Fit For a King: 10 Canadian Hotels That Have Hosted Royal Guests
Want to get the royal treatment on your next staycation? You won’t find more regal accommodations than these 10 Canadian hotels, which have hosted crowned heads from around the world.
This grand dame may be one of the oldest continuously-operating hotels in Canada, but she sure isn’t tired. Named in honour of Queen Victoria (who held the title “Empress of India”), the historic Fairmont Empress received a $60-million facelift in 2017. The most recent monarch to spend the night in the Royal Suite (above) was the Emperor of Japan, while Prince William and family opted for nearby Government House (the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia) during their 2016 visit.
Lake Louise, Alberta
When William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales, wanted a day off during their first royal tour of Canada in 2011, they fled to Skoki Lodge. Situated inside Banff National Park, this impossibly charming Rocky Mountain hideaway is rustic with a capital “R”—we’re talking no running water or electricity. Before the royal couple arrived, their Riverside Cabin was reportedly treated to a retrofit—complete with full bathroom—to spare William and Kate the trek to the outhouse.
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Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Fans of the Netflix series The Crown will recall the bond King George VI forged with his daughter, then-Princess Elizabeth, over amateur filmmaking. While staying at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s Outlook Cabin (above) in 1939, the King received footage shot from his earlier tour of Eastern Canada. The head bellman, Russel Lowden, helped the King splice together his film, which was then shown at the Lodge. Afterwards, the King explored nearby Maligne Canyon and Mount Edith Cavell, just as visitors to Jasper National Park do today.
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The Hotel Saskatchewan in downtown Regina has hosted not only the late Queen Elizabeth II, but three of her children as well. Whilst staying in the Royal Suite (above) in May 2005, Her Majesty reportedly set out a framed picture of each member of her immediate family, while Prince Philip placed a single picture on his bedside table: a portrait of his wife in her coronation year. Afternoon tea was taken in the suite, while the Queen sifted through the Royal Mail. Commoners can still partake in the tradition in the hotel’s Tea Lounge each Friday and Saturday.
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All the way up on the 20th floor of the Fairmont Winnipeg, you’ll find the historic Royal Alexandra Suite (above). The ’Peg’s answer to a tony Park Avenue apartment, the suite boasts a spacious living room, complete with a baby grand piano and fireplace, a dining room, butler’s pantry, and a spectacular view of the Forks from the bedroom. King Charles III and Queen Camilla made it their home away from home when they visited Manitoba’s capital in 2014.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Quebec City, Quebec
The world’s most photographed hotel received one of the world’s most famous royals when Princess Grace of Monaco came to party in 1969. In town for the Winter Carnival, Princess Grace attended the grandiose Bal de la Régence, a ceremonial ball requiring period dress. More than 50 years on, you can experience the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac as she did by booking the Grace of Monaco suite. The one bedroom, two-bathroom suite boasts spectacular views of the St. Lawrence and the impossibly romantic 17th-century structures of Old Quebec.
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The Algonquin Resort
St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick
Prince Charles and Princess Diana dropped by The Algonquin Resort during their royal tour in 1983. While the one-bedroom suite they occupied looks nothing like it did 35 years ago, guests booking into Room 327 (above) will no doubt appreciate the super-chic overhaul it received in 2014. The day the royal couple visited was terribly foggy, so it’s unlikely they were able to appreciate the views of Passamaquoddy Bay—but you just might!
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Miramichi, New Brunswick
Built by a lumber baron on the banks of the Miramichi River in the 1860s, Governor’s Mansion later served as New Brunswick’s Government House: the official residence of the province’s Lieutenant Governor. That’s what brought Queen Elizabeth II herself here in both 1959 and 1965. For the past 40 years, the mansion has operated as a full service hotel, where guests dining at Governor’s Table can sample from the same menu HRH enjoyed, and sleep in her royal digs (she stayed in the Governor’s Room, in case you were wondering).
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Strawberry Hill Resort
Little Rapids, Newfoundland
Nestled in Newfoundland’s tranquil Humber Valley, Queen Elizabeth II visited the charming Strawberry Hill Resort in both 1959 and 1978. A spacious suite was built just for her visit, and guests booking into the Queen’s Room (above) can lounge on the exact same furniture as Her Majesty. Make the most of your own royal visit by putting on your wellies and hitting the trails that criss-cross the property, followed by afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the majestic Humber River.
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Westin Nova Scotian
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Overlooking Halifax Harbour, the Westin Nova Scotian’s Crown Suite (above) is where visiting royals often rest their heads in Halifax. It only sleeps two, but the suite is kitted out like a condo—albeit one with a boardroom! Queen Elizabeth II overnighted in 1959 and 1976, while Prince Charles and Princess Diana attended a state dinner here in 1983. A crowds of thousands swelled outside the hotel hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple before they returned to the Royal Yacht Britannia for their departure.
Next, check out our ultimate guide to royal residences.