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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 maintained much of their former glory and are still operating under the Fairmont Hotel name.
The Fairmont Empress, Victoria, British Columbia
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.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia
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.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta
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.
The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff National Park, Alberta
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.
The Fairmont Palliser, Calgary, Alberta
Calgary is famous for its hospitality and service. The Fairmont Palliser offers 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.
The Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, Ontario
Despite the world-famous height of its nearby neighbor, 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.
The Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa, Ontario
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. It is 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.
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec
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.
The Fairmont Château Frontenac, Quebec City, Quebec
The majestic Château Frontenac has become synonymous with Old Québec over which it reigns high on the bluffs overlooking the St. Lawrence River. 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.
The Fairmont Algonquin, St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick
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.