We’ve just returned from a short getaway to Vancouver, British Columbia. We had an absolutely incredible time in Canada. It always feels good to be back home, and Josh just loves being north of the border. Even few days up there rejuvenates us! Plus, any chance we can get to eat some of the best poutine in Canada is time well spent, right?! Fortunately, we stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim which kept up close to some great restaurants and activities.
From the moment the doorman first welcomed us to the moment we checked out, we felt like royalty. Really, we’re still pinching ourselves because it was so amazing! There are several fantastic Fairmont hotels downtown, but this one is the newest (and best). We cannot think of a better way to have spent some quality time together!
When we walked into the lobby for the first time, we were immediately hit with an incredible scent. It turns out that it’s a signature blend created by one of the hotel’s own aromatherapists! It was so calming and soothing after a long day of travel — but it also gave us a little extra pep in our step. Overall, everyone we spoke to said it gave them a greater sense of wellness, and isn’t that what you want from your hotel?
With vaulted ceilings and wall-to-wall windows, the lobby was spacious. The Lobby Lounge and RawBar was situated along one side of the ground level, and people were always gathered as they sipped on cocktails and noshed on the freshest sushi while listening to live music. It was definitely lively and we loved the vibe.
As soon as we dropped off our belongings (and squealed with delight over our accommodations — more on that in a minute!), we headed out to explore Vancouver. The Fairmont Pacific Rim has a bike butler, and we made good use of this service. We borrowed a pair of BMW electric bicycles and took a trip around Stanley Park!
The e-Bike boost we got made the 11 kilometer trek around the seawall feel easy, so we focused on taking in the sights. We stopped to take pictures at the Totem Poles at Brockton Point, Lion’s Gate Bridge and Vancouver Olympic Cauldron!
Found in the city’s Financial District, we were just a short distance from many landmarks and attractions including Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, Chinatown, Rogers Arena and malls such as CF Pacific Centre. Avengers: Endgame was released while we were there and we even felt safe enough to take the short walk back from Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver at almost 3 am!
Best Hotel Room Ever!
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that staying in hotels is hard for me. I’m grossed out by many things, especially carpet. Our stay in the Signature Harbour Mountain View Room was the best I’ve ever had in my entire life. Everything felt fresh, clean and well-maintained, making it easy for me to calm my anxiety. We still performed our cleaning rituals, but we didn’t feel compelled to get every nook and cranny like we normally do.
The king bed was very comfortable, the linens were crisp but also wonderfully soft (is that even possible?) and there was plenty of space for storage and to stretch out. Of course, the mind-blowingly stunning view of the harbour didn’t hurt either. We ordered our breakfast for two mornings in a row and the in-room dining set it up right by the window. It was so breathtaking. What a way to start your day!
No review of a hotel room is complete without talking about the bathroom, of course. Again, this was the best experience we’ve ever had in a hotel! I loved that the toilet was in a little room separated by a frosted glass door, Josh loved that there was a television embedded in our mirror and we both loved the spa shower and soaker tub.
Was it big enough for two people? We’re not even going to blush or lie about this one — yes, we thoroughly enjoyed soaking our tired muscles in that bath together with some cocktails after an active morning climbing some snowy mountains! Hydration is important, people!
The Food Was Incredible!
There are many delicious food options at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, so if you find yourself feeling hungry, you won’t be for long! The Lobby Lounge and RawBar is great for people who love fresh sushi, but with my fish and seafood allergy we steered clear.
The giované café + eatery + market is more of a casual place to grab coffee, pastries, paninis and more. They were really nice to Josh when we went in there for two cups of ice (for our bathtub cocktails!). No questions asked, they gave them to him!
We did have the opportunity to sample drinks and tastings at the Garden on the hotel’s second floor. Just a short, beautiful flight of stairs up from the lobby, it was part of Botanist restaurant where we ate during the first night of our stay. With ingenious creations from executive chef Hector Laguna, our taste buds were singing. Everything is incredibly fresh and well-balanced. It was our favorite meal of our entire trip!
Fitness Centre and Pool
We didn’t get to try it out, but the hotel does have a 24-hour fitness center. We couldn’t resist poking our heads in for a quick peek and we weren’t surprised — it was lovely! The colors were bright and vibrant, the equipment looked new and there were plenty of people working out! They also had a spot for grabbing flavored water as well as a basket filled with fruit. So thoughtful!
The pool at the Fairmont Pacific Rim was equally impressive! Vancouver is still pretty chilly in April, so we didn’t take a dip (plus, we forgot our bathing suits!), but we can say it was absolutely stunning and heated year round for any chilly-weather swimming you may want to do.
The harbour views were enough to elevate the experience, but the decor and design also added to the experience. Featuring a bar and private cabanas available during the warmer months, it looked so natural, yet posh and elegant. They struck the perfect balance with the pool area!
Willow Stream Spa
We can confidently say that you’ll fall in love with The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim because our experience was phenomenal! The 8,500 square-foot facility occupies most of the fifth floor and includes private lounge areas for male and female guests, as well as a coed area.
It was a little chilly while we were visiting, so we didn’t stay out on the terrace very long, but we were impressed by it as well as the rooftop jacuzzi. We did try out the infrared sauna, which was large enough for us and a couple visiting from Calgary.
While Josh went for a run along the seawall, I was fortunate enough to enjoy a Willow Stream Signature Massage. The wonderful Jenny was incredibly attentive and patient, even though I was running a few minutes late! She showed me the products we would be using during my session, and explained the connection to local sources. It was amazing. The hotel’s commitment to the environment really made my heart sing!
The room was very comfortable, the music was calming and Jenny helped my body shed some of the fatigue from several days of biking and hiking. It was the perfect way to end my stay at the hotel. We felt so valued as guests, and at the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for, right?
Fairmont Pacific Rim with Travel Anxiety
As regular readers will know, we look at experiences through the lens of travel anxiety. In fact, staying in hotels can be pretty difficult for both of us. Josh can be frustrated by an onerous check-in process and I struggle with a run-down property. Fortunately, neither of us had anything to worry about because it was an incredible experience.
While I always follow the routine I’ve established (read The Ultimate Germaphobe’s Guide to Hotel Stays), it barely felt like I needed it at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Trust me when I say that this NEVER happens! I’m always stressed about feeling clean, but our room at the Fairmont felt so fresh. It really lessened my anxiety.
When Can We Go Back???
We’ve taken a lot of trips together, but nothing has compared to our stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. From the staff to the accommodations and amenities, everything was top-notch. We can’t think of any way they could improve, which is a new experience for us. Fairmont Pacific Rim, you’ve left us speechless in the best way possible!
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