Happy first week of Spring! Today I’m talking about our recent experience at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, as a family, during our march break getaway to Quebec. The best word to describe our holiday is: MAGICAL. It helps that this hotel property is situated in old Quebec, which is like a little piece of Europe in Canada. So much history, gorgeous old architecture and stunning views of the St.Lawrence River make for a beautiful backdrop. However, even if you took all that away, we would go back just to live like royalty in this castle-like hotel.
Dog & Kid Friendly
I have stayed at many Fairmont hotels in the past, for both business and pleasure. They have always been the epitome of class. The high level of service and attention to detail is just incredible and consistent across the board. I especially love how they are very dog friendly and family oriented. They don’t just tolerate – but go above and beyond making dogs and children feel like honoured guests.
I can remember while staying at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess in Bermuda about 6 years ago and seeing some guests with their sweet dogs. Also observing families having such a wonderful time – as the little kids were running around and laughing – I imagined someday experiencing that myself someday, when Andrew and I had our own family.
With travel slowing down due to the state of the world, those thoughts were put on hold. I shelved this dream that birthed during that Bermudian holiday. I had forgotten all about it, until I was reflecting on this holiday for this blog, to be honest. So beautiful to realize a dream come true moment like that. This alone made our Spring Break getaway extra special in itself!
Fairmont Chateau Frontenac didn’t disappoint – in fact, they exceeded our expectations in every way. This was a last-minute trip, that came to fruition because plans had fallen through with another family we were to travel with at the 11th hour. (I mean, we literally decided we were going to Quebec city when we got in the car to drive our other option was Maine, USA). That said, I am SO glad we made the call to take the slightly longer drive and the road less travelled (at least less travelled by us).
It had been 20+ years since Andrew and I had both been to Quebec city. I travelled there with my family en-route to visit my Dad’s side of the family, in Montreal. I barely remember it, as it was a one-night stay and I was quite young. However, I had always heard good things about Quebec city and now, really not sure why it took us this long to visit! We have travelled all over the world and yet, as they say, took for granted this beautiful city in our own back yard (which is just about a 6 hour car ride away to be exact). I will do a separate blog on what to do while you’re in Quebec, but for now, I want to focus on where to stay. If you haven’t already figured it out, I highly recommend this Fairmont as a MUST if you want the full experience of this stunning old city.
Top 5 reasons we will stay here again:
This hotel definitely was all 5 of the top 5 reasons for us to take this holiday. Sharing below these reasons:
1.) First, let me say, the people that work here are beautiful and absolutely love what they do. They are so personable and cannot do enough for you from the moment you pull up in your car, until the moment you leave. You really come to know them on a first name basis, which speaks volumes. We actually made very good friends with one of the staff and keep in touch! A culture like this can be no accident and customers reap the ultimate reward of this setting.
2.) The rooms are welcoming, comfortable and spacious. This has been the standard in any Fairmont property I have stayed in, and our one bedroom suite, with two double beds which we had during our stay, did not disappoint. It had such a great amount of closet space. We had two closets, one which was a huge-walk in size. We joked it could be another bedroom! The separate living area was very spacious. It boasted of a pullout sofa, table and chairs and other seating options. It would be great if you want to entertain or just relax as a family. There was so much space, Elle was actually doing cartwheels in the living space – haha! When traveling with kids and lots of luggage, it’s imperative to a have space, as it equals an important level of comfort for us.
3.) The hotel offers lots of family friendly activities, such as, a Scavenger Hunt, Toboggan Slide on the Dufferin Terrace (weather permitting), a family room, Princess of the Chateau (you could watch for her daily appearance). You could also take advantage of an old Quebec walking tour, loan bikes (and fatbikes). You can enjoy spa services for a fee. As a guest you have access to the whirlpool, steam rooms and heated indoor pool, which offers life vests (this came in handy as we forgot Elle & Ivy’s). There is a well-appointed gym, and you can also participate in yoga classes when offered. Particularly through End of February to End of March, the hotel offered an extra variety of kids activities in their family room. For instance, there was a magician, balloon sculpting workshop, bubble sculpting activities, cookie decorating and face painting. For history enthusiasts there are numerous installations inside the hotel showcasing its rich past and offering examples of porcelain, wine casks and equipment employed at the hotel over its long and storied life. There are even glassed-in archeological excavations of the old city around the hotel which date back hundreds of years and are easily observed and provided an easy opportunity to explain our rich cultural history to our children.
4.) The hotel is in very close proximity to many amazing restaurants and activities, such as, an aquarium, museum of civilization (you will be offered a 15% discount when you show your room card.). Our girls especially enjoyed the famous local toy store, Benjo, which is about a 10 min drive or 20 minute walk. We also loved taking the Funicular (cable-car) down to the foot of Cap Diamant, just below the Chateau Frontenac. It is claimed to be the oldest commercial district in North America. It’s called, Le Quartier Petit Champlain. It’s literally like a hallmark movie set. Too much charm to even describe. The lovely sitting areas with fire pits to warm-up and sweet and cozy shops were my fave! We enjoyed a classic Quebecois poutine – so Canadian). It was magical and just steps away from the equally magical Chateau Le Frontenac. If you enjoy skiing, Stoneham is a versatile intermediate hill with 345 metres of vertical descent and located just 30 km from the city centre.
5.) Lastly, but not least, we loved how much our children, Elle & Ivy and dog, Sadie, were made to feel like honoured guests. The hotel went above and beyond to make them feel special. Every night we came back to our room, there would be a special surprise, whether candy, an activity toy or princess wands and tierras. One evening we came back to a little tent set up and the girls went wild. It was so special to experience it all through their eyes full of wonder. They even offered the girls robes and slippers in their size, which was such a nice detail. Sadie was made to feel very welcome with a little treat, some poo bags and a luxurious lavender scented memory foam bed (I actually think I will order her one). We brought her dog bowls, but they offered this as well, if needed. Every night at turndown they would bring more water and towels if needed, take our garbage and leave some chocolates and a card with a fun historical fact about the hotel and that specific date.
I would also like to note, that the hotel offers 3 restaurants in which to dine:
Place Dufferin – open for breakfast, you can enjoy an exquisite breakfast buffet or a-la-carte menu daily. There was so much to choose from, including made to order omelettes and egg benedict. It was such a lovely and inviting and comfortable atmosphere with views of the St. Lawrence. You could also do afternoon tea on Saturday, which we missed out on.
Le Sam Bistro – open daily from 11:30am-10:00pm. We had supper here and the food was lovely. Very much a seafood focused menu with a cozy chic atmosphere. Asself-professed foodies and former restauranteurs, we loved that we didn’t have to leave the hotel for a lovely gastronomical adventure. Also, love that it was very high-end quality and kid-friendly. There were lots of options for the girls to choose from, including fun mock-tails, and an activity booklet that kept them busy for the duration of our meal, while the grown ups soaked up the experience.
Champlain – We didn’t get the chance to dine here – but heard great things. Apparently, people book Easter brunch a year in advance! Would love to try that some year.
1608 Bar – this bar was unfortunately closed for renovations during our getaway, but it is said to be a must-see in Quebec city. We look forward to trying it out at a later date. To hold you over, until it’s re-opened, you can enjoy a delicious cocktail by a mixologist in Le Sam while overlooking the St. Lawrence!
Starbucks -for those that cannot live without theirStarbucks fix, there is one onsite! Although, I quite enjoyed the cappuccinos at the breakfast buffet and the coffee in our room was top notch (nespresso).
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac has received the 2022 Global Hotel of the Year Award, from the prestigious World Luxury Awards. In addition to winning this award, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is also the Global winner for the Luxury Castle Hotel Category.
I honestly cannot find one bad thing to say about this stay or our hotel. It was perfection, from start to finish. I can attest firsthand, from past experiences and this most recent, that the Fairmont brand specializes in creating special moments that turn into beautiful memories. I can only imagine how magical this hotel would be during Easter or Christmas. I think we will have to find out though!
One thing I know for sure, if you are planning a trip to Quebec City, you must stay at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. I couldn’t imagine visiting this city and staying anywhere else. Please do yourself a favour and check out their Instagram page for more magic of their visual storytelling. You can also access additional video footage from our own personal experience here.