Hotel Fairmont Waterfront
By Megan Jones

Home Away From Home

Located on Vancouver’s bustling Coal Harbour waterfront, the Fairmont Waterfront hotel is celebrated by locals and visitors alike for its stunning views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains, luxury amenities, and professional yet highly personal approach to guest services.

“Guests can tell we’re like family here,” explains marketing manager, Kristyna Vogel, of the hotel's staff. Like many of the 420 employees at the hotel, Kristyna has worked here for more than a decade, from cleaning rooms to head office. “We’re all very hands-on, passionate about our jobs, and we want our guests to have the best experience possible," she continues.

The Fairmont Waterfront experience begins, of course, in the lobby, where design takes inspiration from the grand hotels of the 30s and 40s – with a contemporary twist. For example, crystal chandeliers sparkle above geometrically-patterned floors, and oversized, black columns are at once historic and visually striking.

Venture beyond the front desk, and the spacious hotel – with rooms that range from cozy queens to expansive penthouse suites – offers the latest in modern amenities including a rooftop pool and state-of-the-art wellness centre. “We have many returning guests who call the hotel their 'home away from home’,” Kristyna says with a smile.

We have many returning guests who call the hotel their 'home away from home. - Kristyna Vogel, marketing manager
Rooms at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel rooms that range from cozy queens to expansive penthouse suites.
Rooms at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel rooms that range from cozy queens to expansive penthouse suites. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel

Sustainability Meets Luxury

Many guests are surprised to learn that their stay at the Fairmont Waterfront is as eco-friendly as it is luxurious. Indeed, as staff clean rooms, arrange dry-cleaning, or organize corporate events, they are collectively working towards officially becoming a 90-percent waste-free hotel.

Achieving such a lofty goal doesn’t come easy, Kristyna explains; it requires deliberate and consistent action from every single member on the team. “For example, our cleaning staff go through the trash cans in each room, separating recyclables from compost and garbage, and even our accountants help by opting for electronic documents instead of printed files,” Kristyna  says.

The hotel's sustainability initiatives range from waste-free business meetings, a staff-wide ban on disposable coffee cups, and a picturesque rooftop garden that sprouts herbs, garlic, tomatoes, and other produce for ARC Restaurant below. “Our executive chef Karan Suri chooses what’s to be grown each season, and his menus are built around these ingredients as much as possible,” Kristyna explains.

Fairmont's
Fairmont's bee butler and health and safety manager, Michael King, maintains the rooftop apiary and bee hotel, and leads tours of both. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel

A Buzzing Rooftop Sanctuary

In keeping with its environmental commitment, Fairmont Waterfront's social responsibility programs give back to a variety of local, underserved communities around the hotel – from residents of the Downtown Eastside to Vancouver's indigenous bees.

Among its many initiatives, the hotel works with and supports Hives for Humanity, a local non-profit teaching urban beekeeping skills to vulnerable residents, who in-turn earn money through maintaining hives that bolster threatened indigenous bee populations. "We love working with Hives for Humanity – they are a great organization, " says Kristyna.

The Fairmont Waterfront's passion for bees does not end with its relationship to Hives for Humanity. Curious guests can view the hotel's own rooftop apiary, next to the pool. Even better, they can attend a guided tour of the hives with a bee butler: the hotel's passionate health and safety manager, who provides fun, informative talks about bees, complete with a white suit, gloves and top hat. “He’s an engaging speaker whose passion for bees and habitat preservation is contagious,” says Kristyna.

Tag along during the bee tour, and you may even get a chance to view a hotel within a hotel – a tall, wooden structure filled with twigs, moss, cotton and other materials. The rooftop "bee hotel" provides a sanctuary for endangered local bees, all above street level.

“It's a safe and sustainable place to rest,” says Kristyna, perfectly summing up the hotel’s approach not only to bees, but to its other guests as well – the non-buzzing kind, that is.

Located on Vancouver’s bustling Coal Harbour waterfront, the Vancouver Fairmont Waterfront Hotel is celebrated by locals and visitors alike for its stunning views of the Burrard Inlet and North Shore Mountains.
Located on Vancouver’s bustling Coal Harbour waterfront, the Vancouver Fairmont Waterfront Hotel is celebrated by locals and visitors alike for its stunning views of the Burrard Inlet and North Shore Mountains. Photo courtesy of The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
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