More about Chateau Laurier Hotel
If you want to pamper yourself and stay in the best hotels across the country pick the Fairmont Hotels. Many of them were one time the CP Hotels.
These are the best and some of them like the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, the Banff Springs, the Chateau Lake Louise, Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City are among the world's best hotels.
They are very historic buildings as well. So if you got the budget consult their web site and live it up in one of these great hotels. The Banff Springs might arguably be the best! A little bit of Chateau, Laurier history from www.fairmont.com:
As the centerpiece of Canada's capital, Fairmont Château Laurier rests majestically between Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River, The Congress Centre and the open-air Byward Market. A historical monument in itself, the hotel enchants guests with its charm and stateliness. Brass stair rails, marble floors, high ceilings, antiques resting elegantly in rooms and foyers and wool carpets round out the hotel's regal beauty.
In 1907, during a time of grandeur and elegance, Ottawa's premier hotel was commissioned by American-born Charles Melville Hays, General Manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway of Canada. Following a disagreement with architect Bradford Lee Gilbert, Ross and Macfarlane Contractors was hired to build the hotel in French Renaissance style using granite blocks for the base, buff Indiana limestone for the walls and copper for the roof.
Unfortunately, Hays never had the chance to see his dream come true. Days before the hotel's scheduled opening on April 26, 1912, the new president of the railway was returning from England with dining room furniture, on the ill-fated Titanic. Hays and the male members of his party perished on April 14, 1912. Only Paul Chevre, who sculpted the bust of Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and the women in Hays' party, including his wife Clara, survived the disaster.
Fairmont Château Laurier was eventually opened by its namesake, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, on June 12, 1912. At that time, Ottawa was not the refined town it is today as it reflected its rough Bytown origins. Fairmont Château Laurier changed that and was once dubbed 'the third chamber of Parliament' in reference to the number of politicians roaming the corridors. In its rooms, political deals were made, careers launched or destroyed and governments created and dissolved.
The Chateau Frontenac
One of Old Town's most famous landmarks, the Chateau Frontenac rises over the buildings of the old city like a feudal castle. It's one of the first things you think of when you think Quebec City; I know I do. Not only is it the hotel (and a very expensive one too) to beat in Quebec, but is also a major tourist attraction itself. Built and expanded between the 1890s and 1920s, the Frontenac was part of the Canadian Pacific Railway's line of hotels that stretched across the country. This included the Frontenac's sisters like the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa and the Empress Hotel in Victoria, hence the reason why they all look vaguely yet grandly similar.
The lobby and its dining rooms harp back to a Victorian and Edwardian age of elegance, where a stairwell or wall decoration took on imperial roles.
The Frontenac's claim to history is its hosting role of the Quebec Conferences in 1944, where the Allied powers set up discussion rounds to discuss Germany's future once the Second World War ended.
Quebec - French culture and rugged wilderness!
Speaking of Quebec, this French-speaking ‘island’ surrounded by English-speaking Canadians and Americans is a little world of its own – almost like stepping into a European city when you visit either its largest city of Montreal or the provincial capital of Quebec City. Quebec City, founded in 1608, is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the only walled city in North America. This view of the famous Chateau Laurier Hotel, built for Canadian Pacific Railway passengers, was taken from the walls of the Citadel fortress which historically commanded passage below on the St. Lawrence River.
Montreal also has plenty of attractions such as the views and walking trails of Mont Royal (for which the city was named), the Olympic Stadium and its surrounding attractions, many museums and shows as well as great downtown shopping and restaurant areas. Close to the harbour along the St.Lawrence River is a great old section of the city known as Vieux Montreal – its narrow streets crammed with historic buildings full of boutiques and great restaurants.
If it is wilderness you are looking for, Quebec has plenty of that too and, journeying into these French-speaking areas is a real adventure because of both the spectacular scenery and the cultural differences – including very few fast-food restaurants. The 3rd photo is a view of Perce Rock, a Quebec icon with a natural hole through it, first sighted by explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534 as he sailed into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on his first explorations of the area. Another interesting spot which most people have never heard of are the Iles de la Madeleine, a string of small islands joined by sandbars in the middle of the Gulf. The 4th photo shows a view of some of the crumbling seaside cliffs taken during a 2003 ferry trip my wife and I made to see the islands for ourselves.
Stroll through Quebec City and...
Stroll through Quebec City and admire various illuminated sites: the Parliament Building, the Chateau Frontenac, the Musee du Quebec, Cap Diamant, the Pont de Quebec, and the Martello Towers. Catch a different glimpse of Quebec's history through the trompe l'oeil of rue du Petit-Champlain, one of the oldest streets in North America and well worth a look.
Visit the Musee d'art Inuit Brousseau on rue Buade to admire the 500 items in this impressive collection of Inuit art.
Take a fantastic excusrion through an idealized West at the Musee de la civilisation (418-643-2158), which is presenting the fascinating Cow-Boy dans l'ame exhibition. Retrace the steps of these heroes through country and western singers, actors in westerns and rodeo cowboys. Why not end the day with Elvis Story at the Capitole de Quebec restaurant (418-694-4444).
The Festival d'ete international de Quebec (1-888-992-5200), a pioneer among major popular events in the country, transforms the Quebec capital into a luminous outdoor stage. Fropm July 4 to 14, the festival will showcase music from around the world, new trends in the French-language popular song, and street art.
The Hotel Chateau Laurier is close to the Plains of Abraham, at the corner of Grande Allee, and several minutes on foot from the Dufferin Terrace and Vieux-Quebec. Free parking. Packages are available. Information: vieuxquebec.com/laurier (1-800-463-4453).
The Musee du Quebec (418-643-2150) is presenting a Bourdelle retrospective assembling 94 sculptures and several splendid drawings and photographs by one of France's leading sculptor's at the turn of the 19th century.
Throughout the summer at the Galeries de la Capitale, the Cirque du Soleil (1-800-361-4595 or in Montreal, 514-790-1245) is presenting Cirque 2002, a breathtaking show directed by Dominic Champagne.
Les Grands Feux Loto-Quebec (1-800-923-3389)is a musical fireworks competition that assembles on the outstanding Parc de la Chute-Montmorency site teams of international calibre. The best place to see the display is on the site, from July 20 to August 7.
Happy vacationers will head for the water at the Village Vacances Valcartier (418-844-2200), where water toboggans, a river tour, an wave pool and numerous thrilling water rides await them.
So I've read other people's reviews and some say: if you want luxury, stay at the Frontenac. But I say, be smart and for the same price of a tiny room at the Frontenac, book the luxury suite at the Chateau Laurier. Even the front desk at Frontenac concede that the service at Chateau Laurier is extremely good. I stayed in a corner suite with fireplace, beautiful corner views of the city, and large jacuzzi/shower bathroom. Tastefully decorated room: glass/wood panels that slide open between the jacuzzi and the rest of the room give you the option to enjoy the fireplace while soaking; comfortable king bed and bathrobes - feels like a 5-star hotel. Wise economical advise: stay at the Laurier - visit the Frontenac.
The best ever hospitality !!!
Me (15) and my family attended the World Police and firearms games 2005 which was held in Quebec and we stayed at Chateau Laurier. We were at a small kind of doubt whether this is gonna be nice or not. But that was simply a great hotel. Mean the rooms were also nicely arranged, the food was delicious and so do the staff working there. They are so friendly and really helpful. It was like home for me there. Mainly I like the guys at the entrance. They are so nice and cool. I felt so worried when I left the place because it was leaving my loved ones there. I like it so much. Great Hospitality! So great with pleasing friendliness and I wanna be there again soon. I warmly wanna remind the guys who were greeting us all the time saying " Bonjour" and " Good morning" ( I miss 'em) and all that and wanna say that we all loved you so much. It is now which we all feel how great was our stay at Chateau Laurier and Quebec. A great place to stay. Simply I love it !!!
Winter Carnival 2005
We just returned from a long weekend at the Chateau Laurier enjoying Winter Carnival. The hotel was exactly what I was looking for. Perfectly central to all activities, quaint and the staff was very friendly. The bellmen were fantastic at answering questions and giving directions.
The only problem we had was during check-in. We were suppose to receive breakfast daily but were told that wasn't the case. After discussing it with the Manager, the problem was quickly resolved and we received our vouchers.
Our room had a nice view of the Parliament building and St. Lawrence but was in the old part of the hotel and was very small. If you are staying for more than a couple nights or have children definitely get the larger rooms in the newer section, even if the view is not as nice. The lobby was very nice with beautiful fireplace and piano.
The hotel is located between the Loews Le Concorde and the Saint Louis Gate on the Grand Alee. There are plenty of nice restaurants within steps of the hotel.
I definitely would recommend this hotel, especially during winter carnival.
Best location in Quebec
The rooms are acceptable, the service is great, and the location is excellent! Located on the Grande Allée (where the bars and cafés are located), close to Parliament, and to shopping; for the price this is the best place to stay.
Comfortable room, pleasant staff, great food.
My wife and I stayed at the Laurier Dec. 23-31, 2004 and were very satisfied with hotel. The weather was very cold, and we were glad that the room had excellent heat with very low heater noise. The hotel has been expanded over the years, and we were in the newest section, overlooking the park. The view out the window was enchanting, with the Drill Hall looking like a castle in deep winter, and the Quebec flag atop Parliament was a colorful weather vane. Tour busses would stop by the park so that the tourists could play in the snow and take pictures of each other in the snow. The meals in the Bistro were excellent, and we had one blowout meal in the hotel's "Grand Table" that was a highlight of the trip. There is a well-stocked convenience store connected to the hotel, so beer, wine, and snacks were easy to obtain. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We hope to return to the Laurier, and Quebec City, in the future.
Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Ontario