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“Beautiful hotel, excellent service”

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Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Ranked #31 of 92 Hotels in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 16, 2008

We just got back from a long weekend at the Hotel Vancouver and can't rave enough about our stay. The hotel is located at the very heart of downtown Vancouver in a gorgeous old building that is a delightful antidote to the usual, modern (read: bland) downtown hotel towers. The service and staff were first-rate. The concierge gave us several helpful recommendations and housekeeping did a great job cleaning our room and even refreshing our room in the evening. Being a historical hotel, the bathrooms aren't as large or luxurious as we have come to expect from modern hotels, but all the charms of the property more than make up for it. I couldn't recommend the hotel more. You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled on business
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2  Thank worldtraveler78NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,053 - 3,059 of 3,388 reviews

Reviewed June 2, 2008

This was the second time I stayed at this hotel for a conference, and for 5 nights. Again, it was a wonderful stay, and I'd return in a minute.

I had a standard room, #575, that overlooked a side street, but not bad when the view is of Tiffany and a Ports 1961 shop. Other than the occasional emergency siren, we were not bothered by street noise. The hotel is well located to shopping, cafes, restaurants, the musuem, transit options (e.g. express bus to the U of British Columbia, as well as the regular bus routes.) It is an easy walk to English Bay, Stanley Park, the ferry to Granville Island, etc. if you don't mind a 15 minute walk.

The room was very comfortable and a good size. The beds were supremely comfortable, with 4 pillows per bed (I'm sure you could get other types if you ask.) I am VERY thankful that this hotel includes a top sheet as well as the duvet-style blanket that many hotels have gone towards. This means that I can use a little cover if I feel warm, but not have to crank up the AC as when some hotels try to save money by omitting the top sheet.

The room came with two club chairs and a table, and a large writing desk. Very good internet connections. Complete coffee/tea service, i.e. a coffee pot AND an electric tea kettle. Flat screen TV, iron/board, minibar, umbrella, and walk-in closet. What I missed: no in-room safe (surprising for a good higher-end business class hotel.) There was enough room to have two suitcases set out on luggage racks, if needed. It would have been nice to have had more than 3 drawers and the nightstand, but I'm getting picky. Complimentary shoe shine service.

Spotless housekeeping all around. Very minor picky points: the maid forgot the bathroom waterglasses one day; coffee for the coffee service another. Otherwise, everthing was fine. ( I suppose I shouldn't complain when I had the nerve to grab the gorgeous orchid bud vase from a past-used breakfast cart in the hall -- how can you send that out when it was in such perfect condition? We kept it in our room.)

The bathroom has a generous assortment of toiletries from Miller Harris - shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, soaps. Some may not want the light citrus fragrance, but we fragrance junkies love it. The pedestal sink has a good-size rim to catch stuff, and the glass shelves provide a lot of room for your own toiletries. I LOVE the fact that the room comes with 2 robes. The tub is a bit dated, but large. Complaint: the water control is located for someone standing up in the shower, not comfortable for someone taking a bath.

The service everywhere, including the shops, was friendly, helpful, and efficient. My guest sharing the room made a lot of use of the concierges, and was able to run all over town and interesting neighborhoods with great aplomb and confidence. Trust the concierges' restaurant recommendations. Other reviewers complained of long waits -- this was never a problem.

Vancouver has great shopping, but you might also want to peruse the hotel shops -- hair and body treats in the salon in the lower level, a Snowflake shop for women's clothing, outerwear, and accessories. Try the maple candies in the newstand/gift shop. Gucci, Vuitton, and St. John shops are also on site.

The cocktail lounges are lovely in the grand hotel fashion, with a pianist at cocktails, and singer in the evening. Very good cocktails, wines, etc. although the champagne by the glass was a little pricey ($25 CN - such are French imports.) There is also afternoon tea served here. It would be a nice respite even if you weren't staying at the hotel, but if you were shopping in the area or at the musuem, or stopping for drinks.

The hotel has a very nice glassed-in pool on a rooftop, changing room, and spa. The pool is not resort-size enormous, but as good as can be expected in town, and you can do laps. The gym seemed well fitted, but I was more interested in walking in the nice weather.

We ate all our meals elsewhere. Vancouver is a great food city, and the weather was fine, so we wanted to get out. Also: there are numerous cafes and coffee shops in the area for breakfast.

I am a member of the Fairmont President's Club, but did not book into the club level this trip. The amenities for those rooms have been great in the past, but between conference rates and my schedule, we dedcided not to. On the next trip here, I should investigate. Our stay in the standard room was very nice, but the club level has often added to the enjoyment.

Did you know that there is a house dog you can walk if you want to feel like a local? Beau or Mavis is available, and beautifully behaved dogs (Labradors.) Fair warning if you are alergic to dogs -- they reside by the concierge desk.

To wrap up -- this is a wonderful stay in a wonderful city in a wonderful location. Even with a conference and other guests, the hotel was lively but not overwhelmed by people (six well-functioning elevators and segregated conference floors helped.) The hotel is a large size, but never felt cold or impersonal. I'd be delighted to return.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled on business
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2  Thank Mme_X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2008

I loved this hotel, we stayed here for one night after we arrived to Vancouver. The staff is exactly what you would expect, very (VERY) friendly and helpful. The room we stayed is was a standard room but very spacious and clean and furnished with typicall fairmont. furniture, which I love. We had little time and were suffering from a jetlag, so we didn't swim or anything but overall it was a wonderfull stay.

The only downside about our stay was our breakfast. We had ordered our breakfast in our room, but I think we did something wrong because we only had four small pieces of toast and a can of coffee delivered in our room. We were in a hurry so we didn't really say anything and just gave our son the toast. When he was eating we heard a ticking sound on the window ( we were at the fourth floor) When we held the curtain back we looked at a white seagull who was obviously hungry. Our son asked us if he could give him some toast and eneded up feeding him his entire breakfast through the window...(lol)

A little later, Just before we left the room I couldn't find my credit card anywhere. I tried to think back and was almost certain the reception still had it. We went down to the lobby and I asked the receptionist if they still had it, as I couldn't remember getting it back. He started looking and ended up by removing all the computers to see if it might have slipped underneath. While he was doing that more employees started helping him and at one point there were five members of hotel staff looking for my card.

After and hour or so they appologized to us that they couldn't find it and told us we could make all the international phonecalls we wanted to block our card etc...

I'm so ashamed to say that at the end of our holliday I found my card. Tucked away "safely"in a very small compartment of our suitcase.... (blush)
Anyway I'm sure you'll get my point, the Fairmont staff to us was simpy the best.
Besides looking for silly customers's credit cards they really make every effort to make you comortable.

  • Stayed: September 2005, traveled on business
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2  Thank MartSan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2008

I stayed here for 3 nights while up in Vancouver attending some concerts. Location can't be beat. I travelled from Seattle via Amtrak. Tip: Take the "sky train" light rail from the station near the train station to the Burrard station, and walk less than a block to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Alternately, a cab takes about 5-7 minutes and costs about $7.

During my stay, I made use of my room, the concierge desk and Griffith's (the cafe/restaurant). Also, due to the toiletries in the room being oranged-based (I have an allergy to orange), I had a special request for alternate toiletries that was handled by the front desk. (Just letting you know what I will and won't be discussing.)

First, the room. In contrast to reviews that cited rooms that were dated, a bit worn, or small, I had a nice-sized room with a king bed, dresser (with LCD TV on top), desk, and table and chairs. Everything was in tip-top shape, and the mattress was the kind with a firmly-defined edge (which I really like). My closet wasn't the walk-in kind that one review cited; it had sliding doors. As others have mentioned, the bathrooms are a bit dated, but well-maintained, and frankly, the porcelain pedestal sink idea is trendily antique these days. I have an allergy to tobacco and am very sensitive to air quality, and I had no problems in this hotel. I also opened the window about an inch to further add some fresh air "just in case".

Second, the concierge desk. They had great information when I talked to them, and seemed to have great information for others. It didn't have the feel of many concierge desks where they steer you to the places from which the hotel gets a kickback, and I appreciated that. The challenge was getting to talk to them, because apparently every other guest knows their staff is really useful as well! Most of the times I wanted concierge assistance, there was a line. In one case, the guest in front of me required 15 minutes of assistance, asking more than a dozen questions... and I had one simple question to ask, that I couldn't ask until they were done (oh, and did I mention that there had been others in the queue in front of them? I waited upwards of 20 minutes that time to speak to a concierge). Once a consultation has gone on for 10 minutes, and includes waiting while guests look over menus and ask questions, maybe a polite stall tactic is appropriate, as in, "Here, why don't you take a look at these menus and gather up some more questions while I see if I can assist the next person in line?". It's tough to balance showing customer service to the current party *and* customer service to waiting parties in that situation. I'm not sure what the right answer is.

Third, Griffith's. The breakfast buffet may SEEM expensive, but if you get two sides and two different drinks (juice and tea), you can find yourself spending nearly as much, for much less food. Another reviewer indicated that this felt like a standard hotel cafe. I agree, and I don't mind that, because if it had been more formal, I might have felt out of place in my Seattle polar fleece and khakis. ;-)

Fourth, service for my strange special request. Let me say that I don't like that so many hotels are moving to orange-based things (cleaners, toiletries, etc.). Some people (including me) react as poorly to orange as others do to peanut. That being said, my request for alternate toiletries was initially handled by the staff picking some up from the hotel sundries shop, and then later delivering a set of the older toiletries they'd used for their Gold floor rooms before those were replaced by the orange ones.

This is my fourth trip to Vancouver. I haven't been impressed by any other hotels I've stayed in here. I'll be coming back to this one, for sure.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank PacNWtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2008

Stayed at the Fairmont for 3 nights for some Vancouver sightseeing at the end of a ski trip. Great location in the city centre. The hotel room was ok although the bathroom could do with some updating. We were out sightseeing most of the time so the room was not that important. Hotel staff were all excellent with great service in all areas. Facilities were good and the historic nature of the hotel is a nice experience. Went elsewhere for drinks and meals as we found the atmosphere a little highbrow and stuffy. We were at the end of a month long holiday and were enjoying ourselves and the sight of all those suits in the bar and restaurants wasn't our scene but I guess that is what you get in an inner city hotel mid week.
The Bellagio cafe a few doors away is a great place for a drink, lunch or dinner. It is very relaxed with a great atmosphere and good food at reasonable prices.
For sightseeing there is a good 4.5 hour bus tour which is good for seeing the city and getting familiar with inner Vancouver with a good commentary. It gets you up the lookout tower as well. Just ask at the concierge desk, they are very helpful. For any other looking around Vancouver the day pass for all local public transport, bus, seabus and skytrain is only $9 and is worthwhile.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Roger S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2008

I recently stayed at the Fairmont in downtown Vancouver for a business trip. The location of the hotel is smack dab in the middle of downtown and is convenient to everything. Shopping, restaurants, etc. are just a walk outside your hotel. The rooms are nothing special and actually were somewhat run down. After a multi-million dollar renovation I expected more. The rooms are huge and spacious though. Also, the sound of sirens and cars driving by at night kept me awake and I was perched on the 15th floor. One of the best features of the hotel was the two yellow lab/golden retriever dogs that were part of the lobby landscape. These dogs are owned by the hotel and are available to any guest to take on walks or just give a quick pet as you walk to through the lobby. Great feeling of home with that detail. Overall, a nice stay, great location but uncomfortable rooms.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled on business
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Thank mm4113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2008

My wife and I went to Vancouver over Valentine's Day weekend 2008. Upon research, we decided on the Fairmont Vancouver Downtown (based upon reviews on Tripadvisor). The hotel is in an excellent location, it's worth the 4-5 star rating for it's accommodations (see below), but mostly the professionalism of the staff both at the concierge desk and presidents club desk (tip, get a membership in presidents club, it's free, and there are upgrades and perks at the hotel). All of the staff was helpful in directions, places to see, etc. including assisting in obtaining tickets to the hockey game and other entertainment in the city.

The hotel is across the street from the Art Gallery, two blocks from the main shopping street in Vancouver, and the underground mall. As well as, five blocks from old town (Gastown area) and China Town, .8 km (1/2 mile) from the Arena and Stanley Park. Inside the hotel there's a Gucci Store among other high end retail establishments, including Tiffany's across the street.

Amenities in the hotel are top of the line, the rooms are large, with a small walk in closet, and a full size bathroom and tub.. There is no safe in the room but there's a minibar. There's an indoor pool, Hot Tub, children's splash pool, dry sauna, and full workout facility are complimentary for all hotel guests.

There are a few restaurants in the hotel, including room service, we only ate at the lounge (the food was expensive, usual for hotels) but decent. The afternoon Tea Time was pleasant and enjoyable.

Overall, the Fairmont exceeded expectations, the staff treated all guests (from what we observed) including ourselves with class and exceptional service, whether a Preferred Member or regular guest. The service was better than most other Platinum/Gold/etc. membership service that other hotels have on site throughout North America from my experience. Upon returning to Vancouver we plan on staying at the hotel again.

Additional tips:

fly directly into YVR (Vancouver), customs is quick/easy, since driving from Seattle takes 3+ hours each way.

Car rentals are inexpensive, but parking isn't downtown (around $25+ a day).

Taxi's are the preferred method of transportation, and are inexpensive, around $30 to/from the airport (most taxi's are Hybrids).

Public transportation is readily available and goes everyone, walking is safe and easy too throughout the downtown area.

There's a coffee shop on almost every corner, on one corner there were two Starbucks across from one another and a local coffee shop on the other.

Take the water taxi from downtown to Granville Island ($3.50 each way PP) and Sea Bus to North Vancouver/North Shore.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SoCalBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Address: 900 Georgia St W, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2W6, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Vancouver
#22 Luxury Hotel in Vancouver
#25 Family Hotel in Vancouver
#30 Business Hotel in Vancouver
#30 Romantic Hotel in Vancouver
Price Range: $237 - $717 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 4*
Number of rooms: 556
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is centrally located, close to Robson street shopping and many cultural offerings. The lobby features designer shops, including the flagship Louis Vuitton boutique, Gucci, Omega, and St. John. The hotel has a state-of-the-art health club, indoor pool and Absolute Spa. Vancouver's landmark hotel, the castle in the heart of the city is rich in history, vibrant and cosmopolitan. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will continue its guest room renovation project. Floors under renovation will be closed with no guest access and construction is limited to 09:30am to 5:30pm, minimizing any impact to guests staying with us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Vancouver
Vancouver Fairmont

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