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Old Mar 29, 11, 7:18 am   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Switzerland
Programs: MR Silver, DL Silver, Amex Plat (IDC)
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Need your help for a Fairmont trip

Hi everyone!

I will take a small and fast trip this summer in West Canada (i'm from Switzerland) and I want to be FPC plat this year too (the girl at customer service told me if i'm plat before sept. I will be prequalified (mean I dont have to wait March 2012 to get my statut i think).

So, will be just one short week (up to 10 days) from and to Vancouver.

My list is the following:

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
The Fairmont Waterfront
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler
The Fairmont Jasper
The Fairmont Edmonton
The Fairmont Palliser (?)
The Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport

my idea is to spend 1 or 2 nights at each place to see the area (I know will be fast).

So, I want to know with your experience, what is better to do? And wich Fairmont is "must see".

Thanks for your help! (I will travel alone and I like to drive lot of km!) so no issue.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 7:33 am   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post
Hi everyone!

I will take a small and fast trip this summer in West Canada (i'm from Switzerland) and I want to be FPC plat this year too (the girl at customer service told me if i'm plat before sept. I will be prequalified (mean I dont have to wait March 2012 to get my statut i think).
Your profile would get upgraded to Plat after completing 10 stays, but you wouldnīt get any additional upgrade/free nigth certs. Youīd likely be able to take advantage of the tangible benefits like early check-in, late check-out etc, but Iīm not sure itīs worth it to put any effort into getting Plat status in Sept vs. March 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post
Hi everyone!
So, will be just one short week (up to 10 days) from and to Vancouver.

My list is the following:

The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
The Fairmont Waterfront
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler
The Fairmont Jasper
The Fairmont Edmonton
The Fairmont Palliser (?)
The Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport

my idea is to spend 1 or 2 nights at each place to see the area (I know will be fast).

So, I want to know with your experience, what is better to do? And wich Fairmont is "must see".

Thanks for your help! (I will travel alone and I like to drive lot of km!) so no issue.
Thatīs indeed a LOT of driving youīre planning to do.

IMO both the Macdonald and the Palliser are nothing to get excited about, but may be convenient as a layover.

In Vancouver, iīd definitely try to include the Pacifc Rim, definitely the nicest Fairmont hotel in Vancouver IMO.

My favourite property in the Rockies is the Jasper Park Lodge, but many prefer the Banff Springs, both are great hotels not to be missed, Lake Louise has a great lake, but the Fairmont rooms are pretty mediocre (unlike the rooms on the Gold floor are very nice)

Whistler is a bit out of your way, and itīs not that an exciting place in summer anyway, but personally Iīd probably drop it and add one more night in the Rockies or in Vancouver.

Have you considered a routing like Edmonton - Jasper - Lake Louise - Banff - Calgary? The Icefield Parkway definitely is a must IMO and is one of the msot scenic routes in Canada.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 10:04 am   #3
 
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Jasper Park Lodge is also my favorite, but I think lots prefer the Banff Springs. I like JPL for the cabin feel, and just prefer the Jasper area better in general!

I LOVE the Whistler property in Winter, there is nothing better than having a Corono in the outdoor hot tubs. That being said, I am also a big fan of the Whistler area in summer, so it is a tough decision! I would probably do the Vancovuer/Whistler thing, and then hop on a plane and fly to Calgary or Edmonton (westjet or Air Canada are your 2 options), and then do the rocky mountain circle (Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Edmonton - or vice versa).
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Old Mar 29, 11, 12:34 pm   #4
 
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Good advice above, though I have to disagree with Jasper on this point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
Whistler is a bit out of your way, and itīs not that an exciting place in summer anyway, but personally Iīd probably drop it and add one more night in the Rockies or in Vancouver.
There is plenty going on in Whistler in the summer (they actually get more total visitors in the summer than in the winter). Since Vancouver is your starting point Whistler is just a 2 hour drive up the spectacular Sea-to-Sky highway and far easier to get to than Banff or Jasper. And the Chateau is fantastic property.

Since your trip is short I'd recommend just sticking to Vancouver & Whistler (with a possible add on of Vancovuer Island), and save the Alberta Rockies for a future trip to/from Calgary. You can maximize stays by moving between the three downtown Vancouver Fairmonts, they're all within a few blocks of each other.

If the Rockies are a must-do then I'd follow CFH's advice and look into flights between Vancouver and Calgary or Edmonton. Otherwise a route like Vancouver - Whistler - Jasper - Banff/Lake Louise - Vancouver would be a great driving loop, but to do it in only 7-10 days wouldn't allow a whole of time to enjoy these places. It really depends on what you're looking to do while there.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 12:50 pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laner View Post
Good advice above, though I have to disagree with Jasper on this point:

There is plenty going on in Whistler in the summer (they actually get more total visitors in the summer than in the winter). Since Vancouver is your starting point Whistler is just a 2 hour drive up the spectacular Sea-to-Sky highway and far easier to get to than Banff or Jasper. And the Chateau is fantastic property.
No problem, I was just thinking the Rockies may be more impressive in summer than Whistler, but itīs certainly not a bad place. Iīd definitely choose Whistler over Calgary/Edmonton.

Adding Victoria / concentrating on the West Coast may not be a bad idea, or as suggested above take a plane from YVR to YYC/YEG to save time.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 2:08 pm   #6
 
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Since the OP said he loves driving I suggest something along these lines:
Arrive Calgary: Palliser
Drive to Banff Springs
Drive to Jasper Park Lodge
Drive down to Lake Louise
Drive to Vancouver stay at: Pacific Rim
Drive to Whistler
Drive back down to Horseshoe Bay and take ferry to Vancouver Island and stay at Empress
Drive to Tsawassen Bay take ferry back to Vancouver if you are leaving next day you can stay at Fairmont Vancouver airport or back to the Pacific Rim

So that's 8 nights so you can decide where to stay an additional two nights so you don't have to drive every day. Most of the drives are actually only a couple hours except for getting to Jasper and Vancouver.

I've done a very similar trip quite a few times over the years when family comes to visit from Europe. They have all been very impressed since most of the Fairmonts are actually landmarks to see anyway. Now I haven't done it in such a short period but not much longer either.

It's just a tough call in case you want to shorten the amount of driving which Fairmonts to exclude. Being Suisse the OP gets a good chance to be amongst mountains but I still think Whistler is a must see. It's just 100% different then the resorts OP has back home. Victoria/Vancouver have the Ocean which the OP also doesn't have in his backyard.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 3:28 pm   #7
 
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Options for Fairmont properties in BC and Alberta

There are a number of sample itineraries for the properties referenced on the Fairmont website. These itineraries include travel times, recommended excursions and other useful insights:

http://mountain-resorts.fairmont.com/38/itineraries
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Old Mar 29, 11, 3:52 pm   #8
 
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Wow! To many replies! Thanks so much!

So, I think the idea to fly from Vancouver to Calgary can be good and fun too! Vancouver is a easy city to discove by feet? or NEED a car?

So for Vancouver I will do the Pacific Rim and the Fairmont Vancouver then take the plane to Calgary and do the:

Banff
Lake Louise
Jasper
Edmonton
Calgary

I dont want to only sleep one night in each hotel, because you can't really "enjoy" the place when is just one night, so I was not sure if I go to Edmonton (MacDonald is a must see too? I know lot of you knows this hotel).

Banff is a little kid dream, and I booked this hotel for next year (honeymoon trip (my poor future wife hate trees )) So I want to check if can be still good!

And when back to Vancouver, stay maybe in Fairmont Airport? I read at some place the Fairmont Airport is a good one, or maybe I just wait to book when i start my trip and see wich one (between Pacitic Rim and Fairmont Vancouver) is my fav.

Thanks everyone and sorry for my english mistakes!
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Old Mar 29, 11, 4:10 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: YYC or P2P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post
Wow! To many replies! Thanks so much!

So, I think the idea to fly from Vancouver to Calgary can be good and fun too! Vancouver is a easy city to discove by feet? or NEED a car?

I dont want to only sleep one night in each hotel, because you can't really "enjoy" the place when is just one night, so I was not sure if I go to Edmonton (MacDonald is a must see too? I know lot of you knows this hotel).

Banff is a little kid dream, and I booked this hotel for next year (honeymoon trip (my poor future wife hate trees )) So I want to check if can be still good!

And when back to Vancouver, stay maybe in Fairmont Airport? I read at some place the Fairmont Airport is a good one, or maybe I just wait to book when i start my trip and see wich one (between Pacitic Rim and Fairmont Vancouver) is my fav.

Thanks everyone and sorry for my english mistakes!
No need for a car in Vancouver. Cabs are everywhere and fairly cheap. Also the Skytrain from the airport to downtown is cheap and fast.

The Calgary and Edmonton Fairmonts can't be compared to the others on the list. I would suggest spend your nights at other hotels if your schedule allows.

Fairmont Vancouver Airport is a great "Airport" hotel but you can't really compare it to Pacific Rim Hotel and it's location. But once again I think this is a schedule thing, if you have lots of time before heading home in Vancouver I would choose a downtown hotel and enjoy your last day near the water, superb restaurants and social scene.

In case you have an extra night by not spending it in Calgary or Edmonton you can rent a car for a day in Vancouver and go to Whistler or Victoria because even just the journeys to these hotels are wonderful.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 6:10 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokinos View Post
Since the OP said he loves driving I suggest something along these lines:
Arrive Calgary: Palliser
Drive to Banff Springs
Drive to Jasper Park Lodge
Drive down to Lake Louise
Drive to Vancouver stay at: Pacific Rim
Drive to Whistler
Drive back down to Horseshoe Bay and take ferry to Vancouver Island and stay at Empress
Drive to Tsawassen Bay take ferry back to Vancouver if you are leaving next day you can stay at Fairmont Vancouver airport or back to the Pacific Rim

So that's 8 nights so you can decide where to stay an additional two nights so you don't have to drive every day. Most of the drives are actually only a couple hours except for getting to Jasper and Vancouver.

I've done a very similar trip quite a few times over the years when family comes to visit from Europe. They have all been very impressed since most of the Fairmonts are actually landmarks to see anyway. Now I haven't done it in such a short period but not much longer either.

It's just a tough call in case you want to shorten the amount of driving which Fairmonts to exclude. Being Suisse the OP gets a good chance to be amongst mountains but I still think Whistler is a must see. It's just 100% different then the resorts OP has back home. Victoria/Vancouver have the Ocean which the OP also doesn't have in his backyard.
If I could correct something, it would make much more sense to do Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Vancouver. Less backtracking since you drive right by LL on the way to Jasper.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 6:52 pm   #11
 
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like others i recommend skipping Edmonton and Calgary Fairmont. Highly recommend the drive from Banff to Jasper.

Skip the Fairmont Airport hotel in Vancouver unless you have a very early flight. I would only stay at the Pacific Rim in Vancouver. Are you trying to gain status by jumping around to each hotel? You only need 10 stays for platinum. So Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Pacific Rim and just book one room a night check in/out to double up the visit count.
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Old Mar 29, 11, 8:39 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
If I could correct something, it would make much more sense to do Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Vancouver. Less backtracking since you drive right by LL on the way to Jasper.
Good point. I thought Jasper-Vancouver was a much longer drive then Louise-Van until I just looked at the map. Drive lots in BC and Alberta but rarely go north of the TransCanada highway.
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Old Mar 30, 11, 2:24 am   #13
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post
Wow! To many replies! Thanks so much!

So, I think the idea to fly from Vancouver to Calgary can be good and fun too! Vancouver is a easy city to discove by feet? or NEED a car?

So for Vancouver I will do the Pacific Rim and the Fairmont Vancouver then take the plane to Calgary and do the:

Banff
Lake Louise
Jasper
Edmonton
Calgary

I dont want to only sleep one night in each hotel, because you can't really "enjoy" the place when is just one night, so I was not sure if I go to Edmonton (MacDonald is a must see too? I know lot of you knows this hotel).

Banff is a little kid dream, and I booked this hotel for next year (honeymoon trip (my poor future wife hate trees )) So I want to check if can be still good!

And when back to Vancouver, stay maybe in Fairmont Airport? I read at some place the Fairmont Airport is a good one, or maybe I just wait to book when i start my trip and see wich one (between Pacitic Rim and Fairmont Vancouver) is my fav.

Thanks everyone and sorry for my english mistakes!
If you want to stay more than one night at each hotel, you can and build additional enhanced benefits by signing up your girlfriend as an FPC member as well. For example, if at the Hotel MacDonald you want to stay two nights.. reserve one night under your name for a stay credit, and reserve another under your girlfriend's. So if she stays 5 stays, she'll be a Premier member and receive certificates for the following year as a Premier member as well.. which includes a room upgrade, suite upgrade, $50 in dining certificates, and a third night free certificate as well. Reservations must be made in advance for Fairmont to honor seperate palates, and portfolios cannot be credited/adjusted after a stay is made.
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Old Mar 30, 11, 3:00 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post
So, I think the idea to fly from Vancouver to Calgary can be good and fun too! Vancouver is a easy city to discove by feet? or NEED a car?
Vancouver is a great city to walk around and use public transport/taxis if necessary, Robson Street to the Harbour front is about 10-15min, Stanley Park is about 10min walk from the Pacific Rim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post
I dont want to only sleep one night in each hotel, because you can't really "enjoy" the place when is just one night, so I was not sure if I go to Edmonton (MacDonald is a must see too? I know lot of you knows this hotel).
Spending at least two nights at each property is a good idea.

If youīre staying at the Banff Springs for two nights, you could limit yourself to one night at Lake Louise (itīs only half an hour away)

Also, if you do include Edmonton or Calgary, I wouldnīt stay more than one night. (personally I donīt consider them "must visit" hotels and would probably skip them alltogether)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post

Banff is a little kid dream, and I booked this hotel for next year (honeymoon trip (my poor future wife hate trees )) So I want to check if can be still good!
The Banff Springs is a great hotel, though as mentioned above, I prefer Jasper in terms of location. I guess Canada isnīt the best place if she hates trees, I donīt get too excited about forests either, but combined with a lake, some mountains and a Fairmont hotel you get one the nicest places on earth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alelex View Post
And when back to Vancouver, stay maybe in Fairmont Airport? I read at some place the Fairmont Airport is a good one, or maybe I just wait to book when i start my trip and see wich one (between Pacitic Rim and Fairmont Vancouver) is my fav.
Iīd definitely recommend staying at the Pacific Rim. The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is likely the nicest airport hotel Iīve seen and definitely is a 4*+ hotel, but not as nice as the Pacific Rim.
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Old Mar 30, 11, 3:04 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokinos View Post
In case you have an extra night by not spending it in Calgary or Edmonton you can rent a car for a day in Vancouver and go to Whistler or Victoria because even just the journeys to these hotels are wonderful.
Fully agree that Victoria or Whistler would be a better choice than Calgary or Edmonton.

iīd recommend taking a seaplane from Vancouver Coal Harbour, spend one night at the Fairmont Empress and return to Vancouver (staying at the Pacific Rim).

Both the Pacific Rim and the Empress are about 50m away from where the seaplanes land and the flight is a great experience (flight takes about 25min and will also save a lot of time vs. taking a car/ferry)
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