Stayed three nights at the Fairmont Waterfront and loved it. We arrived on a dark evening by taxi so had little idea of the surroundings. Excited by our first night in Canada, we woke about 5:30 am and sat looking through the picture window in our 19th floor room at the lights and the dim outlines of the buildings around the harbour and over the other side of Burrard Inlet, Vancouver's main harbour. The Lions Gate suspension bridge to north Vancouver was garlanded in lights and took shape gradually as the sky lightened. About 7am the small seaplanes started taking off from the harbour just in front of the hotel and the western part of the Convention Centre with its sloping grass roof became visible. A great introduction to Vancouver.
Our room was very comfortable with everything we wanted, including plenty of storage space, some complimentary water in the minibar (other items were chargeable and expensive) and a soft luxurious mattress cover. I found the light switches on the table lamps unusual (keep turning the small knobs clockwise to turn on and off), but found these elsewhere in Canade also. Didn't eat in the hotel because it looked expensive, but nearby we dined on 'pub food' at Lions Bar, the Steamworks and Mahoney's Bar in the Convention Centre, which the hotel desk staff were happy to direct us to. For breakfast on a budget we went into the basement mall where there are several fast food outlets including McDonald's and Tim Horton's (which we found good quality and value). This mall can take you to the Convention Centre (useful in bad weather) and there are also displays illustrating the history of the Port of Vancouver whose offices are close by.
The hotel desk staff and doormen were always courteous and able to give us directions. Waterfront Station is nearby and is a terminus of the Skytrain where you can catch automated trains on the Canada Line to the airport. All journeys on trains and public buses are CAN$2.50 except on journeying from the airport when an extra CAN$5 levy is charged (make sure you have the correct money in coins before boarding, because ticket issue is automated). In contrast a typical taxi from the airport will cost about CAN$40 including tip. The tickets on the public transport are valid for 1.5 hours after issue (expiry time is shown on the ticket) so that you can make multiple journeys on one ticket within that time without paying again. We found the bus drivers invariably to be patient and good-humoured when we were trying to understand the system. Although they are a bit of a hike, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and the Museum of Vancouver can be reached by public transport. Enjoy exploring!
Stanley Park is within walking distance and a walk (or cycle) around the excellent waterside paths is about 6 miles. Granville Island Market is also worth a visit.
The Gastown district with its bars and restaurants is close to the hotel, and is lively in the evening, although it was sad to see quite a few people begging for money or food in this beautiful city.
We strolled through the midtown Fairmont Hotel out of interest and found it looked a bit more formal and old-fashioned compared to the Fairmont Waterfront, which is modern and spacious. Recommended.
- 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