Review: The Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
The Fairfield Inn represents one of the more inexpensive brands in the Marriott portfolio of brands. While it will never be one of the most inspirational brands out there, I ended up staying at this property again after it has been recently fully refreshed. The Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Kelowna was one of the first Fairfield Inn’s in the province of British Columbia.
Review: The Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
“The Fairfield Inn and Suites Kelowna recently underwent a full refresh and has emerged as a clean, fresh and vibrant economy traveller hotel”
For another Marriott property in Kelowna, please see our review of the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort, Kelowna, BC. Canada.
The Fairfield Inn was Kelowna’s and the Okanagan region’s very first Marriott property and has been around since at least 2007, when I first started travelling to the area. The hotel has recently had a full refurbish and is being advertised as fully refreshed. The property was indeed almost fully refreshed, which included more than just touch ups in certain areas. The property refresh appeared to include all new furniture, wall coverings, carpeting, lighting, hallway flooring and public common areas. The refresh was well done and all the spaces fit together with a common look and feel.
Planning and Getting There:
I booked this hotel direct on the Marriott website. As I was staying at the start of the summer months, the hotel pricing was a little higher than expected given the town’s orientation towards a tourist destination.
The Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Kelowna is a Marriott Bonvoy Category 4, meaning that rooms are approximately between 20,000 – 30,000 a night under variable pricing, with 25,000 points a night as standard. If you value Marriott Bonvoy points at $0.005 a point, you’d have to spend more than $125 USD to come out ahead for a 25,000 point redemption. In the summer, this might represent a better value when the room rates climb beyond $200 USD per night or perhaps if you’ve visiting in the height of the summer travel season or when hotel inventory in Kelowna completely sells out. However, if you’re visiting in the off season, you’re likely much better paying cash.
While I was booking the room, I was given an option for using Suite Night Awards as a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Member. The options were a larger guest room and a larger studio, which weren’t really the best uses of these valuable upgrade instruments. They may be an option for some at the end of the year if they were expiring, but I’d probably save them for another more valuable use.
I had last stayed at this particular hotel in 2008. On arrival to the hotel, which used to be on the outskirts of central Kelowna, the hotel now finds itself in a built up commercial area immediately off the main six lane Highway 97 that runs right through town. A Holiday Inn Express is now situated immediately across the street and there are several competing hotel in the immediate area including a Comfort Inn, A Super 8 and a Great Value inn.
The Fairfield Inn and Suites Kelowna
1655 Powick Rd, Kelowna, BC V1X 4L1
I arrived to the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Kelowna by car. Compared to my stay before at The Hyatt Place Kelowna, there was ample free parking available on the property. Thanks to its age, the property landscaping is also looking to be quite leafy in comparison.
I headed into the lobby and went to the front desk. Consistent with the full refresh, the lobby was looking a lot brighter and more contemporary since my last stay at this property.
My check in was prompt and located much more quickly than the Hyatt I was at the night before. Since I’m regularly through Marriott hotels, the check in was pretty routine and uneventful. While the hotel forgot the usual “thank you for being a Marriott titanium member” and the offer of a welcome amenity, the welcome bonus of five hundred Marriott Bonvoy points posted without any issue at the conclusion of my stay. I was also given a breakfast sheet to pre-order breakfast on arrival to the breakfast bar.
The check in host offered me what he described as a suite. I got a little excited but it turned out to be a Larger Studio, which is a category upgrade from the base level rooms. While it was not an actual suite, the Larger Studio represents the best category of room available for sale at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Kelowna. This is a little strange that the hotel would sell studio’s as suites, especially for a hotel that has “Suites” in the title, but a Larger Studio is a pretty reasonable compromise.
The Room: A Larger Studio, 1 King, Sofa Bed
I went up to the larger studio. I ended up with a high floor upgrade to a larger studio 1 King Sofa Bed, which was situated on the top fourth floor. My assigned Room #409 was situated near the elevator bank. While it’s typically noisier near the elevator bank, as I was only here for 1 night, this wasn’t something I took any issue with. The hallways, consistent with the refreshed marketing, were looking mostly modern and new.
Entering room #409, I immediately ended up in the hallway looking into the living space.
The Larger Studio Space:
The larger studio offered a semi separate living space separated by a column and a partial wall. While it wasn’t a proper suite, it was the closest thing to it.
The Larger Studio offered a sofa bed couch with plenty of extra room. There was also a green occasional chair and a firm coffee table that rounded out the space.
The Larger Studio had it’s own flat screen television, which was great for relaxing. Like many hotel rooms, this space was a little dark. This may or may not be your thing but it’s not a circumstance that’s unique to this particular hotel.
Passing past the living studio area, was the walk way to the bedroom space. It was separated by a column and a small counter top space.
The living area offered a few room amenties. These included a Keurig coffee maker and an in room refrigerator. It is always convenient to have in room coffee and a fridge, and I certainly miss it when I don’t have it available.
The other half of the room featured the bedroom area. The bedroom offered a king size bed, which was comfortable. Along with the hotel refreshment, the room offered new sheets and bedding.
The view from the bedroom was towards a larger king size LG Flat screen television. It also looked toward the in room desk, and a small luggage stand.
The bedroom was separated from the living room by the closet and half a wall.
In terms of sleep quality, I found the room to be louder than I had expected as a result of highway noise from the six lane Highway 97 which was right outside hotel. I ended up being awoken at 5:45 AM from highway truck traffic noise. As a result, I didn’t find the sleep to be super restful although admittedly, this is not the hotels immediate issue to resolve. The hotel runs perpendicular to the highway, so I would request a room towards the back of the hotel away from Highway 97 if a quiet sleep is at all important to you.
The bathroom offered a single vanity. Let’s be honest between us… No one will ever get excited about a Fairfield Inn bathroom, but this one was perfectly functional. It offered plenty of counter space for toiletries, along with a stand up shower and tub combination.
The soaps were Paul Mitchell branded, which was fairly consistent with my past stays at Fairfield Inn’s. There were also convenient make up remover wipes, something MrsWT73 struggles with when travelling since packing a giant package is always a chore.
A Room with a View:
As can be expected from a strip hotel, the view from the top floor of the Fairfield Inn was not all too aspirational. My view overlooked the awning of the front porte cochère, and overlooked the brand new Holiday Inn Express and Suites Kelowna next door.
For those that are interested, the floor layout of the property is as follows. The largest rooms are the studio suites and I think you can consider “winning” at this property if you get a longer room instead of one of the shorter ones.
Around the Hotel:
The Fairfield Inn’s are pretty much stay and go properties. They don’t tend to cater to a lot of on property experiences. Despite this, the hotel was well equipped with a gym and an outdoor pool.
The hotel gym:
The hotel offers a twenty four hour gym. During my stay, the gym access was by requesting access through a special key at the front desk as a result of the pandemic. The gym offered Life Fitness treadmills and a proper free weight area for one. The treadmills did not offer any television /video or internet connectivity but a flat screen television was available in the gym for entertainment. The gym was also on the ground floor and had daylight windows. Unlike some gyms in basements, this one had terrific light.
The hotel gym was deserted the entire time that I was on the property, and I didn’t see any other guests using it.
The hotel offered an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and four story waterslide. The pool was more of a plunge pool variety and was on the highway side of the hotel. There was a very limited sun area which offered chairs; which was more for adult supervision than relaxing and reclining in order to catch up with sun tan rays.
The waterslide wasn’t “on” and running with water while I was here, but I would imagine it could be fun for the right family ages and level.
The hot tub was more functional than anything.
Food and Beverage:
The Free Breakfast:
The Fairfield Inn and Suites Kelowna offers complimentary breakfast with every stay. While it is usually a buffet style or grab and go style for takeaways, it was an individual order based style on my stay during the pandemic. During check in, I was given a breakfast sheet and I was encouraged to pre-order so that the staff could assemble the breakfast.
The breakfast room was a large space which, as in all Fairfield Inn’s, was quite functional. It was built for high traffic volume and had a bit of an institutional feel to it. Although it was designed for lots of people, it was pleasant and I was able to find a nice quiet order near the glass to allow for light.
I presented my pre-filled order card consisting of cheese omelette, white toast, sausage, accompanied with with shredded cheese and salsa, a vanilla yoghurt an apple juice and coffee with cream. The breakfast was certainly generous, although it’s probably not something I’d be partaking in several days in a row.
When it came time to leave, my check out was handled without any issue. I had gotten a 2 PM late check out courtesy of Marriott Titanium status, which was granted without any quibbling. The bill was processed electronically and my Marriott Bonvoy points posted within 48 hours. I did find it interesting that the hotel receipt mentioned that Marriott Bonvoy members should expect now to wait up to seven days for stays to post; which is unreasonable if you ask me considering how much time some of its loyalty members spent on the road.
Nearby the Hotel:
The hotel is well situated in Kelowna. Probably the best feature of the hotel is that it is immediately across from Joey’s Kelowna restaurant, which is probably a primary reason for staying at this property. It offers upscale casual dining and there is no need to worry about driving after enjoying a glass or bottle of wine since the restaurant is within stumbling distance of the hotel.
The Bottom Line: The Fairfield Inn and Suites Kelowna
The Fairfield Inn and Suites Kelowna performed nicely for a short stay. The property was nicely refreshed as promised and it delivered on everything that it offered. While a Fairfield Inn is never at the top of my list of places to stay, it did perform as expected, although I personally found the room a little louder than I would have liked. I would easily stay here again if my first choice of the Delta Hotels by Marriott Okanagan Grand was totally booked, or the Four Points Kelowna Airport was not available.