New Fairmont Hotels Brand About Outdoors with Sarandon as Ambassador

New global campaign from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (CNW Group/Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)

PARIS – The Accor luxury brand Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has debuted a brand campaign entitled “Experience the Grandest of” Seasons, Feelings, etc. The campaign “pays tribute to the tangible echoes of the luxury brand’s historic origins while also imparting a refreshed vision and stirring images of adventures yet to come.”

The historic origins and core hotels of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are the great outdoors Canadian Pacific railroad hotels, combined with dozens of historic destination and city hotels around the world.

The new ad campaign is directed by fashion videographer Nathalie Canguilhem, and features five Fairmont locations, namely Montreux, Switzerland / Fairmont Le Montreux Palace; New York City / The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel; Alberta, Canada / Fairmont Banff Springs; British Columbia, Canada / Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. For good measure, it throws in South African landscapes.

“Brands are never as strong as when they are true to their original vision,” said Jean-Guilhem Lamberti, Chief Creative Officer, Accor. “With this campaign, I wanted to go back to the brand’s origins and to express the awe and enchantment that one feels when entering a Fairmont hotel.”

Mansi Vagt, Vice President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, said in a release that the common factor was “meaning and feeling.”

The Fairmont name brand comes from entrepreneur James Graham Fair. His daughters, including Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, built the first Fairmont in San Francisco. The Vanderbilts were operators of railroad hotels through the New York Central.

The Fairmont chain is part of a number of hotel groupings that bear the name of a single beloved hotel, a trend pioneered by Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton. These hotels with extended luxury brands include the St. Regis and Waldorf-Astoria. Ironically the Waldorf-Astoria, a Hilton brand, was originally part of the Penn Central Railroad property portfolio.

Nature is a Core Brand Value for Old CP Properties

Here, a 20th century marketing poster for one of the hotels that is part of the Fairmont chain. Reproductions of these posters continue to be in demand.

The Fairmont campaign stresses the outdoors, and shows remarkably little of the hotel architecture. It does show chandeliers in the imaging. Missing the hotels is a bit of a miss, as the hotels of Fairmont include some of the most recognizable hotel building shapes in the world. However, it does echo the Canadian Pacific advertising of old, which features the landscape, with the hotel sort of hiding in the background. In addition, each individual property has the ability to market itself, as part of the overall brand.

The announced global ambassador for the brand is actress Susan Sarandon, who is a UNICEF global ambassador. She has had a keen family interest in environmental causes, Her late brother Terry Tomalin was a noted Florida outdoors writer and advocate.

The brand ambassador for a hotel chain has not been a recent phenomenon, save Anna Kendrick for Hilton.

The Fairmont brand, now with 80 hotels, takes its name from the original Fairmont in San Francisco. The core of the hotel company is actually the remnants of the hotels of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, Canadian National Railroad, and Grand Trunk Railway companies of Canada. They take 1907 as the founding date of the company, but many hotels are much older, including Banff Springs (see below list).

The chain is now 80 hotels and resorts. Hotels include luxury hotels around the world including The Plaza in New York City, The Savoy in London, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Banff Springs in Canada, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, and Fairmont The Palm in Dubai.

The Canadian rail-oriented heritage hotels include, with date:

Experience The Grandest of Feelings with a new global campaign from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (CNW Group/Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)

Former Canadian National Hotels

  • Hotel Vancouver, 1939
  • Jasper Park Lodge, 1922
  • Queen Elizabeth, 1958

Former Canadian Pacific

  • Banff Springs, 1888
  • Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, 1893
  • Chateau Lake Louise, 1890,
  • Chateau Montebello, Quebec, 1930
  • Palliser Hotel, Alberta, 1914,
  • Royal York, Ontario, 1929
  • The Empress, Victoria, B.C., 1908

Former Grand Trunk Railway

  • Chateau Laurier, 1912, Ontario
  • Hotel Macdonald, Alberta, 1915

Below, the video part of the campaign.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

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