The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel is one of Vancouver’s greatest hotels. We checked in for two nights staying in their top floor Harbor View Suite.
An Alaskan Adventure
In June/July 2018 we embarked on an Alaskan Crystal Cruise adventure taking us from Vancouver to [almost] Anchorage, and back again. We planned to arrive in Vancouver a few days before the cruise to check out the city and decompress before boarding the Crystal Symphony.
We booked to stay at the Fairmont Hotel Waterfront, Vancouver quite late in the day. I think we booked less than three weeks before the cruise departed which was almost a disaster. We wanted to book somewhere close to the cruise terminal at Canada Place so it was easy to board the ship. We hadn’t realized that Vancouver is a very popular cruise ship destination. I think there were at least three cruise ships in port on our chosen weekend. So that would have been up to 3,000 people going through the port, many of whom would be looking to stay before or just after their cruise.
It meant there wasn’t much availability for luxury hotels in the vicinity. We checked the Fairmont Pacific Rim (literally, next door), The Westin and a couple of others but they all had little or no availability. So we picked a suite at the top of the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel with a harbor view.
The Harbor View Suite at the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver
Arriving late on a Friday, after a 9-hour flight from London, we sped straight up to the suite to freshen up and stretch out. After a smooth check-in, we were shown up to our suite and… wow!! This place was huge!
Entering the living space we walked down a short corridor into a large living space with a floor to ceiling window. Even with the double (sofa) bed extended and made up, there was still plenty of space to move around, sit at the desk or the comfortable chairs by the window. It was a treat to find the second bed ready to go. Even at that late hour, the amount of times we have arrived to find the sofa not ready for sleeping is incredulous. This time there was no need to chase housekeeping or wait for ages to get it sorted – a beautiful bed was ready and waiting.
Two separate bathrooms meant we all had our own space to freshen up.
Our bedroom was again, vast – 770 square foot to be exact. The king sized bed was super spacious and there was plenty of space to sit by the window or up at the counter. A multi-use connector (I don’t know what they are called) meant we could plug straight into USB sockets to recharge or HDMI if we wanted to stream on the TV.
As we had arrived late from London and chose room service for dinner which was pretty good. A club sandwich and a beer for me, Mac and Cheese for the girls.
What About The Vancouver Views?
Unlike the views out across say, the Hudson River in NYC, there wasn’t much river traffic at night but we still had a captivating view with dinner. I was mildly obsessed with that petrol station in the middle of the bay – not something we see in England! I tried taking multiple pictures but they just didn’t come out well.
Opening the curtains in the morning we were presented with this amazing view!
We had this view for two days and spent plenty of time just watching the activity from the comfort of our massive bed. During the daytime, the bay is full of boats, planes, and people.
Finding Our Feet In Vancouver
Our first, jet-lagged morning saw us all bouncing off the walls at 4:30 am. We watched the harbor wake up as we Googled some breakfast options. We could see a Tim Horton’s below us which thankfully opened at 5am. It turned out we were above a whole food court including a Starbucks so there would have been plenty more eating options if we had woken (even) earlier. We could, of course, have dined with the room service option once more at the Waterfront but we were eager to get out and about.
After lunch, the sun came out so I grabbed a quick swim on the roof deck and a look at the branded beehives.
Day Two & The Waterfront View
An early rise on our second morning had its benefits. We could lie in bed and watched our Cruise Ship sail into the harbor and dock right below the hotel.
We love a sea view and this did not disappoint. Not only did we watch our own cruise ship come into dock but we I also took this motion capture video as a vignette of a busy harbor at midsummer.
Fairmont Waterfront Location
The Fairmont Waterfront position was so perfect. Not only next to the Cruise Terminal but also close to great restaurants like Miku, underground access to the Waterfront Station for SeaBus to the North Shore, or the Skytrain.
We hadn’t realized that the Waterfront had a service to take our cases from the roof straight onto the ship. If you saw how much we’d packed you’d know how much a lifesaver that was! We could pick up the path from right outside the hotel all the way along the seawall into Stanley Park to see the Totem Poles and other points of interest.
Service was excellent and the rooms were super comfy. The porter service took our luggage from the room and straight onto the cruise ship (Crystal Symphony) which as an unexpected bonus.
This isn’t the cheapest hotel in Vancouver, but it is quite probably the best!