History of Le Château Frontenac
For more than a century, Québec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac has been the true-life castle of many people’s dreams… Everyone – young and old, music and film stars, sports personalities and political figures – enjoys discovering Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and delights in returning again and again.
A century of prestigious guests
From everywhere around the world, an impressive number of famous personalities have graced Fairmont Le Château Frontenac with their presence over the century. All those visits, which are the pride of the fabled Castle’s history, have marked over 125 years of wonderful memories.
A royal castle
The Château Frontenac is proud to have welcomed King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. A luxurious suite has also been designated in honor of the official visits of Queen Elizabeth II. The Princess Grace of Monaco occupied a suite of the Château during her presidency of the Queen’s Ball at the Quebec Winter Carnival in February 1969. For the highest honor of the Château Frontenac, many other royalty members have visited the Quebec castle, including Prince Andrew and Lady Sarah Ferguson of England.
Frontenac: host of crucial political meetings
In August of 1943 and again in September of 1944, Le Château Frontenac became the center of the Quebec Conferences of World War II involving U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. The heads of the Allies held talks that proved decisive to prosecuting the war to a successful conclusion. The Château has been the host of many other American and Canadian political figures over the years: Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Pierre Eliott Trudeau,
Brian Mulroney, and many more. Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is also proud to have hosted some of the world’s most known political personalities including Charles De Gaulle, president of the French Republic, Chiang-Kai-Shek from China, and François Mitterrand, from France are some of the legendary guests of the Quebec castle.
Hollywood on Cap Diamant!
In 1952, the Château Frontenac was transformed into a movie set for the Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, called I Confess. Montgomery Clift and Anne Baxter were part of the prestigious casting of the movie. The event has been a real journey for the hotel. Many other movie stars chose the château as their hotel destination. Amongst those famous guests were Charlie Chaplin, Jane Seymour, Anthony Quinn, James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck.
An attractive destination for the world of business
In l987, Le Second Sommet de la Francophonie assembled some 42 heads of state within the walls of Le Château Frontenac, further enhancing its prestige. In fall of 1991, the renowned Association internationale d’hôteliers et de restaurateurs “Relais et Châteaux” has held its first congress out of Europe, at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Furthermore, the famous Chaîne des Rôtisseurs has convened its International Chapter at the hotel in June of 1994. The Council of State Government has established its headquarters at the Chateau Frontenac for its first conference held outside the United States in November 1999.
The Chateau Frontenac charms celebrities… still today!
Still today, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac charms the most famous movie and music celebrities. Amongst the prestigious guests list of the Château, Céline Dion, Paul McCartney, Sting, Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie. The presence of many world famous stars certainly adds to the prestige and history of Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.
A grand makeover
In 2014, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac invested 75 million dollars in the revitalization and modernization in this majestic hotel. The renovation of Quebec City’s landmark hotel has strengthened its positioning amongst the best hotels in the world. The revitalization and transformation of the Château Frontenac included the renovation of guestrooms, renovation and expansion of the Fairmont Gold floors, transformation of the main lobby, expansion of the banquet areas, introduction of three new restaurant concepts and addition of an urban spa. Internationally acclaimed design firms Wilson Associates and Rockwell Group have been selected to lead this grand project.
Wilson, whose past design projects have included The Fairmont Monte Carlo, The Langham Hong Kong and Four Seasons Hotel Sydney oversaw the guestrooms, corridors and banquet/meeting areas. Rockwell, whose past design projects have included the W Paris-Opéra, The Cosmopolitain of Las Vegas and Ames Hotel Boston oversaw the main lobby and restaurant projects.
Heritage and contemporary blend as part of the Renovation Project
At the forefront of the renovation project was the wish to preserve and renovate this icon of Quebec’s heritage and ensure its continuity while adding a contemporary dimension that will enable it to meet the highest expectations. It marks a transition to a contemporary style that remains respectful of the hotel’s history. The history of the hotel and its site, which boasts over 400 years, is showcased through heritage elements and meticulous positioning of historical 400-year-old artefacts within specially designed windows. Fairmont Le Château Frontenac sits on the site of the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux that for more than 200 years, was the site of the official residence and seat of power of the French and British governors. Renovation of the main lobby brings majestic elements and incorporate signature pieces to the existing historic details which will be preserved