After flying back from Chicago, I arrived in Vancouver a bit too late to make a same-day flight back to my home on Vancouver Island. I’ve stayed at many airport hotels in Vancouver before, and usually stick to the most affordable option, or head into the city to visit with friends.
On this occasion, I was exhausted from a few weeks of whirlwind travel, and felt a bit under the weather, too.
For this stay, I decided to opt for convenience by staying at the in-terminal Fairmont Vancouver Airport.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport – Booking
I booked this stay using an industry rate; however, cash rates at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport tend to run around $500–650 (CAD).
If you book through Accor Live Limitless, the prices tend to be a little more favourable, with peak dates coming in at just under $600 (CAD) and off-peak dates coming in at around the $450 (CAD) mark.
When planning out a stay at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, be sure to price shop between booking directly with the hotel, or booking through the Accor Live Limitless loyalty program.
If you’re looking to book at a lower rate, Fairmont often offers chain-wide or property-specific promotions, such as Second-, Third-, or Fourth-night free deals. Additionally, you can keep an eye out for Fairmont’s occasional discounted gift card sales, as well as Amex Offers at Fairmont properties.
If you’d like to elevate your stay further, booking through the Accor STEP program entitles you to additional benefits at no extra cost.
Be sure to get in touch with a travel advisor with access to Accor STEP prior to your stay to unlock benefits, such as breakfast for two, room upgrades, early check-in, late checkout, and more.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport – Location
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is located on Sea Island within Vancouver International Airport. This is the only in-terminal hotel, as all other airport hotels are located off-site.
If you’re arriving from the city, it’s easy to access the hotel from the SkyTrain. Once you step onto the train platform and cross the pedestrian skybridge, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is located just a short walk away.
Keep in mind that there are two pedestrian walkways connecting the SkyTrain platform with the terminal, and it’s most convenient to cross the south exit to avoid an unnecessary detour.
Another way of navigating is to know that the hotel is located within the international side of the terminal, rather than the domestic side.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport – Check-in
After landing in Vancouver on an Air Canada business class flight from Chicago, I made my way from US arrivals up to the departures level. From there, there was clear signage indicating where the hotel is located.
At the end of the US departures hall, there’s an escalator angled to the side emblazoned with a large Fairmont Vancouver Airport sign against a wood background.
After heading up the escalators, there’s a pedestrian walkway underneath a wavy light fixture. This brings you directly into the hotel’s lobby lounge and check-in area.
The lobby lounge is very open, and I found it to be consistent with other Fairmont properties in Canada, with plenty of wood and stone features.
There’s a variety of seating options available, ranging from elongated sofas to more intimate seating options. None of them were especially noteworthy, but it was a perfectly serviceable area to catch a breath after a long day of travels.
The staff then confirmed my rate and the details of my stay. I was assigned a base-level room, as I don’t hold any status with Fairmont.
On this particular occasion, I didn’t really feel the need or desire to attempt any “suite-talking“, so I headed to the elevators and up to the 13th floor.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport – Fairmont King Room
The door opens up to a foyer, with the bathroom immediately to the left and a hallway that leads to the bedroom straight ahead.
Upon entering the room, I immediately noticed the carpet with its gold and grey pattern. I have a personal aversion to carpets like these — they look a bit dated, and they’re just not for me.
Just before the bedroom on the right-hand side is a closet, which holds a luggage rack, ironing board, two pairs of slippers, and the signature plush Fairmont bathrobes.
The bedroom has a standard setup, including a king-sized bed with a fabric headboard flanked by twin nightstands. Having arrived at night, I felt that the room was quite dark, and perhaps could have benefited from an extra light fixture or two.
There’s a comfortable blue armchair next to the window, beside which is a marble coffee table. A plane spotting guide was provided on the table, which is a neat and fitting touch for an airport hotel.
Unfortunately, my room faced westward away from the runways, so I didn’t manage to catch any airplane views.
If you’re an aviation enthusiast, consider asking for a room on the other side of the hotel, which will offer better views of one of the runways.
The desk is on the opposite side of the room, next to the flat-screen TV. I didn’t make use of it during this stay, and while the chair looked okay, it might not be suitable for long periods of sitting.
The flat-screen TV sits atop the minibar, which features a coffee maker, kettle, a fridge with cold drinks, and a modest collection of snacks.
The spacious wedge-shaped bathroom can be accessed from both the bedroom and hallway. The walk-in shower is separate from the bathtub, with both located behind the vanity.
The toilet is in its own room within the bathroom, and is separated by a louver door.
Overall, my room at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport wasn’t particularly fancy, and was rather ordinary in most regards. However, it served as an entirely comfortable and quiet place to rest for a night.
Sometimes, it’s nice to pay for the convenience of being able to walk to the airport, which is one of the main draws of this particular hotel.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport – Dining
Breakfast at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Airport is served à la carte at its Globe@YVR restaurant from 6–11am daily.
I didn’t have the opportunity to try the breakfast offerings this time around; however, I’d like to check it out on a future stay.
Globe@YVR, which also offers the formal dining option, can be accessed from the lobby lounge. It serves daily lunch from 11am–2pm, afternoon tea (which needs to be reserved beforehand), and dinner from 5:30–10pm.
The Jetside Lounge is a more casual space, offering drinks and light fare. It gets quite busy, especially at night, and has massive windows that look out over a bustling airport apron.
The casual seating area with plush chairs provides a great opportunity for plane spotters to relax and enjoy an unobstructed view of the tarmac. The fireplace is also a cozy touch.
The bar is located off to the side of the lounge, with a nice oval shape, and it makes good use of a myriad of colourful bottles on display in the centre.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport – Other Facilities
The Health Club, which includes the hotel’s fitness centre, can be accessed from the lobby lounge or from the fifth floor.
The fitness centre was much more spacious than what I’d expected. It was well-appointed, with pretty much everything that you could ask for.
Inside the change rooms is a sauna, which I always appreciate. I came down for a steam to wind down my day.
As I sat in the sauna, I had some hints of nostalgia from many long layovers at Vancouver International Airport in the past.
Before getting entrenched in Miles & Points, I didn’t have the luxury of lounge access, and I spent my fair share of nights sleeping at airports.
At one point, I figured out that by being a member of the free-to-join Fairmont President’s Club (which no longer exists), I could access the Health Club at Fairmont properties, including the fitness centres, showers, and sauna.
I’d spent many layovers enjoying a workout and a steam at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport before, and it was nice to return to the sauna as a paying guest at a different stage in life.
The biggest draw of the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is the location inside Vancouver International Airport. It’s a great option for anyone with early morning flights, so you can maximize your sleep and not have to deal with the hassle of an off-site hotel.
I felt very relaxed the next morning as I sauntered to my early morning flight without having to deal with a bus, hail a taxi, or pay for a ride share.
The rooms at the hotel aren’t extraordinary, but I still enjoyed a perfectly comfortable and quiet stay. I especially appreciated the sauna, which is always a wonderful amenity to indulge in before or after a long day of travel.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport comes with a higher price compared to the hotels nearby; however, sometimes paying for convenience can be well worth it.