Understanding Fairmont’s Unique History

For those who are familiar with Fairmont brand, It’s very common to say the luxury and moments created by this unique brand and its properties around the globe are understated. Properties have long been chosen for their ability to provide grandeur, glamour and security and some of the world’s most important events. In this article, I have taken some time to reveal to you what makes Fairmont brand superior and unique in the modern definition of luxury in hospitality.

The History of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

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In 1907, history was made when Fairmont San Francisco, Nob Hill’s grand dame, opened its doors. The iconic hotel soon became the city’s venue of choice for glittering balls, presidential visits and political gatherings, making the name Fairmont synonymous with “place of occasion”. With this auspicious beginning, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand was born.

Fairmont hotels have been called upon for starring roles in historic events. Among them the UN Charter that was drafted and signed by 50 countries in the Garden Room of Fairmont San Francisco. William Lyon Mackenzie King hosted Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt at Fairmont Le Château in 1943 as the two men drew up plans for the Normandy invasion of Europe. Lennon and Yoko Ono made history with their Bed-in for Peace at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal in 1969, when the former Beatle penned the lyrics and recorded “Give Peace a Chance”, which became the anthem of the anti-war movement.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has time and again been favoured by royalties, the iconic hotels have welcomed Queen Elizabeth II in every decade of her reign. Fairmont also welcomed local notables to their debutante balls, hosting countless afternoon tea dances and lavish galas. Whether it’s a headline-making event or providing an outpost for the code-breaking headquarters of British Intelligence in Bermuda, The goal of this unique brand has been to deliver an exceptional experience to every guest.

Some of the Unforgettable Fairmont Moments in the History of Luxury Hospitality

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January 1, 1885, the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club opened its doors, earning the title of the oldest member of the Fairmont family. It also quickly became a popular choice for luminaries such as Mark Twain.

April 18, 1907, The famous Fairmont San Francisco was opened, exactly one year to the day after the Great Earthquake and subsequent fire which destroyed the city. Although the building survived the quake, Julia Morgan was hired to lead the reconstruction of the Nob Hill landmark.

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August 17, 1943, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hosted the 1st Quebec Conference , and a site for secret meetings between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The meetings, hosted by William Lyon Mackenzie King were to devise invasion plans to end the war

June 26, 1945, Global history was made in the Garden Room of Fairmont San Francisco when 50 countries came together to draft and sign the Charter establishing the United Nations.

In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono made suite 1742 famous with their week-long Bed-In for Peace at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. The famous couple greeted friends and the press during their stay as they composed and recorded the anti-war anthem, “Give Peace a Chance” from their bed

In 1999 ,Fairmont Hotels, a leading luxury hotel brand, and Canadian Pacific Hotels, with its rich heritage of 25 luxury hotels, merged to form the largest North American hotel management company.

In 2007,Fairmont Hotels & Resorts celebrated its Centennial anniversary with a yearlong series of special events. The public was invited to celebrate with “Open Door” days to tour landmark properties, and a special edition of the game Monopoly was released with six custom tokens, including a steamer trunk and a doorman

In 2005, Fairmont Hotels was recognized as the first Canadian hotel brand and hospitality company to meet its WWF Climate Savers goal. In 2006, Fairmont pledged to reduce its operational CO2 emissions by 20%, the equivalent of the CO2 generated by 13,569 passenger vehicles.

What Makes Fairmont Brand superior and Different from others?

The distinctive collection of unrivalled hotels under the Fairmont brand reflects a strong and unique belief in providing world-class service to guests who appreciate unique locations. Today, when you think of a landmark hotel around the world, chances are it’s a Fairmont Hotel.

From The Savoy in the heart of London, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai to Luxurious Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi in a pristine private island or Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel. The portfolio of these properties features the most celebrated addresses. At the heart of capital cities or ocean-front in the Maldives, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts continue to strive to be worthy of the legacy by providing unforgettable experiences to its treasured guests.

Notable Fairmont Properties From Around the World.

As of today, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts collection of iconic hotels spans the globe. From North America, Europe, Africa to Asia, the curated destinations are among the most-sought after by knowledgeable travelers. Some of the notable iconic Fairmont properties among others includes the following;

1.Fairmont San Francisco

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The unique rooms include panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Coit Tower and the Financial District. Occupying a landmark Nob Hill building offering views of the city and the bay, this grand hotel is a 13-minute walk from Union Square, and 1.3 miles from the shops and restaurants at lively Pier 39.

2.Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai

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Set among high-end shops along Nanjing Road, this plush art deco hotel dating from 1929 lies near restaurants on The Bund along Huangpu River. It’s 7 minutes’ walk from Nanjing East Road metro station. Fairmont Peace Hotel has been a Shanghai landmark for over a century, enjoying a premier location on the Bund, facing the Pudong area over the Huangpu River. It is the perfect place to explore Shanghai’s spectacular scenery and vibrant lifestyle.

3.Fairmont Le château Frontenac

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The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, formerly and commonly referred to as the Château Frontenac, is a historic hotel ideally located in Old Quebec in Canada. This heritage property features views of the St. Lawrence River. The castle-like hotel is a 3-minute walk from Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec and 8 minutes’ walk from boutiques in Quartier Petit Champlain. For more than a century, Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac has been the true life of many people’s dreams.Everyone from the young to old, music to film stars, spot personalities to political figures enjoy discovering this unique Quebec city luxury resort and delights in returning again and again.

4.Hotel Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower

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Situated in Ajyad, Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel is the perfect place to experience Mecca and its surroundings. Set 0.15 Km from the excitement of the city, this 5-star hotel commands an excellent location and provides access to the city’s biggest attractions. This modern hotel is in the vicinity of popular city attractions such as Makkah Royal Clock Tower, Makka auction, Ajyad Emergency Hospital.

5.The Savoy Hotel-A Fairmont Managed Hotel

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Originally opened in 1889, the world-famous Savoy Hotel is situated on the banks of the Thames and less than 5 minutes’ walk from The British Museum and The Royal Opera House. The hotel was once visited by the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Katherine Hepburn.

Close to the bustling Covent Garden district, this luxury landmark hotel dating from the 1880s is an 8-minute walk from Trafalgar Square and a 14-minute walk from the London Eye. The Savoy is London’s most celebrated and glamorous hotel.

6.Hamilton Princess & Beach Club – A Fairmont Managed Hotel

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Set on Hamilton Harbour, this refined hotel surrounded by lush greenery is 14 minutes’ walk from the Bermuda National Gallery and 6 km from lively Elbow Beach. The Fairmont Hamilton Princess features a stunning infinity edge resort pool, a range of luxurious guest rooms and suites, and amazing dining experiences including an open-air casual bar and restaurant located on a new 66-berth marina

7. Fairmont Maldives – Sirru Fen Fushi

Fairmont Maldives

Overlooking the Arabian Sea, this lavish all-villa resort lies at the northern tip of an island in the Maldives. It’s 33 km from Hanimaadhoo International Airport. Fairmont Maldives features 200 m infinity pool as well as luxury safari-style tented villas nestled in the island’s lush interior jungle. The nine kilometer-long house reef is directly accessible from the beach.

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is home to the longest infinity pool in the Maldives that leads you to the Coralarium, the Maldives’ first and only coral regeneration project in the form of an underwater art installation by Jason deCaires Taylor. The Luxury Resort is surrounded by opulent Beach Villas, decadent Over Water Villas and the unique luxury Tented Jungle Villas.


With the eruption of many other luxury brands that compete with Fairmont and the rest, you’re likely to miss the important aspects that stress the role of brand’s DNAs in their quest to providing luxury services. But history will always get it right. From pristine beaches to sophisticated cities to iconic castles, Fairmont is dedicated to connecting guests to the extraordinary places they can call home. Unique architecture, expressive decor and thoughtful service are the hallmarks of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The unique identity that has set this brand apart is the primary goal: providing guests with unforgettable experiences.

About the writer: James Kiragu is the Digital Marketing Manager at Accor-Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and E-Commerce Manager at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. He is a Digital Transformation scholar at ESSEC Business School.

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