Vancouver, British Columbia, is a place that perfectly mixes city living with easy access to the outdoors. The city is bursting with shops, restaurants, and hotels in its many vibrant neighbourhoods. Even its suburbs are well-connected to the city centre, offering endless possibilities for accommodation suitable for any traveler.
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To fully experience and appreciate the beauty of this amazing city, we decided to base ourselves right in the heart of the action, in Downtown Vancouver.
Our research for the best hotel in downtown Vancouver lead us to Fairmont Waterfront. This world-class luxury hotel ticked all the boxes for our stay: great location, stunning views and sustainability efforts to match.
About Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver
The Vancouver Fairmont Waterfront, located steps from Canada Place Vancouver Convention Centre, is set in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The hotel offers sweeping views over the city, paired with a coastal mountain backdrop that is nothing short of striking. Staying at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel made exploring Vancouver easy, with Stanley Park, Gastown, and the downtown core all at our fingertips.
Like many other Fairmont Hotels, the Fairmont Waterfront is a top-tier hotel with stylish rooms and fantastic amenities. From the heated rooftop pool to the on-site restaurant, the Fairmont Waterfront leaves no detail untouched. It’s not hard to see why it consistently ranks as one of Vancouver’s top hotels in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.
But for us, the real stand-out feature of the Vancouver Fairmont Waterfront Hotel is their commitment to sustainability. The property blends West Coast luxury with environmental aptitude perfect for the responsible traveler.
The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Vancouver has 489 hotel rooms ranging from standard rooms to suites. We stayed in a Signature Harbor View Corner Room which offered gorgeous 180-degree views of the waterfront. The floor-to-ceiling windows made waking up a treat with a fresh new view of Vancouver waterfront greeting us every morning.
The room featured a king-size bed, a flat-screen TV, a desk, an armchair, and was equipped with air conditioning. The ensuite has a spacious bathroom with a tub overlooking the waterfront. We spent quite a bit of time in our room just relaxing on the bed admiring the views of the ocean, mountains, and harbour. We got to see so much of the city without even having to leave our room!
Other Rooms in the Hotel
In addition to the Corner Room, the Fairmont Waterfront offers a variety of other rooms to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a City View Room or a Harbor View Room, the Fairmont Waterfront has it all.
The Deluxe Partial Harbor View or Signature Harbor View Room offer a nice mix of water, mountain, and city views. Each room features large windows, pillow-top beds, and a bathtub for relaxing.
You can also opt for a Terrace Room that’s steps to the pool with a private terrace opening up to the garden. The Stanley Park View Room overlooking the green park will make you question if you’re in the city at all.
The well-equipped suites are a great option for family rooms or long-term stays. The West Coast Suite offers a spacious bedroom and parlour living room with amazing floor-to-ceiling windows. For outdoor access, you can’t beat the Garden Suite. It is 1,100 square feet and has a private garden terrace with convenient access to the rooftop pool. And if you’re feeling fancy, consider the massive Stanley Park Suite, where Queen Elizabeth II stayed during her time in Vancouver.
The property also has an additional 52 guest rooms on the refurbished concierge level, Fairmont Gold. And although the Fairmont Gold floor was temporarily closed during our visit, we learned that it offers private lounge access featuring complimentary breakfast and canapés. The rooms are meant to be luxe and have lovely garden, city, or harbour views.
The Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver creates a high-end yet relaxed West Coast experience with its many on-site amenities. The property features a Health Club complete with a beautiful heated pool located on an outdoor rooftop patio. The pool is open year-round and has extraordinary views of the city. The Health Club also includes a jacuzzi and a well-equipped gym. For someone who travels as much as we do, an in-house gym at a hotel makes all the difference!
In terms of dining, Fairmont Waterfront has a fabulous restaurant and bar showcasing local seasonal cuisine. They also offer in-room dining with breakfast room service and curated picnic baskets that you can enjoy al fresco.
The on-site restaurant, ARC Restaurant, offers an excellent selection of handcrafted seasonal dishes. We ate breakfast at the restaurant and indulged in a mouth-watering eggs benny and omelet served in the dining room. We were happy to see that the staff provided warm and welcoming service and the chefs were easily able to cater to our unique dietary needs and quirky requests.
Though breakfast is not typically included in your stay at the Fairmont Waterfront, it’s not to be missed! Especially on the weekend with their bottomless weekend brunch for just $49/person. It is also worth noting that due to new health restrictions, the hotel is no longer offering a buffet breakfast. We think it’s for the best!
For dinner, ARC Restaurant serves up a stacked menu of chef-crafted fare. They offer a prix-fixe two or three-course dinner and many à la carte options. If you are going to dine in-house, be sure to pair your meal with a local British Columbia wine or expertly crafted cocktail. Ask for their selection of Burrowing Owl wines and you won’t be disappointed!
Activities Near Hotel Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia
The central harbour location offers endless activities to explore in Vancouver’s many bustling neighbourhoods. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has easy access to Stanley Park and the hip Gastown. It is also a stone’s throw away from many top-rated restaurants, bars and cafes downtown. You can spend the day walking the downtown streets before popping into the Vancouver Art Gallery or venturing over to Granville Island.
Beyond local attractions, the friendly staff can help with bookings for unique tours and excursions. In particular, the hotel gave us a great tip about Talaysay Tours. Their Talking Trees Tour is easily one of the most unique tours you can take in Vancouver. The 1.5-hour tour follows an Indigenous cultural guide through Stanley Park. Here, they will tell local stories and highlight the plants that have been used by Indigenous people for food and medicine for centuries.
In the summer, the rooftop garden on-site at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel is a lovely place to spend an afternoon basking in the sun. The south-facing terrace is a 2,100 square foot organic garden and one of Vancouver’s first green roofs. The roof’s thriving bee garden is best seen from the observation hive where guests can watch the bees in action. If you are visiting at the right time of the year, you can join the Bee Talk to learn about honey production and understand why bees are so important to the environment.
Sustainability of Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver
The sustainability efforts at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel are what separates it from other Vancouver hotels. The team at the Fairmont Waterfront is passionate about sustainability and adds many sustainable elements into every stay at the hotel.
The first thing we noticed upon arrival at the Fairmont Waterfront was their green roof. We soon learned that it’s actually a rooftop garden! Here, they grow produce and herbs and even produce their own honey. The garden serves as a honey bee apiary with over 250,000 bees producing 600 lbs of honey each year.
The rooftop garden has been designated as a Certified Wildlife Habitat for attracting bees and wild birds. Coined the “Bee & Bee,” the Pollinator Hotel is part of the Hives for Humanity and Pollinator Corridor Project. It was built with recycled materials from nearby communities and shops in an effort to celebrate local.
Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver is a 4 Green Key Meetings hotel certified by Green Key Global. It offers “Eco Meet” packages for corporate meetings with local, organic menus, reusable dinnerware, and low-waste meals. They also donate excess food to community programs to aid those experiencing food insecurity.
In the restaurant, all fish is proudly Ocean Wise certified, which promotes sustainable seafood harvesting. The Fairmont Waterfront also excels in boosting its community through cooking and gardening classes for children. They offer on-location demos in schools and an annual fundraiser event that raises money for a local inner-city school. Through their initiatives, they aim to educate on sustainability and food waste inside and outside of the hotel.
With the need for disposable everything during Covid, the Fairmont Waterfront does its best to maintain its high sustainability standards. They’re on the path to a Zero Waste certification and still continue to use reusable items wherever possible.
All in all, we had a wonderful stay at the Fairmont Hotel Waterfront and would recommend it to any responsible traveler. The views are unbeatable and its convenient location is a great launch point for exploring the city.
The hotel’s commendable sustainability efforts set it apart from others and offer more than just a place to lay your head. If you’re looking for an affordable and responsible luxury stay in downtown Vancouver, look no further than the Fairmont Waterfront.
Have you ever stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver?
Disclaimer: Our stay at Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver was complimentary, but as always, all opinions expressed in this article are our own.