If you live in the northeast and are looking for a winter family getaway, you should check out the Chateau Montebello, the world’s largest log cabin hotel, located in between Montreal and Ottawa. It’s a lovely place to be when it’s freezing outside—simultaneously impressive and cozy. Its lobby has a six-sided fireplace right smack in its center that is 4 stories tall. The furniture is great–nothing seems shabby, although it looks vintage. The scale of everything is so awesome. It has a massive dining room, with fantastic artwork and totem poles, that surround a stage. The rooms are definitely on the smaller side, but you aren’t here to spend tons of time in your room. It’s the kind of place you come to experience the outdoors (cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice hockey, dog sledding, horse sleigh rides, tubing, curling)…and then there’s the beautiful indoor pool. The food is really good (and so is the Molson Dry beer on tap)–they use local and organic as much as possible (actually a Fairmont standard). There’s also skiing nearby at Mont Tremblant.
We drove from New York, which was a very ambitious 8 hour drive each way, but you can fly into Ottawa or Montreal. Both of those cities are magical to visit in the winter, so depending on how much time you want to take, you could do a couple of days in either or both. (Posts about those later this month.)