Whether you’re planning a full-on winter sports holiday or getaway, Fairmont Resorts has four historic properties within easy driving distance of Montreal. Consider saving thousands on airfare and enjoying the legendary Fairmont luxury, fine cuisine and service. Each of the four resorts are historic and architecturally important: Fairmont Château Montebello is the largest log structure in the world; The Château Frontenac in Quebec City is an internationally recognized icon and the focal point of Quebec City’s famous Winter Carnival; Le Manoir Richelieu overlooking the magnificent St-Lawrence; and Fairmont Tremblant at the base of Mont Tremblant – Eastern Canada’s #1 holiday destination.

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Fairmont Manoir Richelieu Resort has the majestic appearance of a castle, its stone walls, turrets and green peaked copper roofs rising above the shoreline cliff. On entering this historic property, we quickly came to appreciate that “Le Manoir” is full marks for its 5 Star status – one of a handful of Fairmont properties to have achieved such a high international ranking. With the first snowfalls, the resort becomes the focal point of a Winter Wonderland; with a huge variety of indoor and outdoor activities for couples and families. There is a wide range of on-site activities, nearby cross-country and downhill ski centres; and is especially suited for multi-generational holidays.

The resort has 405 rooms and suites spread out over 5 floors and offering garden views or spectacular panoramas of the St. Lawrence. The Jacuzzi rooms facing the river have proven to be so popular that the initial complement of 10 was doubled to 20 during the recent renovation of the first floor rooms. The guest rooms have contemporary colour schemes, king, queen, or two double beds, HD TV and HD signals, wireless internet, coffee makers and all the conveniences that Fairmont refers to as their 24 Guest Essentials.

Skiers have the option of taking a free shuttle service to Mont Grand-Fonds with 14 slopes, 3 glades trails and a Snowpark for snowboarders. It’s an ideal family ski centre with moderate rates and family packages. Cross country enthusiasts have a selection of 160 km of trails, plus 5 km of skating trails. There are 4 warming huts where skiers can cozy up to the fireplace and enjoy a snack before continuing through the winter wonderland. For more advanced skiers, Quebec’s ultimate skiing experience at Le Massif (highest vertical drop in Eastern Canada at 750+ metres) is within a comfortable distance. Special packages that include accommodation and lift tickets are available.

There are two outdoor ice rinks, one for pick-up hockey and another skating oval directly in front of the hotel. “We have our own Zamboni, and our skating oval is exactly the width of the Zamboni. We have the best ice east of The Bell Centre!” states our guide, Director of Marketing Eric Quesnel. Sleigh rides of 15 – 20 minutes are complimentary, and those of longer duration into the village of La Malbaie are available at a modest $15 hourly. Another favourite is dog-sledding. Our host says that it’s a wonderful experience; “As you travel through the woods – the only sound you hear is the breathing of the dogs ahead of you – pulling the sled. Our guests tell us that this is one of their favourite Fairmont Moments.”

The Multi-Sports Centre includes a fully equipped Spa with 22 treatment rooms, saunas, exercise facilities with floor-to-ceiling panorama windows, an indoor saltwater pool and… la pièce de résistance… two outdoor heated pools open all year!

With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the St. Lawrence, the intimate Le Charlevoix offers gourmet cuisine in a romantic and elegant decor. In addition to a selection of A-la-Carte items that include beef, fish, fowl, and vegetarian dishes, Le Charlevoix is rightfully proud of their four and five course “Degustation” menus. Diners have the option of wine-pairings offered by the knowledgeable staff, who can also guide your wine selection for the A-la-Carte menu. Dinner at Le Charlevoix is an occasion; and we recommend that you enjoy a romantic evening of fine dining and impeccable service. (If you’re travelling with children – the resort offers a moderately priced babysitting service.)

Other restaurant options include Le Saint-Laurent, a French brasserie-style dining room with a selection of salads, sea food, fresh fish, and grilled meats. Bistro Le Bellerive offers casual dining, including a hearty breakfast buffet that will set you up nicely for the day’s activities. Located on the Terrace level, the glass walls and atrium open to the vista of the St. Lawrence.

For snowmobile enthusiasts

The Charlevoix region has the most number of snowmobile trails in North America, and Le Manoir Richelieu has developed appealing packages for snowmobile enthusiasts. Guests can also rent machines, clothing, helmets, and everything needed for a great day out on the trails. Rentals are available by the hour, half day, or one, two and three day periods. Le Casino de Charlevoix is located just across from the hotel’s main entrance; and is accessible by an underground passageway if you’ve had enough fresh air.

The core of Le Manoir’s business is getaway and family vacations; and the entire staff are trained and motivated to make your stay a special event. We can heartily recommend Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu for a getaway or full winter vacation.

Le Château Frontenac

Rated #4 by Travel & Leisure in the World’s Top 100 Resorts

Who wouldn’t want to live in a castle – where dreams come true – even if only for a few magical nights? “Le Château”, as it is affectionately referred to by staff and guests alike has dominated the Quebec City skyline since the first phase was built in 1893. Five additions later, the hotel now has 618 luxurious rooms and spectacular suites, one of the most elegant Ballrooms this side of a Versailles, an indoor swimming pool, a fully equipped fitness centre, Spa services and above all – a staff and management team who consider themselves to be custodians of one of the world’s landmark hotel properties.

Passing through the gates to the interior courtyard, guests have the impression that they truly are entering a castle. That impression becomes a reality the moment you step into the grand lobby. Marble floors, soft plush carpets, beamed ceilings, chandeliers, and mahogany inlay paneling create an atmosphere of elegant serenity. A hallway as wide as a city street joins the main lobby with the Le Saint-Laurent Bar & Lounge and the beautiful main dining room Le Champlain – both with magnificent views of the St-Lawrence River. The Shops of Le Château line one side of the ‘street’, where you can purchase everything from a souvenir sweater to an evening gown.

Arriving in the early evening – we opted to enjoy a casual meal in the Le St-Laurent. We selected a table adjacent to one of two large fireplaces, and close enough to hear the jazz musicians playing in the adjacent lounge. A delicious onion soup au gratin, fine wine by the glass and friendly service combined to create a memorable evening.
Le Champlain Restaurant is the hotel’s main restaurant and proudly maintains its legendary status and 4 Diamond rating. With views overlooking the St. Lawrence, we recommend that you make sure that a stay at Le Château includes at least one meal in Le Champlain, where dining is a gastronomic event.

Le Café de la Terrace is on the same level as the Dufferin terrace and it once housed the hotel’s two curling sheets. It now is the sun-splashed restaurant for all day dining, starting with breakfast as a hearty buffet to set you up for a day of exploring. A la carte service is also available.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac has been classified as an Urban Heritage Resort, in part because of the rich history of the structures, and also because of its unique location within the walled city of Quebec – the only walled city in North America. Guests have a wide variety of historic sites to visit, intimate restaurants to explore; plus unique galleries and boutiques. Historic Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is literally at the front door. The magnificent Dufferin Terrace is a centre of activity in winter and summer. The iconic toboggan slide is popular with guests of all ages, and an outdoor skating rink is accessible for hotel guests.

Fairmont Gold is a luxury concept that provides a boutique hotel experience within the larger hotel. Four floors from 14 to 17 in the central tower have been completely renovated, and in addition to superior appointments, free high speed internet, two telephone lines and cordless phones; guests have a private lounge for breakfast and an honour bar cocktail service. There are just 46 rooms spread out over four floors, providing spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River and Old Quebec.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello

The world’s largest log structure, Le Château Montebello offers a magical holiday experience for couples, families, and business meetings. Fairmont Le Château Montebello is a unique resort constructed entirely with hand-hewn cedar logs and situated on the north bank of the Ottawa River. Originally built to serve as a private club for sporting enthusiasts, this historic resort has a rich history, outstanding facilities, the largest indoor hotel swimming pool in Canada, and a new $2.5 million Spa that has quickly become a favourite with guests.

The focal point of the main building is a large circular lobby, dominated by a huge six-sided central fireplace and stone chimney rising 5 or 6 storeys up to the open cathedral ceiling. Broad interior balconies provide room access and quiet seating areas for guests to enjoy a cozy nook. The most stunning aspect is that everything is made of logs – like something from a children’s storybook. (And if you think this is fun for adults – wait till you see the reaction of children!)

The guest rooms, with their log walls have a rustic-chic décor. However, you’ll also find high-speed wireless and cable connections for your laptop, coffee makers, HD flat screen televisions and newly renovated bathrooms. The tradition of indoor and outdoor sporting activities continues at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, with 26 km of cross-country ski trails and dog sled routes throughout the grounds. The indoor curling rink has two sheets, and instruction is offered for guests who wish to take up one of Canada’s most popular sports.

Fine dining is an integral part of any luxury resort getaway or vacation, and the team of talented chefs fulfills the dining expectations of guests. The main section of the Aux Chantignoles dining room has a two story atrium ceiling, the white linen table cloths offset by the warm log walls. There is additional seating in the Diane section adjacent to the main room; with cozy tables, stone walls, log beams and lovely picture-window views of the snow-covered grounds.

We enjoyed an excellent Table D’hôte four course dinner, which offered several salad choices, two soup choices (all soups are made from scratch), several main course options and two dessert selections. Service was attentive and at a relaxed pace that made for a special evening in the romantic setting of the intimate Diane section of the dining room.
The breakfast buffet is an elaborate affair with a selection of fresh fruits, juices, hot oatmeal, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs waffles and Le Château Montebello’s signature crepes in maple syrup sauce that are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

The less formal La Seigneurie Bistro Bar offers a variety of menu items from hamburgers and steaks to a delicious fresh trout. La Seigneurie shares the main dining room kitchen and staff – thereby maintaining the same high standards. The new Spa building is attached to the existing indoor pool and fitness centre – accessible by tunnel from the main building. Le Spa has 8 treatment Rooms, with two for couples, one equipped with a fireplace. Overlooking the Ottawa River, the sun-drenched Salon Soleil features three pedicure stations and two manicure desks.

For information and reservations: www.fairmont.com/montebello
1-800-441-1414 or directly to the resort: 1-819-423-6341.

Fairmont Tremblant

The majestic Mont Tremblant is the highest peak in Eastern Canada, and ever since Joe Ryan developed the mountain as a ski centre, it has taken on a legendary status. Fairmont Tremblant was built in 1995 as part of the re-development of the village at the foot of the mountain. With 314 rooms and suites, Fairmont Tremblant is the largest structure of the quaint European-style village nestled at the foot of Mont Tremblant.

Arizona – chic is perhaps the best way to describe the resort’s elegant décor. The lobby lounge fireplace surrounded by comfortable oversized armchairs. The muted and warm colours of ochre, yellow and soft desert pinks provide a pleasant contrast to the winter snow outside. The Nansen Lounge overlooks the village and the lower mountain slope; and is a favourite spot for a late afternoon cocktail and casual dinner. We enjoyed a relaxing dinner, overlooking the twinkling lights and a light snow falling on the village.

Breakfast and dinner are served in the elegant Windigo Dining Room, which has a selection of 300+ wines. The Fairmont policy of offering fresh produce from local producers is followed here. Saturday night features a special Surf ‘n’ Turf buffet in addition to the Windigo A-la-Carte menu. In addition to Prime Rib and a half lobster, diners also have a choice of Alaskan King Crab, jumbo shrimp, scallops (prepared to you individual taste), fresh oysters, Sushi, baby back ribs, chicken and much more… Dessert was another culinary extravaganza.

Fairmont Tremblant offers guests a full range of activities and services for all seasons. In addition to a fully equipped fitness centre, team room and sauna; there is a heated indoor pool and adjacent hot tub, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the base of the mountain. Especially popular in the winter is the heated outdoor pool and pool-sized hot tub. The popular Amerispa offers a wide range of rejuvenating treatments.

Located adjacent to the fitness centre, the ski valet service enables guests to collect their equipment and head out directly to the mountain – the only hotel to offer ski-in-ski-out service. It’s a beehive of friendly activity as skiers enjoy a morning coffee and brioche before hitting the slopes. The spacious and comfortably appointed 314 guest rooms and suites are fully equipped with high speed internet, flat screen TVs with video game capabilities, coffee makers, and in-room safes. All rooms have terrific views, whether of the mountain or surrounding countryside and Lac Tremblant. One bedroom suites have full kitchen facilities and are popular with families.

“Our Fairmont Gold signature service on the 7th floor is like an intimate boutique hotel within the main hotel,” comments our host Natalie Johnson. “Our Fairmont Gold guests have a separate check-in, a private lounge overlooking the mountain and Tremblant Village, complimentary breakfast, an honour bar, and concierge services. All of the Fairmont Gold rooms are equipped with four poster canopy beds, Hudson Bay blankets and elegant furnishings. We have many repeat guests, and you can see that they enjoy being greeted by name.”

This season’s ski season is off to a fine start because of the abundance of natural snow, complementing the snow-making operations. In addition to downhill and cross-country skiing – there are an abundance of après-ski activities within the resort and the adjacent village at the foot of the mountain. Fairmont Tremblant is an ideal holiday experience for families and couples. Without exaggeration, there is something for everyone.

For reservations and to learn about special packages, please visit: www.fairmont.com/tremblant
or call: 819-681-7000 Bon Voyage!