|The current lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.|
For year's I've called the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver the living room of Vancouver. It's my center spot, my meeting place, my Canadian home when I'm in the city. Also known as the Castle in the City, due to its distinctive copper roof, the grande dame will undergo a major facelift next month. The $12 million renovation will transform the breezeway and completely renovate the lobby.
The renovation begins on November 5 with the closing of Griffins, shown above. The restaurant, designed by celebrity chef Jeremiah Tower, opened in 1996. According to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the closing of Griffins is strictly a business decision. Ivanhoe Cambridge, owners of the building, is converting the space from restaurant to retail. A tenant has not yet been announced, but will be along the lines of other luxury boutiques on the hotel's lobby level: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Omega and St. John.
The hotel's restaurant operation will temporarily move to 900 West, which will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Afternoon Tea will continue to be served and the Lobby Lounge will remain open as usual. Eventually, the a dining area will be relocated elsewhere in the hotel so the lobby renovation can get underway, which includes a new restaurant and lounge.
Two of my favorite people at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, seen here cheering their home team on, are Wayne Bartlett and Grace Cullen. Both are servers in 900 West and the Lobby Lounge. Photo by Sue Frause.
Read a fascinating article by Will Woods, founder and chief storyteller at Hidden Vancouver, titled The Secret History of the Hotel Vancouver.
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