Herons Restaurant, with two-story windows overlooking the water and mountains, is located just off the lobby. It serves regional cuisine and showcases Canadian wines. Of note is the use of over 50 varieties of herbs, all grown in the hotel's own 2,100-square-foot terrace herb harden. The garden, which can be seen from some of the rooms, is a haven for small birds; keep an eye out for the visiting peregrine. Herons Lounge features tapas and martinis, with live piano music on Thursday and Friday nights.
All of the 489 accommodations come with floor-to-ceiling windows; more than 300 overlook the harbor, while the rest reveal views across the city to the mountains. The style is simple and provincial, incorporating warm, rustic colors, as well as a few marine tones that reflect the landscape outside. Standard rooms come in four categories, essentially rated by their views. The best of these are the 470-square-foot, corner Signature Rooms with 180-degree views. Suites have private bedrooms and upgraded amenities such as CD players; select Executive Suites come with dining areas and private terraces. The split-level Royal Suite is aptly named: Her Royal Highness slept here. Lodging is also offered on the Fairmont Gold level, which is positioned as a hotel within a hotel. Staying here gets you private check-in and -out at a ninth-floor reception area, access to a private lounge with terrace, complimentary breakfast, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, as well as complimentary use of a boardroom. Overall, when rating the bedroom views, we prefer vistas that include the seaplane terminal, staging ground for the ballet of seaplanes in flight over mountain and sea.
Several amenities accompany the scenery, such as a rooftop pool (with—of course—views), a cigar shop (so you can savor a smoke while taking in the views) and a concierge (to give you the lowdown on the views). In short: the views have it. Need we say more?