From touchdown at the airport on Sea Island to the tip of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, there are many ways to savor a Fairmont-inspired road trip this summer on Canada’s sunny West Coast. Here are the top stops with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, from Richmond to Whistler, British Columbia.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport
Home to more than a nature conservation area and lush parks, Sea Island, where Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located, makes the deep blue Pacific a gorgeous backdrop for many landings. Time your arrival before 4:30 pm to catch Fairmont Vancouver Airport’s Afternoon Tea (from 2 pm weekdays and from 1 pm weekends). Treats like deviled egg salad and shrimp savory tart, rye bread with truffle cream cheese, plus sweets from macarons to blueberry cheesecake and Lot 35 tea make a soft landing for any weary traveler.
Spend a restful, quiet night, then enjoy cycling along scenic local trails, exploring beach parks and the shore of the mighty Fraser River. Complimentary BMW bike rentals are available for registered hotel guests, or you can rent an eBike, which includes a refuel package with a bottle of water, fresh fruit and a house-made power bar.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Downtown Vancouver is a short 30-minute drive from the airport, but Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and its art deco-inspired Notch8 restaurant take you on a glamorous trip back in time. (Make no mistake, though, the amenities are ultramodern, including PlugShare electric car parking!)
Fortify yourself with an Afternoon Tea to Go from Notch 8 (including a kid-friendly combo with peanut butter sammies and lemon meringue waffle cone from the in-house pastry shop) before exploring the elegant landmarks of Vancouver. The city’s famous 19th-century Stanley Park is a must-do activity!
Cruise past Vancouver’s waterfront landmarks (including the green-roofed Convention Centre and Digital Orca, a statue by artist and author Douglas Coupland that makes the perfect Instagram background) and pull up to Fairmont Waterfront. The Bottomless Weekend Brunch in ARC restaurant, where the harbor views are as expansive as the offerings, justify staying. Choose from an Ooey Gooey Skillet of apple-caramel croissants to breakfast tacos, salmon eggs Benedict and beef short rib poutine. The small plates are endless. Park the car and take flight with a SKY is the Limit package: an intimate helicopter ride to the high-alpine backcountry, with a picnic lunch for two and an overnight stay.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Chic modern vibes define Vancouver’s fashionable Fairmont Pacific Rim.The hotel’s summer pop-up, Oakridge x Pac Rim Patio, creates a cool urban retreat among the shiny waterfront towers. Inspired by the design of the new Oakridge Park development in the city’s south, the patio is influenced in equal parts by the rice terraces of Southeast Asia and the coastal temperate rainforests of British Columbia. The grassy terrace is defined by distinct, carved hills creating topographic forms and surrounded by fire pit lounge seating, shady umbrella-topped tables, and even a food truck-style kitchen for parkside dining vibes. The food (including spicy tuna hand rolls and mango avocado noodle salad) is light and the live music (Thursday to Sunday) is bright, making this a perfect overnight pit stop.
Recharge at the resort-style Willow Stream Spa. Perched on the fifth floor and surrounded by soothing views from a dreamy spa terrace, the 8,500-square-foot spa offers nine treatment areas, a nail salon, three lounges, plus a Jacuzzi®, mineral bath, and infrared sauna.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
No Vancouver vacay is complete without a road trip up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler, and perhaps a stop halfway at the Sea to Sky Gondola. Take in sweeping ocean, mountain and coastal forest views on the ride up, plus find walking trails, viewing platforms and the thrilling Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge at the top.
Whistler Village itself is as much a biking, hiking and mountain-village gem in summer as it is during ski season. Check into Fairmont Chateau Whistler and build your own sandwich at Portobello, such as the Perfectly Perfect Porchetta, pairing it with a fresh house-made donut to take along on your adventure. Motor up to Whistler Olympic Park to see where records were set during the 2010 games. When it’s time for a lunch of hearty bean, potato or veggie salads and sandwiches (from vegan to piled-high deli meat), leave room for a West Coast classic dessert: Nanaimo bars. Or join a daily Whistler Experience Guide activity: options include a Valley Trail bike ride, sunrise paddleboarding at Lost Lake, mountain sightseeing, an excursion to nearby organic farming mecca Pemberton or a hike to spots like Rainbow Falls.
No matter where you stop on your Pacific Northwest road trip this summer, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are there to help make wonderful memories.