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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The room had a decent sized television, snack basket, minibar, Keurig coffee maker, and a laptop sized safe in the spacious closet.
This sweet and spicy, decadently rich chocolate cupcake with chocolate cayenne pepper frosting was waiting for me.
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.
Bathroom amenities were Rose 31 bath products and a travel sized bottle of Scope mouthwash.
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.
But the trek down the long hallways late at night freaked me out and I felt like I was in The Shining.
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.
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.
I didn’t make it down to the business center.
Wireless internet is $14.95 CAD for 24 hours. (Free for Fairmont President’s Club members.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Of course, I had to have my requisite protein in the form of bacon and eggs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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