Vancouver (YVR)

The Vancouver airport is technically in the city of Richmond, about 30~40 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Richmond is not your typical dull suburb whose only role is playing host to an airport. It has a scenic waterfront, a quaint little fishing village (Steveston), mountain views and a bit of a restaurant scene. It is also where most cruise ships leave from — these airport hotels also make for good accommodations immediately before or after your cruise, too.

Overall Best Vancouver Airport Hotel:

Fairmont Vancouver Airport
Airport Hotel Guru: Fairmont Vancouver AirportAirport Hotel Guru: Fairmont Vancouver Airport

WOW! Classy and luxurious, the Fairmont Vancouver isn’t only one of the world’s best airport hotels, it is one of the world’s best hotels of any sort. The superlative experience starts from the moment you check in — the hotel provides that level of personalized service that makes you wonder whether the staff spent that day planning specifically for your arrival. The rooms are spacious, quiet and plush, and feature a high-tech console that controls everything from the temperature to the drapes and your room’s electronic Do Not Disturb sign. There’s something about the rooms that strike the Airport Hotel Guru as being especially cheerful; perhaps it is the abundance of foliage or the floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide excellent view of the airport and/or mountains. The hotel also features a top-notch gym, spa, and lap pool. We recommend the B&B package — the buffet breakfast is outstanding. Also highly recommended is joining Fairmont’s President Club before your stay — it costs nothing and will speed check-in and provide you with a complimentary newspaper and in-room wi-fi access. The hotel is attached to the airport, reachable by a quick elevator or escalator ride from the departures area. (Indeed, from the Fairmont gym you can look down on people checking into their flights). The Fairmont isn’t only Vancouver Airport’s highest quality hotel it is also its most convenient. Book in advance; the Fairmont’s 392 rooms fill fast. Supremely highly recommended!

Honorable Mention Best Hotel:

River Rock Casino Resort
Airport Hotel Guru: River Rock Casino water slideThe River Rock Casino is inferior to the Fairmont in most ways, especially in terms of room quality, airport convenience, service and food. Still, there are reasons to choose the River Rock. First, it is a cheaper than the Fairmont. Second, it has a casino. And not only slots but a racebook and table games. (The Airport Hotel Guru is a fan of the Red Rock’s poker tournaments). Third, the River Rock’s swimming pool is larger than the Fairmont’s; the water slide here will be a big hit with the kids. The River Rock is also located on a marina boardwalk, which means getting an outdoorsy Vancouver-like experience is as easy as taking a stroll. We also appreciate the River Rock’s theater that puts on off-Vegas (if that’s a term) shows such as Joan Rivers or Thunder From Down Under. All the accommodations are in suites that aren’t luxurious, per se, but functional and more than comfortable. The two bedroom suites are an especially good value. Happilyy, the River Rock offers free in-room internet. Sadly, they do not offer free airport transportation — the 8 minute airport taxi ride will set you back around $12.

Closest Accommodations to the Vancouver Airport:

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport (see above) is essentially connected to the airport.

Cheapest Vancouver Airport Hotel:

There is no super-cheap option that meets our criteria of an airport hotel. The cheapest hotels generally have rates around $75. Our favorites in this category in the order we recommend them:

  1. Ramada Limited Vancouver Airport – Clean and quiet. The rate includes a newspaper, basic breakfast and in-room wireless internet but the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle runs only from 6am to 9:30pm.
  2. Travelodge Hotel Vancouver Airport – Perfectly OK rooms, a surprisingly good restaurant and an indoor pool make the Travelodge a good choice. Free in-room wi-fi, shuttle every 30 mins from 4am to midnight. It has the most remote location of the three hotels in this category but that’s made up for somewhat by the free shuttle the Travelodge runs to the River Rock Casino (see above).
  3. Comfort Inn Vancouver Airport – Even a few months ago this Comfort Inn wouldn’t have made this list, but recent improvements prompts us to recommend it (weakly).

The Most Luxurious Vancouver Airport Hotel:

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport (see above)

The Best Value Vancouver Airport Hotel:

It isn’t often that the most expensive hotel is also the best value but, really, the Fairmont is that good.

Airport Hotel Guru: Hilton Vancouver AirportPerhaps largely because of the presence of the Fairmont, the other top-end hotel chains with a presence by YVR have dropped their prices to compete. This creates some good value rooms to be had for around $100~$130. The best of those in the order we recommend them, each of which offer complimentary airport transport:

  1. Marriott Vancouver Airport – Extremely well run property. Watch planes take off from the hotel’s outdoor pool and hot tub. Frequent airport shuttles but they charge for the wired in-room internet.
  2. Delta Vancouver Airport -Similar to the Hilton in terms of room quality and, unlike the Hilton, has free in-room wireless internet.
  3. Hilton Vancouver Airport – Great location in a commercial section of Richmond. $11.95 internet access charge.

Vancouver Airport Info:

Vancouver International Airport
YVR is an efficient airport with almost all flights served by the Main Terminal. Many of the flights to British Columbia destinations are out of the South Terminal and are flown by airlines you may not have heard of. The four major ones:

There’s free wifi throughout YVR airport.

Check Availability for all YVR hotels now

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one } Flights 11.26.10 at 6:01 pm

Stayed at the YVR Fairmont once when I had an unexpected delay en route to NY. I can say that, while it was a very nice hotel, I don’t think I’d opt to stay there again if I were to find myself in the same situation.

I found the service was somewhat lacking….and in relation to the room cost, the food was definitely lacking. The gym was nice but it appeared to not have been cleaned recently.

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