(Montebello, Quebec, Canada)
The Château Montebello is a famous hotel located on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Like the Manoir Richelieu, it is a self-contained resort with a rich history. It has been described as the largest log cabin in the world, as it is built from 10,000 logs. Being so big, of course, also makes it difficult to photograph. As a result, I don’t really have a satisfactory photo of the entire complex. You’ll have to take my word for it: it’s big.
Although I had certainly heard of the Château Montebello, I had never stayed there. In fact, I had never seen it, as it is set back quite some distance from the road and it is impossible to see unless you drive all the way in. After dropping off our bags at the drive-thru check-in, I entered the famous hotel for the first time.
It is quite something: the hexagonal core of the hotel is huge and is anchored by an equally huge fireplace. The rooms are located in 4 wings that radiate out from the hexagon. There is wood everywhere; it must be very cozy in the wintertime. The logs aren’t just on the outside: they also make up the interior walls of the rooms.
It had only been about a week since we visited the Manoir du Lac Delage and enjoyed an immersion into summer sports. It soon became clear that Château Montebello was going to be the site of Sports Camp Part 2! With the main sports equipment pavilion just south of our wing, it was going to be very easy to indulge in multiple summer sports. And we did!
The sports this time around included mini-golf, basketball, badminton, horseshoes, pétanque (again!)…and our brave journey onto the raging Ottawa River. Our canoe at Lac-Delage had felt a little tippy, despite the extremely calm waters, so we were looking for something a little sturdier on a river that had an actual current. The obvious choice seemed to be the pedalboat: this is a two-seated craft where your sole means of propulsion (other than the current) was pedal power. How hard could it be?
As my camera got soaked when we got into the canoe at Lac Delage, I decided not to take it with me when we went out in the pedalboat. Although I don’t have any pictures of our pedalboat journey, I will never forget how wiped out we felt after about 45 minutes out on the river. Don’t be fooled: pedalboating is probably the most exhausting way to travel on the water.
After more than a week of holidays and eating out, we weren’t really ready to eat a lot of rich food at the hotel. Taking advantage of the refrigerator in the room, we self-catered almost all of our meals. However, as we decided that we should experience at least one meal here, we had breakfast in the hotel on our day of departure. As you can see, the tablecloths were very white and the dining room is opulent. We sat behind the buffet serving area in a room that overlooked the hotel grounds.
After two nights at the Château Montebello, it was almost time to return home. There was just one more stop to make…stay tuned for our visit to an entirely different community on the shores of the mighty Ottawa River!