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Fairmont has five properties around Vancouver, including one in Whistler and another at the airport. Of them, this is the newest, the smallest, and the most coolly beautiful. It has an enviable setting right across from the convention center, with spectacular views of the harbor and North Shore Mountains from its upper floors. There is a subtle, modern, almost Asian feel to the property, from the perfumed entranceway to the Japanese serenity of the rooftop pool deck. The lobby is a bright, busy, high-ceilinged space lined with white marble, where guests can enjoy craft cocktails and exceptional sushi from the new raw bar while listening to live music most nights. Guest rooms are peaceful refuges with clean, contemporary lines, soft, earthy colors, and immaculate attention to detail: plush throws for chilly nights, comfortable leather armchairs, TVs inset into the mirrors of the granite-lined bathrooms, telescopes and free-standing Japanese-style soaker tubs in the in the luxury suites. (Be warned, though, that the many high-tech features of the rooms can be a bit confusing at times.) The hotel also features a high-end restaurant called Oru, which new chef Darren Brown is transitioning from Asian-themed to include fare from around the Pacific Rim, as well as the popular Italian bakery/deli/wine bar Giovane, and Bella Gelateria, which has won awards worldwide for its frozen treats. And then, for ultimate pampering, there’s the signature Willow Stream Spa. Truly an exceptional place to stay.