Fairmont Railway Hotels in Canada

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when train travel was the way to go, dozens of Canadian cities on the Canadian Railway route erected luxury hotels to accommodate train passengers. The historic grandeur of these hotels is unsurpassed in Canada and some, such as the Fairmont Banff Springs, are first-class by worldwide standards.

Many of these hotels have been maintained to much of their former glory and are still operation under the Fairmont Hotel name. 

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The Fairmont Empress, Victoria, British Columbia

The Empress Hotel
Gunter Marx Photography / Getty Images

Perched proudly on the banks of Victoria's Inner Harbour, the Fairmont Empress has hosted kings, queens and other famous guests, such as Katherine Hepburn, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Roger Moore, John Travolta, Barbra Streisand and Harrison Ford.

The hotel is famous for its afternoon tea and has a reputation as the place to stay in Victoria. Is it worth the money?

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The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
The Hotel Vancouver is a historic downtown Vancouver hotel owned by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Today's version of the original Vancouver railway hotel was opened in 1939 in time for a visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. In the 1990s, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver underwent a $70 million upgrade, solidifying its reputation as one of the city's finest hotels.

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The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

Aerial View of Lake Louise
The Chateau Lake Louise sits at the tip of Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. Wei Fang / Getty Images

The stunning Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is perched upon a blue / green glacier lake, nestled amidst the Rocky Mountains. Visitors have included Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.

Popular activities while staying at the hotel are skiing & snowboarding, hiking, climbing, canoeing and of course enjoying the luxurious spa.

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The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff National Park, Alberta

Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

The Fairmont Banff Springs may be the most famous hotel in Canada and certainly has a worldwide reputation for excellence. The spectacular setting of the Rocky Mountains is superbly complemented by guest services that include 38,000 square feet of refurbished European-style spa.

Skiing, golf and a host of other outdoor adventures are also available.


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The Fairmont Palliser, Calgary, Alberta

Fairmont Palliser Hotel.
The Fairmont Palliser is a historic hotel in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada. John Borthwick / Getty Images

Calgary is famous for its hospitality and service. The Fairmont Palliser offers this hometown warmth in a historic and elegant setting. This hotel also boasts a central location making it ideal for visiting Calgary's most popular attractions.

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The Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, Ontario

Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Despite the world-famous height of its nearby neighbour, the CN Tower, the Fairmont Royal York, still has an impressive and commanding presence in Toronto's downtown. This landmark hotel is an elegant and historic alternative to the standard high-rise hotel, offering its guests a glimpse back in time with all the modern conveniences and services.

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The Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa, Ontario

Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

The Chateau Laurier is a must-see on any trip to Canada's capital city. Whether you're visiting for Ottawa's two biggest festivals, Winterlude or the Tulip Festival, this historic hotel is in the heart of all the action, easily within walking distance of the Parliament Building, the Rideau Canal and the ByWard Market. If you don't check in, at least pop by for a drink to soak up the atmosphere.

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Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec

Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Experience the quiet charm of Quebec's countryside and the luxury of a world-class resort. Overlooking the St. Lawrence river, Le Manoir Richelieu boasts an extraordinary location with exceptional vistas. The hotel also features an 18-hole golf course and a casino; activities include whale watching, horseback riding, and tennis.

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The Fairmont Château Frontenac, Quebec City, Quebec

Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

The majestic Château Frontenac has become synonymous with Old Québec over which it reigns high on the bluffs overlooking the St. Lawrence. Staying at this refurbished 19th century hotel ensures you a central locale in the heart of the historic part of Quebec City -- a United Nations World Heritage Site.

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The Fairmont Algonquin, St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick

Photo: Thomas Kitchin & Victoria Hurst / Getty Images

Set in the tranquil town of St. Andrews by-the-Sea (population is around 2,000 people), the Algonquin offers an intriguing lineup of activities, including seaside golf, whale watching, sea kayaking and scuba diving. Built in the 1880s, the Tudor-style hotel has become known for its Green Action Plan through which it is committed to reducing, reusing, and recycling practices and a constant search for new green solutions.