Taste of Vancouver

by Rona Berg

We checked in to the stylish Fairmont Pacific Rim and admired the airy lobby and sleek Lobby Lounge and RawBar. As we waited by the elevators, my friend grabbed my arm, and practically squeezed the life out of it.

“George Clooney,” she whispered, through gritted teeth. Her head gave a barely perceptible nod in the direction of the adjacent elevator bank, just in time for me to catch a man’s rear end disappear before the door closed. “Really?,” I said. “Clooney?” She nodded. “Yes. Well. I think so.”

Whether it was or was not, we’ll never know. But the point is, it easily could have been. It’s that kind of hotel: luxurious, chic, comfortable, Clooney-worthy. After a long flight, the deep, Japanese-style Ofuro tub beckoned from the spacious square bathroom with floor-to-ceiling glass windows showcasing mountain and water views. Next up: a Serenity Ritual at the Willow Stream Spa, with heady oils and scrubs from Beauty Through Balance, a lovely local brand. (Stay tuned for the new spa Heli-Retreat launching next spring or early summer.)

The Cocktail Lab, above the lobby, is home to artful drinks “created to reflect an aspect of nature: earth, fire, air,” according to the mixologist, with ingredients like kelp, blue algae, sea buckthorn, chamomile, grapefruit and more. And, with Vancouver’s stated goal to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, it’s no surprise that the Lab is straw-free, except for one biodegradable version, made from corn. The Botanist, a brilliant restaurant celebrating the Pacific Northwest by showcasing local and foraged foods, is right next door, and, according to Wine Director Jill Spoor, about 30 percent of the wines served are biodynamic, while the rest are organic and sustainable.

Fueled, fortified, relaxed and refreshed, the Fairmont Pacific Rim is the perfect perch from which to launch the sightseeing and hiking excursions that Vancouver has to offer. fairmont.com/pacific-rim-vancouver/ 

- Rona Berg

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