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Soaking up the good life in Vancouver

Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim offers stunning views and is convenient for both cruise and train travelers
Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim offers stunning views and is convenient for both cruise and train travelers
G Dingus

Looking for a hotel room with a killer view? Put the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, Canada at the top of your must-stay list.

Alaska Bound cruises ships dock across from the Fairmont Pacific Rim
G Dingus

The view? Think snow-capped mountain peaks bordering a placid blue harbor. Sea gulls and floatplanes glide past your windows. You’ll see it all from your bedroom or while soaking in your jetted tub. But more on that marvelous tub later.

Located on the Coal Harbour waterfront directly across from Vancouver’s cruise ship terminal, the ultra-modern, glass-walled Fairmont Pacific Rim first appeared on the scene in time for the 2010 winter Olympics.

Sail and rail connections

Attention Alaska-bound cruisers. Stay here, and you’ll not only see your ship come in from you own room, you can walk right up when it’s time to board. The hotel is also convenient for rail fans traveling east into the Rockies aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer. And now you can extend your train adventure by arriving in Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer’s newest route, a dinner train up from Seattle.

Techies delight

The Fairmont Pacific Rim is the kind of trendy hotel the tech savvy will love. Traditionalists (and those of a certain age) who crave such sedate, historic lodgings as Seattle’s 1920s Fairmont Olympic Hotel, will first find the guestrooms confusing. But stay a couple of nights, and you’ll catch on to the gadgets. There’s even a “Technology Guide” plus separate Nespresso coffee maker instructions to help you out.

The tech guide explains how the lights, blinds, curtains, heater and air-con all work. No need to get out of your chair, or out of bed. Just push the right buttons. It’s something I didn’t discover until day two when a fellow guest alerted me to the handy bedside iPad. Who knew?

Not to worry, if like me you’re slow to master the iPad, you can turn on the lights and raise the blinds by using clearly marked wall panels.

Time to kick back

But back to that amazing view—and the tub. Book one of a handful of corner rooms (such as #1010), and you’ll be dazzled by sweeping views from both your bedroom and (in two directions) from your corner bathroom. In these rooms, the bathtub is a deep Japanese-style soaking tub with jets. Called an ofuro, the tub is so deep there’s a step to help you climb up over the edge and in. Being an upscale Fairmont property, bath crystals are supplied. Other toiletries are Canadian-made by Rose 31. Of course you’ll find a TV in the bathroom, along with a larger screen in the bedroom.

Here’s the drill for a relaxing, romantic evening. Watch the sun set while you soak. The ofuro tub easily holds two. Wrap up in your terry robes. Slip on your slippers (in two sizes). Punch a few squares on your iPad, and let there be music, a TV show or that incredible view. It’s your call!

The Fairmont Pacific Rim is located at 1038 Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Phone 604-695-5300. Check

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