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Do you have a hotel that you just absolutely HAVE to stay in? There are several hotels on my bucket list, including the Salish Lodge in Washington, the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, and the Hotel del Coronado in California. A few weeks ago, as part of my attendance at the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), I had the opportunity to stay at the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City, Canada.
This isn’t just a beautiful hotel – it’s also a widely photographed hotel. Even if you haven’t been to Quebec City, you’ve probably seen photos of the Chateau Frontenac. I’ve never stayed in a hotel that doubles as a tourist attraction, but I absolutely loved my stay at the Chateau Frontenac. If you are planning a vacation to Quebec City with kids, and want to splurge on a luxurious stay, I’d definitely recommend staying at the Chateau Frontenac.
Review of the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City, Canada
Location of the Chateau Frontenac
Quebec City has several areas, but the most popular tourist area is Old Quebec, within the walls. The Chateau Frontenac is located right in the center of the action, on the St. Lawrence River. Once you check into the hotel, you won’t need a car to explore most of the city. It’s an extremely walkable city, and parking is limited at the various restaurants and shops. Despite the central location, I found my room to be nice and quiet.
Are you planning on flying into Quebec City? Jean-Lesage Airport in Quebec City is about 20 minutes away from the hotel. There are several different transportation options, including Uber, cabs, private cars, and a hotel shuttle. I chose to take the hotel shuttle, and found it to be extremely comfortable and convenient. It’s best, however for those arriving individually. If you are traveling as a family, a private car or a cab is probably the better and more affordable option.
About the Chateau Frontenac
The Chateau Frontenac was commissioned by the General Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway and was designed by architect Bruce Price. It was built in seven stages from 1892-1893, and has had several additions over the years. Despite being an older hotel, it’s been modernized and updated. It has all of the amenities and features of newer hotels.
Until my stay at the Chateau Frontenac, I’d never stayed in a hotel that was such a big tourist attraction. Because of that, tourists were always in the lobby (guided tours are available for an additional cost), and around the resort. It wasn’t at all inconvenient, however. It’s a big hotel and didn’t feel crowded.
Amenities at the Chateau Frontenac
In addition to the rich history and perfect location, the Chateau Frontenac also offers some fabulous amenities. There are several different room views, some with stunning views of the river or city. Want to work out? The hotel has a large fitness center, as well as an indoor pool. When I visited this area, there was no one in the pool or the fitness center, which isn’t surprising. There’s so much to do in the city, and you can get plenty of exercising by walking or running outside.
There’s also a fabulous spa, if you are looking for some pampering. You’ll also find a hair salon, several shops and boutiques, a concierge (who can help you book restaurant reservations), and a business center. The resort does have WiFi throughout the property, although a fee may apply.
My favorite amenity at the Chateau Frontenac, however, is the Canine Ambassador, Daphnie. Daphnie sits in the lobby of the hotel greeting guests. I always miss my dog Polly when I’m traveling, so it was nice to see another dog each day. Guests are welcome to travel with their dogs, but there is a housekeeping fee, and only certain floors are pet friendly.
Rooms at the Chateau Frontenac
When I booked my hotel room at the Chateau Frontenac, I was amazed by the amount of room types they offer. Among the 600+ rooms, you’ll find Fairmont Rooms, Fairmont City View Rooms, Fairmont River View Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe City View Rooms, Deluxe River View Room, and Signature Rooms. Suites are also available. Within the various room types you’ll find different bed configurations including one queen bed, one king bed, and two double beds.
Although I booked a deluxe city view room, my room had a beautiful view of the river in addition to a view of the city. The room had a television, small table with two chairs, a larger armchair, a closet, a minibar, a Keurig coffee maker, and a bathroom with large sink and shower. The king bed was extremely comfortable, and the room was modern and quiet. Turndown service in the evening is offered by request, although I decided not to call. Rooms include bathrobes, and cribs are available if you need them.
Food at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
Quebec City is filled with delicious restaurants, but there are several great options available without even leaving the hotel. On my first day, I ate at Bistro Le Sam, a restaurant and bar located right off of Dufferin Terrace overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. I easily could have eaten all of my meals here – the food was absolutely delicious, the drinks were fabulous, and the views were gorgeous.
For more of an adult atmosphere, there’s 1608 – Wine and Cheese. It’s not a spot that I would bring kids, but it is fun for a drink and quick bite of food. While I was there, they were just renovating the bar, so it looks brand new.
Our conference included breakfast, so I didn’t eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant. The Place Dufferin offers a buffet breakfast, as well as a la carte options. I heard from other hotel guests that it was absolutely delicious. There’s also the more formal Champlain Restaurant for upscale dining.
To learn more about the hotel, visit their website.