It’s like a hotel – but better.
There were five contenders, but there can only be one winner. You’ve heard of the airport hotel – and all the (negative) connotations that go with it, but this is not the airport, and this is really not an airport hotel. But somehow, it is. The Fairmont Vancouver Airport offers the refinement of the very best five star hotels around the world, while maintaining a structure within the actual airport terminal of Vancouver International Airport. In our mind, it’s not an airport hotel as you know it, but the telescopes for runway viewing say otherwise. In our mind – this is the best airport hotel in the world.
Always the tired and weary traveler, we cleared customs and immigration in Canada at roughly 5:30 PM. By 5:35, we were in our room, with a welcome note. The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is located inside the main terminal, overhanging the check in desks. You can take an escalator directly from the check in area, up into the main mezzanine level lobby. But before we landed on the mezzanine lobby, we were checked in.
Harry, the phenomenal bellhop, greeter and ambassador had our name on a check list, a benefit of the pre registration email offered to all guests. Before we made it up the escalator, our room keys were in hand. For those with a shadow of doubt – this feeling is as mind blowing as you may believe.
Up to the 14th floor, thanks to a Fairmont 30% off sale, we arrived at Fairmont Gold Level. Our already lofty opinions were instantly exceeded. The Fairmont Gold team at this “airport” hotel is extraordinary on an international level. By (we assume) process of elimination, the staff asked if we were in room 1417, a room we highly recommend. Indeed, we were, and we were escorted to our room for a brief tour – and reminder that the hotels Club Lounge canapé hour was about to begin.
The room – not overly design focused (for now, more on that later) but flawless in amenity. A vast bathroom with separate shower, tub and restroom area provided excellent comfort, while the floor to ceiling windows, with motorized blinds provided the entertainment. The bed, of course – was more than adequate and featured power ports on either side. Wifi was lightning fast and space was more than adequate, leaving nothing but two thumbs up for the room experience.
But the Fairmont Gold lounge, available to any guest (for a fee) is absolutely worth the expense. Chef quality canapés were served at night in tandem with an honor bar, serving wines worth buying. The lounge staff made a point of introducing themselves, offering thoughtful insight and getting to know our travel needs and expectations. But before you go ahead and say “it’s a blogger thing”, we heard consistent talk throughout the lounge. In the morning, alcohol and canapés gave way to a refined breakfast. Any guests could easily find everything from a full “British fry up” to a healthy Muesli, granola, fruit and yoghurt offering – and by the way, the staff are happy to make a cappuccino for you.
This was all rounded out by a top quality gym and pool, which is even available to non guests, transiting the airport – for a fee. Our departure came along all too soon, but before we left – we visited the newly updated rooms being built. See, we told you there would be more on that later. The new rooms look in line with the new Emirates First Class Suite design trends, and we can’t wait to come back and check them out.
Shortly thereafter, we were presented with lounge passes for the airport as part of the Fairmont Gold package. To be honest, we could’ve used the Plaza Premium lounge anyway, thanks to Priority Pass – but for other travelers – this is worth at least $25 per person. Hey, free wine in there, right? However you calculate things, the Fairmont Vancouver is a fabulous deal, and a place we’ll gladly return – anytime. And yeah, we paid for this stay, and are happy we did.