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[REVIEW] Air Canada Vancouver Signature Suite

A good friend of Pointshogger, Kathy Ye, went to the YVR Signature Suite unveiled on our behalf and shared her experience with us. Thank you so much Kathy for taking the time to represent Pointshogger!

On March 14th, 2020, Air Canada unveiled its second Signature Suite at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Pointshogger had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the lounge and enjoy the premium amenities before it is opened to the public.

What is a Signature Suite?

The Air Canada Signature Suites offers eligible Air Canada Signature Class customers travelling to international destinations the finest selection of food and drinks, and an array of premium products and personalized concierge services. The services are complementary and are designed to provide an unparalleled experience for travellers before their flight. It is opened 2 hours before the first flight until the last flight daily.

Currently there are only two Signature Suites located in Canada; the other is in Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) which launched in 2017.

Location

The Vancouver Air Canada Signature Suite is conveniently located on the second floor of the International Maple Leaf Lounge, next to gate D52. Customers enter the suite via the same entrance as the Maple Leaf Lounge, where they will be greeted with luggage drop off and coat storage, before heading upstairs to the exclusive space.

Lounge & Space

There is nothing short of luxury in the Signature Suite. Upon arriving, customers are first welcomed with the ‘Cloudscape Chandelier’ by acclaimed Toronto design firm Moss & Lam before stepping into the 4,400 square foot space for some relax and relaxation. The lounge seats up to 105 guests featuring floor-to-ceiling bronze panelling, bar tops made from local stones, art by Canada’s greatest talent, and contemporary furnishing designed by acclaimed Montreal-based Heekyung Duquette. Seating is available adjacent to the bar and buffet (bistro), as well as in an adjourning space for à la carte dining. There is a small stretch of tables for more private seating along the windows. It is to be noted that the entire space offers a panoramic of the airport apron, enhancing true moments of tranquility among the hustle and bustle of the airport.

The washrooms in the lounge are large single rooms for ultimate privacy. Customers are provided with premium skincare products from Molton Brown, a luxury brand from UK. One downside to note of the space is the lack of showers. Customers will need to share with the Maple Leaf Lounge downstairs, which isn’t a far trek. Space has always one of the biggest hurdles when designing a luxury space which is likely the main reason they chose to go this route.

Full Service Bar & Drinks

A selection of high-quality spirits from Diageo, Moët & Chandon champagne (rosé and brut) are complimentary offered. A bartender is present behind the bar where customers can enjoy watching the creation of their drinks.

Beer

  • Molson Canadian – Pale Lager (Toronto, Canada)
  • Granville Island Pale Ale  – Dark Amber Ale (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Granville Island West Coast IPA – Dark Ale (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Heineken – Pale Lager (Netherlands)
  • Guinness – Dark Stout (Ireland)

Wine

  • Map Maker – 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
  • Laurent Miquel – 2018 Chardonnay (France)
  • Rivera Marese – 2018 Bombino Bianco (Italy)
  • Martin’s Lane – 2014 Pinot Noir (Okanagan Valley, Canada)
  • Mission Hill Vistas Edge – 2017 Cabernet Franc (Okanagan Valley, Canada)
  • Domodimonti – 2012 Petit Verdot (Marche, Italy)

Cocktails

  • Signature Cocktail
  • Mandarin Old Fashioned
  • Streamliner Soft Landing
  • Vancity Horizon
  • The Wright Feeling
  • Vert Esprit
  • Sparkling Vapour Trail
  • Across The Pond

Non-Alcoholic beverages include juices, soft drinks, Lavazza café, and Sloan fine teas.

Premium Dining

At the Air Canada Signature Suite, customers can treat themselves to the buffet or order from the à la carte menu curated by Canada’s Chef David Hawksworth for a full service 3-course dining experience. The buffet offered a great range of food: salads, soups, charcuterie board, smoked meat buns, curry, baos and dessert. All food is crafted with fresh ingredients from local and sustainable farms. The experience and ambience is no different than a high-scale restaurant offering a wide variety of dishes catering to every palate. While the à la carte service was not available for ordering at the event, we were able to view the menu. It was told that the menu will change seasonally, about 4 times a year.

À la carte

Appetizers

  • Assortment of Dim Sum (Har Gow and Siu Mai)
  • Wild and Cultivated Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan, Chives*
  • Winter Greens, Beets, Blue Cheese, Craisins, Red Wine Vinaigrette, Pecan*
  • Hamachi Sashimi, Lemongrass and Kaffir Sorbet, Radish, Puffed Rice
  • Pan-seared Foie Gras, Grape Gastrique, Brioche, Candied Walnut, Frisée

Mains

  • Roasted AAA Beef Tenderloin, Spinach, Chimichurri, Pomme Purée
  • English Pea Falafel, Zucchini, Pistachio Salsa Verde, Cherry Tomato*
  • Wild Spring Salmon, Lemon Emulsion, Leeks, Herb Crust
  • Tuscan Bread Stuffed Chicken Roulade, Turnip, Carrot and Brown Butter Purée, Shallot, Hazelnut

* = Vegan option available

Who is eligible?

Just like its sister in Toronto, the Air Canada Signature Suite is accessible for paying travellers on Air Canada Signature Class on an intercontinental flight (Europe, Asia, South America or Australia) ticketed in J, C, D, Z or P. This means bookings with upgraded tickets and redemption tickets (eg. Aeroplan, Star Alliance) are not eligible; this also goes in hand with travelling companions. These restrictions help to maintain the exclusivity of the Signature Suite to offer its paying customers a more premium experience than other lounges.

Virtual Tour

For those who did not have the opportunity to attend the event and wish to view the Signature Suite, Air Canada generously provided a link for a virtual tour.

Final Comments

Air Canada has done a great job in providing a small piece of haven for the few selected customers that get to experience this. From the beautifully fabricated lounge to the exquisite dining experience, it will no doubt enhance the positivity of the Air Canada Signature Service

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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