The Fairmont Hotel brand is known for its luxury accommodations, first-class service, and exceptional comfort. Its Fairmont Vancouver airport hotel at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond (YVR) is no different.
In this review, I share why you would stay there, compare its rooms and amenities to its other hotels, as well as price.
The luxury hotel has 14 floors, with the top floor reserved for Fairmont Gold rooms. Travelers booked in a Fairmont Gold room receive a hotel-within-a-hotel experience and are treated like VIP guests the moment they arrive.
Their stay includes:
- A complimentary breakfast.
- Access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge.
- Evening canapes and beverages in a private lounge.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
Where Is The Fairmont Airport Hotel?
Guests can easily find the in-terminal hotel, on the third level of the international airport, above the US departures terminal. If you are driving to the airport, you will reach the entrance right before the airport drop-off.
Booked guests can use the valet or park in the parkade, but both incur a fee. Self-parking at the parkade costs CAD 28.50 per day.
The hotel’s 386 rooms range in size from the 409 sq. foot Fairmont rooms to the 495 sq. foot Signature Studio, which sleeps up to four, or the 517 sq. foot Signature Room that can accommodate up to three. The hotel supplies cribs for babies, and they accommodate dogs for a fee.
The Fairmont rooms do not include WiFi, but you can purchase it for CAD 14.95 per night. Many of the rooms overlook the terminal tarmac, so you can watch the airport activity through huge windows.
Once you take the elevator to the upper level, the walkway to the hotel features an elegant chandelier.
Long Term Parking
If you are driving to the airport and returning to Vancouver, the parkade fee of CAD 28.50 is a little pricey. To save money, make a reservation online at the YVR Value Long Term Parking on Templeton Station Road.
The lot has wheelchair-accessible stalls and charging spots for electric vehicles. Since the lot is conveniently located on the Skytrain Canada Line, you can get a complimentary ticket to reach the airport. It’s two stops to reach the YVR airport station.
The parking fee gets cheaper the longer you stay. For instance, a 7-day stay costs approximately CAD 120 or CAD 17 a day. A two-week stay costs CAD 169 or CAD 12 a day. You only get these reduced rates by booking online ahead of time.
Why Would You Stay There?
The hotel’s location makes it ideal to stay if you’re flying into Vancouver late. If you’re arriving for an Alaska cruise in the spring or summer, staying at the airport lets you rest immediately after arrival.
Also, you’ll often pay a reduced price over staying at the Fairmont Waterfront in downtown Vancouver in the summer.
With access to the Skytrain, Vancouver’s rapid transit system, you can quickly reach the Vancouver cruise terminal from the airport the following morning.
Alternatively, guests may opt to stay at the airport if they have an early flight. Since passengers must check in at least three hours before an international flight, staying at the hotel eliminates the commute in the morning. As a bonus, the hotel provides wake-up calls.
Those with a long flight and short layover who need some sleep will appreciate the hotel’s location inside the airport. Having a few hours of rest takes the stress out of flying.
The airport hotel has more than a dozen rooms for meetings. So, if you’re attending an event or private venue at the hotel, it makes sense to stay there too. The hotel offers a corporate rate for those who work locally, with proof of employment.
Airport hotels are popular amongst business travelers and those flying in the off hours. While traditional hotels tend to lean towards the no-frills, it’s nice to know those leaving or arriving in Vancouver have the option of a soundproofed luxury hotel.
While there are many options for hotels close to the YVR Airport, Fairmont is the only one inside the terminal.
The staff at the check-in desk are efficient and courteous. Guests receive key cards to access their guest accommodation and need them to use the elevator.
Check-out is equally quick, and should you have an early flight, you can drop key cards into the express key drop box, and you will receive a hotel receipt by email.
If you’re traveling with lots of luggage, you can pre-arrange to have help getting your suitcases to your flight check-in.
Bon Voyage Medical offers antigen and PCR testing inside the hotel if it’s required for the country you’re flying to.
The Fairmont Rooms
The Fairmont rooms are spacious compared to the Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. The hotel room features a deluxe king bed with premium allergy-free bedding.
In 2019, the hotel underwent a renovation, including updating its rooms. The rooms have neutral color tones and are sophisticatedly decorated with timeless pieces, which give them an elegant look.
Opposite the bed, a 55″ flat-screen TV has premium channels, cable channels, and pay-for-view movies. You’ll also enjoy a coffee/tea station and the use of a mini-fridge.
The bureau, which acts as a TV stand, held the coffee maker, tea station, wine glasses, and mini-fridge. It can accommodate one suitcase at one end and has a desk at the other.
The closet has a free-standing luggage rack and a small safe (not large enough for a laptop).
The attached bathroom is enormous, with a deep soaker tub, a large walk-in shower, and generous La Labo Rose 31 bath products.
Those traveling with children will appreciate the stand-alone bath. It has two doors to access it; one from the bedroom and the other from the hallway.
I was surprised it had only one sink for the bathroom size. Guests receive plush cotton robes and slippers in the closet to use during their stay.
The rooms overlooking the terminal have huge floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy plane spotting. A comfy chair by the window and an airplane menu help you name the aircraft.
If you’re worried about the noise, don’t fret. The windows and walls are sound-proofed, so while you can see the planes landing and taxiing across the tarmac, you can’t hear them.
Fairmont Gold Accommodation
Staying in a Fairmont Gold room gives you a hotel-within-a-hotel experience with extra perks. First, your guest room will be located on the fourteen or top floor.
Rooms on the top floor have the best city and north shore views. On that floor, you’ll have access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge, with afternoon canapes and complimentary drinks.
Guests in these rooms receive complimentary WiFi and continental breakfast with their stay.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel has one bar and one restaurant, but guests can access 24-hour room service. The restaurant serves breakfast between 6 am and 11 am, which costs CAD 14 to 42, depending on your order.
Continental breakfast costs CAD 30, and a full breakfast costs CAD 42, including tea, coffee, or juice. There are al a carte options also. Since you’re staying at the Fairmont, expect pricey food options for lunch and dinner.
The hotel serves traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones, and delicious pastries in the afternoon. Again, this is not included in your hotel room pricing and is subject to a charge of CAD 79 per person.
The [email protected] has a Pacific Northwest dinner menu dinner served up to 10 pm nightly. It features lots of seafood choices and a couple of vegetarian options. Their seafood is sourced through the Ocean Wise program, which promotes ocean conservation and sustainability.
Its “around the globe 3-course” includes your choice of crab bisque or Fraser Valley beets as a starter.
For entrees, choose from BC sablefish or a Canadian 6 oz tenderloin. Finish with either tiramisu or globe chocolate cake. This 3-course meal costs CAD 85 without wine pairing.
The restaurant offers a children’s menu for guests 12 and under. It has favorites like mac & cheese, chicken fingers, and cheese pizza. Children 5 and under can eat for free with a paying adult.
Airport Hotel Amenities
The Jetside Bar features floor-to-ceiling windows and live music five days a week. It was a bustling place when I was there, even though the airport was empty. It’s a great place to grab a nightcap or glass of wine to help you wind down.
Guests also have access to a health club, which overlooks the departure area below. This amenity has all the usual; treadmills, Peloton bikes, ellipticals, and free-standing weights. Surprisingly, this area was busy too.
The health club has a three-lane lap indoor pool, kids’ pool, hot tub, and saunas, which are complimentary for guests. Additionally, you can enjoy full spa services, such as facials, massages, and manicures, at the hotel’s spa.
The hotel offers active guests the option of a “Fit on the Fly Suite.” Instead of going to the gym, you can work out on a Peloton bike, use a Lululemon yoga mat, and do strength training on your FITBENCH ONE, all within the comfort of your room.
Your suite also includes a Nordic-style hydrotherapy tub to soothe sore joints. If you forgot to pack gym clothes, don’t worry. The Fairmont will supply complimentary workout gear for use during your stay.
As a luxury hotel chain, Fairmont charges a premium price. However, the convenience outweighs the cost if you’ve got a long flight with an early departure.
In the low season, expect to pay CAD 360 for a Fairmont room and 10% more on weekends or holidays. In high season, the same room costs around CAD 499 when booked in advance.
You could be paying much more if you reserve last minute or show up without a reservation.
If you belong to the Accor Loyalty Program, you can often get slightly lower rates, accumulate reward points for future hotel stays, and may receive a complimentary upgrade.
A stay at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel can reduce the stress of traveling for nervous flyers and those with tight schedules. Having stayed at several Fairmont lodgings around the country, I always leave with a sense of rejuvenation.