Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver, British Columbia $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Opened on the eve of the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Pacific Rim conveys urban high-style comfort in a high-energy atmosphere, minus the corporate feel of most hotels popular with both business and leisure travelers. This is the most modern and cosmopolitan property of the three Fairmonts in Vancouver, with unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains, Coal Harbour, and Stanley Park from the 337 rooms. There are spacious standard rooms, deluxes, and suites, done up in a palette of warm beige and taupe with American walnut walls and soft leather furniture. Plush beds have puffy "Euro" pillow-topped Stearns and Foster mattresses and Mascioni bed linens, and the bathrooms are decked out in white Italian marble. Every room is high-tech, with TV-imbedded bathroom mirrors, bedside-controlled drapes, and lighting panels. The Gold Floor (approx. $150 extra) rooms have all that and more, including deeper, richer hues with gold-flecked, chocolate-brown granite in the bathrooms, and terraces that overlook the rooftop patio or the harbor. An outdoor rooftop pool—a rarity in Vancouver—with private cabanas and iron fire pits has excellent food and bar offerings, including Canada's signature Caesar cocktail with vodka and Clamato juice, and apps of yam tempura rolls and Dungeness crab sushi. The fifth-floor Willow Stream Spa has a 4,000-square-foot fitness and relaxation zone, complete with fireplace-warmed lounges and an outdoor terrace. Executive Chef Darren Brown oversees the second-floor Oru Pan-Asian Bistro and two watering holes: the Skybar overlooking the lobby lounge and a cool bar at the entrance to the hotel. Popular Asian afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge features sushi and tea sandwiches. All that, plus the hotel's friendly staff, comes at a price, but the hotel's resort-style charm makes it worth the splurge.—Kasey Wilson
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