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Set atop the Saint Lawrence River, in the birthplace of French Canada, the majestic Le Château Frontenac has wowed visitors to charming Québec City with its grandiose façade and warm hospitality for over a century. Recently renovated and currently running special events and promotions celebrating its 125th anniversary, there’s never been a better time to visit—and save.
Budget Level: Upscale to Luxe ($179-$485/night)
Lodging Type: Large Hotel (100+ rooms)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
There’s a reason why Le Château Frontenac is considered the most photographed hotel in the world—simply put, it’s stunning. Perched high above the mighty Saint Lawrence River, this palatial, 611-room property is the crown jewel of the Québec City skyline. Having emerged from a $60 million renovation in 2015, the castle-like hotel—with its majestic towers and imposing green copper roof— has preserved ornate, original details while debuting contemporary bar and restaurant spaces. From its regal lobby and ballrooms, to its warm and cozy guest rooms, Le Château Frontenac offers visitors a (luxury) home away from home.
Modeled after French and English manor houses, the hotel’s interior exudes a cozy, yet sophisticated vibe. Whether you choose to warm up by roaring fireplaces, enjoy the view from wide riverfront windows, or imbibe in vintage train car booths in the Bistro Le Sam, it isn’t hard to find comfy spots to retreat to, particularly appealing during Québec’s winters. This landmark property is the hotel to stay at in Québec City, but thankfully, it lacks the pretentiousness often found at luxury properties, with a gracious staff who make it a priority to treat all guests like royalty.
Who Will Love It
Le Château Frontenac will delight those who appreciate a bit of history and old-world charm. The property sits on the site where Samuel de Champlain founded New France and Québec City in 1608 and is named after one of the early governors of the colony. Since opening its doors in 1893, the hotel has welcomed iconic guests ranging from Queen Elizabeth to Charlie Chaplin to David Bowie. Although this is a luxury property, families with young children will feel right at home as well. Kids and big kids alike will be excited by the prospect of staying in a castle, and plenty of family friendly activities can be found nearby. Québec City’s toboggan slide, built in 1884, stretches along the Dufferin Terrace boardwalk and runs right up to the hotel.
Who Might Not
Those who can’t live without modern tech conveniences, like iPod docks and USB ports, won’t find them in standard rooms here.
The setting. Le Château Frontenac looks like something out of a fairy tale. It’s a one-of-a-kind structure and a truly unique place to visit. Paying homage to its rich heritage, the property has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
Le Labo toiletries and access to the property’s health club, which offers a swimming pool, and 24-hour exercise room with fresh fruit and bottled water. Members of Fairmont President’s Club (free to join) receive complimentary WiFi.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
All food and beverages will be extra. Valet parking costs $29 per 24-hour period.
How to Get a Deal
Constructed as one of Canada’s grand railway hotels, Le Château Frontenac originally provided complimentary rooms to passengers with train tickets. While it would be impossible to match this incredible offering from the hotel’s early days, the property is currently running a promotion in celebration of this year's milestone anniversary. Now through April 30, guests who book a stay of at least two nights can enjoy a generous $125 CAD food and beverage credit. This can be used in any of the hotel’s restaurants and bars, including Place Dufferin, where the brunch spread (think French pastries and maple bacon) is worth a visit to the hotel.
In the Neighborhood
Le Château Frontenac is conveniently located right in the center of Old Québec. Stroll around this impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its charming cobblestone streets and colonial fortification. Take the funicular down from Place Dufferin to Lower Town and visit Rue de Petit-Champlain, which has been called the most beautiful street in Canada. For a taste of Québec’s hearty and rustic cuisine, stop by La Bûche.
Jean Lesage International Airport is a 25-minute drive from Le Château Frontenac. The hotel offers a private shuttle service for $20 per person, and Uber rides will run around the same price.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is a gorgeous and incomparable property, which should make it onto any travel lover’s bucket list. Plan a visit soon to take advantage of the 125th anniversary offer, score big savings, and join in on the celebrations honoring this historic property.