Restaurant of the Month – The Roof at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver


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.

OMG Productions - Restaurant of the Month Hotel Vancouver
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from above. Behind the arched windows below the copper roof is The Roof.

“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.

Framed photos of The Hotel Vancouver’s construction circa late 1930s.

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.

Dal Richards The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Dal Richards bee-bopped his saxophone at The Roof for 25 years.

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 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 Roof Fairmont Vancouver Hotel
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s bar in The Roof restaurant with south-facing views of the city.

Our Experience

The food and service was good but the cranberry and sodas were ridiculously expensive. I had a salmon sandwich.

The Roof at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
The Roof at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver



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.

The Roof at The Fairmont Vancouver Hotel
The Roof at The Fairmont Vancouver Hotel

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:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Bar service
  • Dinner
  • 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.

The Roof Restaurant + Bar