Some places in the world look as if they’ve sprung from the imagination of a Hollywood set designer. Santorini, with its stark white cavelike dwellings and sapphire sea is one of those places. Another equally charming destination? Québec City. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place where winsome cafés beckon you with heaping plates of poutine and where boutiques brimming with artisan goods tempt your pocketbook. It is often likened to Paris—without the pretense and the price tag—but Québec City is deserving in its own right. Reigning above it all is the regal Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. This castlelike hotel never fails to impress. Perhaps that’s why it just so happens to be the most photographed hotel in the world.
Standing sentry for over 120 years (the site itself is over 400 years old), Le Château Frontenac is arguably one of the world’s top hotels. Walk past the ramparts up to the lobby, where if you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by Daphnie, the hotel’s canine ambassador. Trained as a guide dog, she is a mild-mannered St. Pierre that is beloved by guests. It is further proof that despite its pedigree and posh looks, this hotel is warm and inviting to all.
With 611 guest rooms and suites, Le Château Frontenac is well-suited to large groups. The accommodations have a distinctive European flair and feel refined without being restrictive. For those who want an added level of service, book one of the 60 Fairmont Gold rooms. Gold-level guests are granted access to a private lounge with complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea, as well as a dedicated concierge team.
Dining is an elegant affair. Nibble on cheese while sipping wine with a view of the St. Lawrence River in the 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar, which just so happens to be the spot where Quebec City was founded. Whether you’ve booked a table at Bistro Le Sam or opted for the outstanding Champlain, the setting is as alluring as the cuisine.
Of course, with a history of hosting events such as the Québec Conference of World War II, meetings, conferences and events are a part of this hotel’s DNA. The hotel has 40,000 square feet of ballrooms and boardrooms. The setting is grand and romantic. “We host more than 75 weddings each year,” says Maxime Aubin, marketing manager. It’s not just a dreamy destination for brides and grooms, though, as this hotel is a favorite for corporate planners who want an impressive setting for important meetings and events.