The room -- in pleasing earthy colors and medium walnut wood -- was plenty spacious with loads of flat surfaces to lay out your belongings; a desk with iPad2, used to request room service, a spa appointment or a wake-up call; a king-size Stearns & Foster bed; and two swanky chairs that had a modernist, retro feel.
The bathroom, too, was large and done in black marble offset with white walls. The sink and counter filled the length of one entire wall and the business-side of the bathroom was separated from the deep bathtub and walk-in shower by a sliding glass door.
Amenity Madness: As in all Fairmonts, the toiletries were the luscious Le Labo Rose 31. The minibar had the regular goods you’d expect, but we also found some local treats and we're happy to report that there was a Nespresso machine. The hotel also showed some quirk with their cool by leaving a slinky and other toys to play with in the room (and can be purchased through the minibar or in Giovane Cafe).
Internet Connect: The iPad2 in the room was awesome since we had made the decision to leave our laptop at home for this Vancouver jaunt. All members of Fairmont’s complimentary loyalty program (President’s Club) get free WiFi so we were good to go with checking emails and searching the web.
Spa Time: We booked the very Canadian Coastal Mountain Body Wrap -- a slathering of warm maple butter followed by a maple lotion massage at the Willow Stream Spa. We reached that blissed-out Zen state faster with this treatment than perhaps any other we've tried. And after you've nearly fallen asleep and are gently awakened by your esthetician and then finally feel that you better leave or people are going to start to talk? You can just sashay out onto the spa’s sundeck and bask in the sun or by a fireplace if the sun refuses to show its face. Order a spa lunch; watch a flick while sitting in a burbling whirlpool; bake in the infrared sauna, or give in to the spa's experiential shower with its whirl of warm and cool jets all moving at once. Your mind can’t predict what’s coming next, so the only thing to do is relax and let it do its thing. We came back a couple of times during our short stay to use this hydrotherapy shower. Only in the name of research, you understand.
The Fairmont Pacific Rim also has a fabulous rooftop pool with palm trees, white lounge chairs, fireplaces and private cabanas. We didn’t have a chance to hang out here, to our eternal regret. Don’t make the same mistake we did; tack on a day for lounging!
Dining In: We ate dinner at the hopping Giovane Cafe + Winebar: a popular coffee spot by day and a wine bar and restaurant at night. Its thing is Italian and we had a mix of all sorts of goodies, including the hotel’s house made charcuterie, all matched perfectly with wines chosen by the sommelier for each course.
Hard to believe, but Giovane isn’t the hotel’s main restaurant. That honor is reserved for ORU and, although we didn’t get a chance to eat here, we can tell you that breakfast looked amazing when we passed by it on our last morning. Another nifty thing is that the open kitchen has cameras in it so that guests can see the chefs at work on TVs in the restaurant.
If you any space left at all in your tummy go to the hip Lobby Lounge, which has live music six nights a week and was packed with people whenever we walked by. The lounge is so popular, in fact, that they’re expanding it as we speak. It gives off an unintimidating but cool vibe that whispers for you to come in. As we told you yesterday, we loved the award-winning Absolut Beta Martini, but there are many creative cocktails for you to try. If you could still manage a few bites, the lounge also has the Raw Bar for nibbles.
Wherever you eat at the Fairmont Pacific Rim the food will be as fresh as can be -– from the homemade pickles and pastry to working with local farmers who grow heritage veggies just for the hotel.
Location, Location, Location: The Fairmont Pacific Rim is located right by the water which means a glorious view over the Pacific Ocean and Stanley Park to the mountains beyond. In the Downtown District, it's across from the convention center and is close to the Vancouver Art Gallery and Gastown. The hotel has a BMW car service and BMW bikes if walking isn’t your first choice of transport.
What We Liked:
1) The service – Impeccable without a hint of snootiness
2) The design – Glam but inviting -- even the propensity of white to be cool was offset by wood and greenery
3) The Fairmont Gold Floor – We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, if you can splurge a bit more for the Gold Floor, do it. The Gold Lounge is a quiet retreat with breakfast, bevvies and hors d’oeuvres and, in the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s case, it has an outdoor terrace facing the ocean
4) The vibe – In the middle of a city and yet it felt like it was a resort; in other words, it’s the kind of place that we could go to again and never leave the property!
What We Didn't Like: Although we had been given a training session on the hi-tech light switches (which also controlled the drapery), we had a heck of a time operating those suckers. We found ourselves opening sheers when we meant to close drapes and turning all the lights off when we meant to set them to Evening. Maybe after another tutorial...
Bottom Line: Beautiful hotel in a good location. We’d head here again in a heartbeat. If you book the Fairmont Savers Rate in July the room rates starts at $343 CAD ($332). Fairmont Gold rooms start at $579 CAD in July but with the Fairmont Savers Rate that drops to $487.
[Photos: Janice Tober for HotelChatter]
Disclosure: Janice stayed at the Fairmont as a guest of the hotel and Tourism Vancouver but all opinions expressed are her own.