We were invited to the Ottawa Chateau Laurier last weekend for a one-night Fairmont Gold experience stay. This is my open and honest review of our stay at the hotel. Photo credit Kamara Morozuk.
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how to start this post. So instead of wallowing in writer’s block, I poled my family… “Hey guys, what did you like about our stay at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier?” Here is what they answered!
Michael (dad with a big appetite who loves sleeping)
“The entire Fairmont Gold experience was pretty cool. When you first get to the hotel, you just go right to the 4th floor to check-in, it’s super convenient. Everyone is really nice and friendly too. The staff are very welcoming and take the time to remember your name. I loved that it included a deluxe continental breakfast in the morning and I appreciated the 5-a-7 snack bar which was perfect to get rid of my “hangry” mood, as my wife likes to call it. It was an impressive selection of appetizers that helped to get me ready for dinner. I really liked the size of our room and small things like water bottles and beverages which were included in our stay. My wife had to sleep with our son, so I can’t speak for her, but I had a great sleep… the beds were very comfortable. ”
Victor (5-year-old jokester who loves sweets and wresting)
“I had two favourite things. I liked all the lolli cakes that were waiting for us when we got in the room and I liked watching Jumanji in our room at night with mama in my bed.”
Me (workaholic fashion-forward mom looking for an excuse to travel with family and relax)
I have to agree with Michael, the hotel service is outstanding, and it doesn’t stop at Reception. The cleaning staff, the waiters, the bellmen, everyone seemed to be invested in providing us with what we needed to make our stay memorable. When you’re with kids, you don’t want to feel out of place when you’re in an upscale environment. I think that’s why I was shocked at how accommodating and kid-friendly the hotel was. All the restaurants had kid’s options and colouring kits to keep them busy. They also always brought the kid’s meal out first, and very quickly at that. Those are details that parents are looking at.
As far as my favourite thing we did during our stay though? It would have to be the afternoon high tea lunch at the newly renovated Zoe’s Lounge and our family swim in the Art Deco pool! Let’s let the pictures do all the talking, shall we?
Zoe’s Lounge Ottawa Fairmont Chateau Laurier Afternoon Tea
The afternoon tea at Zoe’s lounge was quite the gastronomical feast! First, you start by selecting the tea that you’d like to sip for the entire meal: I had the white tea Ontario Ice Wine, Victor had a fruity rooibos tea and Michael went with a smoky Lapsang souchong tea. Then the food started rolling in! Fresh scones with jam and cream, tiny decorated sandwiches and an array of desserts. So many in fact, that we packed most of them to-go and enjoyed them when we got home! What made me laugh was the Prince and Princess special, where kids get to enjoy their own personalized tower!
The famous Ottawa Fairmont Chateau Laurier Art Deco Pool
After lunch, we met up with Kamara for our family photo shoot, which ended with a dip in the Art Deco pool. I remember first discovering this pool when I read an article about real spaces around the world that looked like they came out of a Wes Anderson film. Pretty impressive that Ottawa made the cut! We got in our cosy robes and were even given a tiny robe for Victor… I mean… I nearly died! It was the sweetest thing!
There’s something about a staycation. It forces you to relax and look at the city you live in, with a completely different lens. I always fall back in love with Ottawa when I do these types of assignments. It’s almost as if you get to experience what tourists go through and see what they see. During our shoot, I realized that our city is quite lovely with spectacular views.
For those of you reading this who live outside the city, I will say that the Chateau Laurier is uniquely placed in the heart of the downtown core, which we call the Byward Market. It is surrounded by the city’s best shopping district and the most beautiful historical architecture that Ottawa has to offer, without forgetting the Parliament buildings of course! This hotel has housed Canadian treasures like Joseph Karsh, is linked to the Titanic (its architect, Charles Melville Hays was lost at sea along with some furniture for the hotel dining room) and even has rumours of being haunted. It’s a true gem and a huge piece of history for Ottawa and even Canada.
I highly recommend experiencing this hotel, and if you have no plans for March Break… this place is for you!