By TIM JOHNSON
It wasn’t so long ago that airport hotels were notorious for their mediocrity, one-and-done affairs that (sometimes) offered a decent night of sleep—and little more—to travellers who were interested in just one thing: being close to the airport.
But those days are quickly passing away, in part because of hotels like the Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel at Vancouver International Airport. Opened in 2000, this 400-room, AAA four-diamond hotel has raised the bar, winning top honours in North America for 2011 and 2012 at the Skytrax World Airport Hotel Awards, an accolade based on an independent survey of travellers from more than 100 countries.
While it is certainly close to the runway—an escalator from the international departures terminal leads to the lobby, no shuttle required—it offers much more than proximity. Its design, integrating stonework and copper, recalls the glory days of Canadian Pacific Railway hotels (most of which are now in the Fairmont family). It also has state-of-the-art business facilities, a full-service health club, indoor pool, a day spa with more than 130 treatments, including a number focused on alleviating jet-lag. The restaurant, Globe@YVR, serves an elaborate afternoon tea, and executive chef Geoffrey Carkner’s Garden to Globe menu features greens harvested from the hotel’s own garden, just 6 km from the airport, as well as honey from an on-site beehive.
Perhaps the best thing about the Fairmont YVR is the quiet. While floor-to-ceiling windows let plenty of light into the spacious rooms, they’re insulated to keep out most of the sound—meaning that you will indeed be well rested for your next-day flight.The Fairmont Vancouver Airport
Vancouver International Airport
3111 Grant McConachi Way
Vancouver, BC V7B 0A6 604-207-5200