What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Steeped in history
COVID has been the cause for a lot of change in the hotel industry. The Fairmont has been no exception. We had not been to Montebello before and were there on business so chose the Fairmont. The staff are always top notch and the hotel itself is steeped in 90 years of history. Largest log hotel in the world. We manged to get an updated rooms, our friends did not and mentioned how dated it was. Value for money spent was marginal, the room was small even though we apparently got an upgrade. The property itself is beautiful. We would likely return because of the amenities. I believe they did a great job considering the circumstances.
Enjoy summer thanks to hotel's precautions
The Chateau Montebello reopened on July 1 and enjoyed 2 nights vacation, which felt like a great freedom after months of staying home. It felt like a resort experience despite not everything being open due to COVID-19. Knowing I couldn't relax if I were concerned about catching the virus, I had read the pages and pages of precautions the hotel would take to protect staff and guests, and my experience there did allow me to relax because the staff worked so hard to constantly disinfect and to follow the protocols put in place. The staff were so hard working and friendly, despite all the extra work for them. The room was a luxury renovated riverview double-double room, which is very small but surprised me as being well-designed enough that we were not on top of each other. It was sparklingly clean and the view was worth it. We were on the 200 level which is the same level as the lobby and very convenient and quiet. I was told they were booking only every second room so that every occupied room. The bathroom had beautiful marble inlay in the floor and a rain shower. The water was warm but we could not get it hot. The lighting was good, with lots of options. There were 2 chairs and a small table that could seat 2 but it was awkward for more than 2 people for room service because the room service table is at the bed level. The room has a Nespresso machine. Due to COVID protocols, staff won't enter the room and housekeeping is every three days. The welcome letter said they a wellness check daily but that didn't happen or we missed it but I imagine you can call and have them take the trash or change towels as needed. Dining. All food and drink were good (especially the steak, the tuna, the crepes, and the fries). Of course, it is resort prices but the quality was good and we enjoyed everything we ate and drank. We dined at Aux Chantignoles for breakfast and for dinner. The new menus are limited, especially for breakfast, where there are 7 choices that are packaged with coffee/tea and juice and a few sweet pastries, so you are paying for that even if you don't want it. The menus are posted online. There is a children's menu for dinner. For breakfast, kids eat half price off the regular menu but this does not apply to room service for some reason, even though the room service menu is identical. We waited half an hour from the time we put in our breakfast order in the restaurant which was too long with children in a dining room that seems not to have air conditioning, which is why we ordered room service the next breakfast. The temperature was in the mid 30s with the humidex our whole stay, including early in the morning, and the dining room was uncomfortably hot for both breakfast and dinner. The tables were spaced further apart than the minimum for social distancing, which was good. For dinner, the tuna and the steak were very good. We enjoyed lunch at The Riverain Terrace that has a limited menu of burgers and salads and a delicious kimchi shrimp croissant with addictive fries. It has a bar that is ordered in takeout format. There is a beautiful seating area right there, with couches, umbrella tables, and a fountain. Due to social distancing, the lobby bar was closed but the main area of Aux Chantignoles was converted to a socially distanced seating area with bar service. Within a 2 minute drive off property (could walk or cycle) are a very good chip truck called Snack et Delices and a restaurant called Le Bistro that has a varied menu (duck confit, steak, escargot, sub sandwiches, salads, burgers, poutine) and a wood burning pizza oven. Both were delicious. Le Bistro delivered to the hotel. The outdoor activities were open and the indoor activities (including the indoor pool) were closed. The outdoor pool was heavenly with the grassy area, lots of umbrellas, view of the river, and summer vibe with the pool bar and music. The lawn chairs are all arranged for social distancing and they spray each lawn chair between patrons. One of my big criteria was to be able to use the pool as we wished (where some hotels are requiring signup in advance for blocks of time). I was impressed that, even when it was busiest at 4pm, there was sufficient capacity for everyone. At that time, the social distancing within the shallow end of the pool was a bit questionable (separate families who knew each other hanging out together), but the deep end was still wide open and at other times of day, it was blissfully spacious. They take your temperature each time you enter the pool area. We also enjoyed the kayaks and peddle boats and minigolf, and everything was disinfected prior to and after our use (including the life jackets, paddles, golf balls). Lots of work for them but great for us. It was so hot that we didn't use the bikes or trails. Every time you enter the property, they have a security station where they do a screening and take everyone's temperature. This can create a delay in entering depending on how many cars are in queue but is a good precaution and limits the people on property to guests. We had restaurant delivery and had to meet them at the checkpoint. This was such a wonderful escape and it was such a relief to be able to enjoy some normal summer activities again. I wish we had stayed longer and I would definitely return.
Solitude Amidst Uncertainty: A Surreal Escape to Fairmont Le Château Montebello
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we had to cancel our March Break trip to the South of France. Determined to salvage some sort of vacation, I quickly came up with a Québec itinerary: Manoir Hovey in North Hatley, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, in Québec City, and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie. (This was before Canadians were ordered to shelter-in-place.) During our three-night stay at the exquisite Manoir Hovey, we realized the situation was becoming much more serious, so we decided to cancel our plans to travel farther north to Québec City and La Malbaie, and instead head back towards home. After some research, it appeared the Fairmont Le Château Montebello might be a good choice for a stopover: it’s en route to Ontario, in a very small community, offering a self-contained resort with large grounds to explore while still respecting social distancing. It was a surreal experience we will never forget. When we arrived the parking lot was virtually empty, and only a few guests were strolling around the grounds. We were given a friendly welcome from the valet, who insisted on helping us with our luggage, and we checked in at the front desk with Laurent, who had offered us a very fair nightly rate (and no resort fee ), given that most of the hotel’s services had ceased operation: restaurants, pool, spa, etc. had all been shuttered due to the virus. With only seven occupied rooms that night, we were given a complimentary upgrade to a Fairmont Deluxe Luxury Riverview Room. It was a spacious, recently renovated room with two queen beds, a sofa and coffee table/ottoman, an arm chair, and a desk with an ergonomic chair. Oddly, there was absolutely no art on the walls, but we liked that they had still maintained the lodge aesthetic with the renovation. In contrast to the bedroom, the bathroom was laughably tiny. It was easily the smallest bathroom I have ever seen in any hotel. But it was bright, freshly renovated, and featured the Le Labo line of amenities we love so much. There were no bathrobes in the room, but a quick call to housekeeping had them delivered in less than 10 minutes. For breakfast and dinner, room service was the only option. They weren’t able to offer everything from the in-room dining menu, but what we did order was surprisingly delicious and very nicely presented. During the afternoon, a small menu was available at the lobby bar. Given the circumstances, the kitchen maintained impressively high standards for their very few guests. On our second night there were only three rooms left occupied. It was eerie and surreal to ramble around the hotel, taking pictures of empty rooms and interesting architectural details, with no other guests in sight. We had the lobby to ourselves most of the time. The unseasonably mild weather on the second day created a heavy fog that only enhanced the otherworldly atmosphere. (Think “The Shining,” but without murder or demonic possessions.) So what did we do during our two-night stay? We hiked the trails around the property, walked into the village and bought some local cheese and chocolate, learned how to curl and tried to hone our skills (the curling rink was still open), played cards in the lobby in front of that massive six-sided fireplace, and enjoyed some well made cocktails by the experienced and friendly bartender, and we slept soundly amidst the silence, in the exceptionally comfortable bed. We wished we could have stayed an extra night, but the hotel (understandably) had to close down. It felt like a great privilege to have this venerable Fairmont icon virtually to ourselves for a serene 48 hours. We look forward to returning someday when it is operating at full capacity, and we will never forget the extraordinary hospitality they extended to us during such tumultuous times.
Watch for hidden charges
I booked this for a friend. I was quoted a price of $169.00 plus taxes. At the end, the total came to around $240/night. 169 + 2 prov taxes + Quebec improvement tax + resort fee of $30.00 + 2 taxes on that fee = a lot more than anticipated. Make sure to ask for hidden costs when you book. $30.00 is a lot when you consider check-in is 4pm and check out is 12:00. Not even 24 hours. Attention aux frais cachés quand vous réservez. On m'avait donné un prix de $169.00 + taxes. A la fin, le prix était plus de $240/nuit. $169.00 + 2 taxes provinciales + taxes de touriste, + $30.00 de frais de "resort" + 2 taxes sur ce frais= à beaucoup plus que $169.00.
Charming, luxurious and rustic - Did not want to leave!
What an incredible 24-hours! My stay at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello did not disappoint! Being the largest log-cabin, the building itself was so beautifully engineered and designed to create such a warm, cozy environment - from the lobby fireplace to the sitting areas on all four levels of the main atrium. I truly enjoyed just reading in the oversized arm chairs and strolling on the third level to admire the key historical moments of the hotel. I was equally at awe when I took the underground tunnel (from the Champlain wing) to the indoor Olympic sized lap-pool...which is in a huge log cabin! Hands-down the most incredible place to swim and just chill out. The lifeguard was so lovely and even helped me pick a great white wine to enjoy while reading on the lounger. There definitely was a lot of kids, so it was a bit loud, but nonetheless an incredible place to unwind. As a mid-week get-away I was very impressed to receive such great service wherever I went in the hotel. The renovated suites were gorgeous and filled with character. They were rustic yet modern in their design and furnishings - and the Fairmont signature robe is always such a cozy treat. Such comfortable beds and very luxurious rain showers added to the luxuries of of my stay. The main dining room is also very rustic yet elegant. I loved the ambiance created in the restaurant and truly enjoyed my meal (albeit alone). The restaurant host was so lovely and brought me a book on the history of the building to enjoy during my meal. My server was a friendly, warm gentleman - had such a great chat! I honestly wish I booked a few more nights at the hotel and took advantage of all the the winter activities the resort had to offer. I plan back in the summer! It would be so easy to spend 3-5 days at the hotel. As a frequent visitor to the Fairmont Banff Springs, the Montebello is just as incredible and truly is a hidden gem in the Laurentian hills.
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