Greenest City 2020 and it's a plan to create a sustainable future for Vancouver. What better place to enjoy a green weekend getaway?
The Fairmont Waterfront is a wonderful choice for the eco minded with award winning environmental policies and programs. Among their green initiatives, is free parking and charging for electric vehicles, strict recycling policies, and sustainable food options.
It's one of those hotels that offers enough to do right there on site that even though you are in a fabulous city, you don't really have to leave the premises to feel like you're on vacation. For business travelers, I would imagine it to be an oasis. I loved it there so much I really had to force myself to venture out, I just wanted to hang out at the rooftop pool and soak up the amazing surroundings.
The hotel has cute
little jars of honey for guests to enjoy with their morning toast and
tea, as well as yummy homemade chocolates with honey and lavender and
rosemary grown on the roof. They even make a signature cocktail, the
Honey Basil Collins, a skinny drink that I found delicious and
refreshing without the gin.
hotel promotes and supports a healthy lifestyle. Hotel manager, Ian Pullan gives guided three mile runs every morning--how great is this for folks who are unfamiliar with Vancouver? There's a gym that is open 24 hours a day, and President Club members have fitness
clothing available so you don't even have to worry about packing work
out clothes. The hotel's restaurant, Herons West Coast Kitchen + Bar, serves up healthy fare as well. In the summer, 25-30% of the food on the menu is organic and you can get vegan, vegetarian, low fat, and gluten free meals.
President's Club, the Fairmont's loyalty program for many added perks like free internet, turn down service, and even discounts on helicopter commutes for business travelers. After a cozy night's sleep in their cushy cloud-like beds, you can start your day with a bike ride around the seawall. I strongly recommend this as it was the highlight of our weekend.
If you have children (or not), a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium might be in order. Located in Stanley Park, it's easy to get to and close to other fun things to do when you're finished. They have some great exhibits which are educational and fun, their rescued otters being my personal favorite.
I love that the emphasis at the aquarium is on education and they do it in a way that is accessible--very clear signs at each habitat and photos of the environment where you would find each creature. This really helps to give you a clear picture of the life of the animal and its ecosystem.
The most impressive things about the Aquarium are their conservation programs. Beach clean-ups, marine mammal rescue, community outreach, partnering with WWF to help preserve our oceans and marine life are all ways the Aquarium is trying to make a difference. They created the Ocean Wise program to help make sure certain species of fish are not over harvested right into extinction. By partnering with restaurants (like Herons West Coast Kitchen + Bar) and suppliers, the Aquarium helps to educate the market to serve up sustainable seafood. That way the ocean can maintain a healthier eco system and doesn't become even more over-fished. There is an Ocean Wise logo you will see at the market and on restaurant menus to let you know you're making a sustainable choice.
Vancouver is a fabulous destination, and I can pretty much guarantee you will want to revisit. I feel like I just got the smallest taste of the city and can't wait to go back.