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Fairmont Chateau Laurier Review

Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Fairmont Chateau Laurier

I was a guest of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa for two nights, courtesy of Ottawa Tourism.

Had I not been a guest, would I have stayed at this hotel?  Of course! Who doesn’t dream of spending the night in a castle!

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa would be my first choice in Ottawa accommodations.

Location:

Stunning French Gothic Chateauesque style building and history aside, as they say in real estate, location, location, location.  The Fairmont is walking distance to the Byward Market, Parliament Buildings, Rideau Canal, convention center, shopping, and so much more.

It’s the perfect base for exploring the city of Ottawa.

I love architecture, old buildings, and history so the Fairmont Chateau Laurier self-guided tablet tour was a highlight.  I got to learn and see so much of the hotel that wouldn’t have been possible if the app hadn’t been available.

If you don’t have your own tablet, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier loans iPads to guests.  The tour focuses on the history of the hotel and walks you through the public areas of the hotel.  Download the app for iPhone users here; Android users can download the app here.

Airport Shuttle:

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier does not offer transportation.  The Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier airport is only 20 minutes and a $38 cab ride away.  If you’re arriving by train, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier is about 11 minutes away; cabs are about $27.

Accommodations:

Photos might not be entirely in focus, a combination of the autofocus motor on my camera lens having stopped working and having to rely on manual focus with old eyes.

I was given a King Fairmont Room with a view of the Connaught Building.

view of the Connaught Building from my room

view of the Connaught Building from my room

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Connaught Building And Beyond

another view of the Connaught Building from my room

The bed was extremely comfortable.  One of those sink-in, delicious, heavenly, oh, I wish I could just lounge around in bed all day comfy beds.  It also seemed much larger than a traditional king sized bed.

Fairmont King Room

Fairmont King Room

 

There were two velour high backed chairs with a small table near the window, a large work desk with an outlet along the face, an iHome on the bedside table.

There are only seven floors but the rooms had very high ceilings.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Fairmont Room King

alternate view of Fairmont King Room

The room had a decent sized television, snack basket, minibar, Keurig coffee maker, and a laptop sized safe in the spacious closet.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Television

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Minibar

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Minibar

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Snacks

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Snacks

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Safe

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Safe

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Closet

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Closet

This sweet and spicy, decadently rich chocolate cupcake with chocolate cayenne pepper frosting was waiting for me.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Sweet vs Spicy Chocolate Cupcake

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Sweet vs Spicy Chocolate Cupcake

The bathroom was spacious with marble tiles and granite counter tops and had a tub and shower with both a rain head showerhead and a handheld showerhead.  Best of all, you could turn on both the rain head and handheld shower heads at the same time.

The tub, although deep, had a rim with a lip, making it uncomfortable for soaking and lounging.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Bathroom

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Bathroom

Bathroom amenities were Rose 31 bath products and a travel sized bottle of Scope mouthwash.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Toiletries

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Toiletries

I had brought my own toiletries so didn’t have a chance to sample the Rose 31 products.

I would have brought them home with me but I didn’t have room in my bag.   I had purchased a special blend of Honey Balsamic Vinegar while in Toronto and I was only doing carry-on.

I loved all the details such as these original door knobs.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Doorknob

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Doorknob

But the trek down the long hallways late at night freaked me out and I felt like I was in The Shining.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hallway, the Shining

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hallway

Check-in:

Check-in was fast and efficient, taking all of 2 minutes.  It took me longer to walk from the front door than to get my key.

Amenities:

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier offers the Fairmont Gold experience which gives you multiple amenities such as a private lounge, afternoon canapes, in-room internet and is available for anyone to book, regardless of if you’re a member of the Fairmont President’s Club.

My visit was not a Fairmont Gold experience so I can’t comment on the services.

Business center:

I didn’t make it down to the business center.

Internet:

Wireless internet is $14.95 CAD for 24 hours. (Free for Fairmont President’s Club members.)

Pool:

Gorgeous indoor art-deco pool!  I loved the slope in the middle of the pool – I couldn’t tell if it was an illusion or if the pool actually curved.  The in-room booklet stated the pool was salt water but I didn’t get a chance to try it out.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Art Deco Pool

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Art Deco Pool

 

Fitness Center:

If you like working out, and even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy the fitness center with its state of the art equipment.  I loved how the use of the Health Club is complimentary which is unusual for many luxury hotels.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Cytex Machines

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Cytex Machines

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Treadmills

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Treadmills

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Free Weights

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Free Weights

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Equipment

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Health Club Equipment

There’s even a private personal training room.  Given the proximity to Parliament, it would be a safe bet to guess that Parliament members take advantage of the personal training room.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Personal Training Room

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Personal Training Room

 

Valet:

Both valet and self-parking are available.  Indoor valet parking is $38 CAD/night with unlimited in and out privileges.  Indoor self-parking is $26 CAD/night with unlimited in and out privileges.

Food:

If you enjoy room service and hate the high surcharge for in-room dining, you’re in luck at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.  There is a minimal in-room dining fee, approximately $3 CAD if I remember correctly.

Everything from drinks to dessert was fabulous!  The food was so good, it needs its own review.

For an in-depth review on the appetizers and dinner served at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier under the guise of the amazing Executive Chef Louis Simard, see my review on Wilfrid’s Restaurant (coming soon).

Wilfrid’s is also the setting for breakfast where you have the option of the buffet for $27 or ordering a la carte from the menu.

As you can tell, I’m a big believer in big breakfasts and making sure I get all required vitamins and nutrients, naturally, I went with the buffet.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Cinnamon rolls

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Cinnamon rolls

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Pastries

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Pastries

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet More Pastries

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet More Pastries

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Juices

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Juices

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Fruit

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Fruit

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet More Fruit

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet More Fruit

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Apples and Plums

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Apples and Plums

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Bread And Bagels

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Bread And Bagels

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Omelet Fixings

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Omelet Fixings

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Hot Meats and Eggs

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Potatoes

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Potatoes

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Made to Order Pancakes

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Made to Order Pancakes

 

If you like cinnamon you’ll love the freshly made cinnamon rolls – heavy on the cinnamon without being too sweet. I had expected sweet gooeyness so it’s probably a good thing it wasn’t as sweet as it looked, my waist and thighs definitely appreciated my not going back for seconds.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Cinnamon roll and pancakes

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Cinnamon roll and pancakes

 

Of course, I had to have my requisite protein in the form of bacon and eggs.

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Bacon, Eggs, and toast

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Bacon, Eggs, and toast

 

I had to try the maple butter crepes, after all, I was in Canada, and they didn’t disappoint.  I tried a small serving of the vegetable frittata and was equally impressed.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Maple Butter Crepes and Vegetable Frittata

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Maple Butter Crepes and Vegetable Frittata

 

So many choices at the buffet, you won’t go hungry. I won’t bore you with all the photos of my breakfast on the first day. Let’s just say that on the second day, they realized that even though I was by myself, I needed to be seated at a table for four…

One of best parts of breakfast, food not withstanding, was one of the chefs, Jimmy.  Jimmy welcomed every guest who came to breakfast with a smile, a kind word, and conversation.  The simple act of kindness along with individualized personal attention made me, and everyone he encountered, feel welcome.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Chef Jimmy, the friendy chef

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Chef Jimmy, the friendy chef

 

He was an exceptionally hard worker who took great pride in his work, making sure everyone had a hot plate for their made to order eggs, even making fresh pancakes if he felt they weren’t warm enough.

Breakfast on the second day wasn’t quite the same without Jimmy.  But I managed to make do.

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Day 2

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Day 2

 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Belgian Waffle with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Fairmont Chateau Laurier Breakfast Buffet Belgian Waffle with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

 

Summary:

I had a wonderful time and would definitely stay at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier again.  I loved the central location.

My only complaint: I didn’t have enough time to enjoy everything the hotel had to offer such as the pool, high tea, and just relaxing and enjoying the setting.  Next time…

You, too, can stay 2 nights at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa for free!  Simply get the Fairmont credit card and you can stay two free nights including breakfast for two at any Fairmont hotel worldwide. 

Disclosure: Link for Fairmont Credit card offer is provided as a courtesy.  Travelingwellforless.com does not have a financial relationship with Chase except to the extent of having Chase credit cards. Travelingwellforless.com is not compensated in any way for this offer.

Disclosure: As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I was a guest at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, courtesy of Ottawa Tourism, but opinions are entirely my own.

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Heather Lawrence

Monday 5th of December 2016

This would be an amazing location to stay when visiting Ottawa. Right across the street from Parliament Hill too!

Lauren

Wednesday 3rd of July 2013

You got a much better shot of your cupcake than I did mine! I swear, I'll never make a chocolate cupcake again without adding a little cayenne kick. That was inspired.

Traveling Well For Less

Thursday 4th of July 2013

Hi Lauren,

I agree, that cayenne pepper added just the little something that made a normal cupcake superb!

Steve @ Canadian Travel Hacking

Thursday 27th of June 2013

If you are Fairmont Presidents Club member, you get free WIFI.

Was the area nice in Ottawa? I have never been to Ottawa (even though I lived in Ontario for 25 years).

The breakfast looks amazing!

Debbie Schroeder

Thursday 27th of June 2013

Hi Steve,

Thanks, I'll add that in. :)

Ottawa was amazing! I plan on going back, there was so much to see and do. I have a pipeline of posts coming in the next couple of months about everything I did.

If you think the breakfast was amazing, wait until you see what Chef Simard can do in the kitchen! (Hoping to have that post finished by the weekend.)

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