Honeymooning in Vancouver: A Conversation with a VIP Concierge at Fairmont Pacific Rim

Couple cycling in Stanley Park; Destination Vancouver/Rishad Daroowala

Vancouver is a very popular destination for couples looking to enjoy their honeymoon. Sue Yoon, a VIP Concierge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and Regional Treasurer for Les Cles d’Or (an international association for hotel concierges), offers suggestions on romantic things to do and see while in the city.

Yoon is very enthusiastic about Vancouver as a vacation choice for honeymooners. “It’s a great place for everyone but, especially for honeymooners, they can experience nature and city experiences at the same time. They don’t have to go too far to do both,” she says. Yoon finds that honeymooners really like having a wealth of activities and scenic places at their doorstep.

Photo: Fairmont Pacific Rim

The Fairmont Pacific Rim—with its ideal location in the heart of downtown, just by the harbour—hosts many honeymooners. Yoon says many couples get married at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and then stay on after the wedding. Many of their out-of-town family and friends also stay at the hotel and turn their trip into a longer vacation.

Yoon says couples from all over the world, including British Columbia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Asia, come to explore the city as well as experience nearby nature. She says some couples like to start in Vancouver for a cross Canada tour, driving to Calgary and then flying eastward to visit other major cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City.

Couples like to stay in the hotel’s luxurious Ofuro corner guestrooms that offer stunning sightlines of the harbour, Canada Place, and the North Shore mountains. They feature marble bathrooms with deep soaker Ofuro jetted tubs for spa-like relaxation.

Signature Ofuro Bathroom; Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel by James KM Cheng Architects; Westbank

Staff at the hotel make the room special, coordinating with the couple in terms of how they would like it decorated. The Fairmont Pacific Rim offers a complimentary service that supports guests in ordering flowers from The Ivy Room on the ground floor, as well as other decorations, such as balloons. Rose petals can be strewn on the bed, as well as used to brighten up other parts of the room. “Everything depends on the guests’ requirements. We try not to do too much in the room because our rooms themselves have beautiful views.”

When guests arrive, they’ll find a gift, such as some bubbly or a bottle or red or white wine in the room for them to toast their next chapter together. “There is a little surprise in the room to welcome them,” Yoon says.

Once they’re settled in, the couple is all set to explore Vancouver and the surrounding area at their leisure. Yoon says that couples today tend to prefer to come up with their own daily plans, although they seek her expert recommendations.

Yoon offers some general suggestions, with other recommendations tailored to the customers’ unique interests and personalities. Breakfast is served on the second floor, with a cocktail-paired brunch on the weekends at Botanist. Couples like sitting at a special corner table with a prime view.

Photo: Fairmont Pacific Rim

From there, Yoon recommends if it’s a lovely day, taking advantage of the hotel’s seasonal Bike Butler program, which rents bicycles and e-bikes on a first-come first-serve basis. Couples can bike around the Stanley Park seawall, snapping photos, and stopping at Cactus Club Café at English Bay or the Teahouse in Stanley Park for a bite. “We suggest having a snack or drink there, and walking around Ferguson Point,” Yoon says.

Destination Vancouver/Rishad Daroowala

If a couple wants to venture out of downtown, Yoon suggests they visit Granville Island for a picturesque browsing experience. “They can walk around the shops on Granville Island. There are a lot of cute, local arts and crafts vendors,” Yoon says. The couple can grab a snack or light meal at Granville Island before hopping onto the Aquabus for a fun ride around False Creek (stops include Yaletown, Plaza of Nations, and Olympic Village). Many of their boats are bicycle-friendly so couples can take the ferry and then bike around an area after getting off.

The Aquabus; Photo: Destination Vancouver/Tanya Goehring

For dinner, Fairmont Pacific Rim has a couple prime dining options: Botanist, which spotlights Pacific Northwest cuisine and The Lobby Lounge and RawBar, which features live music (Mon-Wed 6pm-9pm Thurs-Sun 4:30pm-11pm). Yoon also recommends nearby Nightingale Restaurant for their elegant comfort food and top-notch cocktails, and Miku for their aburi sushi, drinks, great patio, and scenic views.

Yaletown is Yoon’s recommendations for couples wanted to dress up and have a night out on the town. “The area is more upscale and has very nice lounges around there,” she says. Couples can walk there from the hotel (25-30 minute walk) or they can use the house car service, available first-come first-serve, that can drop them off anywhere in the downtown core.

Yoon says other popular spots for honeymooners include Gastown and Chinatown, especially Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classic Chinese Garden. Couples who want a more active spot go to Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver for a short hike and a visit to the suspension bridge, or they go to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown, Vancouver

Yoon goes with her partner to see the lighthouse and finds it very romantic. “You can feel nature and see the water but you can also see Stanley Park and downtown from there. It’s intimate—it can just be the two of you, and you can make a great memory from it,” she says, adding that it’s a great photo spot.

Further afield, Yoon says many couples go to Squamish to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola to take in the views, do some hiking, and walk along the suspension bridge. They also visit Shannon Falls, the third highest waterfall in BC, while in Squamish. The views along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, there and back, are wonderful.

Photo: Sea to Sky Gondola

Horseshoe Bay, a small community in West Vancouver, is an easy drive from downtown Vancouver over the Lions Gate bridge. Yoon recommends going there to enjoy a coffee and pastry from a local café and walking around, soaking up the natural beauty.

And for honeymooners that just want to relax, Yoon says a couple’s spa experience is just the thing. The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim recently launched Rainforest Ritual, which is inspired by Vancouver’s natural environment. Couples can bliss out with scents of cedar, pine, and fir, as well as enjoy a Pacific sea salt scrub, a detoxifying bath in an Ofuro tub, a relaxing massage with wilderness oil and hot basalt stones, as well as glacial clay masks for their feet and faces. Lunch and glasses of bubbly are also included. Two hours before or after the treatment, couples have access to the spa facilities, which include a jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room. It’s also possible to book access to the facilities for 3-hour time slots.

Spa lounge; Photo: Fairmont Pacific Rim

Yoon loves helping couples curate their most romantic honeymoon in Vancouver. She’s lived in the city for 15 years and is passionate about what it has to offer. “I love it. I want to share everything I know with people. I want people to know what I have done, so quite often I use my own experiences, she says. She also meets regular with other Les Cles d’Or members to share their knowledge on the city. Ultimately, she does her utmost to ensure that honeymooners have a very memorable vacation in Vancouver. “I want them to have the best time. I have a small talk with them and read their personalities and their lifestyle, and it goes from there,” she says.

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