As far as prestige is concerned, staying at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec would be like staying at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. These two landmarks that are representative of these cities are from the same generation: 1889 and 1893. Luxurious, elegant and charming, the most photographed hotel in the world amazes most people, with its appearance of a "great lady", overlooking the St. Lawrence River. This is a hotel-museum that you will not tire of walking around. As is the case with all castles, there is a ghost, and, unusually for a castle, a dog serves as a mascot!
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Located right in the heart of Old Quebec, on Cape Diamant, the hotel overlooks the St. Lawrence River.
The hotel has 618 bedrooms spread over 18 floors! We are in a castle here, where each room is of a different size. As far as decor is concerned, of course you find the same colours (blue and yellow or gold and mauve) and facilities (32-inch flat screen, alarm clock, coffee-maker, safe deposit box, iron, and ironing board). You begin by choosing or discovering your bed: a queen or king-size bed or two double beds. The rooms are a good size and some have a small lounge area with a sofa for you to rest on after a day's walking without having to go to bed. The bathroom is narrow, which is a shame. Even so, it has a bathtub, a large mirror, a hair-dryer, hospitality products and bathrobes to wander around these luxurious surroundings as if you were at home. Some rooms overlook the river whereas others overlook the city or the interior gardens (the least impressive view).
First of all, you should be aware that the Chateau Frontenac has always been a hotel. No king or queen has ever lived there. It has been open since 1893, was partly re-built following a fire in 1926, and all the rooms were renovated in 2007. This is a hotel-museum that you will not tire of. You will observe the period items, superb paintings, gilding on the walls and ceiling, mouldings, etc. Wandering along the 18 floors of corridors is a real pleasure. In addition to the bedrooms and the restaurants, there is a shopping mall in the basement and on the ground floor that provides several rather luxury shops and there is a swimming pool with children's pool on the 6th floor, all overlooking a large terrace perfect for sunbathing in the middle of the summer. There is a sports room next door that is not very big, but is state-of-the-art (individual flat screens) to allow more athletic guests to continue their training.
A superb and romantic restaurant, the Champlain, offers a splendid view of the St. Lawrence River (there are not many tables by the window, so remember to arrive early or book in advance) and serves French and continental gastronomic cuisine prepared by the chef Jean Soulard. Another restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in the form of a buffet. The cuisine is good here. There is a very pleasant bar, the St. Lawrence, which you have to go to even if you are not staying in the hotel and which offers a splendid view of the St. Lawrence in a pleasant setting, with a wooden counter forming a circle in the centre of the bar. You can have soups, sandwiches and tapas here, while sipping a cocktail, beer or glass of wine. Two large fireplaces give it a welcoming atmosphere. A lounge bar provides live piano music just next door. Book a place by the window - the show on the St. Lawrence is incredible.On Sundays a large brunch, a local tradition, is organised in the restaurant. A guaranteed family and convivial atmosphere.
You do not need a car to explore Quebec, particularly when you are aware of the cost of parking: Around £22 with valet service and £19 without. A hotel has been created within the hotel for those who prefer small buildings: the Fairmont Or. Those who are addicted to the Internet can register with the Fairmont Internet site for free as members of the President Fairmont in the loyalty programme before their departure and thus be able to use the Internet for the duration of their stay. The hotel bedrooms have recently been renovated and have very modern fittings. There is a dog called Santol in reception five days a week. Guests can walk him through the streets of Quebec, where you will become a star. Everyone knows this doggie. 60 to 80 weddings take place at the hotel every year. On Saturdays, a visit to the castle is organised for children. It finishes with tea with Madame Rose. This is a memorable experience for children who have been very impressed by this imposing castle.