Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac Hotel

, Quebec City, Canada
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Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac Hotel

, Quebec City
5 star

Rooms: 618

1 Rue Des Carrieres - Quebec City - Quebec - G1R 4P5 - Canada | 418 692 3861
942 Traveller

Reviews - Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac Hotel

8/10
Romance on the St. Lawrence river
Submitted by: Lee Edelstein in 30/06/05
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Luxury Traveller
My wife and I took the long way from Niagara falls, NY, across Canada; approximately 600 miles and 10 hours laters we arrived in Old Quebec. We stayed at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, which can be seen from miles away, and is reminiscent of an old world European castle. The Hotel/Castle overlooks the St. Lawrence river, and is adjacent to a large boardwalk that is filled with live entertainment from morning to night. Once you enter the huge gates, you find yourself in a setting similar to Paris, with many small, winding cobblestone streets, old buildings, churches, antique shops, small sidewalk cafes,artists, and musicians.
I would recommend this hotel if you are looking for a different kind of adventure! This would be classified as a romantic getaway. If you enjoy a bit of walking and siteseeing(you will not need your car once inside the walls). Eventhough, the native language is French, do not be afraid, most people here are also fluent in english, and everyone we met was super friendly.
I have to admit, when I was travelling along the Canadian highway, and all of the english signs sudeenly changed to French wordage..I started to panic, but once inside the city walls and at the hotel, I was made to feel welcomed, and my wife and I had a great time.
9/10
Lovely Place to Stay
Submitted by: Dyann Whittaker in 04/07/05
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
This is a beautiful hotel and is just fabulous in every aspect(comfort, service, location). My husband and I stayed during our honeymoon to Quebec. We enjoyed every moment of our stay and were sad we had to leave.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac Hotel

Better than expected!

from tmarti2001
Stayed one night at the Frontenac last sunday night, April 25 for our wedding anniversary. We got a very nice room on the 10th floor with views of the St. Lawrence river, the Dufferin Terrace, some of the old town, and the main tower of the hotel (4 windows total); even though I only reserved a Quebec city view (cheaper than the $225CAD river view rooms). Paid only $150CAD including taxes! Room was bigger than expected and the bathroom was perfect. Everyone at the hotel went out of their way to make sure our stay was enjoyable. The only slight drawback was that the room smelled like smoke, even though we requested a non-smoking room (they must've just changed it to non-smoking). If we ever go back to Quebec, this will be the first place we will check for availability/rates!

The Castle is the place to be

from mlizBoston
My husband and I took our four children (ages 7-13) here for four days in April. Our stay was wonderful. We had an especially warm welcome when we checked in. We had reserved a $349 studio room for the six of us with 2 double beds and a pull-out couch. We ended up with a much better view than what we had been able to book (courtyard view). Instead we had a room with three lovely windows and a substantial view of the St. Lawrence and the Dufferin Terrace. The room was clean and well appointed. Maid service was very good. We had a breakfast plan during the stay where we dined at Le Cafe de la Terrasse downstairs each morning. The buffet was plentiful and suited us all well. The waitstaff was very accommodating, especially so to the children. The pool is an important part of traveling with our family. Our daily trips were good, although the kids would have enjoyed a bit more freedom to play typical kids' games in the pool. I always felt like I had to quiet them down so they wouldn't disturb the other adults at the pool. The Fairmont is family-friendly but only to a point. Another guest told us the pool area is limited to 50 people at a time (in chairs and in pool). We never encountered that during our stay but it sure would have been an inconvenience for us had they been at capacity when we wanted to be at the pool. Bring goggles if you are planning to swim laps - the pool is loaded with chlorine. The workout facility is surprisingly small for such an enormous hotel. Only two treamills (but other equipment available) and only one TV. The location and architecture are fantastic, and it was a good base of operation for our stay in Quebec City. One other thing that is (not related to the hotel): I would not recommend bringing a family to Quebec City in April. It rained every other day, there were still several piles of dirty snow around and not a flower to be seen.

t waste your time or money here

from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed at this hotel on Valentine's Day 2003 for a mixed business / pleasure trip. I've travelled Quebec quite a bit for business and have found the quality of hotels, from boutique to large chains, to be excellent overall. I was really looking forward to staying in this "castle". My room was VERY tiny and VERY hot. I dined at one of the restaurants and it was so-so. Overall, this hotel is very disappointing. Bottom line, it's just not worth the price. Quebec City is beautiful and there are much better hotels for a lot less money.

Great experiences during Winter Carnivals 2003 and 2004

from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I stayed at the Chateau Frontenac during the first 5 days of the Winter Carnival in January/February 2003 and 2004. We each travel regularly in the US and Europe on business and have experienced a range of hotels.

Both stays at the Frontenac were tremendously enjoyable. In 2003, we had a spacious riverview room with beautiful views of the Dufferin Terrase and the St. Lawrence River. In 2004 we opted for a less expensive room with a view of Old Quebec. This room was smaller, but still attractive and cozy. Both rooms had wonderful bathrooms which were modern and roomy.

On both visits we took advantage of the toboggan run and ice rink behind the hotel. The view from the top of the toboggan run is magical.
We enjoyed having a mid-afternoon coffee or evening drink in the St.
Lawrence Lounge with its fireplaces and large windows overlooking the Terrase.

During our 2004 stay, we took a guided tour of the hotel and would highly recommend this. The swimming pool area was clean and fairly deserted in the late evening and the massage service was professional and available on short notice.

On the first visit we checked in mid-afternoon on a Friday and on the second visit in the early evening on a Thursday. On neither occasion did we encounter any lines. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful.

We plan to return. I recommend calling the hotel for rates. For those who cannot afford a reasonably nice room, it might be preferable to stay at a less expensive hotel nearby, since you can still enjoy the Frontenac's restaurants, tours, toboggan run, and ice rink.

The 21st century

from andrew02459
I read about the couple who visited here and complained of long lines at Reception and hoards of people milling about. I remember the Frontenac well in the 50s and 60s when I grew up in Quebec...a lovely early 20th century feel and used by only a certain class of people (not my family!..we were English Canadian minorities). But times change...my wife and I stayed at the Frontenac in August of 2003 on the Gold Floor.
We had a great corner Suite and the attention of six dedicated concierges who always knew our names and quickly learned our preferences in restaurants. I did see the crowds at the main Reception and was glad of the private checkin/out on the Gold Floor. Times have changed..we have stayed at three other hotels in the old town and all pander to loud tourists and schoolchildren while trying to house hundreds of guests in the 21st century. So many more people travel now and travel informally than 40 years ago! If you've a special experience planned or holiday, nowadays you need special preferential treatment...go for the Gold to get the early 19th century experience.
The concierge staff can even be contacted in advance of your stay: I've had roses ready for my wife and dinner reservations waiting on arrival.
The Fairmont President's Club also costs nothing to join, but does have its own set of loyalty rewards to consider.

Over rated

from A TripAdvisor Member
I definately would select another place to stay while visiting this city. It was definately OVER priced!While the place looks great, well you know the old saying *looks are deceiving* well beware!While the room we stayed in was average, it was very clean, we were given a room on the 5th floor, DON'T ever accept a room on this floor. It's located under the swimming pool. We actually thought we were in a bowling alley! Lots of noise. It did stop at 10:00 pm but started early at 6:15am. We were there just for the one day and night, but it definately was NOT a place to relax in with all that noise.When we checked out I mentioned the problem, and the staff was awe - it would seem there had never been a complaint regarding this room. Yeah right!I followed up on my observations and emailed fairmont to see how they would handle my concerns. After 2 emails, they forwarded my concerns to the manger at the hotel. Who left a voice message on my answering machine. I returned his call requesting he call me back, and he never bothered.As far as I'm concerned, the place is over rated, and the customer service leaves much to be desired if you have any concerns. They don't want to hear about it. You do NOT get value for your money.

complaints are valid

from lousygolfer
I reserved a C $475 non-smoking, river view room for my honeymoon many months in advance, but when my wife and I arrived, they told me they did not have any available (brought to mind the Seinfeld car rental reservation scene). They "upgraded" us instead to a suite. We passed through long, fairly dimly lit hallways until we finally got to our room. The outer, living-room area was huge - about 20' x 30'- and virtually empty. Aside from a few chairs and the windows, it was just wasted, useless space and the style was bland, outmoded semi-luxury.
Even the windows were useless, as the view was the interior of the hotel courtyard. Worse, it was a smoking room and someone had been smoking in it no more than an hour before we arrived. We immediately called the front desk to complain and I was told that they would call right back, but after waiting for ten minutes with our eyes burning and throats becoming sore (both my wife and I are allergic to tobacco smoke), we trudged down to the lobby and I demanded to speak with a manager. I complained that the room met none of the criteria of the one I had reserved and initially, the only response was to assert "But sir, it is a much more expensive room than you originally would have had." Finally, after half an hour of haggling and waiting, the front desk manager gave up trying to find a comparable room and put us in one of the VIP suites in one of the corner towers facing the river (our room's windows are in virtually every photo or painting of this historic hotel). This room was incredible - we had antique dressers and armoires that must have cost tens of thousands of dollars. It was comparable in style and splendor to a bedroom from an 18th century English manor house (no exaggeration ). The bathroom was, ceiling to floor, a beautiful pink marble. The room opened up into a gigantic salon that looked like it was designed for either a major press conference or a diplomat's cocktail party for 100+ guests. I am sure that internationally famous people have stayed in our room. Other than taking a few quick pictures, though, we had no real use for the suite's salon. The view of the river and the lower city was fantastic. Of course, the location is about as good as one could hope for in Old Quebec. A small sign in our closet stated that the regular rate for the room was $1,400 per night. Our plan was to splurge on our first night there at the Frontenac and then stay at a smaller, European style hotel a few blocks away for the next two days. Although nothing in the city could compare to the luxury of the room we had at the Frontenac, we actually preferred our second lodgings at the Hotel Arcadia, which were bright, clean, comfortable, had a two-person jacuzzi and only cost C$180 per night. Overall, I could only recommend the Frontenac as a have-to-stay-there-once sort of experience, but unless you are paying for one of the more expensive rooms there, you get a disappointing room that is extremely poor value; even the expensive rooms are just fair value.

To each his own

from A TripAdvisor Member
If you regularly travel to 5 star hotels you won't be overly impressed with the Frontenac. It certainly has an impressive facade. I'd say the deluxe rooms are adequate but nothing special. Also, it's centered in the biggest tourist trap next to Plymouth Plantation. We were overwhelmed by bus loads of school aged children on tour who filled the streets and the restaurants. Also, the hotel restaurants aren't very good and are quite overpriced for what they offer. If you want better quality of everything, I'd recommend Montreal and Old Montreal over Quebec City.

This is the place to stay !!!

from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I stayed at the Chateau for ourhoneymoon and we loved it. It was such aromantic place.........great views, lovely rooms,great service, cozy terry cloth bath robes.We hope to return every year for our anniversary.

Fantastically Awful

from ArtAppraiserBroker
We stayed in the Hotel Frontenac for three nights. Check in was rather odd in one respect - the desk-rep suggested that we "upgrade" our room (we had already contracted for a room at a rate of $475 Canadian per night, so we supposed that there would be no need for an upgrade; but read on) - which had the feel of a "clip" operation; of getting us in on a pretext or less expensive offer, only to then switch or otherwise take advantage. We didn't "upgrade". The lobby is rather run-down and a foretaste of horrors to come. We had few bags but allowed the porter to escort us to our room. The interior of the elevator was cramped, very dirty and battered. When we arrived at our floor, we were disconcerted to see that the halls, which are long, dark, dingy and smell of stale odors - captive moisture and mildew? - had fixtures with very dim bulbs, some of which flickered. Some bulbs had burned out and not been replaced. We called these to the porter's attention and he acknowledged that they should be replaced. So why hadn't they been? When we entered our room we saw that there were various large and colorful stains upon the carpeting; that the furniture, which was of a distinctly inferior pressed-board caliber, was significantly worn and chipped, the desk even having a leg that was damaged and poorly repaired / reaffixed to the body; the sofa was badly stained from wear and evident past spillage, inadequately cleaned; the bed linens were dingy and the lighting as poor as it had been in the hall. I went into the bathroom and was amazed to find that the bathtub / shower tiling was very visibly and thickly encrusted with blackened mildew. We complained to the porter, who suggested that we contact the front desk, which we promptly did. I expressed my dissatisfaction and was told that the hotel was well aware of the mildew problem and was working to resolve it (!) The other problems, not being as easily addressed, were brushed aside with the offer to put us into another room. We accepted and were taken to a second room on a higher floor. This room was slightly better - no black mildew on the bathroom walls - though only slightly better; musty with no views, worn furniture and carpeting and a bed (essentially two double beds pushed together) that sagged deeply in the middle (like sleeping on the inverted hump of a camel). I wanted to leave the Frontenac immediately but my travel companion didn't want to spend time trying to find another hotel (it was late in the day, we'd been driving for hours and were very tired). The hotel is reputed to have a premier location and "quaint" history; and of course it is the location and legend - or "sizzle" - that they promote and sell; but in my opinion it is "puffing" of the kind that cheap and desparate real estate agents have always done to cinch sales. In my opinion the Hotel Frontenac in Quebec is essentially a tourist "con" operation and I emphatically recommend that it be avoided. BTW - we were contacted by a Hotel Frontenac representative after our stay; a "telephone survey" of quality, which allowed us to express our displeasure. I did so, abundantly, even offering to send photographs that I had taken to document our experience. But there was no follow-up of any kind. No apology.

Top Local Tips for Quebec City

Great Dining at l'Initiale We tried one of the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant in Quebec and had a very good experience. Everything you can expect from a restaurant at that level was there: attentive service and delicious food & wine. Even though I prefer minimalist decor, I found this one a bit too sober or corporate, possibly due to the very few diners present that night. I could not exactly put the finger on it but something felt cold or missing... possibly a change in lighting or even simpy candles on the tables.

The best hotel in Quebec City book early!

Dogsledding My 15 year old nephew and I thoroughly enjoyed an hour dogsledding in the snowy wilderness about 30 minutes from Quebec City. The Fairmont arranged the trip for us - a truly unique experience. My nephew was shown how to control the team of dogs ans the sleigh - apart from a few hilarious mishaps we managed quite well. The scenery was something special. Don't miss it!!

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  • Address: 1 Rue Des Carrieres - Quebec City - Quebec - G1R 4P5 - Canada
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