On a recent layover at Canada’s busy YVR (that’s airport code lingo for the Vancouver International Airport), this travel scribe thought the stars would not be able to line up in securing an easy overnight room booking.
But inside YVR I found my ultimate ZZZs. The best part, I didn’t even have to leave the airport.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport which has undergone a $1.8 million renovation of its Gold Floor, is ideally situated inside the airport. Literally a hop, skip and jump to the US departures level, US-bound travelers get prechecked and cleared before take-off to the United States here.
You know those familiar luggage carts you often see piled high with bags? These four wheelers are common sights as you take the elevator one level up to the luxury hotel’s concierge entrance. And not to cramp the style of this fine property, thankfully the carts stay at the entrance away out of sight so other hotel guests don’t even have to think about airplanes and airports until you peek outside your hotel room window for a fabulous birds eye view of astonishing airplanes.
Welcome to your front seat to award-winning hotel airports.
Consistently rated as “Best Airport Hotel in North America” at the World Airport Awards for seven of the past eight years, and voted #1 Airport Hotel in North America for the sixth year in a row by Skytrax, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is the rock star in the air travelers world.
It’s the only hotel located inside the Vancouver International Airport. Hotel guests enjoy award-winning dining with a bent on local coastal cuisine. Plus the “not your usual airport hotel” offers a day use room, a fitness center, swimming pool, and spa with jet lag recovery treatments.
We slept in cool confines in a sealed soundproof room with crisp Egyptian cotton sheets overlooking some of the biggest aircraft in the world that completely rocked our world.
Now why should you go?
Fairmont Vancouver Airport Highlights
This is not your usual airport hotel. Guests can check in and print their boarding pass directly in the hotel’s lobby. Inquire about the Wellness room packages to tackle travel fatigue. Find remedies like a diffuser, essential oils, herbal teas and a bath menu.
Early morning departing guests have a complimentary coffee station and newspapers at the ready ensuring hotel guests in need of a caffeine fix get the kickstart needed for the big travel day.
Love the hotel’s Soap for Hope, a Planet21 hotel program that ensures every opened and unfinished soap bar and bottle is sanitized and repurposed. Pretty good for a hotel where the average guest stay is one night.
The 386-room hotel is undergoing a major room overhaul. The second phase of room renovations will be completed in fall. Each room is designed by a local firm, CHIL, known for sleek modern designs with cool coastal tones. All rooms have AC and personal heat control, fluffy bathrobes, a coffee/tea maker, cable TV, a doorbell to alert room service arrivals, and the incredible surprise of floor to ceiling, super triple paned sound proofed windows that face the runway and North Shore Mountains.
Choose from four room categories, and two suites categories. The newly renovated Fairmont Gold on the 14th floor is for the “hotel within a hotel” experience, giving these Gold guests free access to the FasTrack lane at YVR.
Avoid the flight check-in line ups at the airport and use the exclusive flight check-in kiosk in the lobby.
Luxury Gold guests have 24 hour lounge access year round. Here the food and beverage scene is refreshed daily from continental breakfasts and hot breakfasts to the nightly deserts and midnight snacks.
Can’t stay the entire night? Don’t worry. Reserve day use rooms in 4, 6 and 8 hours increments. During this layover period guests have access to the Health Club. If you forgot your fitness gear use the special Fairmont Fit wear.
For South Terminal bound guests, these are the folks with departures to the Gulf Islands or fishing lodges enjoy a free BMW shuttle.
Head to the state-of-the-art Health Club and plunge into the pool in an aqua fit experience that has current and whirlpool settings you can adjust yourself.
Enjoy live nightly music at the Jetside Lounge.
See an airport art gallery of acclaimed works by such artists as Bill Reid and take a selfie by his “The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe.” Visit the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Exhibits, of which there are two satellite locations at the airport. Drop by the main aquarium and the smaller jellyfish aquarium.
The hotel has partnered with local farmers to provide guests with the finest, freshest local ingredients. To enjoy these local flavors head to one of the two hotel dining spots. The Globe@YVR restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner has Pacific salmon, diver scallops and fresh shucked oysters on menu while the casual Jetside Bar which likes to honor Food Day Canada in August is known for its runway views and North Shore Mountains. The other highlight is Afternoon Tea, a Fairmont tradition that deserves a first hand experience in this unique setting.
Luxury never sleeps at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport. It’s the hotel that makes you want to stay longer if catching your next flight wasn’t necessary.
You can make your booking at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport website. Average room rates are from $359 CDN for a Fairmont standard room. You can also compare rates and book through Priceline, Hotels.com or other hotel booking sites.
Ilona Kauremszky was a guest of Fairmont Vancouver Airport which did not approve this editorial.