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fairmont montebello: rustic luxury

April 14

As part of my ‘by day’ marketing job I plan meetings and events and as such I often have the opportunity to experience some pretty special hotels and resorts, and I recently spent a weekend inspecting the Fairmont Le Château Montebello in Quebec for potential future events. I have experienced a number of resort-type properties such as this, but even though I was aware that this is a historic property, I could not have expected the awe that would strike me upon entering the building.

The resort was built in 1930 (in just four months!) as the private retreat of the Seigniory Club, whose elite membership included reputed Canadian businessmen and politicians. In 1970 Canadian Pacific hotels took the property over, which has since been taken over by Fairmont. Visit the hotel’s web site for more details on the history of the property.

The rough-hewn construction is at once rustic yet formal, with structural joints fully visible and a feature of the design. The six-sided fireplace in the grand lobby soars to the roof many stories above yet the space is comforting, inviting guests to linger for a drink, to play a board game, or to take a snooze.

The main dining room continues in this manner of construction and décor, with a soaring three story vaulted ceiling, a gallery level, and views of the Ottawa River from the tables in the enclosed porch that surrounds the space. A truly Canadian experience can be had by curling on one of the two sheets (original to the property) set in an equally as grand ‘log cabin’.

The pool structure, also original to the club days of the property, is said to be the largest indoor hotel pool in North America and again utilizes rough hewn log construction with the added beauty of a coffered, painted wooden ceiling.

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