Coming to the Fairmont Pacific Rim is like stepping into your favourite movie, complete with Frank Sinatra music, fedora wearing hipsters and quarter-of-a-million-dollar white Fazioli piano as a backdrop. But unlike cinema, it is live, and you are part of the production.
Theatrical, more 3D than real life, it’s Hyper-Hospitality and the gauntlet has been thrown down in this urban setting otherwise known as Vancouver. As any young hotel would be, Pacific Rim is a little showy, a little cocky, but it appears to back it up. Their attention to detail and design is nearly OCD—the ultra-modernity of the space is all about raising convenience to ‘experience’ with the goal to always preceding the guest desire before it surfaces to their consciousness.
As I walk through the Pacific Rim, I don’t feel like I’m necessarily in Vancouver, or at least the Vancouver I’ve come to know since childhood. This is a chic new vision of my hometown that has me falling in love. I notice the guests streaming in and marvel at their style—families with designer dressed toddlers, nannies in tow, mothers impossibly groomed holding iPhones and doing business; business men in racing gear rolling their four thousand dollar bikes through the lobby; grandmothers that remind me of Babe Paley—polished, looking impossibly young, wearing jewelry that costs more than a yacht. The typical, soaring lobby is here, as in any Fairmont, but you won’t find any Elk heads on the wall. Instead, structured bamboo chandeliers, and marble walls that melt into marble floors, with deep veins threaded throughout. Marble always feels special but in this lobby, it verges on reverence in a European Cathedral kind of way because there is just so much of it.
Guitar permeates the lobby as a young musician hits the right note between modern and classic. This is unlike any Fairmont I have ever seen and I’m thrilled to get a tour of this space, including a view into the Chairman suite, perfectly suited to rock stars, fashion moguls, and film producers.
I always say that in any hotel, the General Manager is the keeper of the hotel story: clearly, Randy Zupanski is a gifted storyteller. The story (some may call it branding) is infused with a definitive cosmopolitan flavour pared with a Polynesian vibe coupled with high-tech interface that left me in a state of reverie. A television inside the mirror in a sumptuous bathroom? Yes please.
Church, theatre, hotel–all three depend upon the suspension of disbelief so that the audience falls into the story. At the Fairmont Pacific Rim I was sorry to leave and can’t wait to go back and see it evolve into a world-class performer.