by Liz Fleming

Chateau LaurierCourtesy of Fairmont Hotels

Ottawa’s venerable Chateau Laurier, one of the city’s most elegant hotels, has not only welcomed many of Canada’s most famous politicians, artists, musicians, actors, movers and shakers of all sorts, royal family members, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier himself, but also Yousuf Karsh, Canada’s most renowned portrait photographer. Karsh and his wife Estrellita lived and operated their studio in the Chateau Laurier for 18 years – and it’s not hard to understand why.

Karsh SuiteKarsh Suite - Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels

Like all her Fairmont sisters, the Chateau Laurier offers a seductive blend of old-world elegance and modern attention to service detail. Richly appointed rooms feature beautiful traditional furnishings as well as the pampering of silky bedding and ultra-delicious pillows. You might just be tempted to hide one in your suitcase.

No visit to the Chateau Laurier would be complete without high tea at Zoé’s Lounge where the delicious finger sandwiches, scones and pastries are a favorite among Ottawa’s food lovers. Spend an afternoon, indulge your sweet tooth and then take a tour of the collection that sets the Chateau Laurier apart from all competition – a gallery of remarkable photos – many of them by Yousuf Karsh - chronicling the famous faces who have graced the hotel since the turn of the last century. 

Zoe's LoungeZoe's Lounge - Courtesy of Farimont Hotels

A springtime visit to the Chateau Laurier will give you the opportunity to enjoy a walk among the thousands of tulips that bloom in our nation’s capital each year.  Visit in winter – particularly during the Winterlude celebrations - and be sure to bring your outdoor gear so you can join in the fun, skating on the nearby Rideau Canal.

Originally Published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Winter/Spring 2017 issue.

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