Le Fairmont Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec
The Fairmont Chateau Montebello is located approximately 1/2 way between Montreal and Ottawa on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. It is now part of the Fairmont chain of hotels and resorts. The facility is a well maintained original log building with four wings extending out from a central meeting area with a large fireplace. Each wing consists of approximately 50 rooms. On this occasion, we had one of the river facing rooms, in the same alcove that George W. Bush used during his stay in 2007 for the NAFTA Summit. His Seigniory Room accommodation (Rm 219) had a nicer view of the marina :-). I don’t think that they will be putting up a sign announcing that I stayed there though!
Once we had arrived at the main entrance and got quickly settled into our room, it was time for a bit of exploration before stopping for our evening meal. The weather outside was still very pleasant and an hour or so of light was still available. Although staff speak many languages, including English, the hotel is located in the province of Quebec where provincial sign and language laws insist on French being the predominate language in signage in particular, so signs like “Accueil” and “Arrêt” meaning “Welcome/Reception” and “Stop” are there to welcome visitors while some signage is a bit more bilingual that others.
The main building was built in 1930, using 10,000 red cedar logs from British Colombia and, until 1970 was a private meeting spot for members of the rather exclusive Seigniory Club. Since that time there have been a number of additions to the building and the surrounding properties including tennis courts, a curling rink and more recently, a modern conference building.
The complex sports a wonderful indoor swimming pool built in the same style as the main building. Ironically, I guess, like many of the hotel’s guests, I never found enough time to actually go for a swim in the pool – maybe next time! In addition tothe indoor pool, they also have an outdoor pool which, at this time of the year is now closed for the season.
Outside, the late blooming cleomes, zinnias, and mallows were providing plenty of late-season colour to the flower beds and the coleus, with their highly decorative foliage, were still showing no signs of late-season stress. Only a few weeks until the first frosts will end the flowers for another year but nice to see while they are still alive and well.
It wasn’t long before the sun was beginning to set and it was soon time to head back inside for a bit to eat.
The centerpiece of the main foyer and reception area is a massive stone fireplace. On other occasions when I have been at the Chateau Montebello, a nice warm fire was providing a gentle warmth to the entire foyer area bu,t this time around, it was too warm outside to be needing the soothing warmth of a blazing fire.
The Chateau Montebello offers sports-bar style dining in their Seigneurie Bar and Mulligan’s Bars and fine French Canadian cuisine in their Chantignoles Dining Room on the lower level. There are plenty of other dining options available within walking distance in the nearby village of Montebello.
The weather for our stay was almost perfect with sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures accompanying us as we strolled around the grounds, played a round of golf at the Montebello Golf Course, checked out the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site adjacent to the Chateau Montebello property, and enjoyed a self-guided walking tour of the near by village of Montebello. The last morning, however, was a different story as, overnight, a storm front had moved and a day of drizzle was the result. Since we would soon be heading home, the change in weather didn’t affect our plans in any substantial way so, after breakfast looking out the windows of the Castignoles dining area which had looked much more appealing on the previous sun-lit days, we packed our bags and headed home.
One last look at our Room 217 before heading off down the hallway to the front foyer. (ceiling curvature is lens related, not really like that 🙂 )
Signs of the colourful Fall season were just beginning to make an appearance during our visit so we were already planning where we might go on our next outing.