If you’ve ever dreamed of staying in an elegant chateau, you may have pictured somewhere like France or Germany. But did you know that Canada has a number of gorgeous chateaux you can spend the night in? Many of the country’s magical castle-like hotels were former railway hotels built in the late 19th century to echo the romance of European castles. Today they rise above buzzing cities and forest sanctuaries, offering a luxurious stay for all visitors. From the world’s most photographed hotel to the world’s largest log cabin, here are 5 enchanting castles in Canada you can stay in.
1. Fairmont Château Laurier
Complete with fairytale turrets, a stunning drawing-room, a French Renaissance style-ballroom and gorgeous gardens, it’s easy to see why Fairmont Château Laurier is one of the most recognised castles in Canada. Finished in 1912, it was built in a French Gothic Château style to complement the neighbouring Parliament buildings.
Located in downtown Ottawa, with views of the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal, a stay at Château Laurier puts you in the best position to explore Canada’s capital, including the downtown museums, galleries and parks.
2. Fairmont Le Château Montebello
Retreat into the isolated forest on the Ottawa River, and you’ll discover the gorgeous Le Château Montebello. It’s less of a castle and more like a log cabin, holding the title of the world’s largest (and likely the most luxurious) log cabin. It was modelled after the châteaux in the Swiss Alps, with over 10,000 red cedar logs hand-hewn for the construction of the main building, centred around a beautiful six-sided stone fireplace.
This lavish chateau is set on a 65,000-acre forest oasis. It was built on the grounds of a former 17th-century Seigniorial estate, acquired in 1674 by Bishop Laval, the first Bishop of Quebec, from the West Indies Company. In 1801, it was bought by the Papineau Family who built an elegant manor house which still stands today and is designated as the Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site of Canada.
The hotel has witnessed an amazing history of famous guests, including Princess Grace of Monaco, Prince Rainier and former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. It also hosted the 1981 G7 summit with world leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Pierre Trudeau all sleeping under one regal roof.
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3. Fairmont Chateau Frontenac
Château Frontenac is one of the world’s most photographed hotels and you’ll quickly see why it’s one of the most beloved castles in Canada. The beautiful copper roof, enchanting turrets and detailed gables dominate the Quebec City skyline, balancing on a cliff high above Old Quebec and the St. Lawrence River.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, named after Louis de Baude, the Count of Frontenac and a former governor of the New France colony. Opened in 1893, the lavish property promises ‘an elegant touch of historic Europe’ in each room and many of its 611 rooms serve up some of the best views in the city.
You’ll also be surrounded by storied walls, with this Quebec castle playing host to dozens of celebrities, political leaders and even royalty over the years. It even hosted the 1943 meeting of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King, who met to discuss strategies for World War II.
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4. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
This impressive chateau is the largest hotel in Montreal and is famed for its legendary design and innovation. Opened on 15 April 1958, The Queen Elizabeth was designed by architects from the Canadian National Railway Company. The 21-story property was quickly acclaimed as an architectural masterpiece.
As it was built above Central Station, the hotel’s design required an ingenious solution to stop the vibrations caused by trains passing underneath. See if you can feel any tremors when you stay here… We bet it will be the most peaceful night’s sleep you’ve ever had! This incredible hotel also brought in new standards of hospitality to Montreal and was crucial in the renewal of the city’s downtown area.
5. Fairmont Royal York, Toronto
This exquisite chateau hotel is full of history and high class. Opened in 1929, the Fairmont Royal York was one of the Canadian Pacific Railroad’s last historic railway hotels. It was – and still is – the embodiment of sophistication from the exterior to its core.
It’s one of the most beautiful showpieces of the Toronto skyline. After recently completing a multi-million-dollar renovation for its 90th anniversary, it now features a stunning lobby, event spaces and two new dining venues. It’s also a favourite place for the Queen to stay when she’s in Toronto, making it undeniably one of the most regal castles in Canada.
You can sleep like royalty and experience Canada’s enchanting chateaux for yourself on Trafalgar’s new Enchanting Chateau of Ontario and Quebec tour, exclusively available to those living in Canada.