Okay, let’s talk “full disclosure”: I’m a “Fairmont girl” because I love staying at Canada’s historic, luxurious Fairmont properties. Not only is the service par excellence, but more specifically, the former chain of hotels built in the early 1900s are architectural gems. Le Château Montebello, constructed in the 1930s, is no exception.
What’s the ambience like?
In fact, it’s in a class unto itself. Because it is constructed of logs, it’s a particularly appropriate symbol of Canada’s heritage, where this nation’s wealth was built upon furs – and timber.
What about the décor?
White and red pine were harvested here, then shipped to England during Napoleon’s blockade of the Baltic in 1806. Timber was used for the construction of Britain’s navy – plus the construction of public buildings, businesses, and homes.
Rustic or luxe?
Indeed, when we approach the Château Montebello, we gaze upon the largest “log cabin” in the world. Stained black with a red trim, it rises majestically from the banks of the Ottawa River, giving it a grand presence particularly because its design is a “star.”
A central octagonal building has “spokes” housing rooms, radiating from the core. Step inside and be stunned by the magnificent exposed log ceiling, banisters and railings along the second floor lounge – and in the centre of this space, find the fireplace.
What’s there to do?
Here, a crackling fire welcomes us in the chillier seasons, where heat radiates to all three stories thanks to a towering cut-stone chimney. It’s heaven indeed to curl up here with a book after a day of swimming, paddle-boarding, hiking, mini-golfing, biking – or just sitting on a shady bench watching the boats drift past. Come evening? Dine on exquisite fare from le terroir – a French word describing the “foods of the locale.”
What’s new this year is a C$23 daily fee for the resort activities mentioned plus many others – such as in winter, you can enjoy curling clinics, ice skating, and snowshoeing or skiing on woodland trails. In this way, guests can simply pay once and access all the amenities.
What’s special about it?
And what’s super special is that the resort grounds give easy strolling or biking access to other Montebello highlights such as Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada, Camp Explora, Fromagerie Montebello, Chocomotive – and Kenauk Nature.
Katharine and Eric Fletcher were the guests of Outaouais Tourism during their adventures in Montebello.
For more information see Fairmont Le Château Montebello’s website. Here are five reasons to visit Quebec.
1-Quebec is a winter wonderland when the snow falls.
2-Quebec Winter Carnivale is a fun event for the whole family.
3-The autumn leaves in Quebec are simply awesome to see.
4-Quebec City’s old town has charming historic buildings and cobblestone streets packed with cafes, shops and restaurants.
5-Quebec’s sugar shacks are fun to visit for a sweet treat.