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SmarterTravel Spotlight: Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, Quebec

Nestled in Quebec’s Outaouais region adjacent to the Laurentian Mountain range is the world’s largest log cabin. The idea for the log cabin retreat came from a Swiss-American man who drew his inspiration from the Swiss Alps, and when you first approach the property you feel like you could be in Zermatt, Switzerland. The resort is made of 10,000 red-cedar logs that were cut and set by hand. From its 1930 completion to 1970, the resort was a private social club with its primary members being Canadian businessmen and politicians. It opened to the public in 1970 after Canadian Pacific Hotels took over the property, and has since been passed on to the Fairmont family.

Whether you’re looking for a family vacation in summer or a romantic getaway in winter, the historic Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello makes for a one-of-a-kind stay. Plus, the resort amenities are convenient and a good value.

The Location

exterior view of hotel log cabin 

The log cabin is located along the Ottawa River, in the town of Montebello, about 45 minutes from Ottawa and 75 minutes from Montreal. The small town is within walking distance to the resort and has a restaurant, shops, and a quaint museum.

The Rooms

interior room hotel.

Currently, rooms are undergoing a massive, $15 million renovation project and will be brand new by fall 2019. I stayed in a room that hadn’t been fully renovated, and it was still spacious and comfortable, with a tub and shower in the bathroom. Based off of current photos and renderings, the new rooms will add some modern design and tech elements while still maintaining the rustic-cabin feel travelers expect. My favorite part of the hotel (and many others’) was hanging out in the lobby around the six-sided stone fireplace.


Resort Activities

dog sledding in front of hotel. 

What’s included: For an added $27 per night (per room), guests have access to 20 miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, both a natural and artificial outdoor skating rink, a massive sports complex with an indoor heated pool, squash courts, saunas, gym, Whirlpools, and an indoor tennis court. In the summer, there’s also an outdoor pool, tennis courts, yacht club, and walking paths. Equipment rentals are included in the resort fee. 

Dining: Onsite dining options include Bistro La Seigneurie restaurant, with some of the best poutine I had during my trip to Quebec. The large dining room Aux Chantignoles has a well-stocked breakfast buffet.

Extra activities: For additional fees you can: go tube-sliding, go for a sleigh or wagon ride, dogsled, practice curling, ice fish, or rent boats, ATVs, or snowmobiles. There’s also an on-property golf course and a Land Rover off-roading adventure experience.

The spa: There’s a large, recently renovated full-service spa next to the indoor pool and fitness center. In addition to normal treatment options, the spa offers services like fireside massages, porch pedicures, and a maple-sugar body scrub.

Price and How to Book: Nightly rates start at $215  per night and can be booked on TripAdvisor or Fairmont’s website.

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Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

By Ashley Rossi

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She's lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She's always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.

Ashley's stories have been featured online on USA Today, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post, Jetsetter, and Yahoo! Travel, as well as other publications.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A reusable filtered water bottle—it saves you money, keeps you hydrated, and eliminates waste—win-win."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "A week in a bamboo beach hut on India's Andaman Islands."

Travel Motto: "Travel light, often, and in good company."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window—best view in the house."

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