FAIRMONT LE CHATEAU FRONTENAC | travel
Over the New Years' long weekend, Bryon and I splurged and stayed the The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Normally I don't feel compelled to write a review about a hotel...I mean, it's a hotel. When I travel I rarely spend that long in the actual room anyway, so as long as there is a comfortable bed, pillow, hot shower and a coffee machine, that's all I need. But when it comes to luxury hotels, I like to review them because if you're going to spend a chunk of hard-earned cash on a hotel room, it better be worth it.
We got a modest room. For 3 nights it was about the cost of an all-inclusive vacation. It really does look like a castle and is an iconic landmark in Quebec City. As I mentioned previously, the hotel holds a lot of historical significance. It was built in 1893 as part of the Canadian Pacific Railway hotels and was largely popular. You can read more about the history of the hotel here. It's pretty interesting!
Upon arrival, we got valet parking (we had been driving forever and Bryon couldn't be bothered to park the car himself). We also had our bags delivered to our room and the hotel staff seemed really great and helpful. The man who dropped off our bags at our room saw our ice skates and gave us some suggestions for ice skating which I thought was nice.
Our adorable, quaint room had everything we needed. Old Quebec City already makes you feel like you are in Paris, but this room added to that. We had a view of the hotel courtyard, which was cool because we could see the hotel wrap around, a marble bathroom that included LE LABO PRODUCTS!!! I'm such a sucker for the products hotels provide. A closet that included two hotel robes (also a sucker for these) and a mini bar and coffee machine. It was pretty perfect. We knew that we would be spending more time than usual in this room because Quebec City gets extremely cold (we're talking -21C and at some points -27C). So we did come up to our room at some points throughout the day to warm up and rest.
Again, speaking to the cold, I like getting dressed up, but of course when it's -27C you have to trade in heels for winter boots...especially in this city where the terrain is all hills and there is snow and ice everywhere. However, the hotel has 4 dining options to choose from. We checked out two of the three and really loved them. You do need to make reservations before-hand so you can get a spot. 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar is great for evening cocktails. You'll get knowledgeable (English speaking) bar tenders who create awesome cocktails. I hear the cheese boards are great too. We really liked it here. Bistro Le Sam was our NYE dinner spot (everything was very booked!! We somehow managed to squeeze in a reservation). I recommend asking for a table that has a view of the river. The décor is beautiful! I recommend the Lobster Roll...it's soooooo good. If you can't deal with the cold, you can for sure stay inside the hotel and get a really great meal or nice drink.
If you're looking for recommendations of things to do or places to eat, the entire staff have great recommendations. Our bartender at 1608 recommended a great brunch spot that the locals enjoy going to (we never made it, but still). We usually spoke with the hotel concierge each day - they made us dinner reservations in Old Quebec City, gave us maps and directions, told us about things to do. They were great.b The morning of New Years' Eve we ordered room service because we weren't quite ready to bundled up and face the cold. The room service menu is extensive (and expensive) but when I'm on vacation room service and hotel robes are my guilty pleasure....it has to happen. Plus it was nice staying cozy in our little room enjoying coffee and breakfast.
My thought on my experience staying here: It was honestly really great. For our first time in Quebec City, this was perfect. The location was great, the staff were great and our room was great. I would absolutely stay here again. There are many other adorable hotels throughout the city that offer great service too, but I appreciated the nostalgia of staying in a hotel that made Quebec City a tourist destination. If you have the money or feel like treating yourself, go for it!