The iconic Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C., will officially reopen to the public on June 28, after a $40-million renovation and restoration spearheaded by leading American hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner. Its crown jewel will be a new, 1,600-square-foot royal suite overlooking the harbour, priced at $12,995 per night.
Harbour Air Seaplanes, which transported the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their fall royal tour, connects Victoria to Vancouver, Whistler and a host of other West Coast destinations.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
Erected as part of a cross-Canada hotel-building spree that started in the 1920s, the Chateau Lake Louise lured railway travellers to a spot in the Rockies that, according to Marc H. Choko's book, Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand, Building a Nation, was described as possessing "the most beautiful scenery in the world." This Canada Day, the hotel will host its annual Polar Bear Dip in its glacial waters, which still hover barely above freezing in July.
UP AND AWAY
Though its status as the tallest building in the British Commonwealth was long ago eclipsed by larger structures, the Fairmont Royal York remains a regal presence in the Toronto skyline. As an incentive for Canadians to see this spot and more in 2017, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is offering a Travel North package at its Canadian destinations (including 15 per cent off daily rates, a $150 hotel credit and 1,500 Aeroplan miles per stay) until Dec. 31.
The Chateau Montebello, set on the Ottawa river east of the nation's capital, is one of Canada's most unique destinations, combining the world's largest log cabin (housing 211 rustic rooms, grand reception spaces and a towering six-sided lounge fireplace), the longest indoor hotel pool in North America (75 feet) and horse stables (pictured, opposite page). To mark the sesquicentennial, Fairmont is offering a Canada 150 package at the property, starting at $150/night.
For a small but delicious lineup of epicurean spots, a short stroll through the woods from the Fairmont property to the village of Montebello yields such gems as Fromagerie Montebello and ChocoMotive, a train station turned chocolate shop.
A bustling gathering place for both hotel guests and sightseers, the opulent lobby of Quebec's Chateau Frontenac has welcomed the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Grace of Monaco to what is often considered Canada's most picturesque hotel.
Quebec City's Canada 150 plans include Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, when 400 vessels from around the world will use the city's port as a stop between July 18 and 23 on a 7,000-nautical-mile-long transatlantic journey. For a more leisurely boat ride, Crosières AML offers a calendar of cruises aboard the AML Louis Jolliet, departing from Quai Chouinard below the Chateau Frontenac.
CREDITS: Makeup and hair by Marlayna Pincott for Lizbell Agency/M.A.C Cosmetics (Victoria), Libertee Muzyka (Lake Louise), Sheri Stroh for Bite Beauty/Kevin Murphy haircare/Plutino Group (Toronto, Montebello, Quebec City).
Model: Stephanie Bignell at Anita Norris. Photo assistants: Nate Jones (Victoria), Caitlin Boyle (Lake Louise), James Reiger (Toronto, Montebello, Quebec City).
Travel and production support were provided by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Harbour Air, Parks Canada, Brewster Adventures, Croisières AML and Porter Airlines. None approved or reviewed this article prior to publication.