The Stay: Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver

The harbour view at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
The harbour view at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

The Olympics may be over, but the feverish rash of hotels and restaurants are here to stay in the city that was once all mountains and granola, but is now more known for its vibrant foodie scene and growing list of luxe accommodations. The latest five-star to enter the posh pillow list is the Fairmont Pacific Rim ( where I got to escape to for a night during a recent sojourn on the West Coast. Now, I’m not much of a nature girl, but the first thing that strikes even the most hard-hearted of urbanites is the stunning unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains, Stanley Park and Coal Harbour.

The Pacific Rim’s schtick (there are 3 other Fairmont properties already in the city) is a West-coast-meets-Asia vibe in honour of B.C.’s spot on, well, the Pacific Rim—get it?!—and they manage to pull it off with nary a cheesy tea light in sight. Everything from the décor—lots of wood, stone and airy spaces, complete with not-hitting-you-over-the head images of B.C. throughout—to the menu—marquee restaurant Oru features a smorgasbord of pan-Asian dishes, and there is a raw bar in the lobby—is a thoughtful blend of Canadiana and Asian chic. The 15,000 square foot Willow Stream spa, with cozy blankets and a stone fireplace feels like your rich friend’s cottage, and the treatments—like the oh-so-Canadian Great Canadian Facial or the Maple Sweet Body Treat include access to a private 2,500 square foot outdoor deck with meditation pods, cabanas, and Jacuzzis. (Well, actually, the outdoor deck wasn’t built yet when I was there but I could see the construction workers and they were working really, really hard!). Insider tip? Book a room on one of the Fairmont Gold floors. With a price difference of as little as $100 a night, Fairmont Gold offers a private check-in, an exclusive lounge with free newspapers, magazines and internet access, concierge and butler services, an everything-you-could-wish-for breakfast buffet, canapés over cocktail hour and free transportation in the downtown core.

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