A grand Vancouver castle
With its stone façade bedecked with gargoyles and its jade-hued roof standing out amid Vancouver’s steel-and-glass towers, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is known as the “Castle in the City.” Though today’s travelers are more likely to arrive by air or cruise ship, the hotel was built in 1939 as one of the majestic Canadian railway hotels. The property retains the glamour of that travel era, particularly in its grand public spaces, where uniformed staff welcome guests beneath sparkling chandeliers. Its central downtown location makes it convenient for both business and leisure travelers.
Despite the formal atmosphere, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver welcomes families with amenities that include kid-sized bathrobes (handy for heading to the glass-enclosed swimming pool) and a special children’s menu for the sumptuous afternoon tea. The 556 guest rooms balance a traditional, almost prim décor, with flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and other modern essentials. The hotel’s spacious Lobby Bar is a comfortably elegant perch for a cocktail. If you need more pampering, head for the Absolute Spa on the lower level. It was the city’s first spa to cater to men — with its sleek unfussy design and guy-friendly treatments — although women are welcome, too.