Travel
1 min

Into the woods

Fairmont’s Château Montebello is the ultimate in rustic elegance

Le Château Montebello's central château features a massive six-sided fireplace. Credit: credit goes here

Situated along the Ottawa River, between Ottawa and Montreal, with a view of the Laurentian Mountains, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello has that perfect blend of rustic elegance and modern-day amenities. Built originally as a private retreat in 1930, it opened its doors to the public in 1970 and has played host to numerous foreign dignitaries and celebrities, including Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Its 211 guest rooms range from basic accommodations to luxurious suites equipped with Jacuzzis. Constructed from giant cedar logs shipped from the West Coast, the building’s chalet-inspired décor complements its natural charm. The central château that houses all the guest rooms has a three-storey atrium with a massive six-sided fireplace at its heart; it’s a perfect place to cuddle up on a romantic getaway.

Quebec native Jean-François Fortin serves as executive chef, overseeing Château Montebello’s renowned cuisine with a focus on regional flavours. Aux Chantignoles restaurant provides a fine-dining experience with an ever-changing menu, including vegan, raw and macrobiotic fare, along with such French-influenced staples as foie gras, beef tartare and roast piglet. The extensive wine cellar can provide the perfect pairing for any dish. For more casual meals, the Seigneurie Bar serves bistro fare — French onion soup, steak-frites and duck confit — prepared to the same exacting standards. Guests can also arrange to dine poolside or on the terrace.

Activities around the hotel vary by season. Summer vacationers can enjoy golf, kayaking, tennis, white-water rafting and horseback riding. Winters offer unbeatable skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and romantic sleigh rides. Autumn and spring provide spectacular views of the changing foliage or the budding greenery in unspoiled forests.

Adjacent to the stunning indoor pool and fitness centre, guests will find a world-class spa facility offering a wide array of treatments and packages. Services range from basic facials and pedicures to couples’ fireside massages complete with champagne and skin treatments that incorporate local mud. And since it’s Quebec, maple syrup isn’t just for the kitchen; guests will find it blended into a number of unique facial and body-scrub treatments.