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Quebec’s Grand Old Dame Has a New Modern Glow

Photo Credit: Parm Parmar

Quebec City is renowned for its phenomenal charm, beauty, fine cuisine and its grand hotel, The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. As the city’s chief landmark and UNESCO World Heritage site, the property is recognized as one of the most-photographed resorts in the world, and its castle-like grandeur has captured the hearts of countless dignitaries, celebrities, and royalty. The château has over 600 rooms on its 18 floors and plays host to over 300,000 visitors annually. Its Old World charm and beauty have earned it an iconic stature both locally and globally, making it a destination for generations.

Very recently the hotel underwent major, multi-million dollar renovations. While keeping the historic and architectural integrity of the exterior and lobby, the color pallet has been relieved of its heavier, browns, oranges and burgundies, making way for more current, pale blues, greens, and luscious cream tones. A blue onyx backdrop was installed at the reception to match the cool blue color scheme in the lobby.

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Photo Credit: Parm Parmar

The renovated guest rooms offer guests with views of the majestic Saint Lawrence River or equally-stunning Old Town vistas. The accommodations have been refreshed in the same neutral blues and greens of the hotel’s common areas and have been enhanced with modern fixtures and updated temperature-controlled systems. Guests are pampered with luxurious toiletries from Le Labo and Rose 31, left with a personalized note as a welcoming touch.

The crème-de-la-crème are the rooms on the Gold Level floors that now feature a larger footprint than before. The rooms themselves are simply exquisite, with a private check-in club lounge upping the ante for guests wanting true first-class treatment. Guests are afforded an exclusive lounge which serves meals throughout the day and can be used as a mid-afternoon “chill-out” space or for a warm gathering spot for an evening imbibe.

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Photo Credit: Parm Parmar

Renovating the hotel’s restaurants were actually one of the property’s biggest re-branding challenges. The hotel wanted to ensure that guests would enjoy the traditional dining experience, while locals would consider it a great place for cocktails and tasty cuisine. 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar has the vibe of a hip gathering place. Each evening the bar stools are packed with guests and visitors enjoying selections such as creamy Tomme de Galet and chevre. Cocktails are prepared by skilled mixologists like Jonathan Strokowski Ross who makes an excellent French 75 martini. Ross recently placed third in the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge, competing against some of the world’s best mixologists. No mean feat, he's certainly talented!

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Photo Credit: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Champlain is the chateau’s piece-de-resistance, a dining room named after the city’s most famous explorer. Executive Chef Stephane Modat, a three-star Michelin chef, is at the helm and his focus on inventive Quebecois cuisine is renowned. Seven-course tasting menus allow guests to indulge in his local creations that include seared fois gras, torched organic salmon and marinated northern fruits. The exquisite meals are expertly-paired with exceptional wines and aperitifs.

The temperature-controlled Cheese Cave at the dining room’s entrance houses 400 kinds of cheeses. Chef Modat creates a daily tasting table and guests are welcome to nibble on the various Fromage du Jour. Le Sam bistro was built from the ground up. The open concept kitchen offers a casual fare including burgers, steaks and a variety of seafood dishes. The upper seating areas provide impressive views of the Terrace and Saint Lawrence River below. The house made Caesar salad with the fried caper topper sets this salad apart from the predictable and leaves diners wanting more. 

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Photo Credit: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Spa Du Château is a brand new, state-of-the-art, facility on the sixth floor complete with eight treatment rooms. Luxurious Valmont products from Switzerland are used to pamper and beautify even the weariest of travelers. Adjoining the spa is the indoor, family-friendly pool, the perfect place to unwind after a long day of shopping or sightseeing. Hit the well-equipped gym for a midday workout or venture out onto the beautiful terrace to take in the picturesque surroundings. 

Although the renovations are not quite complete, the Grand Old Dame is looking lovely, fresh and inviting. Fairmont has done exceptionally well in elegantly upgrading the hotel while maintaining respect for the property’s well-earned stature in Quebec culture and Canadian history.

Parm Parmar

Parm Parmar is a freelance travel and food writer based in Toronto. Always armed with her camera - photos plays a pivotal role in her stories. Connect with her on twitter @parmiep, or via her blog www.Planetblueadventure.com. ...(Read More)

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