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CHATEAU FRONTENAC HOTEL - GUIDED TOUR
History Tours in Costume

Chateau Frontenac Hotel Quebec City photoThe Chateau Frontenac is the unmistakable symbol of Quebec City, one of the most recognized and photographed hotels in the world. Officially the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, a deluxe grand hotel of the Bel Age which has played hosts to dignitaries and the wealthy since it first opened in 1893. One can surely stay at the Chateau Frontenac with a few extra dollars in your pocket, or if you don’t have the budget for this lifestyle of the rich and famous, why not take a discovery tour for a behind the scenes look at the secrets of this great icon of the era of railway barons of America.

Chateau Frontenac Stairway photoThe Chateau Frontenac was one of a series of great hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway to promote luxury travel touring, inducing the wealthy to the ride its rails across the north. The first hotel of the “chateau” style was the Banff Springs Hotel in the west of Canada. American architect Bruce Price designed the hotel for Quebec City, situated on the promontory rock of the Cap Diamant over-looking the St Lawrence River. Price would later build a replica of the Empire State Building in the city for his own offices. The hotel was added to and reshaped over the years, much of it rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1926. It gets its name from Louis de Buade, the Count of Frontenac, one of the first governors of the colony of New France between 1672 and 1698. Frontenac had built a number of forts along the Great Lakes during the French and Indian Wars and had begun the early defences of Quebec City, refusing to surrender to the English during the Battle of Quebec in 1690.

Guided Tours of Le Château Frontenac (Visites Guidees) provides a look at the history and stories of the hotel’s gloried past told by living character re-enactors in period costume. A chamber maid, bellman, or grand dame hotel guest from the turn-of-the century leads a group through the luxurious interior halls and floors of the hotel revealing in character the whispered gossip of the building's colorful history. Starting with a visit to one of the original grand luxury suites, the tour leads through back stairs and up elevators spooky enough for "The Shining" for a behind the scenes peek at life in high style.Lady Guest and Chambermaid Guides photo A hall of photographs shows some of the events of the past from impromptu curling matches on the terraces in the icy winters, to the storied visitors to the hotel, including Queen Elizabeth II as well as her grandfather, King George V. A collection of photographs depict played a key role the Chateau Frontenac played during World War II when Quebec City was the site of the Quebec Conference of 1943, where Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met with their top military leaders in Canada to plan the strategy for the invasion of France. The Conference was held in secret at the Citadelle (see Citadelle 23e Regiment Museum) but the staffs headquartered at the Frontenac.

The tours meet on the ground floor of the hotel below stairs near the shops arcade. Reservations are necessary. Groups are no more than 15. The tours are offered throughout the year, 10am to 6pm everyday May 1st to October 15th and weekends 12pm to 5pm from October 16th to April 30th. Tours cost $9.50 for Adults and $6 for Children 6 to 16
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