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“What a letdown!”

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Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Ranked #32 of 89 Hotels in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“What a letdown!”
Reviewed 16 February 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Fairmont as part of a package tour. We expected more from one of the world's iconic hotels. The location is great and the public areas are magnificent but they are public and people don't have to be guests in order to experience them. The rest of the hotel was more like a good 3 star hotel. Clean, comfortable but boring and well overdue a makeover.

A big gripe.
Although I commented on the $15 a day internet fee at this and three other Fairmonts, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff Springs, nobody could be bothered to tell me that free membership of the Presidents Club gets you complimentary internet as well as other benefits. We also stayed in a suite at the Fairmont Dubai on a previous trip and again nobody told us about the Presidents Club. Why not just have free internet like almost everywhere else these days? When I Emailed the company about this after our holiday, the response was totally non-interested.

We chose to stay at the West End Guest House for the rest of our time in Vancouver. About half the price when you include gourmet breakfast, all day complimentary cold drinks, fruit juice, tea, coffee and hot chocolate with home made cake, free bicycles, sherry at 5, free internet, and at least twice the experience.

There is hospitality and then there is Hospitality, which gives you MORE than you expect.
My recommendation, stay elsewhere and use part of the savings to have high tea at the Fairmont.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GregSelf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelVan, General Manager at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, responded to this review, 19 February 2013
Dear GregSelf,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your recent stay. I take your comments on board as we do with all feedback, through which we are better able to serve you in the future. In the coming months, we will be giving our grand dame a facelift and entering a substantial phase of renovations, taking into account such constructive feedback as that which you have provided. I am also following up with my team to review our processes for areas to improve our communication with regards to the Fairmont Presidents Club program at the check in stage.

I hope that in the near future your travels bring you back to Vancouver and that you can experience these changes in person.

Kind regards,

Sunny Joseph
Director of Operations
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed 16 February 2013

i have read some of the recent reviews re: hotel vancouver - and i agree with the main points.

there must be something going on with the housekeeping - is it a union issue?

The housekeeping is sometimes really nice - and yet there are other housekeeping staff who are indifferent - one time (Dec 2012) ... we had to wait til 7pm for our room - (the housekeept staff person i dealt with seemed to have an accent from an eastern european country - rude demeanor - hello, this is a top rate chain you're lucky to work for and i assume you as a housekeeper get family / friends rates at all over the world - i'd love to go to the plaza in nyc)

front desk is same - they don't seem to recognize frequent travellers - or any person as a GUEST (this is the whole point of this business -- guests - it's not rocket science - it's on the fairmont pres club profile that is right in front of them) - at least have some warmth in your voice - as opposed to "you just interrupted my texting - big sigh" attitude. You get to work in a very nice building, warm, safe, no rain on your head - try traffic control flagging one day out in the ice, rain, dark, cold - and then you will appreciate your indoor job.

this is not to say that all front desk are like this - there are some of the regular older employees who are very focussed on hospitality.

concierge desk is the best service feature - and the dogs in the lobby - nice touch. If it was not for the concierge friendliness - i don't know how welcoming this hotel would be. And some of the bellmen in the taxi area. Good ambassadors. And the people who work in the hotel's news stand - very friendly too.

agree that since the omega shop went in (Olympics 2010), there is no nice lobby area for a family to wait for each other - or for friends to catch up before deciding which venue to eat at - etc. I understand the need for optimizing revenue per sq foot in very expensive real estate. ---- but maybe a little more resort in the city would be nice esp since often guests use the downtown fairmonts as a stopover en route to one of the rockies resorts or whistler

we prefer the traditional decor - i have stayed in some rooms at this hotel that have a "modern" look ---- if i wanted to sleep in an office (which is what those "modern" rooms look like) --- well, i would stay at work. While I admire the decor style of the Pac Rim & Waterfront - neither are where i would prefer to stay only because i don't feel comfortable in that style of decor.

of course this is a vintage hotel (i believe 1939 for a royal visit) - and so there are constant maintenance and repairs as one would expect. It also has been a CN hotel, a Hilton (for a brief time) - so that may also contribute to wear and tear issues - CN was notorious for its lack of guest care. Yes, sometimes you might find tile or bath tubs or upholstry etc that look worn - but take it as part of the pkg and it becomes a minor issue in the big picture (first world problem). I have found (Dec 2012) cleaning issues (prev guest food waste under one of the heaters) - and when i alerted the housekeeper (one of the pleasant ones) - they dealt with it immediately.

overall - i recommend the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. it really is a classic Vancouver "the way it used to be" experience. i am very familiar with the other canadian fairmonts - and the Olympic in SEA .... and i aspire to the Plaza in NYC one day.

thank you.

Room Tip: some rooms face the busy traffic streets (and may offer city or even possibly a distant mountain vie...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anon154943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2013

1) The rooms may be terrible if you suffer from allergies. They are dusty. The desk, the bathroom, the nightstand, the side table ... it was all dusty. Even my glass cups were dusty. They allow dogs to stay in the rooms. They do have hypoallergenic rooms that have air filters in them. This is an additional $20-30/night. If you figure you're paying about $205/ a night adding on the additional fee for a clean non-dusty room might seem extravagant to you. It did to me. (Windows are still blocked from construction.)

2) They front desk is not at all helpful, the concierge services folks are quite helpful and very very nice. The concierge folks are more pleasant and nice than other places I've stayed.

3) the hotel costs are ridiculous... consider how expensive the room is, then figure in that breakfast in house will cost you another $20-30 a person... seriously, this hotel thinks you are here to just drop money at them for nothing. The hotel shopkeeper is rude. She huffs if you ask her the price of things then acts incredibly ingraciously if you has her the price in US dollars.

4) the location and the building are fabulous.... incredible really. There is always taxi service available. It is about 30 minutes away from the YVR airport and 40 minutes from UBC just to give you a sense of location. You can ask for a fridge and microwave to be sent to your room. There is some trouble with having adequate numbers of outlets.

5) noise: there is a lot of noise in these rooms. You can hear anything in the bathroom either above or next to yours, so it isn't pleasant to be woken up by footfalls, toilet use, or chattering in the room or bathroom next to yours.

6) internet ---join the fairmont presidents club before you go. if you don't yo'll be charged for internet use/service to the tune of $12-15/day. The internet use once you pay for it only lasts 24 contiguous hours --and the timer starts once you log in. There is no way to negotiate 24 non-contiguous hours, so it's a rip off. Apparently, though if you join the fairmont president's club online, you can get your internet charge waived. HOWEVER... this ONLY APPLIES IF YOU JOIN BEFORE your hotel visit begins. So definitely join the FPC.

7) the beds are lumpy. If you are a small person and the quality of the bed matters to you a lot... this is not the best place to go. The holiday in although it isn't as lavish has better beds. If you are heavier and the bed quality matters less, that won't be an issue. the bedding is fine.

8) elevators: you must use your room key to activate the elevator. it's annoying and makes you feel some as if you are in a prison of some sort. still it's a good security feature. I never made it to the exercise center though I wanted to, because I felt like I was in some form of prison and it was never clear to me which floor had the exercise center on it.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank benita313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelVan, General Manager at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, responded to this review, 14 February 2013
Dear benita313,
My sincere thanks for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your recent stay here in Vancouver; it is through constructive responses such as yours that we are better able to serve you in the future. I would like to extend my apologies on behalf of the hotel for the experience that you encountered during your recent stay. I am following up with my Front Office and Housekeeping teams on the unacceptable condition of your room on arrival and with my entire operations team on the overall experience. Regardless of the reason behind the shortcomings, the service you received is far from the level we strive to offer to our guests and this is not something that I will be taking lightly. Should you wish to discuss your stay further, my email address is sunny.joseph@fairmont.com.

My thanks to you once again for taking the time to share your feedback with me.

Sunny Joseph
Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2013

The Fairmont hotel Vancouver is one of the many grand old Fairmont hotels. It's location is perfect', you can walk anywhere you want downtown, or hike just a little further to Stanley Park. The fitness centre is well equipped, and I've never had trouble getting the machines or space I need. The lobby bar is convivial whether dropping in alone for a drink and to enjoy the hum of conversation around you, or meeting friends. If you don't feel like heading out to one of the many fine restaurants in the city after a long day of work, rest assured the selection, service, and food at the hotel restaurant, Griffins, is excellent. I stay here for business, but would also choose it for vacation. And the very best feature of this hotel? Beau and Mavis, a yellow lab and golden retriever you'll see in the lobby by the concierge desk as you come and go each day. Both accept ear scratches and pats happily. Oh, the rooms are great too! Comfy beds, feather pillows, and lovely amenities.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelVan, General Manager at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, responded to this review, 14 February 2013
Dear Jill T,
Please accept my thanks for your taking the time to share your wonderful feedback. I am delighted that you continue to choose to stay at our iconic property when you are visiting the Pacific Northwest and that youhave come to know our Canine Ambassadors Mavis and Beau.
I will be sharing your comments with my team and we look forward to welcoming you back to our “Castle in the heart of the city” in the near future.

Kind regards,

Andre Zotoff
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lethbridge, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2013

I have stayed at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver regularly over the past several years, usually with my wife on this most recent occasion solo. The hotel has a great central location and has a sense of history and old world charm about it. We always choose the Gold Floor; what brings us back is the superb, warm service provided there by a highly skilled team of concierges. Over the years we have come to know them and they know us--when we arrive it feels like we are coming to visit the home of a friend rather than checking into a hotel. The Gold Floor Lounge is a comfortable space that is considered the guests' living room where a good breakfast, afternoon snacks and evening hors d'ouevres are served. Of all concierge lounges we have ever stayed in, this one is by far our favorite.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peter G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
192 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2013 via mobile

Staff were very good. Room needed a larger window to be perfect. I loved the pool, gym, sauna and the ambience of 900 West Lounge, watched the Superbowl in style. Drinks were perfect and word of warning share the bar snacks menu especially the club sandwich as it was huge.

The hotel is very centrally located to a huge shopping complex and lovely cafes near by means you do not have to eat in at any of the restaurants but they were reasonably priced and we sampled on one occasion ad not disappointed. If to are travelling for work or a holiday join the Fairmont Presidents Club before you travel lots of enlist and it is free to do so.

Thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it.

Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank african_aussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelVan, General Manager at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, responded to this review, 14 February 2013
Dear african_aussie,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback. I am delighted that we had the opportunity to look after you when you visited Vancouver. I will be sharing your kind words with my team here and I hope we have the opportuniy to welcome you here again in the very near future.

Kind regards,

Andre Zotoff
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wien
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2013

Was on a business trip to Vancouver. The hotel as well as the service were top. Rooms are clean and comfortable, despite it is an old building. They have an execellent exercise room. The hotel is located downtown in walking distance to several highlights of Voncouver. I will definitely come back next time.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Manfred S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelVan, General Manager at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, responded to this review, 14 February 2013
Dear Manfred S,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback. I am delighted that we have the opportunity to look after you when you come to Vancouver. I will be sharing your kind words with my team here and look forward to having you come and stay with us again in the very near future.

Kind regards,

Sunny Joseph
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Property: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Address: 900 Georgia St W, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2W6, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Vancouver
#23 Luxury Hotel in Vancouver
#29 Family Hotel in Vancouver
#30 Business Hotel in Vancouver
#30 Romantic Hotel in Vancouver
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 4*
Number of rooms: 556
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is centrally located, close to Robson street shopping and many cultural offerings. The lobby features designer shops, including the flagship Louis Vuitton boutique, Gucci, Omega, and St. John. The hotel has a state-of-the-art health club, indoor pool and Absolute Spa. Vancouver's landmark hotel, the castle in the heart of the city is rich in history, vibrant and cosmopolitan. Please note that the pool is closed for maintenance until June 30, 2017. Guests will be provided nearby alternative options including indoor and outdoor heated pools. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will continue its guest room renovation project until July, 2017. Floors under renovation will be closed with no guest access and construction is limited to 09:30am to 5:30pm, minimizing any impact to guests staying with us. We look forward to unveiling these exciting updates in July 2017. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Vancouver
Vancouver Fairmont

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