Looking every bit like a fairytale castle, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac sits majestically above the mighty Saint Lawrence River in old Quebec City, Canada. Supposedly the most photographed hotel in the world, it turns 125 in 2018 with lots of celebrations planned. From the moment you step through the front door, you can’t help but be swept up in the ambience of the historic copper-topped hotel complete with towers and turrets.
It was designed by the New York architect Bruce Price and was one of the first hotels built along the Canadian Pacific Railway, inspired by the Middle Age and Renaissance. The hotel’s bricks were imported from Scotland and are still made especially for the hotel today to ensure its preservation. A revamp three years ago includes a wall of Italian blue onyx behind the front desk, carpet patterned with water currents and ceilings that shimmer.
The 611-room hotel has more than 12 kilometres of corridors, 2000 windows and caters for 300,000 guests annually. My chic suite with its elegant decor has a courtyard view and bathroom amenities with my name on them.
The hotel sits within the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old walled city, home to cobblestone streets, eclectic cafes, heritage homes and quaint shops. Enjoy dinner at the sleek Champlain Restaurant & Bistro where chef Stéphane Modat stars, and breakfast at Place Dufferin with river views. My favourite haunt is the elegant 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar grazing on Quebec’s finest cheeses and sipping its best drops.