It has been named North America’s Best Airport Hotel eight times at the annual World Airport Awards. And it just relaunched its Gold Floor following a $1.8 million renovation that included stylish makeovers for 37 chic, vista-hugging rooms and suites.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is located inside the terminal at YVR. | Photo: Fairmont Vancouver Airport
But these aren’t the only reasons Richmond’s Fairmont Vancouver Airport is one of Canada’s most distinctive accommodations. The only hotel inside Vancouver International Airport (YVR)—it’s less than 100 steps from the US departures area—the lux, highly-convenient property offers a full menu of unique features for its in-the-know guests.
Curious about spending the night in one of its triple-soundproofed rooms? Read on for 10 one-of-a-kind features that keep this celebrated AAA/CAA 4-diamond hotel at the top of its game.
Plane-spotting guide in every room
Framed by mountain panoramas, many of the hotel’s guestrooms offer great views over YVR’s busy runways. Luckily, the windows are expertly soundproofed to facilitate a great night’s sleep. But when you want to explore this breathtaking vista in detail, dip into the handy airplane-spotting guide in your room and you’ll soon know your SAAB 340 from your Boeing 777-200 or your Embraer ERJ-190. Staying on the Gold Floor? Close in on the action with one of the new telescopes recently installed in many rooms.
View from a newly renovated Gold Floor room. | Photo: Crystal Solberg
The hotel’s popular Fitness on the Fly program offers drop-in access to its onsite, pool-equipped health club—whether or not you’re staying there as a guest. Passes (from $20 to $50) start with sauna, shower, pool and gym equipment-access but can also include providing Reebok apparel and footwear (so you don’t have to unpack your own workout gear) as well as a fortifying post-exercise snack package that includes a freshly-made smoothie.
Dedicated Fish Valet
Many Fairmont Vancouver Airport guests are en route from a retreat-like getaway at one of BC’s popular West Coast fishing lodges. But if you got lucky with your line, you don’t have to stash your haul in your suitcase and hope for the best. You can check-in your prize catch with the hotel’s special Fish Valet, who will ensure that it’s property stored in a special freezer for the duration of your stay. A recent impressive check-in was a 180-pound halibut.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport has a fish valet! | Photo: Fairmont Vancouver Airport
Unusual fleet of vehicles
If the five-minute stroll to your airline check-in desk seems exhausting—or you just don’t want to manhandle your halibut through the terminal—the hotel’s complimentary golf cart can whizz you there in comfort. And if you’re arriving or departing from the further-flung South Terminal, you can also reserve the hotel’s free BMW shuttle car to ease your passage. Fancy a bike ride during your stay? Guest can access free cruiser bicycles as well—a restorative pedal to Iona Beach Regional Park is recommended.
Full menu of jet lag remedies
If you’ve been travelling on one of those tortuously long itineraries that make your body feel like it’s been stuffed in a pet carrier for a week, you’ll find soothing respite in the hotel’s specially-created jet lag treatments. Sink into the onsite spa’s dedicated jet lag recovery massage and hydrating oxygen facial—designed to reduce inflammation and rejuvenate the body—and you’ll soon feel better than you did before you even boarded your plane. Need more? Order some additional wellness features for your guestroom, including diffusers, yoga mats, and herbal teas.
Body clock strategies
Travellers arriving from far-flung time zones often have confused body clocks. You can try shocking your system into an immediate adjustment—or ease yourself into a comfortable transition via several dedicated hotel amenities. These include a 24-hour breakfast service and a low-caffeine Jetsetter tea designed to help address jet lag. Day-use rooms (in four, six or eight-hour increments) are also available on the sanctuary-like Quiet Zone floor.
Hidden gem bar
The hotel’s posh Jetside Bar has floor-to-ceiling windows with eye-popping views across YVR’s busy runways. There’s also live, toe-tapping music here every night. And if you happen to be in the vicinity on a Friday—whether or not you’re a hotel guest—drop in for the 4:00pm-to-7:00pm ‘Shuck It, It’s Friday’ happy hour, complete with BC oysters and local craft beer specials. Need more sustenance? The onsite Globe@YVR restaurant serves a full menu of delicious West Coast cuisine (pan-seared halibut recommended).
The hotel’s popular Globe@YVR restaurant. | Photo: Fairmont Vancouver Airport
Steveston for foodies package
Bookable year-round, the hotel’s unique Clouds to Catch package includes a Signature Room stay for two plus a private excursion to historic Steveston Village—in the company of a friendly Fairmont chef. Together, you’ll tour Fisherman’s Wharf and learn all about selecting the best fresh-catch for dinner. After exploring the waterfront, you’ll return to the hotel for an immersive cooking experience and a chance to learn more about the region’s incredible Pacific Northwest culinary scene.
The 386-room Fairmont Vancouver Airport was the first in the world to introduce a time saving, self-service ‘common-use’ airline check-in (CUSS) system in its lobby. This makes it supremely easy to get your flight off the ground by printing your bag tags and boarding passes before you reach the terminal. Major airlines from Air Canada to KLM and from Delta to Cathay Pacific are already part of the system, and it has been a popular feature with many guests.
Annual Princess Tea
Not every hotel receives the royal seal of approval, but the Fairmont’s annual family-friendly afternoon tea party sees princesses from across the region donning their best dresses and most sparkling tiaras for this beloved event. Hosted by Disney princesses and including a red carpet, live entertainment, and a sumptuous afternoon tea, this unique fundraiser for local kid-related charities takes place on July 20 this year. Reservations are required.