While Fairmont has a reputation for lavish railway hotels built in a chateau style, The Fairmont Pacific Rim (known to locals as the Pac Rim) is a shimmering 48-story, hotel-condo glass tower that was completed in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The Fairmont Pacific Rim is located along tent-framed Canada Place, which was the Canada Pavilion during the 1986 World Exposition and is now home to the Convention Centre and the cruise ship terminal.
The views from the hotel’s many vantage points are spectacular, encompassing the North Shore Mountains, Stanley Park, and Coal Harbour. The sublime waterfront location makes it easy to walk into the thick of Vancouver’s bustling shopping district along Robson and Burrard, while also enabling sunrise and sunset walks along the harborfront.
As soon as you enter the hotel lobby, you recognize that this is a Fairmont hotel unlike the ones to which your godfather took you for afternoon tea. There’s an Eastern serenity in the design, thanks to the use of luxurious natural materials, and the sophisticated atmosphere evokes the refinement of contemporary Japan.
The Pacific Rim's expansive Lobby Lounge and Terrace features the Ferrari of pianos, a white Fazioli, which was shipped from Italy – and in the evenings, the Lobby Lounge buzzes with the energy of an after-work cocktail crowd enjoying live music.
Guest rooms and suites at the Pacific Rim are the apotheosis of streamlined minimalism and a testament to cutting-edge technology. The luxury beds by Stearns & Foster are covered in Italian linens, with Mascioni towels and robes in the expansive marble bathrooms. Soaking tubs and separate showers are complemented by an LCD television imbedded within the vanity mirror. Amenities are by Le Labo, in Rose 31 fragrance, which should tip you off right there about the high level of taste.
The bedroom is a marvel of media connectivity, with surround sound and alarm clocks with iPod docking stations. A touch-screen control panel operates lighting, temperature, and the curtains, which means that you can check the weather from your bed while remaining between the sheets.
Mind you, it might be difficult to leave this five-star cocoon, but you wouldn’t want to miss the Pacific Rim pool and the Willow Stream Spa. Swimming laps at six am in the rooftop pool as the sun rises from behind the North Mountains is one of those revelatory exercises that will leave you feeling energized and blessed.
Wrapping around The Fairmont Pacific Rim's southern and eastern facade in stainless steel letters are the words from a Liam Gillick poem that reminds you to gaze into the sky – and when you’re in residence at the Pac Rim, you can’t help but feel that you’re that much closer to heaven.