For many travelers, the hidden jewel that is the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux in Québec City often invokes a response of, “Wow, I’ve never even heard of that!” First built in 1620 by Champlain as a wooden fort on the cliffs of Cap Diamant, the Forts and Châteaux underwent numerous physical modifications and changes in ownership (French to English) before being destroyed by fire in 1836. Abandoned by the British, buried with debris, and covered by successive terraces, the site was recognized as being of national historic significance in 2001. Excavated, and sealed in an archaeological crypt under Dufferin Terrace since 2011, it now provides climate-controlled access to history buffs and curious sightseers. “But what does this have to do with hotels? ” Everything. Stationed above this site, in all of its majestic grandeur, is the world famous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
Constructed in 1893, and subsequently enhanced and expanded, this iconic masterpiece by famous architect Bruce Price has seen $75 million in renovations completed in the summer of 2014. Very much an urban heritage resort, the massive renovation project saw the preservation of all that makes the Château Frontenac arguably the most photographed hotel in the world, while enhancing and expanding its exceptional guest services. All 611 rooms of the hotel have been renovated and offer a unique stay ‘in history’ for the romantic and adventurer alike. The Spa du Château is now a luxurious sanctuary, complete with indoor swimming pool and quite possibly the best outdoor sun terrasse in all of Québec. Culinary Director Baptiste Peupion and accomplished Chef Stéphane Modat have seen their domains – Le Champlain dining room, Le Sam Bistro, and the new 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar with its exceptional local cheese selection – updated with inspiring new looks providing a canvas for their gastronomic talents of presenting fresh, seasonally inspired cuisine.
Hard to miss, and located on Place d’Armes at 1 rue des Carrières in the heart of Vieux- Québec, the hotel is short a 10 minute limo ride from Gare du Palais and 30 minutes from YQB Jean-Lesage International Airport. Features: Two restaurants + lounge, valet parking, Concierge, and bicycles for Fairmont President’s Club members. Room Features: in-room Nespresso, and high speed internet or Wi-Fi (fee). http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/
Preferred Tip: Enjoy the historic artifact exhibit on the lower-level featuring period treasures discovered during renovation.