in the downtown for some relaxation even in cooler months.

It is worth it to sign up for the free Fairmont loyalty program called Fairmont President's Club as one perk is free internet access even for basic members. The other nice perk I find is that there is the regular check-in desk as well as one dedicated for President's Club members and it's usually much quicker.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver for either business or pleasure, especially to splurge and stay one night prior to sailing on one of the cruise ships that dock steps away.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterrey
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2009

If it has the "Fairmont" brand on it, no need to look anywhere else. Just two quick comments: 1. Just in case you're thinking about the spa, this hotel doesn't have a Willow Stream Spa, it just has a regular spa with fitness centre, an outdoor heated pool, an indoor jacuzzi, and there's a sauna inside the men's locker room. The location is the best in the city, in front of Canada Place, the Convention Centre and the Cruise Ship Terminal, and just 2 or 3 blocks away from the main shopping areas of downtown. 2. The internet connection is not included in the room rate, so, if you want to connect to the internet from your room, you have to pay for it, and again, this seems to be a general tendency in most hotels in Canada. Sorry guys, when I pay for a hotel room, I expect complimentary internet included, so for that reason, I will take away one point from the "Value" rating.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Waterfront

Address: 900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L5, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Vancouver
#6 Business Hotel in Vancouver
#9 Luxury Hotel in Vancouver
#9 Family Hotel in Vancouver
#11 Romantic Hotel in Vancouver
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fairmont Waterfront 4.5*
Number of rooms: 489
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fairmont Waterfront luxury hotel showcases the best of Vancouver. Conveniently situated beside the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal and adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre, this luxury Vancouver hotel has a central harbour location, ideal for any stay. Guests can enjoy shopping, trendy restaurants, art galleries, Gastown, Chinatown and famous Stanley Park all within steps of our doors. This Four Diamond urban retreat is world renowned for its warm and welcoming service and truly showcases the best of Vancouver. The 489 newly renovated Vancouver Waterfront hotel rooms are spacious, elegantly appointed with distinctive amenities and showcase spectacular city, mountain and harbour views through floor-to-ceiling windows. The Fairmont Gold floor is an exclusive hotel within a hotel, featuring complimentary breakfast and evening canapes, personal concierge service and an exclusive lounge and terrace with harbour-views. Visit the on-site restaurant ARC. The culinary team embraces fresh, local and sustainable ingredients complemented by hotel-grown herbs from the 2,100 square foot rooftop garden and honey from the on-site honeybee colony. Expect simple, flavor focused cuisine, cooked with flawless execution appealing to discerning or emerging palates. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Vancouver
Fairmont Hotel Waterfront
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Fairmont Vancouver
Vancouver Fairmont
Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver

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