If you are considering a Quebec City honeymoon, there is really only one place to stay that you won't regret. It's the hotel where the most important things happen and the most important people stay. That place is Le Château Frontenac, a Fairmont Hotel.
A turreted castle whose verdigris towers overlook the St. Lawrence River, this 125-year-old architectural treasure is a much-beloved Canadian historic landmark. At the hub of the fortified city designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this iconic hotel is infused with romance and made for honeymoon pleasure.
From the beaver-hatted doormen who are first to welcome arrivals to the knowledgable concierges to the experienced waiters who serve new Québec cuisine in Champlain Restaurant, the staff is friendly, professional, and efficient.
It's built on the site where French and British governors once ruled. And during the 100+ years it has received guests, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac has welcomed everyone from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Edith Piaf to Céline Dion to the Harlem Globetrotters.
The hotel is such an attraction that several 50-minute guided tours are led daily.
They're narrated by actors representing 19th-century chambermaids, bellmen, elevator operators, and upper-class guests come to sip daily high tea.
More-modern visitors have singled out Fairmont Le Château Frontenac as No. 1 for romance.
- While there's no dedicated honeymoon suite, there are a number of rooms with a Jacuzzi for two overlooking the most coveted promontory in Québec City.
On every floor, heritage premier rooms offer the best view of the river. If you really want to splurge, book a Fairmont Gold room. These are located in the hotel-within-the-hotel on the 12th, 14th, and 15th floors. There's a private check-in desk, and complimentary breakfast and hors d'oeuvres are served daily.
The main hotel's cavernous lobby, dominated by a portrait of plume-hatted Lord Frontenac,* features reproductions of the original Medieval-style furniture and stained-glass windows from the turn of the century.
New facilities include a light and airy spa and a Greco-Roman-style indoor pool with whirlpool. The hotel has thoughtfully designated the hour from 9-10 pm daily for adults only in the pool.
Naturally, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac isn't the only hotel in the city. Auberge du Trésor, across the street, was built in 1679 and claims to have been where the continent's first French kiss occurred.
Should you find Quebec City irresistibly romantic, Chateau Frontenac's offers a Proper Proposal Package.
Marrying at Le Château Frontenac
The hotel hosts several weddings a week and offers services ranging from invitations to hair and makeup to florists and musicians. The intimate, circular Rose Room (which holds up to 30 people) has a fireplace, a large center column encircled by a pink tuffet, and panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River. (An American model married her Canadian hockey-playing beau here.) Other ballrooms can accommodate larger groups, all the way up to 700 people. For more information, contact the hotel's wedding coordinator.
Exploring Quebec City
Let Chateau Frontenac be your gateway to the charms of Quebec City, the only walled city north of Mexico. The hotel has a crack team of concierges who can point you in the right direction to pursue your passions.
Right outside of the hotel's doors is Dufferin Terrace, a wide expanse for strolling that overlooks the St. Lawrence River. The entrance to the funicular that descends to Basville, the lower part of the city and the port, is on the terrace. Take time to explore Basville. Its cobblestone streets lead to shops and restaurants where you can find uncommon delights.
Quebec City's history can be felt inside Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church, which was built in 1688, and its fortress like altar withstood two British invasions. Rare paintings by Rubens and Van Dyck hang on the walls.
Since bus traffic and the five million visitors Québec City welcomes annually can clog Vieux-Québec streets on weekends, it's best to come on a weekday or arrive either early or late in the day during June-October.
Be advised that Québec City is a steep, hilly place. Comfortable shoes and a sturdy constitution are a necessity. Of course, you may find the romance of this destination simply sweeps you off your feet.
- When faced with the enemy and challenged to succumb, Lord Frontenac replied: "I will answer with the mouth of my cannons."