Romantic Getaway

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There is nothing more romantic than a getaway if your part of a couple. Even if it happens to be in your own city. There are lovely hotels here in Ottawa for a romantic night getaway. Many of them offer packages. They also have some for couples to set the romantic mood. And the prices are very reasonable which is also nice.

One hotel which is such a great building and has some nice history is the Lord Elgin Hotel.

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History of the Lord Elgin Hotel

It was in 1941 that the Lord Elgin, soon after known as the cornerstone of hospitality in Ottawa, was first established. Built by the Ford Hotel Company and named after the Right Honourable James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, 12th Earl of Kincardine and Governor General of British North America (1847-1854). The Lord Elgin Hotel enjoyed the distinguished patronage of the great grandson of James Bruce, the Right Honorable Andrew Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin, 15th Earl of Kincardine who served as its Honorary Chairman for years afterward.

To mark the Lord Elgin Hotel’s 60th birthday, the owners undertook an impressive expansion and renovation program. Sixty additional guestrooms for a total of 355, the complete refurbishment of all 355 rooms, three thousand more square feet of Ottawa meeting space for a total of 13,000, and an enlarged health facility, including a new indoor swimming pool, saunas and a whirlpool.

Guestrooms have been inspired by the Biedermeier style, which emerged in Europe after the Napoleonic wars. This reflects the architecture of the original Lord Elgin, which is a clean, modern adaptation of the French Chateau style and is proudly part of traditional Canadian hotel architecture. The design work was supervised by Michael Valiquette, A.R.I.D.O. and was arrived at, after extensive consultation, with a group headed by Patrick Gillin of Gillin Engineering and Construction Limited, the hotel’s owners, and Donald Blakslee, former General Manager.

Tying the interior design together at this Ottawa hotel is the tulip. The Ottawa Tulip Festival, which radiates out through the National Capital’s parks, is the defining element in the tourism year for the city and therefore an obvious choice for the hotel’s artwork. Most guestrooms feature a commanding print of a white tulip on black background recalling the festive event. For an interesting Photo montage on the hotel’s history, please click here: http://www.ottawahh.com/?p=1018

Another Great hotel here in Ottawa is the Fairmont Château Laurier

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It’s a site to see and apparently haunted as well from what I have read up on it which if you love paranormal things. My mother told me that my grand parents met there. It was on New Years and my grandfather was in the band. And that’s how my grandparents met. The rooms are a tad on the pricey side of things but the history of this place is worth it I think at least for a one night stay. And to just walk into the place.

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Hotel History

A STORY OF TIMELESS ELEGANCE

Building a grand château in turn-of-the-century Ottawa could only begin with the vision and foresight of a strong and ambitious individual. Charles Melville Hays an American who ventured to Canada as the General Manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway of Canada had that vision.  Hays wanted to extend the Grand Trunk Railway to the West Coast and build several railway stations and deluxe hotels in all the major cities along the way.

After dismissing the originally commissioned American firm of Bradford Lee Gilbert, Hays hired Ross and Macfarlane of Montreal to take over the design of the Château. That design combined the French Renaissance style with the neo-Gothic vertical lines of the Parliament Buildings. No expense was spared to make the Château a truly luxurious hotel.  Builders used granite blocks, white Italian marble, light buff Indiana limestone and copper for the roof. The elegant Château was furnished with antiques, a travertine marble staircase with brass railing, Czechoslovakian crystal and Sèvres vases.  Unfortunately, Hays never had the chance to see his dream come true. Days before the hotel was scheduled to open on April 26, 1912, the new president of the railway was returning from England on the ill-fated Titanic. Hays and the male members of his party perished on April 14, 1912.

The grand opening was delayed until June 1, 1912.  Hundreds of people flocked to see Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s seventh Prime Minister, officially open the hotel.  A renowned French sculptor, Paul Romaine Chevré had been commissioned to create a bust of Laurier for the lobby of the hotel.  On opening day, moments before Laurier went for a private viewing of the bust workmen dropped the statue and the nose was grossly chipped.  Unaware of the mishap, Laurier was terribly insulted when he saw the bust. Nonetheless, Laurier was the first to sign the hotel’s guest register and the marble statue was repaired.

The regal Château changed the face of downtown Ottawa lending a new elegance and sophistication to the city. The building costs totaled $2 million.  The 306 rooms, priced at $2 per night, were among the first hotel rooms to offer indoor plumbing.  Ottawa finally had a hotel fit for a capital city.

In 1919, Canadian National Railways assumed control of several railways and Grand Trunk Hotels, including the Château Laurier.  In 1929, Montreal architect, John Archibald, and CN’s own architect, John Schofield, adapted a design for expansion of the hotel.  An East Wing and 240 rooms were added and the shape of the hotel changed from an “L” shape into a “U” shape.  The Château also opened a state of the art spa. The art deco swimming pool, now part of the Health Club, was the spectacular centerpiece of the spa built with pale pink Tennessee marble walls and dark green marble pillars.  A gallery with hand-wrought brass railing surrounded the pool with a Greek fountain at one end.  Visitors relaxed on the chaises longues warmed by sunlight emitted from overhead brass lamps.

Dining Hall

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Since its opening, Fairmont Château Laurier has hosted a prestigious list of politicians, heads of state, royalty and entertainers.  The hotel has often been dubbed “the third chamber of Parliament” because of the politicians who regularly roam the corridors. Within its walls, political deals have been consummated, careers launched or destroyed and governments created and dissolved.  The hotel has been home to former Prime Ministers Richard Bedford (R.B.) Bennett and Pierre Trudeau.  King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and her consort Prince Philip, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, The King and Queen of Siam and former U.S. President Hoover have all graced the hotel registry.

Three films have been shot at the hotel: Captains of the Clouds, starring James Cagney, Little Gloria: Happy at Last and H2O, staring Paul Gross. The star-studded guest list over the years includes Shirley Temple, Harry Belafonte, Marlene Deitrich, Churchill, Billy Bishop, Karen Kain, Roger Moore, Bryan Adams, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Felipe Calderon, Yo-Yo Ma, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Santana just to name of few.

CBC Radio broadcast from Fairmont Château Laurier’s seventh floor for 80 years, until moving to their new location on Sparks Street.  World-class portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh lived at the Château for 18 years.  He also operated his studio from the sixth floor; there he photographed international celebrities between 1970 and 1992.  Karsh gave seven of his famous portraits to the hotel when he moved in 1998.  Years later, his wife Estrellita gifted an addition eight portraits to the hotel.  These outstanding images are now part Fairmont Château Laurier’s history and are located in the Reading Lounge and the Karsh Suite.

Fairmont Château Laurier continues to set a benchmark for luxury accommodation and impeccable service in the hospitality industry. As a heritage building, the hotel is a vital part of Canadian history and a stunning landmark in Ottawa.  For nearly a century, the Fairmont Château Laurier’s stateliness, regal beauty and charm have captured the hearts of guests from around the world.

All info taken from both websites.

I have a thing for architecture. Things with character as well a history. Old world charm I guess I just love all that stuff. But ya so those are two hotels I’d consider.  They have some great packages and it would be nice to just have a nice getaway but with in the city and do some papering. Any who hope you enjoyed this post.

Over & Out

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