A chance to stay in the World’s Largest Log Castle? Yes, please. This summer my family and I traveled to Quebec’s Outaouais Region. We stayed in Gatineau and explored the beautiful parks and had a big adventure zip lining at Arbraska Lafleche Caves and Aerial Park and then we headed a bit over an hour down the road towards Montebello.
If you have not heard of Montebello before, I’ll forgive you. It is a hidden gem, but you need to put this showstopper Fairmont on your list of must visit family resorts. It’s 300 acres of European style fun and it is one of a kind. It’s also ridiculously classy.
The itinerary for our Quebec summer trip was intriguing and when both my husband and I noticed we were scheduled to stay in the World’s Largest Log Castle, Chateau Le Fairmont Montebello well we were excited to see what that would look and feel like. A castle is pretty much a dream stay for anyone, right?
The outside of the 5 star Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is exquisite and completely unique. It is an architectural marvel, with deep history, and to be quite honest it’s unlike any place we have ever stayed before.
There is a rustic elegance about the rooms. There are 211 rooms in this the world’s largest log castle and each room is lovely. Ours had 2 double beds which is not ideal but was at the least cozy. We were staying in Montebello for one of the busiest time periods and every room was booked for the two nights we stayed there.
The couch above was a pullout. We had a nice view from both of the windows in our room.
The rooms are lovely and clean. The atmosphere was warm with dark wood anchoring the room and plaid fabrics adding a little bit of colour. The bathrooms are smaller than we are used to, so be warned. There is a Keurig coffee maker in each of the rooms. The Fairmont itself is dark, and natural feeling with all that wood and stone. My husband was in awe of this fireplace built in the middle of the lobby.
This is the kind of resort where you really want to get out and do some exploring, and we did. There’s a lot more to do than I would ever have imagined. The activities schedule is set up to please every member of the family. The setting is magnificent and it is open year round so you could easily picture this being idyllic for a winter family vacation or a romantic getaway. There are over 40 exciting year-round activities including golf and Canada’s only Land Rover driving school experience.
There are horses and stables on the grounds and you can choose to do riding lessons while there. The cost for that is extra. You can even take a horse wagon ride. The winter season brings a fantastic set of activities that you really need to experience – from dog sledding to snowshoeing, hockey and tubing.
A gorgeous indoor pool that was once built to Olympic standards will satisfy swimmers of all ages and at any time of the year. Also the roof in the indoor pool building is incredible. I tried to take a close up of the details but it didn’t really convey how much work was in the roof.
The pool inside the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is one of the biggest indoor pools at any family resort in North America. I just loved the architecture of the building where the pool and spa are located. We stayed two nights and did not have time to explore the spa features but would do so another time if we are ever able to return. There is also a fitness area indoors off to the side of the pool and spa and there’s a covered tennis court beyond that.
I even took a photo of the change rooms for the pool and spa at The Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. Even the change room after you had a swim at the world’s largest log castle was ridiculously epic. Totally befitting a castle! These were the cleanest swimming pool change rooms I have ever seen in my entire life and we are swimmers. I know that’s an oddball thing to fixate on but it was stunning.
Of course there is an outdoor pool as well and it is private and large with catered food and bar service nearby. There is also a life guard on duty and towels at the entry way.
The grounds are immaculate and the breakfast buffet was well worth the extra. Choose to add it to your stay. The croissants were shareable and so perfect. The ideal combinations of moist with crunch and flakiness. Best pastries I have ever had.
Bring your hiking shoes and bug spray too. There are many hiking paths and there are forested areas that are very leafy. One night at dusk we raced back along the path towards the Fairmont and the mosquitoes were vicious. Don’t forget to cover up or bring the bug spray in summer months while walking the grounds. I have captured a few of the activities but there’s also a marina which docks directly to to the Fairmont. There is an underground trail that will lead you to the lobby and your room from the marina. We walked the pathways after swimming one night.
You could hike for hours if you wanted to. The walk to the small village of Montebello is not far. There are quaint shops with local chocolate makers, a local bar that sells only area micro-brewed beers and a cheese factory.
There is mini golf, a playground, rental bikes, and many games throughout the day. On the last day we visited, my younger daughter made friends with a girl who comes to the world’s largest log castle at the Fairmont Montebello every single summer. Together they went off to the cookie decorating workshop. There are paddle boards and other waterspouts nearby as well for a fee. After breakfast with all those pastries you might want to give one of those sports a try.
The food on property is wonderful. We ate on property the first night there. There is a kid’s menu, which made my kids happy. However, the prices are not inexpensive, so you might consider walking to Montebello and trying one of those restaurants if you are staying longer than two nights.
The Fairmont Le Chateau World’s Largest Log Castle:
The Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello was built in 1930 at onset of the Great Depression. The massive log castle was completed in only 3 months. The unusual structure was built into the form of a six point star with 10,000 hand-cut and set red cedar logs all transported from B.C. via the Canadian National Railway. The front of the resort overlooks Outaouais River. Behind are the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains. The log castle was a private retreat called the Seignory Club, with members including prime ministers. In 1970 the resort was opened to the public. It has also been the setting of a G7 summit, a NATO conference and a North American Leaders Summit attended by Stephen Harper and George Bush.
We were guests of the Fairmont Montebello and we very much enjoyed our stay. My opinion is all my own and it is honest.