Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Review – Vancouver’s Castle In The City

Known as the “Castle in the city” the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is an iconic landmark in Vancouver that reigns over the city centre. Located in the heart of Downtown, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a bucket list hotel you must treat yourself to. If you are searching for the next best Vancouver luxury hotel to celebrate your birthday, anniversary or special occasion, look no further than the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, an ideal retreat to create unforgettable memories.

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver offers guests the royal treatment, and a guestbook to match! The hotel was opened in 1939 by King George V and Queen Elizabeth, and in later years Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip also spent time here during their visit to Vancouver. It’s safe to say, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a hotel fit for a queen. 

I recently had the pleasure of staying at the hotel for a weekend away in Vancouver. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is the second Fairmont property I have stayed at, after experiencing the wonderful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The service at the Hotel Vancouver was just as high and exceeded my expectations, I am now a huge fan of the Fairmont brand of hotels. 

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Where Is The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver?

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was without a doubt the first building I truly noticed when I first arrived in Vancouver on my IEC visa, and it’s been on my bucket-list ever since. 

If you’ve ever been to Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed the huge castle-like building right in the middle of the city. Situated at 900 West Georgia Street, the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel is the prime location when booking a trip to Vancouver. 

Located in the heart of downtown, you’ll have a whole host of bars, restaurants and stores to keep you occupied. You’ll be in close proximity to the Vancouver Art Museum, Coal Harbour and Canada Place. Most of Vancouver’s top attractions are within walking distance of the hotel. 

Exterior of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
The “castle in the city”
Main entrance to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
The magnificent facade of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
The Fairmont Vancouver Hotel is an icon of Vancouver.

History of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

One of the famed “Canadian Railway Hotels” this historic hotel has been a part of Vancouver’s history since 1888, when the “first version” of the Hotel opened its doors for business.

It has been through several changes throughout its lifetime, with the current hotel being the “third” version which opened in 1939.

When the original structure of the first hotel was built, its location was criticized for being “too far from the city centre” which at the time was Gas Town. This first version of the Hotel Vancouver eventually closed in 1916. 

The second version of the Hotel Vancouver opened in 1916 and closed in 1949. It was designed in the grand Italianate revival style. The hotel is now owned by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, part of the larger AccorHotels hospitality group.

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver underwent an extensive $75million renovation project which was completed in 2019, bringing the hotels timeless elegance into the modern world. 


Is The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Haunted?

It is said that there are ghosts that have taken residence at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The most prominent is the “Lady in Red” the ghost of Jennifer Cox, a Vancouver socialite who attended many of the hotels events and dances. 

Many hotel guests have claimed to see Jennie wandering the lobby and stairways, sometimes even turning lights on for guests. She has mostly been seen on the 14th floor of the hotel. Jennie’s ghost has become a sort of celebrity/family of the hotel. 

I have always been fascinated by ghost stories, and I was prepared to potentially see a ghost in the hotel. Unfortunately I didn’t see any ghosts during my stay, or here or see anything strange. In fact I think this occurrence is very rare and should not deter you from staying here.  


Lobby & Check-in

From the moment we checked into the hotel we experienced the amazing service that the Fairmont is famous for and did not disappoint. Since my stay was during a quieter time of year for tourism I had a good feeling we would be able to get an earlier check-in time.

Check-in time at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is 3pm And early check-in is not guaranteed. If there is a room available, they will try to accommodate you. Check-out is 12:00pm, which is later than most other hotels.

Upon check-in I was given the keys to the room, along with a celebration card and two drink vouchers to use at the Notch8 bar in the hotel. We arrived around 11:30am and dropped our bags, at 12:15pm I received a text message to notify me that my room was ready. 

The lobby of the hotel isn’t as grand as some of the other Fairmont properties, but I found it very cozy and luxurious. I think part of the reason for the smaller lobby area is the fact that luxury branded stores such as Gucci and Dior take up residence in the hotels lobby area. Looking at old photos of this hotel, it looks like the area these stores now occupy once served as a larger lobby and check-in area. 

Lobby at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
The lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Cocktails at Notch8 bar Vancouver.
Cocktails at Notch8 Bar.
Christmas tree in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
The lobby decked out for Christmas.
Menu at the Notch8 bar

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Rooms

The elegant and luxurious rooms are designed in a neutral fashion with the Fairmont brand colours. Even so, they are bright and airy.

My room was a double queen and featured a desk area, closet with iconic Fairmont robes, and entertainment centre. My room was a double queen and featured a desk area, closet with iconic Fairmont robes, and entertainment centre. By the window is a couch and footrest perfect for enjoying a cocktail on while watching the world go by.  

As far as the size of the rooms go, they are really quite spacious considering the age of this hotel. I often find in older hotels, the rooms are so small but I was pleasantly surprised by how big our room was. 

The Fairmont beds never disappoint. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to spend a night in a Fairmont bed. The sheets are like nothing I’ve slept in before (other than another Fairmont!) You can even buy these iconic linens from their online store. 

Double Queen room at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Double Queen room in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Fairmont queen room.
Fairmont Queen Room.
The iconic Fairmont robes.
Iconic Fairmont bath robes.
Desk in the queen rooms at Hotel Vancouver.
Chair and foot stool in the rooms at Hotel Vancouver.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has some of the most comfortable beds.
The most comfortable beds ever!
The beds at the Fairmont are so comfortable.
The Fairmont beds never disappoint.

Bathroom

The bathrooms at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver are bright, airy and spotlessly clean. Although the bathroom was on the smaller size, it’s elegance more than makes up for it. Ours featured a glassed-in rain fall shower and a huge lighted mirror. The bathrooms are equipped with Le Lebo’s Rose 31 scented products, including soaps, lotions, shampoo and conditioner. 

When I stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise the shampoos were all supplied in mini travel size bottles. Once thing I really liked at the Hotel Vancouver is that they are now supplied in re-usable full size bottles. This helps reduce single-use plastics and supports the Fairmont’s Green Partnership Program. 

The shower at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Bathroom at the Fairmont Vancouver.
Le Labo Rose 31 shampoo and lotion.
Le Labo Rose 31 soap.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver key card
Le Labo Rose 31 lotion.

Room Amenities

The room itself is equipped with everything you could need for a relaxing stay. Guests have access to a Nespresso machine, kettle, ice bucket, wine glasses and tumblers. There is a selection of coffee pods and tea, as well as sugars and creamers. In the closet are complimentary robes and an umbrella. 

The hotel provides a refreshment centre where you can purchase optional snacks or a bottle of wine. There is also a paid-for mini bar with an empty shelf for guests to use.

Optional room extras, wine and snacks.
Nespresso pods at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Dining Options at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

The dining options at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver are also fantastic. The hotels only dining room, Notch8 offers an array of imaginative dishes and an extensive wine list. Offering breakfast lunch and dinner, this utterly charming restaurant also hosts its signature afternoon tea. 

The Notch8 bar is actually where I celebrated becoming a permanent resident of Canada in 2019 (It was around 9:30am and they were still serving breakfast but they opened the bar early to help me celebrate.) Although the hotel only offers one dining room, there is a plethora of dining options right on the doorstep. 

The in-room dining at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a great choice if you are coming back late in the day or need a pick me up on check-out. I thought the service was wonderful and incredibly easy to to order. This has to be one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a long time, I am still talking about the breakfast sausage weeks later. 

The prices for in-room dining are not on the cheap side, but as with everything at the Fairmont, it is worth it and certainly doesn’t disappoint. I ordered the Notch8 breakfast which is two eggs, bacon or sausage, breakfast potatoes, toast and tea or coffee. We were also supplied with coffee creamer, ketchup, sugars & sweeteners, salt & pepper, and a selection of jams and preserves. 

Coffee with breakfast at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
A morning coffee.
In-room dining breakfast at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
in-room dining breakfast.
In-room dining at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
In-room dining at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Jams and preserves with breakfast room service.
Coffee morning at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Morning coffee at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Room Views

I received an upgrade at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and my view was of the Vancouver Art Museum, Hotel Georgia and the Pacific Center. I really enjoyed this view of the city, it was nice to wake up and see an almost empty Downtown Vancouver from the window as the sun came up. Throughout the day I’d also peek out to watch the hustle and bustle of the city. 

I can’t imagine any of the rooms at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver to have a bad view as the hotel is situated in a way that every side gets to see something different and exciting. However I imagine the rooms of the higher floors naturally offer the best views. 

Views from the hotel.
View from my room at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Views of the Vancouver Art Museum from the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Views of the Vancouver Art Museum from the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Hotel Facilities

There are many facilities you’ll have access to during your stay at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, including the pool and hot tub, shops, fitness centre and spa.

The pool area is very basic, and not nearly as impressive as the rest of the hotel. However it does serve it’s purpose and the pool area is very clean and offers guests towels as they enter the area. The hot tub was sadly under maintenance during my stay so I didn’t spend much time in this part of the hotel. 

I did venture into the fitness centre and it is well equipped with all the gym equipment you could need. The fitness centre includes treadmills elliptical, weights, yoga mats and more. There is also complimentary towels, lockers, showers and a sauna.  


Overall Thoughts

My stay at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was short and sweet and really exceeded my expectations. The Fairmont’s dedication to high quality and service really shines through in this property. The rooms were so comfy I didn’t want to check out. I felt so relaxed and recharged after my stay.

If you are searching for the best places to stay in Vancouver, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is one of the top hotels and I highly recommend booking a stay here.


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Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Review
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A stay at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

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