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Fairmont Waterfront 4.0

Downtown, Vancouver, British Columbia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Amazing views of mountains and harbor from outdoor pool deck
  • Easy walks to the seawall and other downtown attractions
  • Linked to train station and mall through the basement level
  • Attractive rooms with air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs; some with harbor views
  • ARC restaurant serves locally sourced seasonal fare and craft beers
  • Room service is available around the clock
  • A gym, steam room, and athletic wear are all available
  • Bespoke touches like on-site beehive and herb garden
  • Focus on sustainable business practices across all areas of the hotel
  • Several attractive meeting and events spaces
  • Free bikes to explore the area, plus welcome gifts for kids

Cons

  • Many amenities require joining the loyalty program -- including free Wi-Fi
  • Not all rooms have great harbor views
  • No spa

Bottom Line

With its focus on sustainable business practices plus mountain and water views, the 489-room Fairmont Waterfront checks all the boxes for a quintessential Vancouver experience. This upscale property has large outdoor pool, but it's the small details like an on-site beehive and herb garden that give it an edge. Oh, and the harbor views don't hurt either. Rooms are tastefully finished in light tans and blues, and many have those same harbor views. While the hotel's access to downtown attractions makes it tourist-friendly, the Vancouver Convention Centre is also nearby for business travelers. These benefits come at a price, but location is key in Vancouver. Travelers looking to be even closer to the water should look at the Pan Pacific Vancouver, directly across the street, which adds a spa.

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Scene

Quintessentially Vancouver experience includes harbor views, sustainability, and lifestyle-oriented features

The Fairmont Waterfront has gone above and beyond to provide a quintessential Vancouver experience, which isn't always the case in this corporate-friendly brand. Extras here include a well-liked restaurant that serves local produce and goods, a focus on fitness and health, sustainable business practices such as full compost and recycling throughout the hotel, and -- of course -- grand views of the North Shore mountains. The hotel has made it a top priority to capitalize on those the views, whether it's from accessible terraces or from oversized windows in many of the guest rooms. Drawing inspiration from these views, a west coast theme is carried throughout the hotel's decor with, light tan stone and wood making frequent appearances alongside gray and blue accents used liberally in guest rooms, ball rooms, and the lobby. The large hotel restaurant, ARC, deviates from the color scheme, but is a classy and popular place, maintaining the hotel's emphasis on the Canada's west coast with seasonal local fare and craft beers. Given the kid-friendly perks like welcome gifts, the brand name, and the business-ready extras, this hotel has broad appeal. 

Location

Located right on Vancouver's harbor, the Fairmont has great access to both downtown and the seawall

As the name suggests, this hotel sits along Vancouver's harbor in downtown. The Convention Centre, Canada Place, and the cruise ship terminal are also directly across the road, meaning guests who are departing Vancouver by ship may get a sneak peak of their vessel from their hotel room. If you plan on staying in Vancouver and taking in the city's sights, major downtown attractions are within walking distance, while the historic charm of Gastown is only a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The city's 22 kilometer-long (14 mile) seawall is just across the road and continues all the way to Stanley Park. A jog around the seawall at Stanley Park is a must-do for fitness buffs, and is 25 minutes away walking or 12 minutes away if you're running. For culture and shopping, the Vancouver Art Gallery and Robson Street shops are only a 15-minute walk from the property. The hotel is linked to the city's rapid transit network through the basement level, and the airport is only a 30-minute train ride away.

Rooms

Tastefully designed rooms with a west coast feel -- many with excellent harbor views

Like much of the rest of the hotel, rooms are tastefully designed with muted tones of brown, tan, and blue in the carpets, bed linens, and drapery. The look is handsome, if not exactly stylish or packed with personality. However, one of the Fairmont Waterfront's best features are the oversized windows that -- in many (but not all) units -- have excellent views of Vancouver's harbor or the downtown skyline. A big effort has been made to keep surfaces in rooms clutter free through innovative solutions such as connectivity hubs that are integrated into desks, allowing guests to hook up their electronics to the large flat-screen TVs. Guests can find sustenance in the minibars and coffeemakers with free coffee, and all rooms include air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. However, the latter is only free by joining the hotel's loyalty program. Bathrooms continue the use of browns in solid-surface countertops, tiled rainfall shower/tub combos, and flooring. The premium Le Labo bath products are a brand standard and welcome extra. Upgraded room options, such as the Fairmont Gold Suites, offer access to additional amenities and perks including private concierges, breakfasts, and a canape hours.

Features

Upscale restaurant, 24-hour fitness center, pool terrace with harbor views, and meeting and event space

Features at this property are on par with those expected of the Fairmont brand, though the lack of a spa may be a surprise -- especially given the local competition. Otherwise, it's all about the central Vancouver setting here. For instance, if your room doesn't have a view of the mountains and harbor, you can still score those from many spots throughout the property. The pool deck and surrounding garden terrace are one of the best places to do this and are open late. Adjacent to the pool is a well-equipped 24-hour fitness center with free athletic wear available for guests to borrow. If you'd rather run outside, the hotel has guided routes that can be downloaded to any smart phone. Other locally sourced extras include a beehive and herb garden. That ethos continues at ARC restaurant, which offers west-coast fare with an emphasis on locally caught and grown produce and meats. They serve local wines and craft beers as well. The Fairmont has 14 meeting rooms that are flexible in their size and arrangement. Unfortunately, parking costs extra and can be pricey, though this is standard in downtown Vancouver. Other perks, like free Wi-Fi, are only available to members of the hotel's loyalty program. Bikes are free to borrow and a great way to explore the region, and the hotel offers welcome gifts to children. 

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Things You Should Know About Fairmont Waterfront

Address

900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L5, Canada

Phone

(604) 691-1991

Room Types

  • Deluxe City View Room
  • Deluxe Harborview Room
  • Fairmont City View Room
  • Fairmont Gold City View Room
  • Fairmont Gold Harbour View Room
  • Fairmont View Room
  • Royal Suite
  • Signature King Room

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