Last Updated on July 11, 2020 by Tom Shu
We spent our holidays for the first time in Vancouver last month and had the most fantastic time exploring the city and all its festivities. Vancouver reminds me a lot of Seattle with its PNW moody vibes, but really goes all out with fun holiday activities even with the rain and clouds. And when it comes to celebrating the holidays with festive cheer, the Fairmont hotels do not disappoint.
In fact, I think one of the best ways to make the most of your holidays in Vancouver is by staying at one of my favorite hotels right in the heart of the city – the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Vancouver.
In this article, I’ll be reviewing our experience staying at the newest Fairmont hotel addition to Vancouver, which made the perfect base for all our holiday activities in Vancity.
*Disclaimer: My stay was sponsored by Fairmont Pacific Rim. However as always, all opinions are 100% my own. A huge thank you to the Fairmont Pacific Rim for their amazing hospitality!
First things first, this girl’s gotta eat! And eat I did. Never underestimate the importance of finding a hotel that also houses top notch restaurants in the area, and the Fairmont Pacific Rim is hard to beat in this category.
Featuring three award-winning dining destinations, the Fairmont Pacific Rim has no shortage of delicious food options and culinary experiences to delight the taste buds during your stay here.
Inspired by the principles of botany, this restaurant/bar/garden/lounge truly blew us away and left us speechless with its beautifully crafted drinks, elegant-chic interiors, and ode to sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.
We started the evening off at their bar’s private booth to experience their cocktail lab, which as the name suggests, offers chemist-like experimental cocktails that were some of the most innovative and unique drinks I’ve ever had.
The presentation was truly stunning, and I loved that each one of the cocktails in this category embodied a different element: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.
The first one we tried called Deep Cove (my personal favorite), is inspired by the element water, and embodied those fluid qualities perfectly.
A very refreshing and crisp punch-style drink, Deep Cove features island gin, sea buckthorn liqueur, and blue algae syrup with lime juice and a touch of saline.
It was incredible to learn that each glass used for this libation was molded specifically to its own piece of driftwood, making each glassware truly one of a kind. And the finishing touch – garnished cucumber ribbons made to resemble ocean waves.
Our second drink, known as Smoke on the Water, embodied the element of fire and was the perfect complement to Deep Cove.
This fiery concoction incorporated the use of fire in some way throughout all its ingredients or methods, which included a split base of coconut fat-washed rum and mezcal, charred lemon cordial, and birch sap water.
It was presented in a glass box where we could see and smell the aromas escaping in wisps of smoke, and subtly reminded me of a bonfire by the sea. The taste was a beautiful meld of smoky, warm and tangy flavors.
Feeling a little buzzed at this point, we happily made our way over to the main dining area of Botanist for our 6-course dinner. Like the cocktail bar experience, the service and presentation here was also top-notch.
Our dinner started with an amuse-bouche of Hokkaido Uni, Northern Divine Caviar on house made Rye toast with Uni Cream and cured egg yolk, and ended with a heavenly Milk Chocolate Mousse and Red Velvet Cake topped with candied orange peel, fresh pomegranate seeds, and frozen sour cream.
Throughout each dish, the modern and complex mix of flavors made my taste buds sing, but I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.
Tip: If you end up going for the tasting menu, you’ll have the option of knowing what’s coming, but I’d recommend going in it blind to be surprised and delighted by each successive course! Our waitress was also nice enough to write down every dish we had at the end too, so we wouldn’t forget later on.
Giovane Cafe + Eatery + Market
On our last day at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, we were able to check out this warm and inviting little nook for a quick bite. (mainly because I had heard about their famous matcha sugar buns, and I HAD TO HAVE ONE.) So glad we decided to grab lunch here as well!
Known as the best casual dining in Downtown Vancouver, Giovane is inspired by authentically local and Italian flavors. The carbonara and panini we tried were both phenomenal. The matcha sugar bun really took the cake though, with a generous filling of real matcha cream softly enclosed by a pillowy, fluffy bun.
You can also stop by and get the perfect gifts at their market, which focuses on artisanal products sourced from the best of BC and Italy’s finest.
The Lobby Lounge + RawBar
Although we didn’t have time to try out any drinks or food at The Lobby Lounge and RawBar, there’s live music here every day of the week for you to start or end your night with, and I’ve heard only wonderful things about their sushi.
RawBar has been named the city’s first 100 percent Ocean Wise sushi destination by the Vancouver Aquarium. That means you can rest assured knowing that any food ordered here has been sustainably sourced and Ocean Wise-recommended. All the seafood at RawBar is found locally and around the Pacific Rim.
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful or luxurious stay here at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. It’s been rated World’s Best Business Hotel by Conde Nast Traveler readers and awarded Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star and CAA/AAA Five Diamond Ratings.
I can tell you right now that Fairmont Pacific Rim definitely lives up to all the accolades its received. I only wished we had longer than two days to experience everything they had to offer!
The Fairmont Pacific Rim is the newest of the four Fairmont hotels in Vancouver, and you can definitely feel a modern, chic vibe as soon as you pull up to the front. I loved the unique art, architecture, music and fashion found throughout all parts of the hotel, which really makes up its DNA and helps define its personality.
They even offer a self-guided podcast where you can explore the public art and architectural detail of the property, and learn more about its growing international art collection.
From the moment we walked into the lobby to the turn-down service in the evening, the hospitality we received here was truly impeccable.
Our luggage had already been brought up and carefully placed in the walk-in closet in our room, and we were greeted with a handwritten note, bottle of sparkling wine, fresh fruits and even a complimentary Herschel bag when we came back up after dinner.
When it was time for bed, we found there were bookmarks placed neatly on our bedside tables just in case we wanted to indulge in a little reading before hitting the lights.
Each of the guestrooms and suites at the Fairmont Pacific Rim is designed to exceed the highest standards of luxury.
Featuring fine linens, oversized bath towels, plush robes, and equipped with Nespresso machines, LCD TV’s with surround-sound, and 24-hour in-room dining, the Fairmont Pacific Rim provides everything you could possibly need to relax.
What’s more, they are the first hotel in Canada to provide iPad2 devices with Interactive Customer Experience technology, allowing you to control room temperature and lighting, order in-room dining, and much more with just a touch of a button. (I probably had way too much fun turning the lights on/off and adjusting the drapes with this feature!)
We were upgraded to The Fairmont Gold Owner’s Suite collection, which is the newest addition to the Fairmont Pacific Rim suite portfolio, and everything about this space was absolutely stunning.
Inspired by the vibrant city of Vancouver and all it has to offer, each suite incorporates elements of fashion, art and music in its decor and amenities. The master bedroom had a giant king-size canopy bed, large walk-in closet, and we were even blessed with not one, but TWO huge spa-like marble bathrooms and oversized soaking tub.
The icing on the cake was seeing my name printed on all the Le Labo, New York bath amenities, which added such a personal touch to what would otherwise have been normal hotel toiletries.
One of my favorite parts of this luxury suite though was having our own custom curated vinyl collection and record player. Coming back after a long day of exploring and jamming to The Beatles really made this place feel like home.
It was the attention to these small details that really enriched our experience here and will make our stay memorable for years to come.
If you decide to stay in one of the Owner’s Suites, you will also enjoy Fairmont Gold services and benefits, including personalized check-in, exclusive concierge, access to their signature lounge featuring daily breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres with breathtaking views on their outdoor terrace, as well as complimentary Willow Stream Spa access.
Staying here is truly the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of life’s responsibilities, even if only for a couple of nights.
Location + Views
At the Fairmont Pacific Rim, you really get the best of both worlds: centrally located in the heart of downtown while also being just a hop skip away from the rugged beauty of BC’s snow capped mountains and scenic waterfront.
For one day, we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge which was only 15 minutes from the hotel on the free shuttle by Canada Place – talk about convenient location!
There’s also complimentary BMW electric bicycles (with bike butlers on hand to provide a quick tutorial or bottle of water), just in case you want to explore nearby Stanley Park or venture further into the city.
Whether you’re enjoying watching the seaplanes taking off and cruise ships docking from the comforts of your room, or taking a stroll along Coal Harbor by the water’s edge, Vancouver is truly at your fingertips from the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
All the Extras
When you stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, you’re not only booking a comfortable room and bed, but you’re booking an experience. From a state-of-the-art fitness center to a rooftop pool, hot tub and private cabanas, the Pacific Rim Life has got you covered. Here’s just a few examples of additional amenities they provide:
- Complimentary downtown luxury BMW hotel car service with the most recent models of cutting-edge BMW vehicles
- BMW Bike Service – BMW bicycle, helmet, water bottle, bike lock, and riding map (first come, first served basis. Rental fees may apply to new electric eBikes starting at $35/hr).
- Sea to Sky Exotic & Luxury Car Rental
- Bell staff available 24 hours a day
- Fairmont Fit – stay active and balanced during your travels with Reebok fitness apparel and equipment delivered to your guest room
- Twice daily housekeeping including turn-down service
- High-speed wireless internet access throughout the hotel
- Pet friendly – A welcome package featuring special pet amenities including a pet bedding, treats, and a walking map upon arrival (service animals exempt of charges)
On the 5th floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim is The Willow Stream Spa, which is 8,500 square ft of pure bliss, offering nine treatment areas, including a deep Japanese Zen tub, Nail Spa, and three lounges.
As you take in the harbor vistas, majestic mountains, and city views from the spa deck, you’ll realize that there is no better way to unwind after a day out than being pampered in such a peaceful and tranquil environment.
The Fairmont Pacific Rim made me feel like royalty, and it was undoubtedly one of my favorite hotels I’ve stayed at. From their warm hospitality, second to none service, and personal amenities, I can’t recommend it enough. Our trip to Vancouver was made even more special because of our experience at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and we can’t wait for the chance to stay here again!
Follow this link to book your stay now!