Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - A historical heritage
Originally built in 1930 as a private club, Fairmont Le Château Montebello has since become a world-renowned resort, captivating guests with its unique architecture and rich heritage. Located on the banks of the Ottawa River, the château’s rustic exterior, made of over 10,000 red cedar logs imported from British Columbia, blends perfectly with the surrounding nature. Every step in its grand corridors echoes with stories of the past, as eminent figures, including celebrities and statesmen, have taken refuge within its walls.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - Location
Easily accessible from Highway 50, the hotel is only a 1-hour drive from Ottawa and 1h30 from Montreal. By boat, via the Ottawa River waterway, the hotel’s private marina even offers the possibility of docking there ($), though this privilege is limited to hotel guests who have reserved a room.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - Luxury and comfort redefined
Beyond its historical significance, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello is a symbol of sophistication and indulgence. The hotel lobby is a grand, elegant space that exudes warmth and charm. Upon entering, we’re greeted by a vast, open three-storey area with high ceilings and rustic wooden beams. The focal point of this space is the towering stone fireplace. All around, the architecture and design reflect the style of a traditional log cabin.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - Room
Half of the hotel’s 200-odd rooms have been renovated in recent years. Ours happens to be one of these renovated rooms, featuring a king-size bed and a sofa-bed. It measures 305 sq. ft. and offers a view of the river.
The hotel doesn’t offer suites, but with this particular room, you should know that it would have been possible to open two doors to join two other adjacent rooms, to create our own suite of sorts. Ideal for families or groups.
For some people, I can conceive that a downside of the room could be the narrowness of the bathroom and also the absence of a bath which is replaced by a shower.
We love the “Le Labo” products available in the shower.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - Activities
The hotel offers an impressive range of activities, catering to all interests and age groups. A (mandatory) resort fee of $37 + tax is added to your room rate each night, giving you access to a host of activities such as bike rentals, kayaks, tennis (4 outdoor courts), mini-golf and more. You even have access to two swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor.
The 23-meter-long indoor pool is in a breathtaking historic building and is well worth seeing, even if you don’t swim in it. From the hotel’s main building, take the underground passage to get there. Neighboring the indoor pool are the hotel’s spa and wellness facilities, two indoor tennis courts, squash court, and fitness center featuring weights, elliptical machines, stair steppers, exercise bikes, treadmills and weight machines.
The outdoor pool is particularly appealing on warm summer days. If price (from $289 per day for up to 6 people) isn’t an obstacle, reserve one of the six private poolside cabanas and make it your “base camp” for spending the whole day outdoors, alternating between the pool and other outdoor activities on the nearby site.
In addition, extraordinary paid activities are also available on-site. For example, the BRP Experience Center offers outings aboard Can-Am or Sea-Doo vehicles, while Géo-Explora and Pedego Montebello offer guided excursions on electric scooters.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - The outdoor barbecue
At the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, gastronomy is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary journey that excites the taste buds. With a diverse selection of restaurants, the hotel’s gastronomic offerings celebrate Quebec’s rich culinary heritage.
The highlight of our visit is our dinner at the hotel’s outdoor barbecue, with a panoramic view of the river. It’s a four-course all-you-can-eat buffet. The price is $68 per person, plus taxes and gratuities. A reservation is required. Needless to say, every dish is excellent and the service impeccable.
- First course: Mixed salads (fresh salad of the moment and cornbread).
- Second course: Fish and shrimp (marinated shrimp, chef’s fish, creamy polenta, grilled vegetables, chimichurri).
- Third course: Grill and smoker (ribs, pulled pork, homemade BBQ sauce, sausages with red peppers and cheese curds, beef medallion and pepper sauce, lamb chops and chimichurri, chicken drumstick, sweet potatoes and grilled vegetables).
- Fourth course: The finale (bacon brownie, honey-roasted kenauk pineapple, chocobello caramel verrine, tartlet of the day).
Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - Book with points
The Fairmont Le Château Montebello hotel is part of the Accor Live Limitless loyalty program.
Unfortunately, no credit card in Canada allows for directly accelerating the accumulation of points within this program. The traditional (and slower) way is to collect points by staying at one of the Accor hotel chain properties. Fortunately, there is an alternative method with some credit cards to get a free night at a hotel within this chain: you have to rely on generic booking portals linked to certain credit cards, which allow you to use their points to pay for the travel expense in full or in part.
Here are two ways you can redeem points for a free room at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello using two of these credit cards.
First method: Redeem the points on your TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Card for travelMD.
The TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Card earns TD Rewards points. You can redeem these points through the Expedia for TD booking portal. Every 200 TD Rewards points reduces the cost of travel by $1. For example, if your room at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello costs $300, you can redeem 60,000 TD Rewards points for free, via a $300 credit to your credit card account.
Second method: Use the points on your Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card
Similar to the first method, you can use the Expedia website dedicated to Scene+ to make your reservation, in order to accumulate or redeem Scene+ points. You can redeem 1,000 Scene+ points for a $10 credit to reduce your bill, or pay for your entire reservation in points. For example, if your room at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello costs $300, you can redeem 30,000 points to get it for free, via a $300 credit applied at the time of booking.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello Hotel - Conclusion
The Fairmont Le Château Montebello is a unique, historic hotel that spans generations, like the Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire or the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. These hotels evoke a sense of nostalgia and offer a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, creating memorable and magical experiences for their guests.
While Fairmont Le Château Montebello itself may not have directly inspired Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Grand Californian, common elements in their architectural style, thematic approach and immersive environments point to a similar vision of providing guests with an authentic, harmonious experience in a warm, natural setting.
I’ve only scratched the surface of what there is to see and do. During your next stay at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, I’ll leave it to you to also discover a historic manor house right next door to the hotel, an animal park where you can feed the animals from your car, and unique gourmet stops in the heart of Montebello village.