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Hotel Renovations / Fairmont Hotels / Hotel Design / Canada Hotels / Quebec Hotels / Quebec City Hotels / → All Tags
If you’ve never been to this Gothic revival-style grand hotel dominating Québec City’s skyline, you should know that renovating Le Château Frontenac would be like renovating a castle (the hotel even has ramparts!). But renovate they did and paid the princely price of $75 mill to revamp the 611-room, 120-year-old property. Wowza!
Compared to when this writer last stayed at the hotel about seven years ago, the lobby-to-roof reno looks to have kept the property’s elegant classical interior while updating textures and adding a more contemporary color palette.
Some of the nifty new things include the changes made to the Fairmont Gold level, Fairmont’s version of the Club Level. The room count went from 45 to 60 rooms and the private lounge – with dedicated concierge, morning breaky, evening hors d’oeuvres, and honor bar – has been consequently expanded and gussied up.
Those hardy Québécois are well-known for embracing rather than fearing the winter. And when it blankets the city so attractively like this, we can almost see why.
This is an early February view from the 18th floor of the Hilton Québéc. The 23-story, 571-room hotel is located on Parliament Hill, which makes for some pretty sweet views of the St. Lawrence River, Parliament, or the Laurentian Mountains from every room.
From the floor-to-celing window in our King room, looking out across the snow-covered rooftops, the iconic Château Frontenac aka "the most photographed hotel in the world" now run by Fairmont Hotels, is visible, as is the Place Desjardins, the setting for most Carnaval activities.
Themed Suites / Sweet Suites / Ice Hotels / Disney Hotels / Frozen / Kid-Friendly Hotels / Quebec Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Your children are probably in the backseat singing the soundtrack to the new Disney princess movie, "Frozen" right now so whether you want to tell them about the "Frozen"-inspired hotel suite is up to you.
But should you want to treat the kids, or yourself, Quebec's Hotel de Glace, a seasonal ice hotel, has now unveiled pictures of the Frozen Suite which is inspired by the two sisters' bedroom in the movie. It was even supervised by the film's art director.
Booking a stay in the Frozen Suite will also include time in a “Frozen Activity Cave” which may also feature elements of the movie. The suite will be unveiled this weekend but alas, won't last forever. The suite and the rest of the ice hotel will close on March 23rd.
There's no option to book the Frozen suite on the hotel's website, nor is there a price, but we expect it to be unveiled this weekend. So stay tuned for the update. In the meantime, a themed room adventure package starts at $399CAD a night and also includes a room at the Four Points by Sheraton in Quebec in case it gets too cold. Which will probably happen with little kids.
Fall Foliage Hotels / Autumn Hotels / New York Hotels / Vegas Hotels / Quebec Hotels / Canada Hotels / Massachusetts Hotels / → All Tags
With a name like Harvest Inn, best bring your hanky and keep your wine glass full!
We get a bit hesitant when it comes to fall foliage season. Sure, the leaves are in full color around most of the country and the change is so pretty to witness. But we're wary of jumping on the Leaf Peeping Bandwagon.
It’s selfish really. For some of us, this means the start of allergy season when we'll begin raking up endless piles of...tissues. Not a good look. Still, we won't be leaf-peeping poopers. Instead, here's a handy guide to some lovely hotels promising awesome autumn splendor.
As a bonus, our Sniffle Meter gives you the highest pollen count you'll face there on a scale of 1-10. The highest meaning bring your Claritin!
So pack your mock-turtleneck, Keen's, and Kleenex. It's time to embrace Mother Nature's bounty!
The Golden Arrow at Lake Placid, New York is high on the allergy meter. But go anyway!
GOLDEN ARROW LAKESIDE RESORT, Lake Placid, NY
Sniffle Meter: 7
You'll be in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains at this traditional ski resort town. But during the fall months it's all about hiking and biking the miles of trails, and getting the last bit of golf in. The Golden Arrow has an awesome location overlooking Mirror Lake, and better yet have allergen-free rooms so you'll be comfy at night on dust-mite covered beds and a hepa-filtered room after a woods-filled day. Room rates begin at $119 in October.
Hotel Renovations / Canada Hotels / Quebec Hotels / Quebec City Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / → All Tags
While in Quebec City last week, we had the chance to stay at the infamous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and discovered it'll undergo a multi-million dollar renovation project to celebrate its 120th year. Don't worry, though, retaining the historic charm that's been the hotel's backbone since day one is part of the construction plan.
The renovations will include the guestrooms, main lobby, banquet areas, health club and restaurants. The various projects will be carried out in different phases between May 2013 and early 2014. The hotel will remain open during it all and says "special care and extra efforts will be devoted in order to minimize the inconvenience, visual impact and noise-related nuisance for clients during the renovations." We believe them, considering we toured a room right next to one that was being overhauled and we didn't hear a peep.
Fairmont has dedicated a website to the renovations where you can follow along with the progress being made. The photos in this post show the layout, design, and decor of two prototype rooms, though the hotel said the final product could differ slightly. We found the changes to be most welcome, especially in the bathroom. What say you? Are you liking the new look?
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Yes, it’s winter and yes, Canada can be cold. But that also means fluffy snow and chestnuts still roasting by an open fire. Starwood Hotels & Resorts wants to entice you to visit the country with some “winterful” packages (yeah, yeah, we know!).
1) “Two Nights are Never Enough in Canada: Two for the Price of One” package –- This sweet deal lets you book a long weekend of your choosing at over 50 Starwood Hotels across the country so that you can cuddle up during those cold, dark nights of winter. You pay for two nights and they’ve got the third one covered. Rates in a Deluxe King at the Westin Calgary, for instance, will only set you back $179, but you need to arrive between Thursday and Saturday.
2) It’s Hockey Night in Canada –- With the “Hockey Night Special” package at the newly-reno’ed Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, you get a special rate of $139 for a Traditional King on home game nights. Montreal’s Bell Centre is across from the hotel, so if you have that beer swagger going on after the game, you’re nice and close.
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Each year on December 8th, the day Lennon was murdered, roses are left anonymously by the door of suite 1742 at Montreal's Fairmont Queen Elizabeth.
This room was the location of John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace back in 1969.
It was the second of two sit-ins the newlywed couple held as a non-violent way of protesting war, hoping to create awareness and inspire others to promote peace.
After the first Sit-In in Amsterdam, the plan was to originally hold the second in New York City, but John was denied a US visa because of a previous conviction for marijuana possession. They changed plans and headed to the Bahamas, but apparently John couldn’t find a big enough fan and he wasn't one to get sweaty between the sheets, so the couple left abruptly for Montreal after John found the island too hot to stay in bed for a week.
Ski Hotels / Ski Packages / Vermont Hotels / Colorado Hotels / Lake Placid Hotels / Utah Hotels / Wyoming Hotels / Montana Hotels / British Columbia Hotels / Quebec Hotels / Switzerland Hotels / → All Tags
Recent snowfall in Colorado and Utah have kicked off an early ski season sparking a storm of deals and packages from resorts across the country. It's not uncommon to see early-bird discounts this time of year, but it appears there's an extra bit of excitement after last year's flop of a season.
It seems every mountain resort imaginable is offering some sort of bargain, whether it's ski and stay discounts, kids ski free, or complimentary hotel nights, so check around before checking in.
Here’s a sampling of some of the best deals from major areas in the US and a few from afar:
Winter Park, Colorado: This local favorite owned by the city of Denver rewards guests who book a five-night stay ($169/night) at the Vintage Hotel before December 12th with a free season pass. The resort puts icing on the cake with a snow guarantee - previously booked nights can be rescheduled if snow conditions are not up to your liking.
The Ritz-Carlton, Montréal recently underwent a $200 million facelift , reopening at the end of May with refurbished rooms and adding new 3-Michelin-star Chef Daniel Boulud’s Maison Boulud restaurant to the mix. These "modest moves" earned them a Five Diamond rating this month. The recognition makes them one of four to earn the honors in Canada and the first and only in the province of Quebec.
Between the stars and the diamonds, that's a lot of accolades, so this hotel should need to be quite impressive as we're not ones to fall over awards that seem to be given out as frequently as free samples for sugarless gum.
But it turns out the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal ain't half bad and we'll tell you why.
Quebec’s Hôtel La Ferme, has officially opened its doors after a soft summer trial. French for “The Farm Hotel”, the modest property just 43 miles east of Québec City is part of the up-and-coming Le Massif de Charlevoix complex, developed by Daniel Gauthier, a former Cirque du Soleil executive, who has attempted to bring that sense of awe here.
Many equate the Charlevoix region with a skiing and snowboarding scene, but it’s becoming a year-round destination due in part to this new project that spans 70 miles from Petite-Rivière Saint-François to La Malbaie. Fall brings colorful foliage and bountiful farmer’s markets in the public square that showcase produce, cheeses, foie gras, wines, and beers. Spring and summer uses the gondola for access to hiking and biking trails.
The hotel itself has 145-rooms spread out across five pavilions. Utilitarian in color and style on the exterior and green in practice—geothermal heating and cooling systems are used as well as a water and rainwater collection program—the inside appears more visually interesting.
This is not so much a bar hop as a bar marathon that runs (get it?) the entire length of Canada. If you have the stamina, so do we.
Even Canadians say that visiting Québec City is like visiting a quaint European metropolis, minus the long flight involved. Old Québec may be a fortified city with UNESCO World Heritage status, but the TRYP Québec Hotel PUR is most definitely of a modern vintage.
The hotel is located in the newly-hip district of Saint-Roch, formerly a warehouse-type neighborhood now filled with trendy shops, excellent cafes and restaurants, artists and artisans, students, and the professional IT crowd.
ALT Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Quebec Hotels / Airport Hotels / Canada Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / → All Tags
ALT Hotels, the ALTernative brand from Groupe Germain Hospitalité, has recently opened up their first hotel outside of Québec at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
As we first mentioned in April, ALT Hotels are aiming for, maybe not world domination, but certainly Canadian domination, as they actively expand their ALT hotels across Canada. Current locations include Québec City, Montréal’s Quartier Dix30 and now Toronto. Plans to open ten ALT Hotels across Canada by the end of 2016 are underway, with three new properties already in development at Halifax’s Stanfield International Airport, in Montréal’s District Griffin and in Winnipeg’s Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District (SHED).
A no-frills-but-still-oh-so-chic group of properties, ALT Hotels are pared down versions of Groupe Germain’s Le Germain boutique hotels, which are found in Québec City, Montréal, Calgary and two in Toronto. And while Le Germain hotels are the full-meal deal, ALT hotels have cut down on some the high-end perks of a hotel stay.