Watch: Chateau Frontenac renos revealed
QUEBEC CITY – The century-old Chateau Frontenac has been given a modern facelift.
The iconic hotel, most famously used by British prime minister Winston Churchill and American president Franklin D. Roosevelt to plan the Second World War’s invasion of Normandy, is now fresh and bright.
“We wanted to keep the best of the existing but also take it to another level,” General Manager Robert Mercure told Global News.
“Like anything, the hotel business is very competitive so you have to keep evolving.”
Touches of blue were added here and there to evoke the St. Lawrence River, while the chandeliers are as bright as icicles on a cold Quebec winter day.
Rooms were renovated in trendy neutrals and light was added to the hallways, giving the Chateau an overall more upbeat look.
“We wanted to be very respectful to the history of the hotel but also update it with a more up-to-date design style,” Mercure added.
“You have to refresh the food as well as the space that’s been redesigned.”
Perhaps the most striking change: the Château’s three restaurants have been completely revamped. Gone is the stuffy cuisine.
New Executive Chef Baptiste Peupion says he prefers lighter, more accessible fare.
“First we need to go for fresh seasonal products. Quebec products clearly and simply have to be put back in the plate. Value-for-money is, I believe, the main philosophy for our restaurants and the philosophy of 2014 as well,” said Peupion.
Richard Pelchat said the changes are bringing back local diners like himself.
“It’s a new kind of experience,” he said.
History buffs will love the display of archeological artifacts on the lower level. Always careful to balance old with new, Mercure confirmed that a new app for iTunes and Android is being developed.
“There’s so much history, that we wanted also to use technology to help showcase the history of the hotel,” he said.
“This summer, we’ll be launching a heritage application that people can download for free and it’ll help them walk around the Chateau and understand some of the elements of the hotel.”
Pelchat said he believes that the Chateau 2.0 has lost none of its old-time charm.
“It still epitomizes the spirit of Quebec City.”