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A Memorable Stay At The Fairmont Montebello In Quebec

A Memorable Stay at the Fairmont Montebello in Quebec

The Fairmont Montebello joins the short list of Fairmont properties I’ve stayed in over the years. They include the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. All have delivered wonderful stays and experiences – but at a price – as you would expect from a hotel chain of this caliber.

Almost a year ago I was asked if I’d consider coming to the Outaouais Region to participate in the 50th anniversary of the Canada Ski Marathon. It is a cross-country skiing event over a weekend (160 kms done broken into stages) that has been on my radar for some time.

I said yes and agreed to the “full experience” which included two nights sleeping in a classroom on the floor of the Papineauville High School. By the time John and I were finished with the second tough day of skiing and two nights on a floor, we were both very ready for a little luxury. Enter the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello – a hotel I could have comfortably stayed at for days. Here’s why.

The drive up to the entrance of the Fairmont Chateau Montebello

The drive up to the entrance of the Fairmont Chateau Montebello

The world’s largest log cabin

The building itself is fantastic. Called the world’s largest log cabin, it is truly an architectural masterpiece – and worth the visit just to see it.

With an enviable location on the north shore of the Ottawa River, the property is criss-crossed with hiking, cross-country skiing and dogsledding trails, in the small town of Montebello, Quebec.

 The view of the Chateau from the river

The view of the Chateau from the river

History of the chateau

The chateau has a very interesting history. With 3,500 labourers working around the clock – even on Sundays – which was normally a day of rest, the chateau was built in just four months. (According to lore, the local curé, a man who would not have approved of working on Sundays, was sent to Rome for a conveniently timed two month holiday.)

It’s hard to appreciate the size of the chateau and the height of the structure without seeing it in person – definitely an incredible sight, especially inside.

The most beloved part of the hotel has got to be the six sided stone fireplace that rises 20 metres (66 feet) to the roof. It’s a gathering spot with comfortable seating all around. In winter it’s a great place to sit and warm up. I especially like the fact you can order drinks and appys from the bar – just steps away -and then sit back and watch the world go by.

The six sided stone fireplace in Chateau Montebello

The six sided stone fireplace in Chateau Montebello

John and I enjoyed a spacious bedroom with a king sized bed and sitting area. Though the hotel was opened on July 1, 1930, there have obviously been lots of upgrades as our room felt modern with only the bathroom harkening back to older times when they weren’t built to be big.

There are several dining rooms to try. A lot of regional products and some of the local brews are featured on the menu. I particularly liked the breakfast room. With big windows, it felt like you were part of the outdoors.

One of the grand dining rooms

One of the grand dining rooms

Exploring the Fairmont Montebello

Exploring the hotel is a lot of fun, especially as its got its fair share of nooks and crannies. Wandering the halls we discovered lots of historical photographs – showcasing many of the important politicians that have stayed here over the years.

We found private chairs for reading and even a colourful canoe on the second floor. It wasn’t until the morning after our stay that we discovered the pool via an underground walkway. It’s big and a great one if you’re into swimming laps. Too bad we missed the hot tub the night before. I would have enjoyed its soothing waters.

Full size canoe on the second floor

Full size canoe on the second floor

Beautiful roof over the swimming pool - Fairmont Chateau Montebello

Beautiful roof over the swimming pool

On a Monday morning we seemed to be the only ones out walking the grounds. Unfortunately we had a five hour drive in front of us so we didn’t have much time to linger. But we did walk along the river – and could easily imagine how beautiful it would be when the snow was gone and you could go swimming and boating.

When it comes to the outdoors in winter, Chateau Montebello offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dogsledding and sleigh rides – along with a couple of small ice rinks for skating and shinny.

Trails for hiking and cross-country skiing at Fairmont Chateau Montebello

We’re the only ones out exploring the trails along the river

Dreaming of summer - Fairmont Chateau Montebello

Dreaming of summer

Shoreline - Fairmont Chateau Montebello

I can only imagine how pretty the property would be in the summer

Rooms in February start at around $249 per night plus tax and the resort fee. All meals are extra.

Booking a stay at the Fairmont Chateau Montebello

This post includes some affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

I think the Fairmont Chateau Montebello is worth the splurge. You can book it – even for a night through this link

Further reading on things to do in Quebec in winter

Thank you to Tourism Outaouais and the Fairmont Chateau Montebello for hosting me. This is one hotel I’d love to return to for a longer stay.

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

The world's largest log cabin

 

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

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