Typically, when guests spend a night at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport it’s in relation to a trip to somewhere beyond the provincial borders. In the era of COVID-19, though, a new quirk in hospitality is having the voyage come to you. Thanks to a partnership with a sister property in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the hotel is providing a taste of a beloved destination for those Vancouverites who desperately crave laying on a sun-kissed white-sand beach or frolicking in crystal-clear waters.
Aptly dubbed “Vacation to Nowhere”, the promotion is an all-inclusive package that starts with a welcome bucket of Coronas in your Mayakoba-themed Signature Room. Then, when you are ready, head down to the lobby-level restaurant for authentic Mayan Riviera fare.
On the south tip of the Yucatan, the Mayan Riviera stretches along 120 kilometres (75 miles) of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline. The region boasts endless beaches, sacred ruins, and natural cenotes. The gastronomy is a blend of Mayan staples — fish, achiote, sour oranges, lime juice, pumpkin seeds, and pickled onions, as well as 500 years of European culinary influence.
Having grown up enjoying Yucatecan cuisine, Fairmont Airport’s sous chef Abraham Zamorano Ruiz was tasked with bringing to life a carefully curated menu of the region’s most celebrated dishes.
“The menu was a collaboration between the executive chef at the Fairmont Mayakoba and myself,” says Ruiz, who trained under top chefs in Puerto Vallarta. “We chose signature dishes from the coastline, like the prawn aguachile, grilled octopus with Habanero aioli, and the Zarandeado fish filet with pico de Gallo.”
Influenced by the four basic elements believed by the Mayans to be the building blocks of the world —fire, earth, water, and air — my meal was a tour of the riviera through cuisine that was delicious and spicy. (For North American palates, the spiciness has been toned down a touch.) The prawn aguachile was refreshingly rich with sweetness and flavour, while the guacamole was certainly one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Ruiz’ secret? Cotija cheese, serrano chillies, and radish.
From the entradas, it was onto the seafood plate. Traditionally, the preferred fish is red snapper, which is difficult to source in British Columbia, so Ruiz substituted halibut. Served alongside Mexican rice, mashed potatoes, and a delightful hearts of palm salad with lemon-tequila vinaigrette, it was exceptional.
Flavours of Mayan Riviera in Vancouver
As with most trips to Mexico, fine dining blends with a laid-back atmosphere at the Fairmont. Your escape provides two hours of private pool time with signature Mayakoba cocktails and snacks for two — and the chance to leisurely paddle on a comfy inflatable lounger just as you might do in Mexico.
Your stay doesn’t end there. Holidays are meant to relax and rejuvenate you. A $120 credit towards any treatment at the Absolute Salon & Spa is included (the signature massage can soothe away those COVID-19-weary bones).
The Vacation to Nowhere experience is an example of a trend among many luxury hotels, resorts, and home stays across the globe that are seeking novel ways to pivot during the pandemic. The Fairmont YVR is counting on consumers’ desire for staycations to help increase revenue until the recovery accelerates.
Another Fairmont Hotel Thinks Outside the Box
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has taken the idea of staying within “your social bubble” to new heights. The hotel incorporates fine dining into an igloo experience within three private outdoor Snow Globe Domes.
Swathed amongst an umbrella of snow-covered trees on the patio of the Wildflower restaurant, near the base of Blackcomb Mountain, guests feast in luxurious terrariums of sorts. The experience aims to transport diners into a fairy-tale winter wonderland.
In true Whistler style, each twinkly dome is decorated in a warm earthy beige tone. When the snow is falling, who wouldn’t want to be snuggled in a heated dome enjoying a gourmet three-course meal prepared by executive sous chef Derek Bendig, paired alongside a selection of locally sourced wines and cocktails?
Until the danger of the novel coronavirus has passed, borders re-open, and we have all received the vaccine, vacationers can satisfy a little bit of that travel bug close to home.
MORE ABOUT FAIRMONT PROMOTIONS
Fairmont Vancouver Airport Vacation to Nowhere
Location: 3111 Grant McConachie Way, Richmond , British Columbia
Package Rates: Starting at $699 per night (double occupancy), the experience includes a Mayan Riviera-themed Signature Room, a welcome bucket of coronas, private two-hour pool time with poolside Mayakoba-inspired cocktails and canapés, a chef-prepared dinner featuring some of Fairmont Mayakoba’s most notable authentic recipes, $120 credit towards spa treatments, breakfast for two, and a late check-out (2 p.m.). An option is available to add additional nights for $239 each; dining on additional nights is not included in the price.
Availability: Book by May 1, 2021 for stays between January 15 to June 1, 2021. Your purchase enters you into a draw to win a four-night stay with breakfast at Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico. (Valid for one year from when international travel reopens.)
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Snow Globe Dining Domes
Location: 4599 Chateau Boulevard, Whistler, British Columbia, V8E 0Z5
Package Rates: Dining domes includes a five-course carte du jour paired with British Columbia wines and cocktails for $249 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity).
Availability: The Snow Globes are available for small groups of up to six people (6-7:30 p.m. seatings) and will be available until April 18, 2021.
COVID-19 Considerations: Before journeying for a trip — even a staycation — travellers should check the latest COVID-19 advisories and updates, including from the regional health offices of their chosen destination. At Fairmont hotels in British Columbia, protocol includes free hand sanitizer and face masks to all guests. There is a 48-hour “settling period” for occupied rooms after a guest’s departure before another occupant arrives. Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, especially of high-touch points, is in effect. Find out more by visiting www.allsafeandwell.com.