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“Worst hotel experience of my life” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

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Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Ranked #31 of 89 Hotels in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Worst hotel experience of my life”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2013

In my 15+ years of business travel worldwide, my stay at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver ranks by far as the worst hotel experience of my life, in my opinion. Two obnoxious, rude and aggressive evening front desk clerk and manager, tired noisy room, old shower with fluctuating hot water, windows covered with opaque plastic sheets blocking sunlight and view, unexplained charges to my credit card that took 2 days of back-and-forth to explain ...etc. The worst part however was two of the evening front desk staff members who were rude, aggressive, obnoxious and lacked any sense of hospitality towards me as a guest. I found myself arguing with them as if they had forgotten I was a paying customer. They totally lacked any sense of hospitality and customer support whatsoever! All this while attempting to reactivate a room key that mysteriously kept getting deactivated almost every night. Unbelievable for a supposedly world-class hotel in this day and age!!!

Amazingly enough, complaining to upper management produced no more than a casual apology. I was not informed of any corrective actions being taken, especially regarding the rude front desk clerk and manager.

In brief, I spent 5 stressful days dabbling in this mediocrity. This was one of the most stressful business trips I've ever been on and amazingly enough, all the stress was caused by the hotel. None by my job itself. A first for me!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank P B
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, 26 February 2013
Dear PB,
My sincere thanks for taking the time to share your’ comments from your recent stay here in Vancouver. I am distressed to hear about your experiences at the hotel as they are a far cry from the level of service that we strive to provide.
I would be very grateful to have the opportunity to discuss your stay with you in person and as such would ask you to contact me on sunny.joseph@fairmont.com so I can arrange to make contact with you. Your feedback is greatly valued so that we are aware of when and where improvements are required.

Yours sincerely,

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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2,861 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (559)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2013

I travel to Vancouver often for work, and can't imagine staying anywhere other than the Hotel Vancouver. The level of service and attentiveness of the staff never ceases to amaze me. On this particular trip, the concierge team noticed that a nagging cough had worsened after a long day's work, and shortly after I returned to my room a selection of soothing tea and honey was delivered. A very special thanks to David, Neil, Emiko, Darren - and even Mavis the dog, who's paw print was also on the get well card!
Nadia at the FPC desk is always a welcome sight on arrival - on my previous visit she saw me across the lobby tied up on a phone call and brought my keys to me so that I could continue my call. These small, thoughtful gestures are what keep me returning to the Hotel Vancouver!
I love the character of this hotel, though others might favour the sleekness of the Pacific Rim, I find a warmth and authenticity throughout this property that are unrivalled.

Room Tip: Sign up for the Fairmont Presidents Club and enjoy benefits such as complimentary wireless, and my f...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Courtney B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
154 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2013

We had one night here earlier this month in a stopover from Whistler (B.C.) to LAX.It was Magnificent in presentation, efficiency and cleanliness. The Room we had on the fourth floor overlooked the Park and Art Gallery. While we were there a British Columbia Family Day Concert was underway in the Park and whilst not too loud got our toes a tapping.
The room was a good size with two queen size beds. Fortunately, the hotel has kept itself in the Grand tradition and not endeavoured to modernise too many things as too stand out.
There was a fridge in the room but opening it was a conundrum. We had a fine evening Meal in the formal restaurant downstairs and came back for breakfast where we were addressed both by name. This personal touch goes a long way to make guests feel comfortable despite being a long way from home (Australia). We think that the concierge was very helpful in providing directions for getting to the Airport as well as going for a couple of walks downtown.
The final feature was a free Milk and Cookie Voucher given to my ten year old son on check-in.
He redeemed the voucher by calling room service just before bedtime and the said Milk and Cookie was promptly delivered to our door. He both answered the door and tipped the provider, as foreign as the practice is at home. He remembers the incident and recalls it as part of his trip memoirs with Dad to Whistler. The hotel left us with a positive impression and a deep desire to return in warmer weather.Thank You.

Room Tip: I think a room on the side away from the main road traffic is best.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BILMARAUS
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 Bilmarus,
I would like to thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback. My job in managing this iconic hotel is made that much more enjoyable by the wonderful team that I have the pleasure of working with on a daily basis. I will be sharing your kind words with my team and look forward to having the opportunity to welcome you and your family back to our hotel in the near future and hopefully when the weather is a little warmer (perhaps you can send us some of the sunshine from Australia in the meantime?).

Yours sincerely,

Kind regards,

Sunny Joseph
Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moncton
Level Contributor
140 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2013

Beautiful, classic grandeur familiar to the historical Fairmont hotels in Canada. Located directly downtown, just a couple minutes walk to Robson, the Vancouver art gallery, and the majority of the common attractions in downtown Vancouver. A fantastic afternoon tea, and access to the hotel's onsite pet labradors are just a couple hidden gems at this location. In need of some upgrades, but they're rumoured to be on the way!

Room Tip: The gold floor gives you complimentary breakfast and evening hors d'oeuvres included in your roo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mpjotraveler
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 MPJohnson,,
Thank you for taking the time to share your delightful feedback regarding your recent stay. I am delighted that you chose to with us, and I wanted to share with you that you are indeed correct, we are continuing our process of renovations and giving our grand dame a substantial facelift and renovated guest offering over the coming months.

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 where you can experience these changes for yourself.

Yours sincerely,

Sunny Joseph
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2013

due to my work, i have recently stayed at the fairmount royal york (toronto), fairmount hotel vancouver, hotel macdonald (edmonton) and palliser.

the only good thing about this hotel is it's location. but then there are a lot much better hotels in the downtown core, like the four seasons, hotel georgia, etc. so you don't have to choose this sub-par hotel.

while i love the historic buidlings these hotels are in, there are some common factors that made fairmount not worth the money

1) the service is in general horrible. their staff are unfriendly, especially in toronto and vancouver. there were a few times that the saw me carrying a heavy luggage and didn't even bother to offer help

2) the check in is really slow, sometimes they just don't have enough staff

3) the rooms are very dates, except for palliser where they have renovated a few rooms. wonder when they are going to upgrade those in toronto, which are the worse

4) the 'rose' brand bathroom amenities are of really bad quality. bring your own

5) the alarm-radio clock never work properly

6) the rooms are not clean. in all of these hotels, the bathroom was not cleaned properly. i found hairs on the floor. and there is one time, i found other's underwear in the drawer!

7) i always have problem connecting to their wi-fi. when i asked the front desk staff, they kept of saying there is nothing they can do and asked me to call the it helpdesk. i did. what did they tell me to do? they asked me to switch off my phone, wait a few minutes, and tried again. and of course that didn't work. i am not even sure if they really did anything to fix it on their end. they said that in some areas the reception is poorer than others. but i have tried to connect in my room, in the lobby, at the restaurants, and the connection is conisitently bad (whether it's android or iphone). if you need wi-fi while travelling, don't risk it, don't stay there. i actually have to go to the nearby starbucks to use their wi-fi!!!

overall, i have seen this chain becoming worse and worse over the years. it's not the fairmount it used to be. and they price they charge is not cheap. all in all, you won't get the value for your money at the fairmount.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank S K
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 S.K.,
I would like to extend my thanks to you for sharing your feedback. It is through constructive responses such as yours that we are better able to serve you in the future. I am distressed to hear you had a less than satisfactory visit to our hotel. I you would be willing, I would be very appreciative of the opportunity to discuss your stay in greater detail, my email address is sunny.joseph@fairmont.com.

I hope to have the opportunity to speak to you soon.

Sunny Joseph
Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank anon154943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Property: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Address: 900 West Georgia Street, 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
#21 Luxury Hotel in Vancouver
#29 Family Hotel in Vancouver
#30 Romantic Hotel in Vancouver
#30 Business 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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