After decades languishing as the most woefully under-utilized and dated function space The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver renovated their 15th floor, know as The Roof Restaurant + Bar.
“Under the copper green roof at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, a remarkable icon has returned to the city’s centre for a limited engagement – The ROOF Restaurant + Bar”
A Classic Venue
The Hotel Vancouver was opened by King George and Queen Elizabeth during their coast-to-coast visit to Canada in 1939. Yes, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s parents.
The Roof was the best place in Vancouver for dinner, dancing and 360 degree, unobstructed views while listening to the iconic Dal Richards and his 11-piece big band.
However, as the decades wore on so did the carpet. And wallpaper. And floor. And a few more decades of bad interior design (1970s and 1980s), The Roof ended up smelling like a Galiano and sticky orange juice hangover and looking worse. Available for group buy outs only. Contact The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Sales Team for a site tour.
A Fairmont History
The recession of 2008-2009 kicked the hotel industry in the teeth. That coupled with the onslaught of OTAs (online travel agencies like www.booking.com) caused significant layoffs, cut-backs, resource consolidation, spirally room rates and frighteningly low hotel occupancy.
All this during the planning for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
One casualty was the renovation of The Roof Restaurant + Bar renovation. Financially, the hotel could not afford the multi-million dollar investment that the space so deserved.
During the Olympics and its celebrations and parties, The Roof Restaurant + Bar languished like a loser stuck in the ditch while the party bus whizzed by.
Flash forward a few years and The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver finally put the monies together to renovate and modernize – just in time for the hotel’s 75th birthday.
The food and service was good but the cranberry and sodas were ridiculously expensive. I had a salmon sandwich.
A few points off for the drop ceiling. Perhaps necessary for the new sound system and lighting? It also prevented the needed height in the room and reduced a portion of the gorgeous arched windows.
Some people remarked that the décor and colour scheme was too seniors retirement home. My suspicion is that they went safe instead of bold.
The room has expansive north and south views over the city. We could only imagine how impressive the views were 60 years ago – or even 15 years ago – before the swarming invasion of skyscrapers.
However as one of the only half-way decent restaurants located above the ground floor let’s consider this a new era and new trend in eateries levitating beyond street level to take advantage of Vancouver’s amazing views.
Until the $12 million lobby renovations are complete, The Roof Restaurant + Bar will serve as the only food and beverage outlet for the entire hotel offering:
- Afternoon Tea
- Bar service
- Late night bar
It’s worth visiting to check it out; bring a friend, relative or mother and enjoy a glass of wine before the main floor renovations are complete and the space reverts back to group meeting space only.