Design and Decor Through The Decades

In 1939, Hotel Vancouver opened with a bold art moderne design for the lobby, restaurants and suites of the hotel, and a classic Adam brothers style for the ballroom and event floor… but that was only the beginning.

Spanning over eight decades, Hotel Vancouver’s design history tells a story of changing trends and lasting looks. What original design survived years of extensive renovations, changes in brand management, and conflicting visions for the future? We’re sharing photos and documents from our archives, some not seen publically in over 40 years, Vancouver Public Library’s archives, and the City of Vancouver’s archives to give a glimpse into how the hotel’s design got to where it is today. 

Lt. Governor Suite Bedroom

Fourteenth Floor Heritage Suites

In 2018, 79 years after King George VI and Queen Elizabeth became the first guests to occupy the space, Hotel Vancouver completed the restoration of the luxurious Fourteenth Floor Heritage Suites.

Hotel Vancouver Original Design

More than ten years in the making, Hotel Vancouver opened its doors in May 1939, with a price tag of $12M. The hotel was celebrated for its modernity, becoming one of the finest hotels on the continent.

Photo of bell boy handing a guest a bouquet of flowers in an art moderne designed guest room circa 1939
Hotel Vancouver 1970 mid-century modern guest room design and decor

A Very Mod Makeover

The 1960s brought a lot of change, the most significant for Hotel Vancouver was a management switch from a CP and CN partnership, to Hilton Hotels (1964-1983), who swiftly began a top-to-bottom mod makeover.

Fairmont Gold Redesign

In 2019, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver unveiled its redesigned Fairmont Gold, the brand’s exclusive ‘hotel within a hotel’ experience, completing the final phase of a five-year $75M hotel renovation project. The hotel took special care to ensure that the history of the heritage building was not only preserved but highlighted throughout.

The living room in a Fairmont Gold Three Bedroom Suite showing a sitting area with a blue couch and yellow leather coffee table, a TV, a decorative fireplace and built in display cabinets.